“I can’t wait to go to Caribe’, a Caribbean restaurant in Brixton. I’m also looking forward to going back to Sticks’n’Sushi once lockdown is lifted.” Tihara Smith on the restaurant(s) she’ll dine at first once restrictions are lifted
Prepare to indulge in the jaw-droppingly gorgeous, seriously VIBRANT, enticing creations of designer, Tihara Smith. As a graduate of University for the Creative Arts Epsom, Tihara showcased her incredible Windrush-inspired collection at Graduate Fashion Week in 2018, and is fast becoming known for her exciting accessories (not to mention a new Bridal Collection). Inspired by her heritage, you’ll instantly become enchanted with this creative’s unique, signature approach to texture, tropical botanicals and colour. Hand-crafting distinctive designs – each with their own story – her work is, in her words, “Caribbean with a London twist”. I caught up with Tihara to get the low-down on her lockdown.
#1 Provide us with three words that sum-up how you were feeling about lockdown when it first started, and then three words about how you feel now:
Before: “Anxious. Confused. Uneasy.”
After: “Optimistic. Motivated. Grateful.”
#2 What time do you get up? Has this changed? Is life a little slower? Talk to us about your new daily routine…
“I’m getting up at more or less the same time, maybe a little later than before. I wake up at around 7am. Life definitely feels a little slower, but I’ve tried to keep up a routine of exercising in the morning, eating breakfast, getting dressed and then getting started on work. I haven’t been as creative as I would like so far, but I’ve had a great opportunity to sort out my website and work on administrative tasks that I would usually avoid!”
#3 How is lockdown impacting your business, and how can people support you?
“As a new business, I was just starting to get going when the lockdown began. I had a few events lined up that were cancelled, so I’ve pivoted to focus more on online and seeing how I can reach more people there. I’m so grateful for everyone that engages with me on Instagram, that has been great. I also launched gift cards on my website, so people can buy those as gifts during lockdown. I’m still sending out orders, so any purchase, big or small, make a difference.”
#4 Name three local businesses you are supporting or would like to support more…
No.1 “Bouclème – my favourite London-based hair care brand for curly hair, I’m due to top up my supply soon!”
No.2 “Carnival Pot – a Jamaican food stand just by Southwark station, they’ve recently re-opened and are working on getting online soon so people will be able to order for delivery.”
#5 What’s your favourite isolation snack?
“I’ve been baking a lot more since being in lockdown, and my favourite thing to make (& eat) is chocolate chip cookies!”
#6 What’s your most recommended quarantine pick-me-up when you’re feeling down?
#7 What’s the item you can now NEVER find in the supermarket (and consequently dream continuously about)…
“Everything in my local supermarket has seemed to go back to normal now, but there was one point where me and my mum were looking for desiccated coconut (to bake another cake!) and couldn’t find it anywhere!”
#8 What’s the strangest thing that’s happened during your lockdown period…
“I was having really strange and vivid dreams at the beginning of lockdown.”
#9 Favourite app for keeping in touch digitally with friends and family?
#10 Name your lockdown hate:
“Queuing to go into the supermarket.”
#11 Name your lockdown love:
“Having lots of downtime to rest, reflect and plan exciting things for the future. I’ve also enjoyed the extra time I’ve had to spend with my mum at home.”
#12 The person(s) you will hug first when social distancing is no longer in place?
“My Nanny & Grandad – I’ve dropped off food at my Grandad’s during lockdown but it’s been sad not be able to hug him.”
#13 An act of kindness towards you that you’ve really appreciated?
“All the love and support I’ve gotten on Instagram recently, it’s so lovely when people share my work and give such positive feedback.”
You can follow and check out Tihara’s work on Instagram here.
#14 Talk to us about what’s new at your brand?
“At the beginning of this year, I launched a Bridal Collection which included bridal accessories and veils all with a Caribbean and tropical twist. Then, in May I launched some Caribbean-inspired greeting cards!”
#15 Name three things the lockdown has made you grateful for:
No.1 “My mum and family.”
No.2 “The internet.”
No.3 “My health.”
#16 Which restaurant will you dine at first once restrictions are lifted?
#17 What series have you now completed on Netflix? Any recommendations?
“I completed On My Block at the beginning of lockdown, and I’ve just started the new season of Queer Eye which I’m very excited about!
I also watched the film The Lovebirds with Issa Rae which I really enjoyed and recommend.”
#18 What would be your quarantine book list?
The Gifts of Imperfection by Brené Brown
The Four Agreements Wisdom Book by Don Miguel Ruiz
Afropean Notes from Black Europe by Johny Pitts
Black, Listed: Black British Culture Explored by Jeffrey Boakye
You Were Not Born to Suffer by Blake Bauer
Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari
#19 And, finally, your quarantine cocktail/tipple of choice?
“A Piña Colada!”
Want to discover more from Tihara Smith and her inspiring work? Click here.
Discover more about Tihara’s UCA Graduate Collection, The Windrush Collection here.