Tuesday, January 3, 2012

PLPT GEMS: Meet Tarin

PLPT GEMS Presents
Tarin Boone
Naturalista. New Media Maven. Trailblazer.

Tell us about your natural hair journey. Have you always been natural or did you transition or BC?

I have been natural going on six years in April 2012. My last relaxer was for my senior prom in May 2005. I transitioned for 11 months and cut my past shoulder length relaxed hair off to just at my ear lobes. I was inspired by nappturality.com.

You now run a very successful event, ‘Fro Fashion Week, which occurs twice per year in Atlanta, GA. What inspired you to launch a full scale natural hair event?

I was inspired by New York Fashion Week and reading the history. I felt no one says “hey these are the trends for natural hair” outside of little articles here and there. I didn't want ‘Fro Fashion Week to be another hair show or expo. I grew up in event planning and expos and I know what it entails to set one up so I wanted to come completely from left field with ‘Fro Fashion Week. It's upscale, it's new media, and it’s FUN. I wanted to take the natural hair conversation out of convention centers and restaurants, and off the computer -- into a production almost.

‘Fro Fashion Week has created quite a buzz throughout the natural hair community; you have major bloggers, brands, speakers and sponsors involved; and you draw attendance from all over the country. Is this the vision that you had when you were starting out? How did you know you had an idea--and a plan--that would work?

Yes this is exactly how I envisioned it. What was a surprise, though, was the international audience. I'm now getting travel visa inquiries from women in various countries in Africa such as Nigeria, South Africa, and Ghana. We had women come from Jamaica and Bermuda--that was truly mind blowing. I'm still learning and growing and tweaking what works, what could be expanded. I have an end result in mind and now that it has been launched and has a track record I'm just building on the foundation.

Is running ‘Fro Fashion Week your full time career? How do you balance it with your other responsibilities? What advice would you offer to others about achieving balance?

‘Fro Fashion Week is just a branch of my company. It is becoming a huge branch but it is a subsidiary of my company Naturally Me! Media LLC which is comprised of a free mobile app, resource website: naturallymemedia.com, online social network: curlfriendscity.com, naturalhairproductdeals.com and naturalhairevents.com It can be very challenging juggling all of those hats but I am a master at multi tasking. I like the challenge because I hate monotony.

Who is your support system? How do they contribute to your passion?

My support system is definitely my family and fiancé. They could have just let me go out and attempt all my crazy ideas on my own but whenever I need them they are right there, sleeves rolled up and ready to work to make the vision come to life. In business, people always have their own agendas and motives but I know at all times my family has my best interest at heart; and that they are willing to fight and carry out my dream just like I am. I keep them very close. My mom instills all the event planning and business knowledge in me and also helps me set limits. I am very creative and can often times get caught up in my imagination; she is there to bring me back to reality and hone in the general concept I'm going for. My mom was the one who, while I was beginning to get depressed about not finding a job after college, told me to create my own job. I could always go work for someone but this is a once in a lifetime opportunity.

What is the most fulfilling aspect of being in business for yourself?

The most fulfilling and the scariest part is knowing that you don't have to answer to anyone. It's very empowering because you are the decision maker. It's also very scary and nerve wracking because those decisions--good or bad--fall back on you and you have to be accountable for them.

What advice would you offer to others who are searching for their purpose or are afraid to take the first step towards their dreams?

Pray and be still. It's hard to make a decision on what you need to do in your life if you are constantly asking other people or making yourself busy. I was put in a place where I had no choice but to be still. God completely slowed me down for 6 months after I graduated college: no work, no money, no job offers… just in a wilderness. If your life feels like that, now is the time to pray and look at skills you already possess. Take stock of what you innately know, what you have learned maybe through school or formal training, and skills other people may compliment you on. What I find, is that the answer is normally right in front of you. By the time you reach that still place and can be reflective over your life you will start to see how things along your life path were set up to be used for this very moment. Once you step out on faith God will send you the tools and people you need that to complete the project.

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