Today we’d like to introduce you to Tilda Boyd.
Hi Tilda, thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, maybe you can tell our readers some of your backstory.
It all began with a dream. I’ve always wanted to have my own fashion line. I didn’t know how to sew at the time. I would pay manufacturers to produce my clothing. One day I got an email with a picture of a sample hoodie I wanted them to make. I only liked it and not loved it. From then on, I didn’t want to pay manufactures to produce clothing I didn’t love. I looked up and watched tons of videos on YouTube on how to sew and make a hoodie. I didn’t have a sewing machine at the time, so my mom let me borrow hers. The first day I attempted to sew, it didn’t go as plan. I couldn’t get the fabric to run through the machine. I gave up for the rest of the day. The next day I came back to it and told myself, “If I can’t get the fabric to sew through the machine, I’m going to keep paying manufactures to produce my clothing.” Suddenly it worked, and I was able to run the fabric through the machine. From then on, I sewed all my clothing.
The first item I ever made was a 1 of 1 patchwork denim hoodie, longer in the back with zippers on the side. That item was made from four different pairs of jeans. My parents saw how good and passionate I was about fashion and sewing. They wanted me to go to a fashion art school so I could learn more. In 2018 I attended FIDM in Los Angeles to further my knowledge in fashion design. One of the hardest things I had to go through in life because I was done with school and didn’t want to go back. I had other degrees that could help me in life. School wasn’t the easiest, but it’s always worth it. I graduated in 2020 with a BA in fashion design and from then on, my fashion career started. Everything I have sewn for my brand are items you cannot get in clothing stores. These are 1 of 1 items. I wanted my clothing to be unique for the customers and not have them worry about someone else having on the same outfit on as them. I wanted to stand out and be different from other brands. I didn’t have a workplace either. I would find anything in the house where I could set up my sewing machine.
Sometimes I would sew in a treatable, a kitchen table, a desk, even the bathroom counter. Anywhere I found I could put my machine, I would. When you’re so passionate about something you’ll do anything to make it work. My fashion brand is called UHAHNNA (pronounced U-HAHN-NA) which consists of 1 of 1 custom high-end streetwear apparel. UHAHNNA, my middle name, means be you all is taken. I’m half Swedish and half African American, and I wanted my brand name to be unique and different. In the past, I was one of those people in this world who was scared to be themselves and would do what everyone else was doing. As I got older, I started to not care and stood out more. Everyone is weird and unique in their own way and should embrace it. I wanted to show the younger generation that it is ok to be yourself in this judgmental world we live in. There is always going to be someone looking up to you that wants to be just like you. So, at the end of it all, Be You.
Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
Running a business is never a smooth road in my opinion. I’ve struggled with different aspects of running a fashion brand. Never had enough money to put a team behind my brand. My brand is a 1 person team for right now. I do everything. I source & buy the fabric, make the patterns, buy the trims, cut the patterns out on the fabric, pin the pieces together, sew all the pieces together, find models to shoot in the outfits I make, market the different outfits, build a website and have it running. It’s a lot but in the end, it’s all worth it. All the bumps in the road that have come along the way have made me stronger. Not a lot of people understand the process on what it takes to make 1 single item.
Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
I love working with denim. It just has a unique look to it when I make pathwork items with denim. I specialize in custom 1 of 1 patchwork items. I literally can make an item out of any scraps. I never throw my scraps away but save them for another project. I’ve showcased my very 1st collection at 2018 LA Fashion Week. I’m really proud of my newest collection I recently just launch. Took me about four months to complete this 12 look collection. This collection was special to me. The inspiration came from my dad and his fashion flare. There were many times when I thought I wouldn’t finish the collection. Losing my father, who was my best friend, took a change in my life. My father had a big impact on my fashion that I create. Both of my parents are my biggest fans. I believe designing and making custom 1 of 1 piece sets me apart from the rest of the designers.
Can you tell us more about what you were like growing up?
I was always a happy baby I was told. Always laughing and wanting to be around other kids. I would always be that person to bring everyone together so no one is left singled out. I was very outgoing and just always wanted to have. Never had it easy growing up. I would get teased and picked on for the way I looked, for the people I was hanging around, and for just looking a certain way. Never understood why. Growing up I have always wanted to be a professional actress and a dancer. Those were my dreams. They still are. Wanted to be just like my father. Ever since I’ve seen him act in movies and model for magazines, I told myself I wanted to do just that. Its so much fun being in front of the camera. One day soon everyone will see my name in the lights.