We had the good fortune of connecting with Tara Sauvage and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Tara, why did you pursue a creative career?
The answer goes back to when I was in preschool. I started making paper dolls by drawing the dolls on paper and then drawing clothes for the, coloring them in, and then I would keep them in a shoebox. I wish I had those now!  When I got into elementary school, I would spend time sketching “fashion girls” and I also made barbie doll clothes with scraps of fabric I got from my mom who sewed many of our clothes. As a teen I started to collect fashion magazines like Vogue and Seventeen. I was not exposed to the fashion industry at all as a child because lived on a farm. I went to University and got my Bachelors Degree in International Business and traveled quite a bit in South East Asia, Australia and Europe. When I was in my late 20’s I decided to move to Los Angeles to be a footwear designer, even though I had zero experience. I got my first job working for a footwear company in East LA, and the rest is history.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Designing and producing fashion footwear, bags and accessories always came natural for me because I like to sketch and I have a good eye for details. What is challenging is launching your own brand. One has to have a good business sense and eye on the finances to make it happen. I have a good work ethic and I like to multi-task so building my own handbag brand has been challenging, but I still don’t see it as work. I love social media, I love building collections and selling.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
My best friend? Well, she would stay at the Colonial Hotel in La Jolla. For eating out we would have to go to dining places that have outdoor dining. I like Catania and I love George’s by the Cove in La Jolla Village. One evening we could also check out a few places in Little Italy. I love Herb & Wood. For nightlife, we would just keep it easy, like happy hour at Luce in Bay Park.  San Diego also has so many amazing parks with incredible water views for outdoor activities. We love just going to vacation island and hanging out watching the boats go by!

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
The main support I have received in my fashion career was my husband. When he met me, the day after I went to Amsterdam for a week. In the first few years of our marriage, I was in New York City for market and fashion week 8 times per year. After I started my own brand, Rocco & Dante handbags, I was in Italy for the leather show twice a year. My mom also helped us out a lot as well.

Website: www.roccodante.com
Instagram: @roccodantebags
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RoccoedanteLLC

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutSocal is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.