We had the good fortune of connecting with Tatum Lenahan and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Tatum, what is the most important factor behind your success?
The most important factor behind my brand is listening to my own personal intuition and developing long term relationships with my customers.
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 you. What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way?
When I was 10 years old I started my ebay shop called @sweetlovetatum2 where I sold stretchy string glass bead bracelets for $1.50 and man was so excited to be selling my art! But let’s be real, I was in no way making a profit and this was definitely more of a hobby then career but I felt fulfilled that people were wearing my designs. Around 13-14 years old I really amp’d up my drive and sought out local boutique stores. Not just any store, but I carefully chose the stores that I believed would appreciate and display my jewelry designs beautifully. I knew what I wanted and I made it happen. I would make cold calls to the stores and book buying appointments in NJ (where I grew up) and CA (when I would visit my aunt). Soon I had my pieces of art in several stores and reinvested my profits into packaging and even more expensive gemstones –which was the highlight of my design process. The gemstones are the key to my creativity and drive. In my early years of running my business I had a lot more challenges. Lots and lots of missteps, rejection & losses. I didn’t have a roadmap to this sort of thing, after all my parents were acupuncturists and I had a culinary school degree. No one was in the jewelry industry that I knew of so I kind of had to figure it out on my own through trial and error. I read once that when you are starting a brand you should align yourself with other brands that elevate yours. That brand for me would be Bloomingdale’s to Henri Bendel, One King’s Lane to Fred Segal, West Elm & high end publications. This is a list of brands we have associated ourselves with over the years through trunk shows, events and/or becoming one of our retail accounts. I have spent years developing relationships and evolving our brand with the business motto of “be a good person that does good business”. I have learned to always listen to your intuition and to pivot and evolve with the times. Do not be set in your ways and be sure to listen to your customer. Spark creativity by doing what works for you. Don’t compare your brand to other brands, stay in your lane and be consistent with what you put out there.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I would take them straight to Roger’s Gardens so we could see all of the beautiful botanicals followed by eating lunch at their Farmhouse restaurant in the middle of the garden. I would order us the soup of the day to eat with their freshly baked herb foccacia and white bean dip. Followed by us splitting the house burger with steak fries, sipping Arnold Palmers! After lunch we would shop their cute little shops within the nursery then head to drive the coast. A new favorite of mine is Crystal Cove Beach in Newport Beach and right down the road. We would set up our Beach People striped umbrella and GunnSwain blanket and enjoy the ocean breeze, bare feet in the sand and vitamin D from the sun! hehe Oh and eat some yummy cold yellow watermelon we just picked up from the local Trader Joes. Later we would hit up Habana which is the cutest cuban food restaurant at Irvine Spectrum Center and sip fresh coconuts with mint and eat tapas of empanadas or ceviche with plaintain chips.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Yes! I would like to give a huge shoutout to my LT LIVE TRIBE or instagram live community for their strength, support, kindness and the positivity they bring week after week.
Becca Batista Photography at Civita Park in San Diego, CA sitting next to our french bulldog Dumpling’s bronze statue. My husband had designed this park so it was so beautiful to be able to bring our daughter Ever Aila.
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.