Welcome to my website and to my first blog post! What better time to introduce myself and my company, and a little bit of why it all got started in the first place.
So, I'm Tahlia, the designer and maker behind Tahlia Paige designs and products, which all started this year during the lockdowns after my late graduation in 2020. I studied Textiles in Cardiff Met for the last three years, which all came to a pretty dramatic end when we all had to move out of our student houses and go home when the first lockdown hit in March. The online learning was a bit of a nightmare, but eventually the year finished and I got the grades I wanted and suddenly I'm a Real Adult needing to find a purpose and what's next.
So, how did I get started in Textiles?
I took textiles through school until year 9 when we had to make our option decisions, where I decided to take both Textiles and Art. Honestly, I wasn't sure how I was going to find it, the teacher was strict and I didn't understand the format for a long time, although by the second year we had a different teacher and a clearer path to the end and I started to enjoy what I was doing.
I continued this throughout sixth form, also studying photography, ICT and art so clearly knew I was going towards a creative industry, just maybe not exactly sure which one yet.
When I finished sixth form, the time came to start a Foundation course in a nearby College, which the night before I made the decision that I wasn't going to go, a lot had happened in my personal life during those last years of school and I seriously needed a break. I spent the year working a couple of jobs and saving up money, and worked in my old school on a production of Cats where I helped out with the costumes.
This got me interested in textiles and costume again, after deciding I was going towards Photography in University, and I ended up applying for a few Unis to study Textiles, Fashion or some mixture of the two.
Photo by Héctor J. Rivas on Unsplash.com
I got into Cardiff Met unconditionally, and this is the one I ended up choosing. I wanted to stay in Wales and actually living down in Cardiff took me back to being closer to my family in Pontypridd that we had previously moved away from when I was a lot younger.
Throughout my years in Uni, I found the workshops and things geared towards building your own business really interesting, and it just made me think more and more about what I wanted to do for myself.
Photo by Avel Chuklanov on Unsplash.com
So I graduated and started thinking, what now?
Throughout Uni my style had evolved from natural handmade textiles and artsy to a more graphic surface pattern approach which felt like the more natural thing to do to reach the grades, but I soon found I was really into it. There is such a huge community of surface pattern designers on Instagram especially which I love, and my style continues to develop over time with the help of some of these people who offer their advice on my designs.
Could I ever be one of those people who work for themselves and support themselves, setting their own hours and working to their own briefs?
In short, yes? Although I'm still finding my way and trying to balance my time. The most surreal part of being completely out of education is the lack of deadlines and guidance, although this can be found through organisations which has been a massive help to me so far on the journey.
So, what else will you see from this blog? I'm planning to do more narratives on my life, my work, my industry, as well as a few tips and tricks to gift-buyers and fellow designers and tutorials to follow, so stay tuned, and sign up for the newsletter (which will also be starting soon!) to keep in touch with me and my news, so you could be the first to see new products and new posts!