Modern Makers: Meet Talin Spring of Spring Finn & Co.
For Talin Spring, fine craftsmanship runs in the family. Her father was a cobbler and her mother did needlework, so she was always surrounded by homemade goods. When she moved from Paris to Minneapolis, the former investment banker took her worldly influences with her and channeled them into the creation of a line of leather bags, hand-stitched and oiled with care. More recently, she's been flexing her creative muscle and exploring other avenues, such as doing design work for Alma, a boutique hotel.
How has living in Minneapolis been, compared to Paris? How has it influenced your work?
I couldn't have done what I'm doing here in France. There's an open-mindedness in the U.S.; nobody asks you, "What is your background? How many hotels have you designed so that you can design this hotel?" It's the land of opportunity.
What inspires you and impacts your work?
Inspiration comes all the time and in so many ways for me. I'm always writing things down, sketching, reading, enjoying nature, or listening to podcasts in French and English. It's a connection of all the information I gather, between travel, old movies, books, and music.
As a creative person, I need to have always my eyes open and my ears open. I'm always feeding it, nonstop -- you need to fill the well with all kinds of beautiful things from everywhere, from every culture.
How do you start your process?
It all starts, I think, with the human. If it's an accessory like a bag, I think about the person who's going to wear it, how it's going to age, how it's going to feel in their hands and how they're going to use it. That's my main concern because it has to feel good.
I like textiles a lot, but I love leather. The feel of the leather and the smell of the leather are very important to me. I like the way leather evolves and ages and the way it takes shape of the things you're putting in it. Your life is summarized by that little pouch.
How do you recharge and relax?
Culture and nature: I read a lot and I also walk often around the lakes. This helps me calm my mind. I also enjoy biking, but I don't bike just to bike: I have a little pouch with a pen and pencil and I usually have a destination when I start to ride. Then I sit for a few hours with my iced tea and I sketch and write down my thoughts. That's a very helpful thing for me.
What excites you about your future?
I love traveling and meeting artisans around the world in various countries. I also like to design things that I can get made in small quantities. And bringing all of that to my space here is important: I want to bring the community into this studio space. I want to inspire other women and have a good time together.
What advice would you give to women who want to start a business?
Before I started making anything, I was an investment banker, but I was always interested in creativity and design. For years I took many night classes, like pottery, Italian, computer design, and so on. I needed that part, that creativity in my life. And a friend encouraged me to do some freelance accessories design, and one thing led to another.
The truth is that I see people going into business just because it's fashionable or because it's "the thing to do." Instead, gather your mind together and see what you like doing and go in that direction. Turn inside yourself instead of looking outside to what everyone else is doing -- look inside your own soul. I think if you love what you're doing, people see that potential in you. So, if you have a dream or passion, definitely go ahead and pursue it. I think if you don't, you're missing something in life.