We had the good fortune of connecting with Tania Bambridge and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Tania, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
Whilst working in the corporate fashion apparel industry here in my native SoCal, there was always a desire to be my own boss in some way, shape, or form. I consider myself a highly creative person that must be creative most of my waking hours, and I also consider myself to be a highly organized person with the ability to multi-task and delegate. I am also a risk-taker! Possessing these qualities made it a no-brainer to one day take the leap of faith and go out on my own. I was nervous, anxious, frightened, and doubtful. At the same time, I was super excited and felt very lucky to be in a position to make this big change in my career, not to mention life. I took everything I knew and learned from working in my industry and applied it to my own business. The formula was so fresh in my blood that it was a rather smooth transition.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I learned to construct and alter my own garments as a young child. I also learned to paint, knit. crochet, craft, bake, cook, and play the violin and guitar as a young child. Needless to say, I am most happy creating and being creative. I give credit to my parents who are both very talented, and all four of my grandparents who were talented in many ways. The list is long so I will just leave it at that. I am proud of what I have accomplished since my departure from the corporate fashion world. I began marketed my services on craigslist, which included Fashion Design, Consulting, and Wardrobe Styling. At the same time I designed a line of fleece throw blankets and wares, eventually added an eco-friendly category that included up-cycled apparel accessories, specifically green-sleeves (arm-warmers) and neck-tubes amongst other repurposed designs. I had the opportunity to run a temporary pop-up shop and two given times in The OC Mix in Costa Mesa, both were successful. I did freelance design work for numerous clientele whom eventually started successful businesses. I have since pivoted into designing and selling aprons and tabletop textiles and acquired a handful of local retailers who sell my brand. April 1, 2020 I yet again pivoted during this “storm” and have been designing, making, and selling fashionable face-masks to fill a need that I believe will be with around for awhile. I must not forget that my personal wardrobe styling and shopping service that I have offered and profited from the last six years has helped keep the lights on. It is something that I really enjoy doing for people because it allows me to be creative and make people feel good about themselves. I have really learned to work with a variety of personalities and walks of life in this realm of my business. I strive to keep it fun and light-hearted! I have learned to that patience is a virtue and to be flexible and think quick on my toes. I am one that loves and needs to be challenged or I get bored. I want the world to know that I love helping people, inspiring people, and making them feel good about themselves. My designs and my work have continually fulfilled that desire of mine, and it is getting better by the day!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Well, my best friend lives a mile away from me and knows this town that is Long Beach, CA very well! But, if she didn’t, well dang there are so many good places to go in Long Beach and the surrounding cities. The Breakfast Bar in DTLB would start the day. Pretending that I would be able to last another 6-7 hours after drinking one or two of their tasty Bloody Marys, we would hit Pierpoint Landing and take a harbor day cruise and get some fresh ocean air. After the harbor cruise, I think a visit to the Aquarium of the Pacific would be nice to keep the oceanic theme going. Lunch time next, and it would be so hard to pick a place because there are so many good places to eat in town. I think Seabirds Kitchen would be my choice. I am so not a vegan, nor a vegetarian, nor is she, but their food is to die for! And they serve beer and wine, which we both drink! After lunch, we would stroll down Retro Row that is Fourth Street between Cherry Ave and Junipero Ave. Maybe have another beer or drink at one of the many places along the way. Hey I can’t help that there are many watering holes in my/her hometown! And I am not ashamed to know most of them. We might have to take a cat nap at my place. Then the night begins! Bamboo Club for a Polynesian cocktail, Alex’s Bar or DiPiazza for some live punk rock music (we both grew up in the ’80’s and loved the punk scene!), then probably cap it off at The Prospector, and more live music or karaoke, depending on what day it was.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Most importantly I want to thank my wonderful parents for being so supportive my entire life. I want to thank the admin and my instructors at Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising way back when I was a student. I loved every minute of earning my degree in fashion design and would do it all over again. I also want to give shout outs to the fashion industry leaders that took me under their wings throughout my career: Ivory Sully, III, Gloria Brandes of BB Dakota, Ryan Heuser & John Oswald of Paul Frank Industries, Pat Tenore of RVCA Clothing, and Brian Dunlap of Podium Distribution/Matix Clothing. These are key players that I learned from and have the utmost respect for.
Linkedin: Tania Bambridge
Facebook: Elle B See
Gordon F. Dooley