Tue | Sep 26, 2017

Tamara Harding's MaraMade Designs

Published:Sunday | November 22, 2015 | 11:00 AMCathy Risden
It's obvious which piece Stephanie Scott likes.
Mara Made designs brings the outside in.
Tamara Harding (left) converses with with Patasha 'Alek' McLean.
From left: Julianne Lee, Eroleen Anderson and Dr Patricia Yap enjoys a girl's night out
From left: Mother of the artist Margaret Schwab shares a laugh with Glen Manley and Beth Hyde - McDonald.
The gorgeous Kaili Mcdonnough-Scott
This coffee table is definitely a conversation starter.
Carol Crichton inspects a very unique standing lamp.
The woman behind MaraMade-Tamara Harding.
Beth Hyde-McDonald inspects a wooden framed mirror designed by Harding.
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10

If getting her hands and clothes dirty is what it takes for Tamara Harding to pursue her passion, then that is exactly what she is going to do. Jewellery, furniture, light fixtures - you name it, she has made it - out of wood.

A day before celebrating her 41st birthday (November 13), she launched her company, Maramade, at her Widcome drive residence in St Andrew.

As soon as you entered the venue, you were greeted by her designs, before viewing a video presentation that outlined her creative and designing journey.

Then it was time to view the masterpieces strategically placed on her expansive lawn. The one-of-a-kind pieces included living room sets, dining tables, centre tables and accent pieces and mirrors. Displayed on the inside was a variety of decorative pieces-wall mirrors and frames, wooden chandeliers, standing and hanging lamps, bistro tables and patio and veranda benches and paintings by creative director Patasha 'Alek' McLean.

There was also an amazing bar set made entirely out of wood and glass - counter, wine holder, bar table and hanging lights.

Harding told Outlook that each piece is special and unique, and speaks to her because she breathes life into them.

"What I try to do is bring out what I feel it should become," she explained.

The woman who is not afraid to get her hands dirty decided just before her 40th birthday to do what she feel she should have been doing with her life - to design and create.

Though she has never been a designer, she told Outlook that she just knew it would come and trusted that it would.

"I let go and the first things I made were some Christmas decorations for my Aunt's wellness show, but nobody bought them," Harding recalls of her first designs.

But after much research, Harding said she got a light bulb moment, and that was to go all out and use wood to create and design anything that spoke to her: "I looked around my house and saw that I had so much stuff that was made out of wood already, so I bought a chainsaw, a circular saw and a jigsaw in January and then started collecting wood."

Harding told Outlook that she got her first set of cedar and gungo wood in late January, had her workshop set up by May, and got straight to work.

"I said, if I don't stop this and actually do a launch, nobody is really going to understand what exactly it is that I am doing. So I stopped making to sell these little one-off pieces and decided, I am going to just put 'pedal to the metal' and make a portion," Harding explained.

"The guys that I have working with me we worked non-stop for two months straight from Monday to Sunday. We have taken no breaks, even when it's raining,

we are working - morning, noon and night. Everything took about five months," Harding revealed.

Harding was very excited about her accomplishments, which prove that hard work does pay off.

"I couldn't do this if I wasn't Jamaican, because of how creative we are and all my influences growing up here because of what we have - that's all coming out in this," she noted.

Harding plans to cater to hoteliers and restaurants, along with doing annual showcases for customers looking for unique pieces.

For more information, see @MaraMadeDesigns.com.

cathy.risden@gleanerjm.com