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ART TALK WITH TABRIA WILLIFORD


Photos By: Jinni J
Introduction by: Maryssa Rose Chavez


"Inclusiveness and lifting each other up!
I want people to know BIPOC and the LGBTQIA+ are just as worthy of being outside, exploring and manifesting our own adventures. I want these individuals to be seen and their experiences to be heard!"
- Tabria Willford

In this art talk we took a dive into the mind of Tabria Williford.  An activist, outdoor space/hiking enthusiast, and the owner, artist and creator of Tawa Threads

Tawa Threads produces products that are rooted in sentimental value,  those who wear and style their designs promote and envision a world where diverse groups feel supported, empowered and welcomed.  Each of Tawa's garments feel like they are made with love and designed with intention. They also are made in part to financially support groups such as: Black Outside Inc., Texas Parks and Wildlife foundation, Camp Founder Girls, and Girls Going Global.

Jinni J is back again for an interview with Tabria to get some insight into her business, art, and inspiration(s).  It's always a pleasure printing and collaborating with Tabria, and we are excited to share with all of you what we learned. 


Jinni:
Tell us about the inspiration behind Tawa Threads, the feeling, the name, how it really started, whatever you think is relevant.

Tabria:
I founded Tawa Ties in 2018 which became Tawa Threads in 2020. It started out as an opportunity to mesh a lot of my interests. I was an aspiring designer who enjoyed being in outdoor settings and doing community work. It was a very therapeutic approach that allowed me to find a connection between outdoors, community work, and design. I wanted to create something original that would leave an impression on people who interacted with the product so I connected the designs to the land and hiking trips.

The name honestly just came to me one day randomly lol. Although, I think it has something to do with the phonetics of my own name, Tabria Williford.

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Jinni:
 What have been some unexpected challenges you've faced starting a brand and what is your advice for anyone wanting to start one?

Tabria:
Don’t try to do everything yourself! When I started I wanted to design, to print, to market, to attend vendor shows and so much more. I found myself burning out quickly. Learn how to be resourceful and find others who will propel your business forward. Also, give yourself freedom when designing and be open to different and unexpected visions.

Jinni:
How long were you making designs before putting them onto apparel items? Were tangible objects always the goal? If not, how did apparel come about.

Tabria:
I’ve been creating designs for roughly 3 years now. It started as a doodle but I quickly found myself getting lost in the designs for hours and I wanted to turn it into more. I thought bandanas were a quick and easy way to test the viability of the product and my mission so I chose to start there.

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Jinni:
What's the message behind Tawa?

Tabria:
Inclusiveness and lifting each other up! I want people to know BIPOC and the LGBTQIA+ are just as worthy of being outside, exploring and manifesting our own adventures. I want these individuals to be seen and their experiences to be heard!

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Jinni:
Anything you're excited about right now you want to share?

Tabria:
I’m excited to share that I’ll be expanding my product line soon and I’ve really enjoyed going the home decor route. There are so many fun and unique items I hope to bring to people and their homes!

Thank you Tabria for all you do, and for allowing us to learn about the journey of Tawa Threads!
You can check out their website and instagram here: Tawa Threads / @tawathreads. ♥