When you think of Tania Maras‘ beautiful handmade wedding accessories your first thought might not be that she has had no formal education in making wedding accessories. Rather, Tania has a background in Communications (Public Relations) and Law. This background though, has helped Tania shape her image and brand, along with allowing her to develop and change along with what her clients were looking for.
Tania now get’s to be a part of the special journey each Bride goes through to make their big day – their most memorable and joyful experience. Read more to learn all about how Tania took her business to the next level!
When did you first start making wedding accessories?
It started as a creative outlet in January 2009 while I was working in an office job. It was my “5-9” when I had a “9-5”, which soon became two full time jobs!
My qualifications at university are in Communications (Public Relations) and Law, so I’m completely self taught when it comes to designing wedding accessories. It’s been a journey of experimentation, curiosity and obsession from the very beginning – and the same still applies today!
When you first started your shop you traded under a different name, what was the reason for the re-brand?
I launched Percy Handmade in 2009 but over the years it became clear that the business needed to rebrand to better align both with my vision and with the way my brides have evolved too. Part of the thinking was to be true to myself and to reposition the brand to reflect more of my personal style, while still focusing on helping our brides find pieces that speak to her on a personal level.
How has your brand and product range developed over the years?
I started creating bespoke accessories such as clutch purses and headpieces across a spectrum of colours. I received a huge number of requests from brides looking for my designs in different shades such as ivory or white to wear on their wedding day. Initially it wasn’t a conscious decision to move into weddings but it was a natural progression, which aligned with my general aesthetic. I’ve always loved weddings so it was a perfect fit for me.
Since then we’ve expanded our product range to include wedding veils, bridal combs and headpieces, garters, earrings and bracelets.
What was the inspiration behind making bridal accessories?
My focus has always been on bespoke – it just made a lot of sense to work directly with the bride and to offer her other options that weren’t ‘off the rack’ or ‘one size fits all’. I love the process of bespoke and learning about the women behind the bride. Every piece we create is unique and I love the variety.
The concept of bespoke is certainly nothing new, and women have had their wedding dresses custom made for years. But in the accessories space, I felt there was a gap that wasn’t being filled.
Which product has been your best seller?
We’ve been fortunate to have many best sellers over the years but our most popular service is our bespoke offering. Our brides have loved the custom service we offer which allows them to find the perfect piece that reflects their style and sensibilities. We listen to their likes, loves and dislikes, and we custom create pieces which capture all of their favourite details that complement their wedding dress, bridal hairstyle and face shape.
How do you want brides-to- be to feel after working with you to develop their custom piece?
We want our brides to fall in love with their accessories as much as they fell in love with their wedding dress. We want them to feel listened to throughout the whole process, and that their vision and ideas have contributed to the beautiful creation which they can then pass onto their daughters after their special day.
How does it make you feel when you see photos of brides on their big day, wearing a piece made by you?
Honoured and overjoyed! It’s always so touching when brides take the time to send us photos after their wedding day. The journey of bespoke means we get to know our brides quite personally so it’s a beautiful feeling when they share photos of their most special day, share details of how it went and the reactions or comments they received about their veil or headpiece.
My advice for other makers creating custom pieces and selling them online:
As with a lot of creative professions, it can be challenging to interpret the visions of others without losing a sense of your own style.
I’ve found that having a strong sense of who you are and what you stand for (along with listening closely to our brides and doing a ton of research) helps in developing a sense of trust when it comes to designing bespoke pieces.
What are your tips for finding the perfect accessories to wear on your wedding day?
I love that a lot of brides are questioning and refining wedding traditions that don’t resonate with them. Many brides decide against the wedding garter toss or they don’t want to wear a veil. Wedding accessories should reflect who you are and your style, so we encourage brides to find pieces that resonate with her on a personal level.
In terms of styling, often less is more – find 2 or 3 timeless pieces rather than head to toe bling. I love the idea of mixing and matching elements that work in harmony rather than looking to achieve an exact match.
What does 2017 hold for Tania Maras?
We’re busy working on upcoming collections and continuing our focus on bespoke pieces. Working one-on- one with our brides is always a priority.
We’ve had some strong interest from Asia so we’re also expanding into some new markets while also managing a number of international wholesale clients.
To find the perfect piece for your wedding, shop Tania Maras store here.
Laura is our Etsy AU PR & Communications Coordinator. With a background in Design & Marketing, Laura enjoys finding the extraordinary in what others may see as ordinary. With a love of film making and literally making things with her hands, she has found a home at Etsy where she can share the stories of other makers from across Australia using all kinds of mediums.