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MEET THE MAKER // TARIN THOMAS JEWELRY

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Hi Kylie! It’s so great to have another Canadian in the studio with me! Let’s jump right in, Your a fellow Fashion Design Parson's Alum, what was it about Jewelry specifically that drew you in? 

It was less about jewelry and more about starting my own business and having something of my own. Before starting TT, I was a buyer/merchandiser for a boutique in Nolita. Jewelry was a huge category for the store and did amazing.  We were always looking for semi precious/precious jewelry at an accessible price point. I was so inspired by all the designers and the ability for jewelry to be used to elevate your game. I felt that I had so much to offer and started to buy diamond and precious stones. Next came the designs and creating all the initial styles and TT was born!

There must be a cute story, how’d you come up with the name Tarin Thomas? 

When I first came up with the concept of the business, I was walking with my mom and brother in the Lower East Side and for the life of us we were not able to come up with a name. All of a sudden my mom spoke out ‘Tarin Thomas’ and we all said yes at the same time! Tarin is my middle name and Thomas is my brothers middle name.  I loved the idea that it wasn't my proper name and that we could become a brand. When we first started TT my mom and brother were both involved in many ways and still are today, so it made total sense. Especially since Tarin is Karen + Tom put together, which are both of my parents names.

What’s been the main inspiration or overlying theme behind the line, and what continues to keep you inspired each season? 
To be honest, many of our styles are inspired by designs that I was personally looking to have in my jewelry wardrobe. Someone once told me never to design for yourself but I think as a creator, I should be designing pieces that personally inspire me and that I would wear. I see myself as a designer/taste maker.
You live and work in the Lower East Side, how has this influenced your designs? 

Since I moved to New York, 8 years ago I have always lived between the East Village and Lower East Side.  There is definitely an energy that comes with the neighborhood, lots of small businesses, delicious food, interesting style and mixes of people from all walks of life. I am such a people watcher and I feel like I am always stimulated when I am in the LES. As my mom always says, NYC is the centre of the universe. 

Can you give us a peek into your design process? 
Our design process in kinda all over the place. We get excited by a gemstones color or shape and then the design organically comes together. Most of our pieces are classic and timeless. The personality comes from the wearer stacking or combining pieces to create their own story using all TT or a few of their own personal treasures.
 What are your favorite materials to work with and where is your line made?

We work in a variety of materials, from solid gold to brass to platinum to sterling silver. I love to work in gold, but it really depends on the piece.  We have really started to grow our custom design portion of our business, which gives me the opportunity to work in all types or metals and stones. I find this part of the business the most interesting, the ability to make someones vision come to life is so special. Custom engagement rings and wedding bands is quickly becoming a growing segment of our business.

All Tarin Thomas pieces are crafted in New York City which allows us to customize pieces, have quick turn around time and we get to be hands on in all aspects of the production process. We are proud to be all American made, in this great city.

Has social media and a global reach affected your business? We know your big in Japan, do you consider different markets as you design or merchandise your collections? 

Social media is an amazing tool to bring brand awareness and frankly just show off new styles and pieces. We love sharing with everyone and hope they get as excited as we do! We design for men and women, many of our pieces are unisex. One of our flattop rings is worn by my dad, mom and brother and they showcase it with their own individual style. Being showcased worldwide is so exciting and it is amazing when other countries love what we are doing as we don't specifically design for certain markets.

What are your top 3 best-selling pieces? 

Hoops, pinky signet ring and chokers!  Shop the collection here. 

 [ Kylie Nakao wearing Primary X Lookast leather Jacket, Cami NYC top, Janessa Leone Georgia Hat, Levi's denim, Dylan Kain Birkin Belt, Marni Mules and her own Tarin Thomas jewelry  ]