Tuesday, October 25, 2011

PLPT GEMS: Meet Tiffani

PLPT GEMS Presents
Tiffani Rogers
Dancer. Educator. Stylist.
When did you first discover your "passion for fashion" so to speak?
From as early as I can remember my greatest joy is getting up and deciding what I am going to wear. It's like asking yourself, 'Who do I want to be today?' Fashion allows us to be anyone we want to be. I remember putting on fashion shows with my sister in my living room and looking at my mother like she had 3 heads when she tried to pick out my clothes for the first day of Kindergarten. My parents even let me decorate my room at the age of 5 when we moved into our new house. I picked out the wallpaper (pastel pink ice cream cones) and furniture set. My best friend Andrea would sit at my glass vanity and say, 'I just love this room!' I should have known then that fashion styling and interior decorating would be in my future.
You now run your own styling business, STYLE by Tiffani and you write the successful blog, ACCIDENTAL Chic. How did you know you wanted to actually pursue a career in the fashion industry?
It didn't come to me right away. I moved to New York City in 2005 to attend NYU to get my Masters in Childhood & Special Education. Teaching is another passion of mine and has been my career since I was 18 years old. Once I arrived to NYC I realized I was in the middle of the Fashion Capital. My passion for fashion was taken up about 5 notches! I was in awe of being surrounded by the designer boutiques I read about in Vogue, being able to attend museum exhibits and New York Fashion Week.
I wanted an outlet to share all my fashion happenings, so on New Year's Eve in 2007 I decided to create a blog. Also, my friends were always asking me questions and I was sick of repeating myself. Ha! My roommate at the time went on my computer, opened up a Word Document and created a list of possible names for my blog. ACCIDENTAL Chic stuck out to me and Shannon said, 'I think that is perfect because you don't try to be chic, it's just who you are.' To this day the name is still the perfect fit because I never planned on pursuing a career in fashion - it just happened!
My career in fashion came about randomly. I also moved to NYC to pursue my dance career. It had been my dream since I was little to dance on Broadway. Being a dancer, I have lots of friends in the industry and everyone is auditioning 24/7 or searching for their 'look' to land an agent. Being their go-to fashionista, I would style them. Over the past couple of years I realized I love working with people one on one to help cultivate their style or decorate their living spaces to reflect their style. To me, it's just as rewarding as teaching children.
How did you get your business off the ground? What were the first 5 steps you took once you knew this was your intended career path?
Last summer I read The Artist's Way by Julie Cameron after hearing rave reviews from everyone I know. Upon reading and completing the exercises in the book I realized my focus was going more towards fashion than dance. That's when a light bulb went off that I could turn my passion into a career. Here are my first 5 steps...
1. Read a lot of business books for creative types and freelancers. I highly recommend reading The Entrepreneur Equation by Carol Roth if you are contemplating starting a business. Roth really puts things into perspective and can help you plan accordingly.
2. Brainstormed name and logo ideas, along with creating a website.
3. Educating myself financially. If you don't have your own personal finances in order, you are certainly not going to be able to handle business finances. This can definitely make or break you, so take the time to educate yourself.
4. Network, Network, Network! Also, social media is a MUST if you are an entrepreneur.
5. Visualize and journal what my goals are for STYLE by Tiffani. This is an ongoing process. I always make it a point to check-in. It's important to me that I'm on the right path and staying true to my vision.
What does a day in the life of Tiffani Rogers look like? What is your favorite part of the day?
Every day is different! There is some consistency in my day because I still teach part-time as a SEIT (Special Educator Itinerant Teacher) in the morning and late afternoon. This is the perfect schedule for me because it leaves a big window open in the afternoon for me to pull or return looks at showrooms for photo shoots, preview upcoming collections, meet with clients or work on any projects I may have on the horizon.
I truly love every part of my day. It's important to me to live a life where I am excited to get out of bed every morning. Being able to pursue both careers is important to me right now. I have a great balance going on. Although, my morning cup of green tea and 'me' time before I start my day might just be my favorite.
What are some of the pros and cons of being in business for yourself?
+ Your business reflects your vision and constant use of your creativity.
+ Flexibility and opportunity to choose who you work with.
+ The chance to make a difference and inspire others.
- Your customers are your boss. If they’re not buying, you're not getting paid!
One of our favorite features on your blog is Mantra Monday, where you post quotes or photos that have inspired you. Is this what helps you to overcome any moments of fear or doubt that you might experience? What are some of your other outlets?
I had the idea to start Mantra Mondays because I am SO not a Monday person. I don't why. I actually think I have gotten better about it since I started Mantra Monday. I figured posting an inspiring quote is a great way to start the week on the right foot. Each Monday it gets me thinking and ready to move forward on whatever I need to conquer that week. It's a bonus that my readers are inspired by it as well. Heaven forbid if I don't post a mantra on Mondays now!
Another outlet I use to overcome fear and doubt is definitely books. I looooooove books. In NYC there is a bookstore or library on just about every corner. I probably go into one at least once a day (seriously). I love reading every type of book there is. If I need inspiration on something I pick up a book and start reading. There's just something so reassuring about that. Dance and yoga are other outlets; both allow me to just be in the moment.
What advice would you offer to others who are searching for their purpose, or are afraid to take the first step towards their own dreams?
Make time for yourself! Even if it's just 15-20 minutes a day. During this time you should ask yourself what it is that you want. One day my yoga teacher ended the class with this, "At the end of the day you have no one to answer to but yourself." I think about this all the time. You have no one else to please but yourself! It amazes me how often I see people living lives to please others even though they are miserable inside.
WHY NOT take the first step? This is what I say to myself all the time. And let me tell you 99.9% of the time I can't think of a reason not to take that step. If you are contemplating starting a business or a career change but afraid to put it all on the line, start slowly. Evaluate where you want to be right now, in 5 years and then in 10 years. Each will be different phases so don't feel pressured to make it all happen right away. I use to feel like I needed to make it all happen in my 20's but something shifted once I turned 30, it was like a little voice told me to slow down and enjoy the journey. My future plans are to be styling and decorating full-time, but as of right now I am enjoying the process of growing my business.
It's OK to not know every little detail of what you want to pursue. By taking the first step it will lead to more steps, but you have to be willing to take that first step!! As my good friend Adri would say; TRUST & BELIEVE.
How can our readers connect with you?

Feel free to reach out and connect with me at any of the following mentioned below. I hope to hear feedback, thoughts and answer any questions PLPT readers might have! xo
twitter: @stylebytiffani


GG said...

I love this interview! Such practical and candid advice. And Tiffani, you are such a joyful spirit. Thank you for sharing with us!! xoxo

Anonymous said...

Loved the interview and the insight Tiffani so graciously shared! Thank you!

Melissa Medeiros said...

Tiffany, you GO girl! You may not know this yet, but you inspire me!

MotorCityMoxie said...

It's always refreshing to read a great interview. This was insightful and genuine.


Jessica Marie Paiva said...

Tiffany wonderful words of wisdom...greatly appreciate your dedication! Very proud of you! All the best...xoxo

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