This is where the Me part of Tamay & Me happens.
Run by Me, Hannah, this is where the logistics happen, where the orders go out from and where the purses and bags are currently made.
In the heart of Old Market, Bristol, Tamay & Me is based at the Bristol Textile Quarter, a hub for textile businesses to work alongside each other. It feels like home. I could say that since the beginning, 3 years ago, the UK side of Tamay & Me has been just Me, but it is not true. The Textile Quarter has enabled me to work alongside and collaborate with the most talented women who have shared both their wisdom and skills. Working with Naomi Wood to create beautiful photographic content has been a highlight, alongside Emma Hague, who masterminded the Textile Quarter and in the passed has spent many years working with Artisans in South America. Lizzie Harrison, from Antiform, the Queen of Sustainable fashion in my eyes, is forever sharing her industry knowledge. Kate Uzzell and Mary Yarwood have been there to call on for design chats and to take on sewing bags and pouches. Elle, from And Elle has taught me how to work a 9-5 and have a laugh at lunchtime, Saffron Darby, the studio manager, who used to be the head designer at Toast for 10 years is a fountain of knowledge and mother buddy in solidarity. Heather Knight was working for Fashion Revolution from the quarter, we have had two weavers, Anna and Millie, from Bath Textiles course both who have gone far with their first collections. I miss Lydia, who spent a year making her own wardrobe and now runs Threadworks London. She would put on the tunes and make us all sing on a Friday afternoon. There has even always been upholstery with previously Mel and now Elin going on here too and pattern cutter Rocio who has been making a beautiful wedding dress. Upstairs are also the inspirational Dash and Miller weave studio and next door is the Bristol Weaving Mill.
These photos were all taken one quiet Saturday by Together & Sunspell when I gave them the tour. It looks like I work alone, it's not true and I couldn't have done anything like what I have so far without all the inspiring women above.
So, to my corner...
Full of textiles and a laptop. I do occasionally sew but not often. I spend a lot of time writing, emails, articles, blogs, packing orders, organising photography, planning events and working out our next steps.
Studio rituals include drinking black coffee from the beautiful cup from my sister on the right and hot water in the Moroccan cup on the left.
My favourite thing is coming into the studio early in the morning when the sun comes in through the blinds onto my desk.
We often listen to BBC radio 6 in the studio but if I plug into my headphones, Fip the brilliant French radio station originally designed to pacify Parisian road rage, is my favourite.
Tamay and I usually speak on the phone 2-3 times a week to check in with production and make sure that we stay in touch about what needs making and how the sales are going and have a quick chat about family and how we are.
I think despite living on two sides of the world having two completely different ways of life we both work in a similar way and have a similar drive for steady, long lasting success. Our daily routines are remarkably alike, when Tamay came to the studio almost a year ago she loved it, she loved the strength in many women, she loved the sense of space and the access to sewing machines and overlockers. She loved all sitting together for lunch, she did find the microwave alarming but she said that the studio was one of the favourite parts of of her visit to the UK.
It is possible to visit the studio by appointment. Most of the jackets are kept here, you can come and try them all on if you live near enough.
Contact me and we can organise something, firstname.lastname@example.org
Otherwise, its nice for you to be able to read this from your bed or at the bus and imagine what it is like at the other end of our online shop!
Thanks for visiting.
Photo credit : Irina and Silvu from Together and Sunspell