Tatutina, a local landmark for the past 20 years, has crossed the border into the Ocean State. The art studio has outgrown its space at 24 North Main St. and has moved to a larger location at 1110 Central Ave. in neighboring Pawtucket.
"So long Attleboro, Ma…hello Pawtucket, RI!," Tatutina wrote in its blog. "Tatutina has moved to a BIGGER facility to help with our growth and expansion.
"We wish to thank the community of Attleboro for the patronage and support over the past 20 years," said the owners.
A mother-daughter trio runs Tatutina. Ottmar is the artist, daughter Roberta Florena O'Neill takes care of finances and daughter Georgia Florena Shabon, also an artist, is in charge of product development.
"Our younger sister, Caroline, is happily married and living in Italy. We haven't been able to convince her to join the business . . .yet!" laughed O'Neill.
The artwork of Barbara Ottmar also known as Tatutina is widely known and loved in Attleboro and beyond. Residents with children born between 1984 and now, probably have Tatutina items in their home.
Sunny land and seascape paintings of Naples and Positano on the Amalfi Coast are reminiscent of Ottmar's upbringing in Italy. Many of her pieces are happy laughter-filled celebrations of new babies, weddings and birthdays scenes, which she has had printed for sale as greeting cards.Tatutina's style of painting and subject matter is easy to recognize.
For Ottmar and her daughters it's all about family, life, pets and happiness. At first glance the items evoke happiness and smiles but taking a closer look you will appreciate that all of the Tatutina products are made to be functional and are made using quality materials.
"My mother's art has evolved over the years and now along with her painting she is working with jewelry design and sculpture," O'Neill said proudly. "She would like to write and illustrate a children's book based on her family life in Italy or maybe publish a coffee table book of her work."
Maryann Casavant, director of Animal Crackers Nursery was shopping during Tatutina's Holiday Sale at the studio on Saturday. Colorful pink and blue alphabet posters were available for free and Casavant was picking up a few for the parents of her students.
"The parents will be able to use the poster as their children are learning their letters, alphabet recognition," she said.
When O'Neill heard that, she asked how many students there were. Upon hearing the 100 plus number, she made sure that Casavant left with an ample supply.
"If there are area teachers out there in need of posters or products, we are happy to help out," said O'Neill. "They should contact me at Roberta@tatutina.com."
Casavant was thrilled with the donation and commented that she remembers shopping at the Tatutina studio when it was just starting out. "I am very excited for them expanding to a larger space."
Mary Hamilton and her daughter Courtney Railton were doing their annual, traditional shopping, picking up gifts for their children's teachers, birthday parties and for themselves.
While balancing wooden keepsake boxes, book ends, and prints in her arms, Railton commented, "We've been friends with Barbara and her kids forever!"
"I'm originally from Attleboro and make the trip to Tatutina's sale every year from Wareham," said shopper, Tiffany Castro.
Along with Tricia Brogioli, they were picking up piles of gifts and greeting cards. "It's definitely worth the trip!" Brogioli said.
Tatutina distributes products nationwide but has recently started exploring international distribution.
When asked, what does the trademark name Tatutina means, O'Neill recalled her mother describing it as a "term of endearment."
O'Neill explained, "My mother called her late husband, my dad, Salvatore Florena, 'Sasa'. Then for some reason, my mom changed Sasa into and started calling him "Tata."
"In turn, my dad made up a name for her, meaning his: 'Tata', and little one: 'tina' Tatutina.
All of Ottmar's work is signed with her nickname, Tatutina.