Executive fashion editor, CEO of her own jewelry line, style-setter and mom: it’s way simpler to try and find something that Mariella Tandy doesn’t do. We recently caught up with the fashion-guru-gone-entrepreneur to find out how embracing change and the pursuit of your dreams go hand in hand.
You’ve had a career filled with accomplishments and strategic moves. Can you give us a glimpse? I was lucky in that I always knew what sort of career I wanted to have. I had a vision of how I wanted my life to look like when I was younger and so I followed that path. I remember reading a quote from DVF at an early age that said ‘Be the woman you want to be.’ I loved that and just kept that with me.
I knew I wanted to live in New York so pursued studying there, which was one of the most fun times and also brilliant for gaining experience. I worked for some insane and some insanely great people. But even the insane ones taught me something, and when I was younger I vowed to myself that further along in my career, I would never treat people in a way that I saw these people treating others.
“Nothing just comes to you, you have to work at it. Today everyone believes and wants instant success and recognition. It doesn’t always happen like that.” ~ Mariella Tandy
After a while I decided to move back to London. I am super close to my family and wanted to be near them and I love London as a city: the greenery, mix of people and the layout of the city. Lots of little villages patched together just makes it a great place to live. Plus, it’s an amazing springboard to discover and explore all of Europe. When I came back, I got a job at Vogue working in the commercial team, which gave me a brilliant understanding of the business side of the fashion industry, as up until that point I had mainly had editorial experience.
Then, after a few years there, I moved to work on Tatler Magazine as the Exec Retail Editor (Markets Director) which is a mix of editorial and commercial and I still work there, now. It was during the maternity leave of my first baby that I set up my jewelry company, Alemdara. I always knew I wanted to do my own business and after having a baby it just seemed like the right thing to do. The business has grown very organically and now we are expanding into becoming more of a resort brand.
I have never been scared of change, I love it! Life is comprised of so many moving parts and it is important to go forward and experience as much as you can. I always say that if you really hate the change that you have made, you can always go back, so nothing’s really ever set in stone.
Alemdara is a collection of fine jewelry inspired by symbols of luck and protection.
What was the biggest challenge to begin with when you started your jewelry line, and how does that evolve over time? The biggest challenge was putting the product out there to begin with, and that is something we are still working on. There are numerous challenges as it grows which include everything from product selection, stock mix, holding stock and managing the growth of a business in terms of resources and prioritizing what is important and what should be done first.
How does self-care affect your success as an entrepreneur and your happiness in life? I have always looked after myself, be that nutritionally, mentally or through exercise. It’s important not to let stress get to you, especially after having children. It can be a lot to fit in and manage, but we are lucky and have an amazing nanny that helps a lot and brilliant when I need to go on trips and have meetings. If I am happy and well, so are my family. It’s important to have energy to do things and spend time with the children.
Can you expand a bit? What are your go-to rituals and routines? Have these changed over time and if so, how? Well I have always been a massive believer in reducing toxicity from one’s life, this can be in products, relationships, or anything really!
I have been a fan of Tata’s products from when she started. So my routine starts every morning with her products and the smell is instantly uplifting and puts me in a great mood for the day. Three mornings of the week I try to fit pilates or yoga in before I head to work, I am a morning person so I enjoy having busy mornings. I then usually have a busy day at work with appointments, desk side visits, and then race home for bed and bathtime with the children, then after they go to bed, I work on Alemdara and pack the orders and do any admin that is needed. My husband works in the tech industry so has long hours, so somehow it just sort of works.
My routines and rituals haven’t changed so much, I have always done pilates and yoga and done regular detoxes as well as had me time with regular facials and massages. I love to cook and this is something that has become even more important with children as I want them to establish great eating habits for life. I love organising large gatherings for friends at home, too. So nothing has changed much, life has just become more busy!
Someone once told me that after having children, it’s important to have an hour for yourself every day, a weekend a month and at least two weeks every year. I try to go to the VivaMayr clinic in Austria once a year to detox. It’s a great place to unwind, somewhere to focus on yourself and set your goals for the future.
Each piece of jewelry is hand-crafted by artisans using ancient techniques passed down through generations. These talismen are said to offer the wearer protection and luck.
What are the three most critical pieces of advice you’d give to women looking to pursue a similar career path to your own? Don’t listen to what people may say behind your back. It is easy for them to criticise from their armchair when they have never tried anything or had the same challenges as you.
Don’t be scared of failing, I have tried so many things that didn’t work out. As my father always says: You are not stupid making mistakes, you are only stupid if you don’t learn from it.
Be humble and think about others. In this day and age everyone is so obsessed with social media and how many followers people have, etc. Just put the phone down and enjoy what is around you. Children make you realise that life passes quickly. I want to savour every moment, preferably without my smartphone at my side!
Author: Tata Harper Team
The team at Tata Harper Skincare is passionate about promoting a modern, health-conscious natural beauty lifestyle that’s committed to safety, honesty and sustainability.