Local Movers and Makers // Tamara Hamer
April 01, 2019
Meet Tamara Hamer // Founder of Cienne James
Cienne James is a vintage-inspired luxury footwear company founded in 2018 in The Highlands by Tamara Hamer. Tamara is a Moss Vale local and has recently opened the retail store HONEY. in her home town. We popped in to say hi, oohed and aahed at all of the pretty, then sat down and had a chat to her! Meet Tamara...
Tell us a bit about the business
After working in the fashion and textile industry for the last ten years, I thought it was time to take a risk and start a business of my own, so I did! Now I'm Creative Director of Cienne James and Director / Buyer of HONEY in Moss Vale. I am so blessed to be challenged with the highs and lows of starting a business or two… Its been an unbelievable learning curve and I've learned a lot quite quickly! In particular how much I resent painting walls!
Cienne James is designed here in the Southern Highlands and has been loved globally with influencer support both domestically and internationally. I am currently working on the second collection which I’m hoping will be released for Spring Summer 2020.
Why did you decide to start Cienne James?
After living in Sydney and more recently New York, I returned to the Southern Highlands where I grew up. When I came home, I felt it was time to channel all of my energy into something of my own but wasn’t too sure as to whether I would stay in the fashion industry or make a complete switch.
When I was brainstorming on what I was going to do next, I remembered a pair of vintage house slippers I had bought with a girlfriend in Woodstock, which is in upstate New York. At the time, we were both working from home and relished the idea of getting dressed everyday although we rarely left the house.. so Cienne James was born. It's a brand for the woman who wants to feel dressed, although she might just be popping out for a coffee. You can wear these gorgeous slippers with a silk slip or throw on your fave jeans and a linen tee.
Who or what inspires you?
I would say my style is quite eclectic. I feel my inspiration changes on a daily basis depending on what part of the world I am in, I flick between the art deco geometrics of Miami to classic French Chic and back to the ease of Australian style.
I am a collector of vintage furniture (namely chairs - so many chairs!), apparel and homewares, all of which can be found in my passion project, HONEY in Moss Vale.
Why do you love being a creative in The Southern Highlands?
I feel since leaving the area in 2009 and returning last year, the Southern Highlands has grown and is now home to some wonderfully talented creatives. It has become an incredibly exciting place to share ideas and collaborate with so many talents!
In the last few weeks, I have opened a space in Moss Vale which is home to the Cienne James collection and many other beauties, collectibles and gorgeous plants by The Sunroom. Watch this space to see what happens next… Some exciting things to evolve in this beautiful space!
We can't wait to see what comes next for Tamara and her two businesses Cienne James and HONEY!
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