Tara Kiwi is a fresh new line of equestrian inspired tee shirts created by a horse enthusiast living in the city of Los Angeles. Our designs are sophisticated yet fun, made for all horse enthusiasts: girls who ride once a day, once a year, or have always admired horses! We offer several modern silhouettes made with silky soft 100% organic cotton. Our tee shirts are designed, sewn and screened in Los Angeles, CA.
The designer, Tara Hammond Leu, grew up in the mid-Atlantic region and started riding lessons at age 8. Horseback riding started innocently and blossomed into a lifelong love affair with horses. It wasn’t long until she was begging her parents to take her to the big events, like the Devon Horse Show and the Fairhill International. All the while competing in schooling shows herself. Later her parents purchased a “farmette” in Kemblesville, PA and bought their daughters two misfit schooling horses saved from auction for $800 a piece. Tara rode her misfit pony, Sylvester, amongst others competitively throughout her high school and college years.
While studying at the University of Delaware, Tara began to yearn for a degree in fashion. From the advice of her Aunt she began applying to design schools and applied to the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising (FIDM) in Los Angeles. In October 2003, she took a hiatus from the farm and moved to Los Angeles to study Apparel Manufacturing and Production at FIDM. She soon substituted riding waves for riding horses and scored her first job in 2005. She was hired as a production coordinator at an international manufacturing company and after a few years was hired as a technical designer for a major wetsuit company. This behind the scenes work taught Tara the ins and outs of the fashion business.
Tara Kiwi evolved out of several years of personal sewing projects documented on the blog Tara Kiwi Cottage Designs. A combination of Tara and Kiwi, her childhood code name her sister gave her, Tara Kiwi embodies her childhood equestrian roots with a mature west coast twist. Reflected by the company’s horse and surf logo.