SA studio visit: designer Tiff Manuell

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By Lana Guineay

Walk into Adelaide designer Tiff Manuell’s studio and one thing is overwhelming: colour.

Tiff hand paints her bright, fresh art onto canvases which are then sewn into a limited number of accessories by her small team based in Unley.

Established in 2013, her self-titled label features everything from clutch bags to artwork, her distinctive designs gaining a cult following around the world.

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Stocked everywhere from The Tate in London to homewares stores in Hong Kong, Tiff proudly hand-makes it all with her 8-person team in Adelaide.

“There’s no limitation from working in Unley,” she says.

“We have a window to the world, especially with our e-store. We ship everywhere and we have this beautiful opportunity to draw a really wide following on social media.”

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Since launching her label in 2013 Tiff has created thousands of hand-painted accessories shipping to 15 countries.

“We’ve made 32,000 handmade clutches – which I think is impressive for a handmade product – and given we only have two machinists who sew them at home.”

Her recent collaboration with leading Melbourne footwear company Rollie sold out within minutes of going on sale, and Tiff is also set to exhibit her work at this year’s Adelaide Fashion Festival alongside fellow home-grown talent like The Daily Edited.

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While her products are popular worldwide, Tiff has also gained loyal customers in her home state, and says about 40 per cent of her range is sold in South Australia.

“We have girls who are fan buyers and have collections of up to 10 to 15 bags. Our product has an Australian essence as it’s all about colour and vibrancy and that attracts an Australian market,” she says.

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A proud supporter of the I Choose SA campaign, Tiff shares a contagious enthusiasm for her local community, and says with the power of the internet, crafters and artists can find global success while choosing to live and work in SA.

“It makes no difference whether we’re here or in New York, we have unlimited opportunity.”

Watch the video and a take a tour of Tiff’s colourful studio below:

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