Tarina Tarantino is considered by many to be the queen of hair jewels.
If you see someone sporting a gorgeous hair gem in the shape of a beautiful bee, wasp or ladybug, there's a good chance you may have been lucky to spot one of Tarina Tarantino's original hair jewel creations.
One of the biggest crazes to sweep the fashion world in the last fifteen years is hair accessories and ornaments.
Everywhere you go you can be assured of finding hair adorned with sparkly gems, gorgeous silk flowers and an array of clips and stunning headbands.
What many people don't realize is that the beautiful and talented Tarina Tarantino is one of the key reasons that jewels for the hair became a major fashion commodity.
Tarina's inspiration for her gorgeous gems actually started in the strangest of places, the backyard of the house where she grew up.
Tarina's had a special fascination with bugs and spent a lot of time studying them over the years. Her interest in bugs, the cute ones of course, inspired Tarina's first brilliant hair accessory designs.
Tarina began designing and selling her jewelry in her late teens when she was working as a model in Germany.
By the time she was in her early 20s Tarina had a growing business selling her hand-made hair accessory items out of her home.
She discovered when she wore her own handmade hair clips to work every day, complete strangers would buy the gorgeous designs right off her head.
Tarina realized she was on to something and decided to pull out all the stops and pursue her dreams.
From $5,000 to 5 Million Plus
When Tarina's showed her stunning designs to various stores, she instantly received a stack of orders.
Unfortunately the banks were not willing to loan her the money to buy the supplies she needed to fill all the orders.
Tarina's boyfriend and ultimately her business partner and husband...Alfonso Campos-Porta.... believed so strongly in her designs that he sold his car.
Alfonso received $5,000 from the sale of his automobile to start Tarina's jewelry business. He also worked with her side by side, 7 days a week, for two years helping Tarina's fill all the jewelry orders.
Tarina's and Alfonso worked out of their small apartment in very cramped quarters until they could eventually move to a studio.
The rest is history. By 1999 Tarina's jewelry sales were looming at the $5 million mark. When you have as much talent and ambition as Tarina and Alfonso, the sky's the limit.
Tarina's hair accessories and jewelry was so popular that her line eventually expanded to include rings, necklaces, bracelets and sparkling chokers.
Although her hair gems are my personal favorite, I have had very close calls with some of her bracelets. I could hear those little beauties calling my name from across the store.
Customers go crazy over her gorgeous designs. It's been reported by some boutique owners that customers will spend several thousands of dollars at a time on a few of Tarina's designs.
Several movie and television stars have gotten bitten by her jeweled bugs. If you look closely at many of the celebrities appearing at the awards, you will see the gorgeous sparkle of a Tarantino jewel.
Minnie Driver and Jennie Garth have both been photographed wearing the gorgeous buggy hair jewels.
Lillith Fair musician Sarah Mc Lachlan is never without her friend Tarina Tarantino's jeweled hair clips.
An Ant For Julia
As reported by Soapdish (who has all the direct scoops on Tarina) Julia Louis-Dreyfus was a very lucky lady when she was the recipient of custom-made lavender ant-shaped clips to wear in her hair for the Disney premiere of A Bug's Life".
Tarantino whipped up the gorgeous jeweled ants in a matter of four days by special request. Tarina's reward was an invite to the premiere, a hug from Julia and a new design for her collection.
I'm A Big Fan Of Hair Bugs
I personally have been following Tarina's jewelry designs for many years now. An acquaintance kept mailing me pages ripped out of various fashion magazines that had photos of Tarina's incredible designs circled for my attention.
As I read about this talented designer I was very impressed with her ambition and drive to make her lifelong love of designing jewelry a reality.
I can really relate to Tarina and Alfonso. As the owner of my own start-up business, I understand the passion that can drive a person to sell their car to make their business dreams come true. I know if push came to shove I would do the same thing.
From everything I've seen, Tarina and Alfonso are realizing all of their dreams.
They are incredibly talented and passionate people who love what they create. I predict more great things are yet to come from this celebrity design couple.
Where To Find These Little Gems
If you think the gems look gorgeous in the photos, you should see them sparkling under glass. They will take your breath away. In case you haven't figured it out yet, I'm a big fan of Tarina and Alfonso.
Tarina continues to design her trademark deigns using her own life as her inspiration. Tarina incorporates Swarovski crystals with many of her designs.
It's rumored the inspiration for one of past bug collections came from bugs that used to hang out around her Hollywood studio.
Where can you find these gorgeous original jewels and accessories? You can buy them right online at HairBoutique.com in the Marketplace where you can see all the latest accessories that Tarina has designed and made available.
Many celebrities wear the stunning designs including the lovely Neve Campbell who in the past was photographed showing off some of her own Tarantino hair jewel collection.
Her collections have since caught the eye of a number of celebrities such as Cameron Diaz, Avril Lavigne, and Miley Cyrus.
Note: For additional information on Tarina, check into finding a copy of Gwen Carden's feature in the National Enquirer which appeared on August 9, 1999. The image to the side accompanied the article about Tarina.
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Original Publication Date: 1997 - Revised Publication Date: 10/07/11