119: The Power of Doing Your Own Thing with TARA’s Annette Lasala Spillane

In our noisy-beyond-belief world, it’s unusual to find an emerging brand truly doing things differently. But every once in a while, we find a founder with a radically out-of-the-box approach that challenges the fundamental assumptions at play in an age-old industry.

Meet this week’s guest, Annette Lasala Spillane, Founder of The Artisan Row Accessories: TARA.

Creators of modular jewelry that high-profile fashion publications have likened to the legos of fine jewelry, TARA releases single studs, dangling components punctuated with gems, interchangeable necklaces and sculptural add-ons that wearers can mix and match in artful, surprising ways. It’s a new take on heirloom-quality jewelry, something founder Annette believes should not only last, but also be able to fit into your life in numerous ways over the days, months and years as your moods and corresponding style shift and change. Along with dropping a concept found nowhere else in the high-end jewelry space, Annette has cultivated relationships with high-profile influencers in unconventional ways – and watched her brand gain international exposure because of it.

What you’ll learn

Why doing your own thing can be the best decision you’ll ever make for yourself – and your burgeoning brand.

How you’ll be inspired

Would you believe that during one of Annette’s most important pitches, she had no product, no press kit, and not even a single product image to show? Find out why she went ahead anyway – and what happened next – on the show.

What you’ll tell your friends

Many of TARA’s success moments came from Annette simply taking a chance that felt right at the time – even if it didn’t follow conventions. Check out how she took a leap of faith with certain relationships, and how that led to both ups and downs in her business.

Resource of the week

Trello: this neat little project management tool not only helps you keep your dailies organized on moveable cards, it consistently wins over the design-driven crowd with its rounded edges and easy-to-use checklists. While you can easily use it solo, it’s also a popular team collaboration tool for organizing and tracking complex, dynamic projects.


Connect with Annette Lasala Spillane

Website: ishoptara.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ishoptara/


Instagram: @taragirlsays

Mentioned in this episode: 

FASHIONISTA: Fine Jewelry Brand Tara Does Customization Like You’ve Never Seen It

Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC)

Forever 21

Jimmy Choo

Department of Trade and Industry in the Philippines


Vogue Paris Fashion East

Marie Claire

Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes

Kim Cam Jones

Justine Larsen


 T-shirt motto: So what?

Find more episodes featuring women at the forefront of FEST online at www.Spiritof608.com.



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