Maria Tamander (56) is a Swedishborn entrepreneur, investor, pub owner, and film executive. Normally, she lives in London with her husband and two daughters. Maria Tamander’s mother is from Saaremaa The largest island in Estonia(pop. 31,000). but in 1944, during the war, her family emigrated to Sweden, specifically to the island of Gotland.
Their seafront farm along with their house, barn, sauna, and boathouse were left behind. Many years later, Maria’s mother and aunt were thinking of selling the property – there were no buildings left, only some foundations remained that were hidden in the overgrown grounds.
A bit over ten years ago, Maria decided to pack her family into a camper van and drive towards her mother’s childhood home to see if there was anything they could do with the land. Surprisingly, they fell in love with the place and Maria started to rebuild the family farm with her partner in 2007.
I (the author of this article, Ronald Liive _ed.) found out about Tamander through Netflix’s “Million Pound Menu” in which one episode featured her as a potential investor looking for a new eatery to invest in. Since I also live in Saaremaa The largest island in Estonia(pop. 31,000). , a few days later I found myself sitting next to her. Maria Tamander was more than happy to talk with Life in Estonia Life in Estonia Magazine appeared first in 2012. about her career and plans for the future.
From music videos to real estate
Maria started her working career in marketing and music videos by founding a production company in the early 1990s in Sweden. She moved to London in 1998 when her eldest daughter was born. She has created ad campaigns for Dolce Gabbana, Versace, Lancôme, Nokia, and many more notable brands. Her company also worked on the Spice Girls’ first music video “Wannabe”. She is active in the field up to this day.
Later she ventured into real estate. In 2014, she and two other families bought a building in London’s Paddington area that housed a pub called “The Cleveland Arms” with 166 years of history on the ground floor. She built the place up and ran the pub’s day-to-day business until last November. She has also invested in some small businesses in Estonia, the United Kingdom, and Sweden and maintained a perennial interest in handicrafts and helping young creatives, for example, her photographer-daughter Isla, a young jeweller named Jay, and many others.
Right before the pandemic hit the whole world, Maria and her sister Anna were looking for properties in Tallinn Tallinn, the largest city and capital of Estonia (population 440 000). to fix up so that she could rent them out and open a café or restaurant on the ground floor. Just like she did in London’s Paddington area. Her London pub is now a well-known place in the area. Due to the ongoing situation, she had to freeze everything and close the pub for a while. Some of the staff were let go.
A lampshade made of two old paintings, two photo drying racks Maria found in a closed art school outside London where they did a commercial, tissue paper, bleach and paint Maria and John together with their daughters Isla and Iona, and their new friends Olga Temnikova, Indrek Kasela and their daughter Vera
Retreats in Saaremaa The largest island in Estonia(pop. 31,000). for creative people
She is currently offering a hospitality service in Saaremaa The largest island in Estonia(pop. 31,000). through Airbnb but she’s got bigger plans for the place. Additional information about the property can be found at hylgeranna.com.
“We came here when the lockdown was in effect so we had to have a valid reason to come to Estonia. Our reason was the renovation works going on and preparations for receiving guests that were to arrive in May. We got special permission from the Estonian police and border guard. We are going to build an artist studio in an old Soviet military building, and some other houses as well,” says Maria.
If everything goes according to plan then they are going to start film and photography retreats in Saaremaa The largest island in Estonia(pop. 31,000). from this autumn. She’s also keen on the idea of different workshops or retreats for people interested in production, art, writing, and other topics. Maria’s partner, world-renowned cinematographer John Mathieson (59) is also involved with the works and plans going on in Saaremaa The largest island in Estonia(pop. 31,000). .
A sculpture that the couple’s daughters Isla (21) and Iona (16) made of the skulls of seals, foxes, deer, and moose they had been collecting in Saaremaa The largest island in Estonia(pop. 31,000). over the years
Mathieson is a frequent collaborator with director Ridley Scott and was the cinematographer on “Gladiator (2000)”. He also worked as the director of photography on “Robin Hood” (2010), “X-Men: First Class” (2011), “Logan” (2017), “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.” (2015) and many other Hollywood films. He was supposed to be in Los Angeles right now working on Marvel’s upcoming movie “Doctor Strange” but as the shooting was put on hold, he was able to enjoy his time in Saaremaa The largest island in Estonia(pop. 31,000). .
“The writer’s retreat will start in autumn. It’s going to be run by a woman who organises the same kind of things in the UK. She and her partner, a scriptwriter from Los Angeles, are friends of ours. There is also going to be a poetry group,” says Maria.
The retreats will be multi-day events and they will be hosting a maximum of 10 people per retreat. Maria will provide all attendees with accommodation, food, and transportation.
Although they will be inviting their friends and people they have worked with to attend the retreats, the events will also be open to the general public so anyone interested may attend them.
The world is a small place
Maria has been flirting with the idea of staying for a full year in Saaremaa The largest island in Estonia(pop. 31,000). . Although she has stayed there for a few months now and is planning to spend her whole summer there she is still planning to go back to London at some point this year.
“My parents usually come here mid-June and stay until August. My sister and her family would also come for a few weeks. We also have quite a few friends coming out here.”
Just by accident, during one of her stays in Saaremaa The largest island in Estonia(pop. 31,000). a few years ago, she was greeted by a gentleman taking a stroll in the area. After starting to talk with him they became friends. At first, neither Tamander, her husband nor the gentleman wanted to mention their professions. However, once the friendship grew stronger and the barriers fell, it turned out that the stranger was a well-known Estonian, serial entrepreneur and investor Indrek Kasela (48); he is also involved with the arts and owns a cinema in Tallinn Tallinn, the largest city and capital of Estonia (population 440 000). .
Thanks to the new connection, Kasela has been able to talk Mathieson into giving talks at the Black Night Film Festival in Tallinn Tallinn, the largest city and capital of Estonia (population 440 000). . Kasela spent his childhood in the area where Hülgeranna is located.
An airway between Kuressaare Town in the westernmost island in Estonia, Saareemaa Island (pop.13,000). , the capital of Saaremaa The largest island in Estonia(pop. 31,000). , and Bromma near Stockholm was supposed to have started this year but was postponed until next spring. Tamander sees that airway as a good solution for international tourists to come to Saaremaa The largest island in Estonia(pop. 31,000). and for locals to stay well connected to big airports around the world.
To visit Saaremaa The largest island in Estonia(pop. 31,000). , you need to board a ferry by vehicle or you can fly from Tallinn Tallinn, the largest city and capital of Estonia (population 440 000). and Kuressaare Town in the westernmost island in Estonia, Saareemaa Island (pop.13,000). . To get to Hülgeranna you need to drive from Kuressaare Town in the westernmost island in Estonia, Saareemaa Island (pop.13,000). centre for about 45 minutes.