Tien Limited

American Made Since 2010

Alexis Cristianne

Bellingham, Washington
In a world that's everyday becoming more aware of the consequences of our choices, we are creating pieces of combined sustainability and beauty.

Tell us about your business.

One day a friend brought home a burlap sack from the coffee shop that they managed, and asked me if there anything that I could do with these discarded pieces of raw earthy beauty? My innovative response led to Washington-based accessories brand, Tien Limited, which offers luxury items fashioned from reclaimed materials. Being a coffee lover, I was flooded with inspiration. For me, the true meaning of luxury is all about the level of craftsmanship, the seen and unseen construction of a piece. The construction of Tien's coffee-bag handbags blends sustainability and luxury through a balance of new and used materials. Using reclaimed coffee-bean burlap bags as the exterior base, lambskin leather is then incorporated, and solid-brass hardware details. The bag's interior is from remnants of wool taken from discarded designer-clothing lines. Being mindful of waste in the design and manufacturing is a part of our sustainability. Equal amounts of thought go into every layer of design.

What makes your business stand out?

Tien Limited is unique in that it combines a sustainably minded product, and then shows you how that product lives in a beautiful world filled with the aesthetic values of our company. While being green in the fashion industry remains a challenge, focusing on the product's combination of unique creativity within a functional design has broadened our range of clients. The luxury consumer is now looking to combine quality of living with the quality of design. Our goal is to create a brand that hosts beautiful pieces, products, and visually entices a better way to live. While Tien is still in its early stages of development, we are already working on plans to present the brand as an on-line concept store, and to evoke an experience for all the senses. We hope to focus the store's eco-friendly sensibilities on items for the home and kitchen, including table accessories, fair-trade coffee, and the art of making tea, with a plan of expanding to clothing down the road.

What's the best business advice you've received?

The best business advice was to learn from a mentor that has the degree of success that you aspire to achieve. To make a plan, and work the plan. That no matter what it is that you have the passion to do, the passion will be the force that gets you there, especially when backed by determination. The best way to achieve one's goals is to write them down and review them daily. Write them, rewrite them, and say them a loud until your subconsciousness makes them a reality. Create a vision board in a place where you will see it daily. One must remain true to your values, because your value system will always take first priority. It is important to work the whole time at work. And lastly, to create, and stay in line with these simple steps to success: 1. Become more efficient. 2. Become more effective. 3. Identify the destination/goal/outcome. 4. Put the 4 pillars into place to support this-a. accountability c. incentives d. deadlines. 5. Then ask yourself," What am I missing?"

Mark Your Calendar

  • Nominations
    June 3–Aug. 29, 2014

    Nominate yourself or other aspiring makers.

  • Judging
    June 23–Sept. 8, 2014

    Judges will select finalists throughout this period.

    Meet the judges
  • Online Voting
    Sept. 15–Oct. 13, 2014

    Vote for your favorite American makers.

    See the finalists
  • Winners Announced
    Oct. 17, 2014

    2014 Award Winners and Audience Choice Winner announced.

    See past Award Winners
  • American Made Event
    Nov. 7–8, 2014

    Join us for our annual event in New York City.

    Buy tickets now

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