SPARKLE SESSION: TIANNIA BARNES
Happy Wednesday! Today I am excited to bring back Sparkle Sessions, the interview series on Sparkles and Shoes when I speak to female entrepreneurs I think you will find fascinating. To kick off the re-launch I am delighted to share the interview I did last week with Tiannia Barnes. This up and coming designer is launching her first shoe collection this fall and from first glance, I knew I had to learn more. Her background may be in engineering and information technology but her shoe line is pure fashion with five different shoes; a flat, two pairs of pumps, and two pairs of booties. Tiannia took 20 minutes out of her very busy schedule and impending launch to answer a few of my questions. Take a look at what she had to say about her company and ogle over the pictures of her new line, I know I did:
What are five words you would use to describe yourself?
I would describe myself as fun and adventurous, I will put that as one word. I’m a very authentic and very genuine person. I am passionate and ambitious.
I was able to see a preview of your upcoming line, how would you describe your aesthetic?
I like to design a shoe for the everyday classy, sophisticated woman that wants a little bit of bold, spice, and edge to her life. My shoes always start off with a classic foundation, you will have a heel, a flat, or a pump, but the elements that make my shoe are that they are comfortable and modern. I like using different hardwares, textures, and color – I am very big on color. All of my shoes are relatable, they can be put on at the office and go from work to happy hour, to some type of charity event, or just walking to the park, everybody can wear at least one shoe in my line.
How did you decide you wanted to become a shoe designer?
That is the million dollar question that I get asked all of the time. I always say, it is not like I had a background in it, I went to college, I have a couple of degrees, I did the corporate America thing and that is how I thought my career was going to be. But everything always stems out from our childhood and I grew up an only childhood and was always playing with my Barbie. I was really into fashion when I went to high school and designed two of my prom dresses, not ever pursuing it or thinking it was a passion of mine, just something I enjoyed.
Fast forward to my adulthood, I just happened to be sitting at restaurant and a shoe just came to me, I sketched it out and then they just started coming to me. I bought a sketch book and they were very raw sketches because I am not an artist by trade, but I immediately put them on paper, not knowing where this would have led to. That was four years ago – it was a passion that has revived itself and that is where I am, living out my dream.