With a background in graphic design, Derrin D. O’Connell, “creative adventurer”, has been dabbling in anything art since ‘the beginning”. From spirit posters, doll furniture and scrapbooks throughout her school years, graphic illustration in the US Army, award-winning senior design at a publishing company, and numerous projects for family members, specifically the “little ones”, it has all contributed to her current adventure of owning and creating for her business, “Tillie’s”.
Started in January 2012, Tillie’s was “inspired by my nieces and nephews who were always asking “Auntie, why don’t you have your own business?” I couldn’t very well tell them to “be all they could be” when I was letting my fears get the best of me.” When the opportunity to join a local artist’s co-op presented itself, she jumped.
Inspired by texture and color in nature, fabric, paper and more, Derrin prides herself on not always doing things the way people might expect. With attention to detail and personal touches to make each piece unique, she enjoys implementing “old school” techniques such as sewing, hand-stitching and letterpress in her creations.
Derrin is also a Certified Massage Therapist and when asked how graphic design and massage could possibly be related stated, “these positions require many of the same skills: creativity, attention to detail, problem solving, are results oriented and I am able to apply my own unique signature, whether it be an art project or treatment plan. And most importantly, it usually involves a smile on someone’s face!”
You can currently find Tillie's products at the "Local Joint" in Northfield, MN, or place an order via e-mail, Tillies1967@gmail.com.