If you’ve bought a decorative dog pillow from East Providence’s Up Country, or a peppy pet-themed greeting card from Barrington Books, or a dog birthday cake from Jack’s Snacks in Warwick and added a mini felt party hat, you are familiar Giorgia Florena Shaban’s bright, bold designs and her brand, Tatutina.
Pre-COVID, Shaban worked out of a studio shop at Hope Artiste Village in Pawtucket where she was also able to sell her smile-inducing wares at the Saturday Farmers Market, thoroughly enjoying the sense of community. Unfortunately, the pandemic changed that and Shaban moved back into her family home in Cumberland, bringing Tatutina full circle as the company was actually founded over 30 years ago by her Italian mother Barbara Ottmar.
“I went to work for her the summer after completing my biology degree and never left!” says Shaban. “Back then Tatutina’s focus was children’s clothing and decor, but ever since I was a kid, pets have been my favorite thing to draw – it’s what comes right out of my hand without me thinking about it.”
Shaban currently has three furry muses: an orange cat named Thor who likes to lie on top of the computer and attack the sewing supplies, a gray cat Miek who was adopted from 10 Lives Cat Rescue in Warwick and is still a little shy, and Oscar the mini Goldendoodle who she describes as “the sweetest, easiest dog in the world.”
Shaban says Tatutina’s signature style features “charming characters that tell a story.” She enjoys incorporating words or phrases and notes that her favorite item is the reversible dog bandana with “Happy Birthday To Me” on one side and “Happy Birthday To You” on the other.
Other popular items include cat-lover eyeglass cases and the “Counting Dogs With My Paw” soft baby books made from organic cotton.
Shaban is currently excited about a new line of greeting cards with space to write your pet’s name on the cover, plus a French cat motif collaboration with Bristol’s Blanc + Bleu (with 20 percent of sales benefitting Friends of the Bristol Animal Shelter).
“‘Tatutina’ is a term of affection my Neopolitan father used for my mother. She began by calling him Tatutino and, in turn, he called her Tatutina!” – a memorable pet name that couldn’t be more apt for the design studio. Tatutina.com, @tatutina
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