In this week’s Meet the Maker we meet Tanii from TrashRebound
Hi Tanii! What did you do before creating your business?
I’ve been working as a Barista in various speciality coffee shops over the past 6 years all around London and I’ve been working/volunteering in some vegan-vegetarian cafes or been involved in animal welfare projects.
What made you decide to start your business, and what’s the inspiration behind your brand?
TrashRebound is a combination of the love of books, the love of reading and writing, the interest in traditional bookmaking methods, the passion for hand sewing and crafting, the love of upcycling arts, the love for stationary stuff and a general love for using and designing journals/sketchbooks. I’ve been making books and booklets as personal projects or items since my school years and I took a bookbinding workshop back in 2011 at Shepherds London. I’ve been on and off my DIY bookbinding projects ever since then.
I started binding again in favour of 2 dear friends on a more serious note about 2 years ago. The project they gave me was an unexpected success and I’ve been asked to hold more workshops + got a few commissions too, so TrashRebound was born. My inspiration is to “rebind” with old-forgotten-traditional handcraft methods, “rebind” with my neglected skills and interests and do all this in the most ethical, the most sustainable and the least wasteful possible ways I can find. I like to be creative and sustainable.
What is your Design process and what are your essential tools?
I get inspired by nature, by beautiful prints and designs and by all the unnecessary waste I see around me. I’m constantly thinking “what could I use/reuse this and that for?…” I love paper and prints and textile so I just see pretty things around and I decide what “useful” item – what kind of books in this case! I can make out of it. Currently I’m making standard A5, blank notebooks using recycled coffee cup papers as inner pages to tackle some of the coffee industry’s waste. I have a regular pattern I use for all A5 books and covers and their spine bands and I do everything manually. I design, measure, cut, sew, glue, press every single book one by one manually and I couldn’t live without my aluminium cutting rulers, my set square sets, my cutting boards, my awls, bone folders and my good old – rather bent sewing needles. I use blade knives for cutting and I hand sew my books with high quality French linen yarns.
What have been the biggest challenges/achievements, or your favourite story so far?
I guess my favourite story is how TrashRebound started. It’s a beautifully sad story with a happy ending and my biggest achievement is to carry on doing my craft ever since whilst facing all kinds of everyday challenges. Teaching a bookbinding workshop as a non educated, shy, DIY, artsy person to a bunch of graduating MA art students right after getting back to it was also a good one. I never thought I could be the one teaching a new skill to amazing uni art students.
How would you describe your business in 3 words?
Low Waste, creative, traditional
Favourite music / podcasts to listen to while working?
Mix of musics: sometimes post rock or folk, but I like listening to the Desiring God Podcasts or I sometimes watch/listen to a nature or environmentalist/conservation documentary
Do you have any advice for someone just starting out?
Just do it! And don’t be discouraged by failure, stagnant times and lack of motivation or success. Just start out, experiment with things, find your style and just do it!
What do you do to relax?
I like spending time with my kitty or in nature or just hang out in art galleries and sometimes makers markets.
What’s next / any exciting plans?
I’d like to make more photo albums ( I have been commissioned a couple this winter) and I’d like to make smaller sized notebooks + make something out of the off-cut materials I haven’t used up just yet. I’d also like to hold bookbinding workshops again and maybe attend to more makers fairs and markets.