The up & coming handmade accessory designer on the Remix radar

Listen up, Remix readers! We may or may not have found the hottest handmade accessory brand that will see you through the summer (and beyond). 

From what started as a lockdown hobby to cure the looming cabin fever, Tiggy founder, Holly Jarvis, quickly transformed her creative outlet into a quintessentially quirky accessory brand that blurs the lines between costume and everyday staples.

There is no denying that maximalist accessories have been a hot commodity for some time now, seen on many of the industry’s style muses such as Bella Hadid, Dua Lipa, and more. However, Tiggy’s charming take on the daring trend is unlike the rest with key phrases like ‘Renaissance flair’ and ‘Balletcore coming to mind.  

Remix sat down with Holly to chat about all things Tiggy, the latest local brand on the Remix radar.

How did Tiggy come about? 

Tiggy was born out of the Covid lockdowns! During that first lockdown in 2020, I made and posted photos of a bunch of little beaded rings that I had made onto a Facebook group called ‘Smokey Bandit’. To my surprise everything I made sold within 24 hours. That year was a lot of me learning how to bead and finding my own beading style. However, Tiggy has been on somewhat of a hiatus over the past 2 years while I've been completing a Masters. Now having completed my thesis, I can spend more time beading, and continue to develop my creative space in the beading world. Pōneke's winter weather has me yearning for summer, and I want Tiggy to encapsulate that feeling of picking a cute-as-hell outfit for the next music festival you're off to.

Is there a special meaning behind your brand name? How did you come up with ‘Tiggy’?

I knew I wanted a name that very loosely mimicked the structure of my own name's spelling (Holly), in the sense of having that double letter before ending the word with a 'y', so it has anonymity with the slightest correlation to myself. I remember in primary school, we used to refer to the game 'tag' as 'tiggy', and that's really my only prior association with the word: summery and fun. 

Congratulations on recently launching your website! What was your experience like moving from Instagram to building your very own website?

I dreaded building a website as when I think websites I think code. Fortunately, we're no longer working with interfaces of the 90s, so developing a website was kinda fun. It definitely still needs work, and eventually, I want the website to be a space where people feel like they are exploring my creations rather than it feeling like a sales platform so I've got some work to do but I'm still figuring it all out. 

Where do you get your inspiration from?

I draw inspiration from so many places, a lot of which I am sure are subconscious, but the process of inspiration is dependent on whether I am using new or up-cycled beads. When I am using up-cycled beads I often try to work 'backwards' in the sense that I'll hunt for funky old jewellery, deconstruct it, and then make it into something completely new within the bounds of those materials. This is in contrast to when I use new materials, in which case I will usually come up with an idea and then source the materials to fulfil that vision.

Have you always been a keen accessory designer? 

Yes. I actually came out of the womb wearing a belly belt. 

If you could describe Tiggy in three words, what would they be?

'Warm', 'fun' and 'unpredictable'. 

If you could pick one favourite from your latest drop, what would it be?

My favourite would have to be the anoesis belly belt because I loved brainstorming how to use those particular beads. 

And finally, what’s next for Tiggy? 

I am really looking forward to starting to post more of the 'body accessories' I have been working on. My website currently contains a lot of belly belts, but I also love making beaded accessories for the whole torso. A lot of the beads I make to drape over the torso might come across as impractical to some people, but practicality is not what I am always aiming for. For example, I know a lot of people might look at my beaded boobles bras compared to my necklaces and belly belts and think, "what's the point?". But that is the point to me; to create with the goal of producing something that can be aesthetically appreciated, rather than necessarily aiming to make items that are a staple everyday wardrobe accessory (there's so many handmade jewellery brands in Aotearoa that achieve that already!). I want Tiggy to first and foremost be a creative outlet where I make whatever I think is cute and fun. I want to experiment with things that are aesthetically enticing. If other people want a slice of it, then that is just the cherry on top of the cake.