This week’s vendor spotlight feature is a special one. Tania of Percy Handmade (who you’ve seen before here) lets you take a peek inside her beautiful studio with a shoot by Peta Rudd, and shares her story and creative process!
Prepare to fall head-over-heels for this lovely lady and her beautiful, handcrafted bridal accessories…
How did you come to find yourself in the bridal industry?
“I’ve been working in the bridal industry for almost 5 years now, but before then, my career was in the Australia Public Service after having graduated with a double degree in Communications (Public Relations) and Law.
After spending several years at a desk job, I felt I needed to refocus and do something I was truly passionate about. From a young age, I had a soft spot for beautiful fabrics, intricate detailing and quality finishes so the bridal industry just felt like a natural fit.
I was drawn to designing and creating bridal accessories because it combined my love for all things beautiful and allowed me to be creative – something I had wanted to do for many years.
I love working with brides especially because wedding accessories are such a personal choice. I really enjoy working closely with brides to create a unique piece that will become part of their wedding day story.”
What is your creative process like?
“My creative process varies depending on the type of piece I’m creating. If I’m working with a bride on a custom-made piece, I work closely with her to understand her personal style, her likes and dislikes, her vision for her big day, and how it fits into the context of other other details such as her wedding dress or bridal jewelry.
I encourage my customers to be creative and throw ideas at me – over the years I have developed a wide range of technical skills in sewing, beading, and flower making so I’m always up for the challenge!
If I am creating a new piece for my collection, my creative process is a little different. It sometimes starts with a sketch or a vision but most often it starts with curiosity that can lead to new inspiration. I often find myself fixated with a particular technique in hand sewing or beading which often ignites a creative spark that results in a range of new pretty pieces.”
What is your favorite piece that you’ve created?
“Oh, that’s a really tough question! I have so many favourite pieces because each of my brides are so different and the final results are unique reflections of who they are and their personal preferences.
I would have to say my favourite piece I have ever created was for my mother. Earlier this year I created a bouquet of silk flowers for her Mother’s Day present. It was truly a labour of love – in total, there were over 16 silk flowers that were made completely from scratch. I started each flower with a simple piece of silk fabric that I hand-painted using silk dyes, hand cut each petal into shape and then formed using heated millinery tools. I then assembled each silk flower, petal by petal. It took countless hours to get the colours right and to complete each piece but I truly love how it turned out. The look on my mother’s face when she saw it was absolutely priceless.”
Where do you find inspiration for your work?
“I am inspired by everything around me – photography, architecture, history, people, music, movies and fashion.
Sometimes when I see a beautiful dress in a movie or in a window, I will start to daydream about how it would look with a pretty headpiece or a sash belt. My mind is always wandering!
Quite often I draw inspiration from the fabric or the material itself. The shape of the lace and the texture or weight of the fabric is a great place for inspiration. I have often found that best results come from staying true to the fabric and letting that guide you.
My work is inspired by my love for modern touches with a feminine and vintage appeal. I am passionate about learning traditional techniques that were common in fashion houses from decades past – techniques such as silk flower making using millinery tools and hand beading to create intricate and delicate patterns using tiny seed beads and sparkly rhinestones or pearls.
My role models are Vera Wang, Coco Chanel, and Valentino. I love them equally and for different reasons. They are masters at their craft, they are talented business people and they are deeply focused on bringing their visions to life.”
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