Meet Tapi Tapi – an emerging accessories brand from Lithuania on a mission to change the way you wear a favourite pair of shoes.
FB: Tell us about yourselves: who are the people behind Tapi Tapi?
Tapi Tapi: Our names are Jelena Balkunaite-Cyba and Liudmila Butina. Liudmila is very craft savvy; her previous experience in architecture and design enables her to see how the thing should be made from the first sketch. She is a creative part of our team, always full of ideas, has a great eye for colours and combinations.
Jelena is a “getting things done” type of a person, controlling and demanding. She used to work in HR management, thus is good at organising and managing processes and projects. She is a “business mind” of a team, responsible for brand’s strategy development.
We love creating our products together since we can easily share our ideas during the production process, make changes and improvements very quickly and have a long lunch together enjoying a friendly conversation.
FB: What does Tapi Tapi mean?
Tapi Tapi: Originally, Jelena’s 2 years old son used to call shoes as “tapis”. We both liked this name since it is playful, cheerful and brings positive vibes. When we say “Tapi Tapi” we imagine a happy person tap dancing with colourful shoes.
FB: How did you come up with an idea to design shoe accessories?
Tapi Tapi: We both share the passion for shoes and used to have big shoe collections. However, we found ourselves wearing the same comfortable shoes every day. We still wanted to look different, right? We believe that people nowadays prefer comfort, but still want to look individual and fashionable. That’s how we came up with an idea of customisable shoe accessories, which could help personalise regular shoes and make them look extravagant, funny, cute, romantic or anything else.
FB: Do you have plans to launch other fashion products that solve problems?
Tapi Tapi: Yes, we want to create other great solutions for handbags, belts and clothes’ customisation. We both believe that customisable fashion concept has a great potential since it gives customers a possibility to create a one-of-a-kind product and an opportunity to be creators themselves.
FB: As a young brand, what are your main challenges?
Tapi Tapi: One of our main challenges in a production process is to find a simple yet reliable solution how to attach our accessories to shoes and still keep the original design idea. Another major challenge is to understand and fulfil our customers’ expectations, empower them to experiment more with their outfits and find interesting combinations.
FB: What have you learned in the past year running a fashion start-up?
Tapi Tapi: We surely learned that there are not enough hours in a day and there is always a place for improvement. Also, we feel that fashion business market is mostly driven by passion (to a product, concept or idea). Thus it is a great feeling to be a part of it even if it leaves you with just a few hours of daily sleep.
FB: How being a part of the Fashion Bloc community benefits your brand, if at all?
Tapi Tapi: We made some really useful business contacts, got new ideas and saw other sales and promotion opportunities. Fashion Bloc is our fashion business tutor at the moment, and we are very happy that not a single question is “too small” for them.
FB: What are your nearest future plans and how are you planning to achieve them?
Tapi Tapi: We are heading to Berlin Fashion Week this summer and will participate at Show&Order fashion trade show (4-6th July). We hope to meet new potential business partners, get to know our colleagues and have some inspiration for our future products.
FB: Please describe your brand in one sentence (elevator pitch).
Tapi Tapi: Personalise your style with a joy of endless combinations.