Handmade by Tinni – Sustainable Statement Textile Jewellery & Home DécorPosted on 28th July 2021
Tell us about your business
Hi, I’m Paulomi and I am a textile jewellery designer and maker. I create colourful, bold pieces of jewellery & home decor signs with organic cotton rope and yarn.
I believe jewellery has the power to bring joy in our day. This motivates me to design colourful & fun jewellery that can make you glow with happiness and stand out in a crowd. ⭐️
You will also feel proud when showcasing my designs as they are handmade, sustainable, and unique.
What is it you do?
Handmade by Tinni was a natural step for me, born out of my passion for handcrafted unique jewellery. When I set-up my brand finally in 2020, my design inspiration came from the bright colours of nature, amazing places that I have travelled to over the years and most importantly from the rich heritage of India.
My aim is to make you embrace colours, look beautiful and feel proud while you showcase my designs.
How did you get into it?
“It’s never too late to set another goal or to dream a NEW DREAM!”
I was born and brought up in Kolkata, India, a colonial city with a rich heritage and history. It used to be the British capital during colonial rule and so you may find plenty of British architecture and influence dotted around the city. Charming and extremely busy, my birth city holds a special place in my heart forever. The cultural heritage has a huge influence on my design inspiration.
I studied sales and marketing and started my career in hotel sales. I am passionate about travelling and found great pleasure in promoting hotels and destinations.
In 2004, I met the love of my life. Little did I know that the life I had known, had to be left behind and I will be travelling 5000 miles to start a new life soon!
In 2006, we got married in Kolkata. We both belong to this ‘City of Joy’ and very proud to have strong roots there. Soon, I joined my husband in London to start a new chapter of our journey together. With my experience in hotel sales, I was back in hotel sales management.
Fast forward 14 years, I now hold a senior position in hotel procurement as my day job, have become mum of a 10-year-old imaginative boy and we live in London.
My passion – I love music, dancing and travelling.
AND…… am totally addicted to jewellery. My mum often teases me, saying that I am building a secret jewellery museum. And being an Indian by origin, I am spoilt for choice and variety. I am extremely proud of my eccentric collection which is a mix of vintage, one of a kind or contemporary design.
2020 – A turning point
I finally launched my own sustainable jewellery brand – ‘Handmade by Tinni – Sustainable Statement Textile Jewellery and Home Decor‘.
I love colour, I love handcrafted jewellery and I love travelling. My brand combines all these inspirations to create something unique.
Tinni is my nick name – it is like my alternate personality – cheeky, full of fun and colourful.
Who would you be most excited about getting an order from and why?
This is a tricky question as there are so many who inspires me everyday and I wish I could make something exciting for them.
A few names, if I may:
Prue Leith – Such a colourful personality and always sporting statement jewellery.
Madhuri Dixit – One of my childhood idol who is one of the most talented actress of Indian / Bollywood movies. Her smile just lights up any room.
Helena Bonham Carter – I am just a big fan of her awesomeness and talent. It will be a huge honour if I ever get to design for her.
How has lockdown affected you and how have you adapted?
I decided to launch my brand in a very challenging time when the whole world was going through a crisis. Our life the way we know it, has changed drastically and some new habits are part of our normal now.
It is nerve wracking and scary for any business, let alone a new independent creative launch. Plus, I am a social person and pretty much thrive on face-to-face meetings and interactions. So, the lack of human interactions at craft fairs or exhibitions, really added to the challenge.
But when life throws you a lemon, you learn to make lemonade with it.
I adopted my digital persona in no time and was able to turn the situation around creatively in my favour. Social media was a big help and with the use of intelligent hashtags, engaging content, clean photography, and my creative prowess, I was able to transform visitors to my social page to become my followers and then customers.
After all, I am a sales and marketing professional at heart.
I also have discovered early on that the secret to small business success is community engagement. I invested my time to find the right creative communities that share my brand values and engaged with the other makers to share ideas and inspire each other.
What do you find the most and least rewarding aspects of being your own boss?
Being my own boss is the best. I determine when to work and how to work. I oversee my successes and failures in equal measure. I celebrate my success as much as I ponder on what did not work so that I can pivot. Yes, there is a huge pressure to make it all work, but I am answerable to only myself.
Being a creative entrepreneur is more rewarding as your work not only makes money but also gives you satisfaction as a creator. Nothing gives me more pleasure than reading the 5-star reviews on my designs especially when clients post a picture flaunting them on social media. I always do the happy dance. 😊
Being an independent business means wearing multiple hats. It is exciting and liberating. I am the creator, I am the digital marketing manager, I am the accountant, I am the admin, I am the social media scheduler & manager, I am the customer service manager, I am the salesperson, and I am also the head designer.
I have evolved so much as a designer and an indie biz owner that I am proud of my achievements. I have made mistakes, but they only made me stronger and resilient. The best part of being an entrepreneur has been the journey and I am really looking forward to what to come next.
What is the piece of work you’re most proud of?
It is very hard to pick among all your creations as you put little bit of your soul in each of them. However, if I really must, I will choose the ‘Love’ word necklace.
This was the first design that really earned my place in our creative community and became my signature design. I have since created several custom word necklaces as I can make any word (4/5 letters max recommended) like your name or belief or fun words, into wearable pieces.
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced and do you have any advice for others?
Without a doubt, listing of products on the ecommerce websites like Etsy or Folksy or Urban Makers etc. This is a pure admin job and not that interesting. But this is also a very important part of selling, and hence, needs to be done correctly, creatively, and precisely. The listing description, tags, product titles, everything affects how my designs are searched and found in the world wide web. Simply put, I can make a stunning design but if no one knows about it, I am never going to sell it!
Writing description is also not a task I would choose naturally as I am not at all a creative writer. I write impulsively and sometimes I struggle to find the right keywords to describe my product.
- Being an independent business means wearing multiple hats. It is exciting and liberating. You are the creator, digital marketing manager, the accountant, the admin, the social media scheduler & manager, the customer service manager, the salesperson, and the head designer. Remember to take a break from it all as balance is key for our wellbeing.
- Stop spending too much time making images too perfect! Aesthetics are important to have an eye-catching image, but you could have spent that time doing something more productive. Or used an app to get images corrected quicker.
- Do not be affected by the follower number and rather focus on how to create engaging content from the very start.
- Start an email list.
How have you embraced sustainability?
- Handmade – I take great pride in making each piece by hand.
- Cotton – I chose organic cotton as my main design medium as it is biodegradable, soft to wear, anti-allergic, colourful, and extremely flexible to let my imagination flow.
- UK based – I am based in London and make all my jewellery here.
- Zero Waste Designs – I consciously made an effort to design new collection using my scrap rope endings to reduce any waste from my materials. Currently I have 3 products in my shop that are entire based on zero waste materials.
- Planting 32 trees monthly – Handmade by Tinni has now partnered with Ecologi to become more climate positive and assist with reforestation.
Shop with me – Plant a Tree