The Coaches Studio with Michael Silvers

The Coaches Studio with Michael Silvers

#16 – Tatiana Shabelnik: Making Dreams Happen

November 11, 2014

Words to live by:

"Hope, joy, love"

"There is no word 'impossible' in language to me"


Tatiana has always been passionate about Latin dancing, but after marrying a man who was not interested in dancing, she didn't do any for many years. She has pressed through to pursue fashion and take up dancing again, fulfilling her passions and says: "do not give up your dreams for anyone".

Looking to get into fashion?

You must have a passion! If there is no passion of art, there is no fashion  of style. It's no good getting into it if it's really all about making money to you.

What excites Tatiana?

The diversity of young designers coming out, as well as the very talented Russian and Ukranian designers. The future of the fashion industry is exciting!

Advice to take with you...

Stay positive, and focused. Make sure you see your dream very clearly and surround yourself with positive people.
About Tatiana:
Tatiana Shabelnik was born in Minsk, Belarus, when it was still part of the Soviet Union. Love for art came very early in her life. She started drawing and painting at the age of 6, by designing outfits for her paper dolls. Her dolls were not her only “clients.” She also sketched outfits for herself.

Her mother, Ludmila, a physicist, had learned to sew on a professional level so that she could make clothes for her daughter. As Ludmila says: “I was always puzzled by how to implement the ideas that my child put on paper.” Growing up, Tatiana enjoyed Burda fashion magazines, and by the age of 15, knew she wanted to be a fashion designer. She wanted to go to a fashion school but life took her on a different route. Tatiana got her degree in Library and Information Science and for five years taught librarianship courses at the Belarusian University of Culture.

With a burning desire to see the West, Tatiana earned a scholarship for graduate studies in the United States, and earned her master’s degree in Library and Information Science at Louisiana State University. As a student at LSU, and later––while working on her Ph.D. in Rhetoric and Technical Communications at Michigan Technological University––she took web and graphic-design courses. Tatiana moved to California in 2001, and spent more than a decade working as web manager for Whittier College and an adjunct librarian for Rio Hondo Community College. Currently she works full-time as the Web Interactive Services Manager at Claremont McKenna College.

Through these years, Tatiana's passion for fashion design remained palpably strong, as is evidenced by her colorful, unique, personal style. In 2012 she decided to pursue her never-forgotten childhood dream by enrolling in fashion-design classes at Otis College, and within a year, launched a custom line of shawls and scarves. It was then that she also began sketching and producing a clothing line for women: "Contrast.” Her style is marked by the interplay of bold colors and mixing textures.

Tatiana presented her first collection at the "Mamomt" avant-garde fashion show in her hometown of Minsk, Belarus, in June 2013. In fall 2013, she competed at RAWards, and was chosen to be one of three finalists for Designer of the Year in Los Angeles. In October Tatiana was featured in LA Times. On March 10th Tatiana showed her collection at LA Fashion week withStyle  Fashion Week.

In addition to fashion, Tatiana's passions include community service, photography, and Latin dancing. She has been a member of Rotary Club of Pico Rivera since 2006, and served as president from 2010-11. In January 2011, she represented Rotary District 5300 and Rotary International at the Pasadena Rose Parade. She also danced on Cristian Oviedo’s Bachata team, as well as the Paso de Oro Dance Company, and continues dancing socially in different salsa clubs.

More about Tatiana: Website | Twitter | Facebook