The next chapter in our story begins after Barbara takes some time off from Tatutina. If you missed the beginning, you can read the first chapter here.
Although Barbara worked a couple of part time jobs, her love of art, painting, and creating kept bringing her back to her brushes and bright colored paints. She couldn’t stay away. She always had to make something.
One day, Barbara’s friend, Joan Keiper called and asked if she would be interested in working together to make Tatutina a true business. Barbara was thrilled and together they formed a 50-50 partnership and incorporated Tatutina in Massachusetts. The year was 1984 and Tatutina, Inc. was official.
The first order of business for this woman-owned company was to design and produce a Tatutina collection of goods. Along with some of Barbara’s past t-shirt designs and inspirations, together they added and expanded the product mix and came up with a hand-painted clothing and accessory line for children, in the classic Tatutina style.
They even had their own woven label.
But hand painting everything was getting out of hand! They found a local silk-screener and started reproducing Tatutina designs on more items, including aprons, tote bags and bibs. The line was growing and so were sales. Many children’s boutiques around New England starting carrying the Tatutina line of goods.
At this time, the company was located in Attleboro, on the 2nd floor of a factory building. After a few months, they found some space on the ground floor of another building, where they could build their inventory, produce some hand painted garments, and also have a small store near the front door.
Taksan Tatutina Scoshi Store was open for business.
This grand little store became a destination for young families and special gift givers in the surrounding communities of Attleboro. It was filled with colorful products, hand painted T-shirts and many one-of-a-kind artifacts.
Barbara and Joan loved their retail store and small business. They made some fun and wacky, “gorilla-suited” commercials for cable TV, as well as numerous creative ads for local newspapers. After some time, Joan went on to pursue another career. Her help was instrumental in getting Tatutina, Inc. off the ground. Barbara wanted to continue the business and focus on the local retail side so she moved to a new location, right on North Main Street in downtown Attleboro. Whatever she painted or created in the back of the store, was sold in the front of the store.
Barbara also re-married and her girls were growing up and going to college.
Can you guess who joined the business next?