Tanna has been drawing and creating with fabric since the age of three. She happily tells the story of breaking away from her mother on a shopping trip to enter the Winnie-the-Pooh coloring contest at Sears and Roebuck, winning first place at 4 years old. Recognizing Tanna's talent, her father, Ira John Espy (for whom the bedding and drapery line, Natalya and Ira was named) built her first easel complete with tempera paint holders. Paintings were 18x24"typically of tulips and other flowers from the yard. Her mother's sewing scraps were made into Barbie clothes. Art camps and vocational technical school during high school provided speciality training in silk screening, photography, and jewelry making.
Tanna's first entrepreneurial venture came at age 11 when she hosted a Backyard Carnival for Muscular Dystrophy in coordination with McDonalds and a local television show. Photography for Skirven Realty was Tanna's first paying gig at age 15. With a camera borrowed from school and her mother's chauffeuring, she earned enough money to buy her own camera. A series of winning competitions throughout high school developed into a portfolio that would win the highest honor of the "Portfolio Merit Scholarship" at the Memphis College of Art.
After a few years producing fine art, Tanna went into business designing and fabricating draperies initially for model homes. A clientele and reputation were soon developed. Local projects include 26 model homes, 2 parade homes, 14 award winning trade show exhibits, and several historical projects. Tanna's work has been featured in several regional magazines and television shows as well as Southern Living Magazine. Residential work in the finest neighborhoods includes homes in LaurelBrooke, The Governor's Club, Icon in the Gulch, Fairview Plantation, Legend's Ridge, Hill Place, Nestledown Farms, Inglehame Farms, and many more. Historical work includes The Timothy Demonbreun Bed and Breakfast, Monell's Dining and Catering Germantown, Monell's Dining and Catering at the Manor, and Sam Davis Civil War home in Smyrna, TN.
The shift to online sales came about as international markets increased and local home sales dropped in response to the mortgage crisis of 2008. Now,
Tanna is thrilled to work in the wide range of styles that suite her international clientele.
Through rigorous training of the M.B.A. program at Middle Tennessee State University, Tanna has created computer models for calculating yardage and pricing for complex designs as well as precision pricing for drapery designs. We are in the process of integrating these skills with website offerings. Soon, drapery panels will be priced online in a wide range of fabrics available in custom lengths, fullness, and top styles.
The vast range of skills Tanna has been able to acquire throughout her career are the basis for offering complimentary design service to all Design Nashville shoppers with regard to items we sell and including custom items made from any fabric on the website.
Future ventures include art for apparel design, the expansion of our hand crafted jewelry, mirrored and metal window cornices and other metal work in collaboration with Medwedeff Forge and Design.