Tijana Tamburic and Franziska Klein are co-founders of creative agency, Female Narratives. The all-female platform elevates freelancers by connecting them with brands directly. Tijana and Franzi are photographed at the Ladies’ Pond on Hampstead Heath.
What’s the best thing that’s happened to you today?
T: I went to play tennis with my Dad in the sunshine, it was pure joy. I even had an ice-cream afterwards.
F: The sun is shining! I am going to the Heath for a picnic with some friends, will probably drink a little bit too much Rosé. Life is good.
Which one physical object do you value the most?
T: I have an overly sentimental bond with my grey Tumi carry-on suitcase. Like most things in my life, it’s actually not mine at all, but a friend of mine’s that I ‘borrowed’ for an undisclosed amount of time after a trip in NYC in 2014. It has since become my travel companion and I have lived out of it sometimes for 3 months on end. It has been everywhere from LA to Tokyo to Sydney to Burning Man to Bucharest to Oman. It’s sturdy and deeply reliable; attributes I like in objects.
F: I know this is a lame answer, but it’s got to be my phone. I’ve not been able to see my family as much as I would’ve liked this year. I’m very grateful for technology and for being able to stay connected…. also, my granddad’s wedding ring which I always wear.
Is there anything you’re really into that other people might consider obscure / unknown?
T: I have long-standing ties in the graphic novel/comic-book community in the region of Ex-Yugoslavia. My dad is one of the most prolific collectors in the Balkans and author of an award-winning anthology of comics and publisher of several dozen graphic novels, both in English and Serbian. I was raised, sometimes literally, surrounded by comics and so I read, and read. I got into serious graphic novels very young and have maintained that interest. I don’t even know if this is obscure as it’s so normal to me.
F: I can’t think of anything particularly obscure that I’m really into now, but as a child I really loved collecting spiders and any other insects and kept them in mason jars to study them.
Do you collect anything?
T: A fridge magnet from every place I’ve ever been to.
F: I wouldn’t call it collecting but I have a lot of plants in my house. I also bring bracelets back from every trip I go to and give them to my closest friends and also always keep one myself.
What indulgence will you never give up?
T: Hot showers.
F: Hot baths… and getting massages
Can you think of a specific current problem with the world you’d really like to solve?
T: Gosh so many, at our current progression we will destroy our planet from every angle. I think one of the biggest entry points is the Global food system. Supermarkets, how we consume unripe produce from the other side of the world, how we rarely grow locally in the West, how we over-fish and over consumer animals, there is so much wrong, and I love supporting new, sustainable, community-led solutions.
F: Climate Change. It’s something everyone can tackle even in small ways by changing the way they consume and move.
How do you try to be responsible in your own work?
T: We always think holistically about our projects; from the clients we choose to work with, to the waste we create on projects, everything down to asking crew to bring re-usable bottles and making all our paperwork digital. We also realised that large-scale events involve an enormous amount of waste, so we prefer intimate get togethers. The largest event we host is a clothes swap: you bring 5-10 pieces, and you can take 5-10 pieces.
F: We work with a lot of fashion brands, choose our clients very carefully and try to only work with sustainable companies and to not promote fast fashion. Our clothes swap seeks to normalize wearing second-hand clothing instead of buying new stuff all the time.
Tell us about a belief you had early on in life that you now feel differently about?
T: I was raised believing that women were my competition. That all I would do is compare myself, feel bad, and try to be better than other women. That I had to be more masculine in order to succeed. But the process of starting this business in 2016, after meeting Franzi, changed everything for me.
F: I thought there is a timeline in life by which things must happen to be successful and happy - finish high school, go to university, find a job, get married, buy a house, have children etc. This might be what makes some people feel happy and successful, but at the end of the day everyone needs to find their own recipe for happiness and that should in no way be influenced with external beliefs by others. There isn’t only one way and the path less walked often leads to more interesting destinations!
The last song you listened to?
T: Masego - Queen Tings
F: Biig Piig - Oh No
What would be the title of your memoir?
T: The Bunkbed Chronicles: How to Create Opportunity for Yourself when you Weren’t Handed it
F: Sorry, Mum.
Do you believe in an afterlife?
T: I believe people live on in other people. I hope that some parts of my incredible grandfather live on in me.
F: I’m not very religious but I believe that souls are eternal in some way - I think our bodies are just shells that carry our souls for a cycle from birth to death and then our souls carry on existing in some form. I like the idea that your afterlife is whatever you believe in.