If you’re a bit obsessive when it comes to reading blogs (go on – I am, I’ll admit it!) then of course you know the following blogger..! Allow me to introduce you to a lovely lady who, well, really needs no introduction! Say a big ol’ hello to Tieka of Selective Potential. Tieka is one inspiring woman – an explorer, graphic designer, and expert blogger. She even finds time to squeeze in the odd fashion campaign (hellooo, Forever 21 digital billboard in Time Square). She really is a time manager extraordinaire – and oh-so sweet and charming while doing so. Tieka resides in her beautiful state of Michigan with her partner, Eric, and their sweet pooch, Winny. Read on to find out more about what makes Miss Tieka tick!
Tieka, you are one talented multi-tasker! You’re a graphic designer by day, blogger by night. Do you have any tips on time management for those of us that aren’t quite so gifted?
First, thank you! Working full-time and blogging (almost full-time!) can be really stressful sometimes. But honestly, I love what I do too much at both to give up either of them. I’m at my job 8am-5pm, Monday through Friday. So that leaves blogging time for week-nights and weekends. A big help to me is planning my content schedule ahead of time. Whenever I have time to think up new ideas, or research areas to visit, I put it down in my content schedule. Like for example, right now, I have posts planned all the way through the middle of March! It saves time when trying to come up with new ideas, and then I can spend my weekends knocking out photo shoots and spend my week-nights editing photos, writing and queueing up posts! OF course, I want to have a social life too… so I try to commit times. I try to avoid my blog on the weekends, unless I’m taking photos. Sunday nights seem to be my prime time for editing photos. And then usually from 10-11pm on week-nights, I’m writing and publishing my posts! Even with working full-time and blogging, I somehow manage to have friends, spend an hour at the gym 4x a week, cook dinners, take Winny for walks, keep a clean house and get cuddle time with Eric before bed! I’m definitely not perfect, but planning ahead is honestly my biggest lifesaver.
You’ve attended so many incredible blogger events – and even spoken at some of them too! Do you ever get nervous – and how do you deal with it?
I’ve been so lucky and fortunate to attend some amazing events as a blogger. I absolutely get nervous. I get nervous to attend events, let alone speak at them! When I was giving a panel discussion at last spring’s TxSC, I had to constantly remind myself that they asked you. I had to tell myself that I do have knowledge about the topic I’m speaking about, they are trusting me to talk, so just be myself. Honestly, I talk myself through a lotof things. It really helps. Haha! I’m the crazy blogger walking around outside talking to herself. No, but really. Planning ahead also helps with nervousness. I made notes of what to talk about, practised at home, talked to fellow bloggers to hear what they might be interested in, that sort of thing. Being prepared is your best weapon against nervousness.
It’s always wonderful to be able to work alongside your partner, and Eric is clearly a massive part of Selective Potential! What is the best bit about getting to work with your favourite guy?
Aww, I’m such a lucky gal to have Eric in my life. Obviously Selective Potential is a huge reflection of my life, not just my personal style. So it’s only natural that my readers see him popping up here and there. Honestly, he’s a huge help with blog. He takes all of my photos and has a HUGE opinion, which I don’t always agree with, but always appreciate. He loves fashion and style as much (if not more!) than I do, so it’s awesome to have him give advice on what he thinks looks good. He’s an amazing photographer, willing to travel anywhere with me and is constantly reading and proofreading my posts (even when I don’t ask him to!). I think it’s so cute when I find him in bed, on the iPad, reading my blog. He’s an amazing guy who really cares about my passion.
The two of you have also just moved into a sweet new abode! What has been your absolute favourite part about the decorating process?
My favorite part, in Eric’s words, are, “We are making it our own.” It’s what I love most about decorating! Of course it can be expensive, and time-consuming, and nothing is ever as perfect as what you see on Pinterest, but it’s ours. And that’s what makes it truly special. We’ve worked on it together, both put our style and opinions into it, so it’s not mine, it’s not his, it’s ours. It’s our shared space to spend together constantly, and I love that.
Your massive weight loss (over 30 pounds!) is such an inspirational story. What were some of the biggest challenges in your journey, and how were you able to keep moving forward?
Losing an incredible amount of weight like that is so hard. I can’t even really describe it. It takes a serious change of heart, and a huge lifestyle change. My biggest challenge with losing weight is the amount of patience it requires. I’m a very impatient person, and when losing weight, you just have to force yourself to be. You have to stick it out until you accomplish your goal. And trust me, that can take months… or years! It’s a dedication you have to instil in yourself, and remember that by losing 1-2 pounds a week, you’re doing amazing. It’s hard though. I am constantly thinking to myself… I want to be my goal weight now and I’m so unhappy that I’m not there yet. But it’s a process. And once you do get to your goal, you are so proud of yourself for sticking with it. It’s a feeling I cannot explain, but it’s just pure happiness. I feel more confident and comfortable in my skin everyday, and proud of myself for knowing I’m eating healthier and exercising more. Every day counts is my huge motto. I remind myself that every day counts, every day. Because it truly does!
Blogging can bring some incredible experiences – and you’ve had a whole bunch! What are some that you would consider completely mind-blowingly amazing?
I’ve had so many opportunities that I honestly tear up at how blessed I’ve been. I’m seriously a small-town gal from Michigan, that’s all! But my favourite experiences so far have been a paid-trip to fashion week and a complete outfit and styling session with Juicy Couture. I remember standing in front of their full-length mirrors thinking “I’m living in a movie right now!” Travelling to San Francisco to work with Adobe was insane, I remember jumping up and down on the bed in my hotel room, looking out at the bay, screaming! Last October, I had the opportunity to fly to Houston to collaborate with Francesca’s Collections on a photo shoot, which was so much fun. Seeing my face on their homepage was so surreal. I also loved travelling to Texas last spring to speak, thanks to Modcloth. And the relationships and friends blogging has brought me have been so amazing. I never take any of this for granted. Ever!
You go on so many sightseeing adventures around your home state, Michigan. I particularly loved your lighthouse series (♥) – are there any others that stand out in particular for you?
Lighthouses are, by far, my favorite thing to explore in Micigan. Michigan is just an amazing state altogether. Honestly, when I was in high school, I thought I hated it here and couldn’t wait to get out. But by exploring and going on adventures, I’ve fallen head over heels in love and can’t ever imagine leaving. This state just suits me and my personality so perfectly. Lighthouses, the Great Lakes, the beaches, caves, waterfalls, corny tourist spots, camping, the most beautiful seasons (our autumns?! ah, the best!). This state is big enough to continue exploring my entire life and I still wont see it all, yet small enough for every part of the state to feel like home.
And finally – what’s next for Selective Potential in 2013?
I’m hoping to just keep on keeping on! My goal this year is to get back to my “roots”. I have several fun day and weekend-trips planned that will provide some really fun blog posts! (Yes, I’ve already pretty much planned July’s posts, eep!) but most of my favorite opportunities from Selective Potential have been a surprise… so I’m just going to stay open minded and hope for the best! Who doesn’t love a good surprise? ; )