Women Who Do What They Love - Tina Snerling

Monday, 13 April 2009

Who is this woman? Tina Snerling (with baby Maverick)

What is her passion called? Tiny Concept

Where can you take a squiz at her stuff? www.tinyconcept.com.au

What does she actually produce? Tiny Concept is a boutique line of beautiful handmade dolls (including unique mermaids and fairies), soft babushkas, toy soldiers, policeman and more, made from the finest wools, linen, raw silks, Swiss cottons, chiffons and vintage textiles.

I also make custom dolls, where you are able to select your favourite hair colour, skin tint, dress colour and any special detail you may want to have included, or I can create and name a doll especially for you. I have even had requests to make a doll using a client’s wedding dress! I thought it was a wonderful way to have a reminder of your beautiful day and maybe pass it on to your own child someday, knowing they will have a piece you.

Why does she do all this? I absolutely, utterly, undeniably adore what I do! When a little girl first lays eyes on one of my dolls and I see it is love at first sight, it is the most amazing feeling. I want little girls (and not so little girls!) to feel what it is like to hold onto a special friend that is created just for her. No-one else in the world can love her as much, as she is the one and only.

How long has she been doing it? I have been working on ‘prototypes’ and researching for two years to get my creations where I was happy with them, but the website has only been online for a few short months.

What is this talented woman’s story? I am originally from Coffs Harbour, but now live in Brisbane with my husband and two children, Peyton and Maverick. In my previous life (what I like to call BC – before children!), my husband and I lived in London and travelled around Europe gathering inspiration.

I returned home with a new vision and after studying fashion, I landed a job designing childrenswear. This again allowed me to travel the world for inspiration – and amazing fabrics! I then had my little girl and Tiny Concept was born. I am also totally obsessed with magazines, which I guess you could call a hobby (please tell my husband that it is!).

How has her journey been so far? Honestly, it has been easy. ‘Natural’ is probably more how I would describe it. Everything so far has run smoothly and remained in my control; a natural progression from one stage to the next. This is the beauty of being handmade here in Australia – no factories, no time zones, no shipments held at customs – no worries!

What pesky obstacles have tried to block her progress? So far my biggest obstacle is juggling my family and my work. Sometimes I get into a zone where I would love to sit down and create for days on end – then reality hits and there is washing to do and lunches to make. I am so fortunate to be able to stay home with my children, so the business end of things is usually done burning the midnight (or more 3am) oil.

What are her greatest joys in doing what she loves? To see that others enjoy my work. After designing childrenswear for the majors, a lot of your creativity sometimes feels ‘lost’. I wanted to be free to create something that was indulgent and purely for the love of it, not necessarily for the bottom line.

What is she loving most at the moment? The favourite thing about my business is being able to sit in my ‘office’ creating, while watching my children play. It’s amazing to be able to do both. I am so lucky.

What is her inspiration? No contest, my children. My three-year-old daughter is brutally honest – if she says it’s pretty, it’s a keeper – otherwise it’s back to the drawing board! My son is wonderful at ‘quality control’. If it withstands a day with him, the construction is definitely durable!

If she could do anything in the whole wide, entire world – what would she do? Exactly what I am doing! Except I would prefer the backdrop of Paris out my window instead of suburbia – one day I’ll get there!

Where would she escape to if she could? Paris. It is my absolute favourite place in the world. The food, the wine, the inspiration, the shopping, the landscape – can I go there now?!

What would she buy there? Fabric, fabric, fabric, antiques and a little Eiffel tower for my daughter’s room!

What are her secret aspirations? I want Tiny Concept to become a place where people come to expect beauty, quality and unique creations. I would love for people to consider my dolls ‘heirloom pieces’, something to pass down from mother to daughter.

And what next? I am working on a range of gorgeous new dolls inspired by the likes of Audrey Hepburn and Grace Kelly. I get excited just thinking about it. Think old style glamour, luxury, intricate detailing, corsages, headpieces and vintage laces. On my daughter’s request, I am also working on a ‘tiny dancer’ range of beautiful classical ballerinas, complete with satin laced ballet shoes. They will be revealed over the coming months on www.tinyconcept.blogspot.com and then on the website.

What is her greatest achievement? My children!

What would be her absolutely perfect day? Sunshine, the ocean, a huge pile of magazines, happy children, great food and my husband by my side.

What five words sum her up? Stubborn. Perfectionist. Loving. Obsessive. Happy!

What really fabulous advice does she have for others wanting to Do What They Love? Please don’t ever let anyone steer you in a direction that might be considered ‘the safe option’. I began my career studying to be an accountant before I woke up one day filled with regret that I never gave my creativity a chance. Now I do what I love, it doesn’t matter what happens next because I am happy!

If you would like to talk to Tina about having that perfect creation made, contact her at tinyconcept@live.com.au or on 0422 131 303. And for your chance to win one of Tina’s divine dolls, head to Swish and Swanky post-haste!

Are you doing what you love? Please contact me here if you would like to tell your Do What You Love story. I’d love to hear from you – no matter where you are in the world.


Anonymous said...

Clever lady!

Anonymous said...

Tina is amazingly talented. Her creations are beautiful and so unique.

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