Founded in 2011, Tattly was a response to some less-than-attractive transfers founder Tina Roth Eisenberg’s daughter brought home from a birthday party. Finding they offended her “Swiss aesthetic”, Tina did a little research, contacted her illustrator friends and got to work.
Before she knew what had happened, Tattly took the internet by storm, and Tina’s team was working tirelessly to fill all the orders they were receiving. Since then, Tattly has expanded into stationary, collaborated with NPR, and most recently, worked with Rifle Paper Co. to produce their very first metallic Tattly. What Tina admits started as a little bit of fun has since become something else altogether — but it isn’t the first time a Tina side project blossomed into a more time consuming endeavor. Creative Mornings, Teux Deux and the swissmiss blog, all Eisenberg creations, began as secondary undertakings; each has now become a successful stand alone enterprise.
Now in its 4th year, Tattly has grown considerably since it’s humble beginnings. Format Magazine got a chance to talk with five of Tattly’s twelve person team (thirteen if you count Sheila the security dog) about all matters collaborative.
Tina Roth Eisenberg
Whenever I work with a team of highly creative minds, I notice they feel comfortable in developing; playing with ideas without instantly thinking of cost or execution. There is a certain playfulness that’s needed to enjoy and thrive in the ‘creative’ process. Team Tattly is pro at sprinkling the possibility of a smile into everything they do. It shows in our confetti drawer, employee growth chart, prop box with dress up items, etc. I am a big believer that when you’re having fun, and allow yourself to a be a bit silly while working hard, you do better work. That’s the best part about working within a team in a creative setting — there are always good laughs to be had. I know we have our best ideas when we are having fun.
I am always so thankful though to then have the more system/analytical folks in place. They help me make ideas happen and break down what we came up with in tangible executable steps. I have noticed that some of the more process-driven folks, the people that help me execute ideas, often say; “Tina, I didn’t see the value in this, until it was done. I get it now.” There is beauty in trusting each other in each other’s talents. The visionary and crazy thinkers need the more pragmatic, systems, executors. Magic happens when the complementing talents meet, trust each other and start making.
Nic Annette Miller
The best part about working within a team is knowing that anything is possible. With a group of talented creatives, there are different levels of skill sets that make ideas endless and projects fun to see from start to finish. Regardless of your title, everyone is creative! The conversation is different if a person’s role is not a creative one, but that still involves coming up with creative solutions and bouncing ideas off someone who is outside of a project.
I love it when people refer to their significant other as their “partner” because it’s a more involved understanding of why two people have invested their time together and have mutual goals of the outcome. A potential partner in life and a future employee can look great on paper and hit all your requirements, but how you communicate together and what motivates you is a whole other level of deepening your relationship. My position heavily relies on a team (a photographer and a designer) which is a challenge when someone isn’t clicking with an idea yet, but we’re small enough that we can talk things through and brainstorm together. The best work environment is a happy one and you should find joy in what you are working on. If there is a team member who isn’t happy, it can affect the whole team.
Honesty is the best policy; working as part of a team it’s important to always be clear. About your own ideas, and your thoughts on others’ ideas, but always in a sweet way.
The right team knows the appropriate reaction .gif every time. But really, they respect and trust the unique skills everyone brings to the process, and they’re excited by each other’s contributions! It’s time to end a relationship when trust is lost and communication becomes purposefully strained. The best part about working in a team is collaborating, feeding off of, and utilizing everyone’s ideas and differing strengths. It’s nice to know that you always have a different set of senses ready to interpret an idea or challenge, and that someone else has skills to contribute that you do not.
On the other hand, the worst part is learning to sacrifice ideas that you’re personally attached to but then the focus is taking the final decision and making it the best it can be.I think creatives tend to think more non-linearly and it’s good to be flexible when working with them. Ideas come and go and they can strike at any moment. A project can be abandoned or altered quickly based on inspiration, whereas a less creative person might feel more comfortable sticking to strict plans.
The energy generated by exchanging ideas is definitely the best part about working in a team setting. Coming from differing world views, we all have our own particular tastes and perceptions of what “good” is — coming to an agreement is often the challenge. It’s also what can make an idea better.
The “right team” is sometimes a realization that comes with hindsight and with experience. There are lots of factors that come into play, but I do think that nostalgia is one of them. I left my first job after two years, but looking back, I know that the team I was with was one of the best I’ll ever have. Creativity can be difficult to define; if we’re talking specifically about people in the creative industry versus those who work in medicine or banking, for example, I’d say that the main difference is the coffee!
The best part about working with a team is that you’re generating limitless ideas without fear of judgement. On the flip side, wrangling all those amazing ideas into projects that are at once viable and produceable can be tough. It’s time to end any relationship if you feel the need to hide your true self or have a reluctance to share ideas. If you feel strongly about an idea or concept because you believe it’s good, then communicate that! But, listen just as closely to others’ ideas, especially when they are dissimilar to yours — perspective provides balance and strength. When you can be yourself and share your ideas without any judgement and you yourself appreciate the perspectives of your team members you’ve got a good thing going.
Creatives approach most things with a blank canvas. There are no limitations to a project. This is so crucial when developing the next campaign or the next product because when you start with an anything-is-possible-attitude, you more often than not create true innovation. Without the right creative team, you can be left without enough mental tools and materials; equally challenging can be having too many influences and not enough compromise.