Me, clearly ready for a life of fashion, circa 1990's
Well, hello there! Thanks for taking a moment to find out more about the story behind Taru :)
To those who don't know me yet, my name is Saija and I am the wizard behind the screen here at House of Taru. Not only do I act as both designer and artist, but also customer service, packaging, web management, shipping, design.... you name it, I probably do it! I wear a lot of hats in my business so to speak (and quite literally, a lot of wigs!)
But not without a little help from my partner in crime, the Clyde to my Bonnie, Nate Cleary. He has put up with nearly a decade of my creative dreams and shenanigans, has been my biggest cheerleader from day one, and still supports my visions to this day. If you enjoy the editorial photography from my brand, then you have his picture taking skills to thank! (Being a married designer/photographer duo definitely has it's perks in the world of fashion.)
I have always been artistically driven, and can't remember a time when I wasn't drawing and daydreaming new ideas. Or living in the worlds I create in my mind. That also sometimes included a unique choice as far as fashion went! As I got older my love for art continued, but I also discovered the excitement of the world of fashion, and an appreciation for the transformative magic that can be found through clothes. It was thrilling to discover how clothes could make you a whole new person one day from the next. Between flipping through pages of Vogue and any other high fashion publications I could get my young hands on, or learning all I could from shows that I watched bonding with my mother as a teenage girl, my knowledge of fashion grew too. This understanding of how clothes worked, their potential for being more than just clothes, and how to dress a female figure, has all come in to play now years later as a designer myself. As I try to bring my artistic vision to clothing, I am also constantly thinking about how designs will flow with the body, and tinkering away to make sure little things line up just so. The devil is in the details! I often think of the clothes I create the way I would approach a canvas as painter; while my leggings may look a little wild, thought and effort has been put into bringing the designs to life.
I was also brought up with an emphasis on being a good person, with empathy and kindness, which have been lifelong values to me. I knew when starting my brand that those values were something that I had to strive for in my business itself. I am humbled each day that I get to be here fulfilling my life's dream, and in return I love being able to share some of that positivity right back into the world. It is why I insisted from the get go that my brand be made with ethical working conditions in the USA, be size inclusive, and several months after launch decided to commit Taru to being sustainable as well (even though it came with a difficult overhaul, especially for a new designer.) My art, self, and soul are intertwined; this means who I am as a person is also an integral force behind Taru. It also means Taru is more than just a brand too, I see it as part of a movement of trying to accomplish something more meaningful.
Many of my designs are inspired by nature and animals, and it is not a coincidence! I have always had an intense love for animals, which has continuously translated into my artistic work. As a kid, Animal Planet was a favorite tv channel, so even as an adult I find myself drawing inspiration from that deep interest in nature that was instilled so long ago.
(And a childhood animal lover grows up to have a lot of furbabies!)
Thanks for taking the time to learn some more about me!