Today we’d like to introduce you to Taniea Smith.
So, before we jump into specific questions, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
Throughout my lifetime, I’ve often heard many say, “Life begins when you step outside your comfort zone.” Although very acquainted with that concept, it took me a while to grasp the mantra and apply it to my own life. After all, we’re all creatures of habit. However, the idea of becoming a successful entrepreneur meant “playing it safe” was not an option and could possibly curtail my success. For years I struggled with battling two strong forces: on one hand, I was an individual who’d seek out new experiences and on the other, I was complacent and content with remaining stuck in routine. In spite of this, one day I decided to break my own mold and initiate the push I needed (what I foresee as) a never-ending journey. I call her, “MADAME SMITH.”
However, another concern entered my mind, which was the fear of failure. Attempting something like exposing myself to the entire worldwide web felt awkward, stressful, and overwhelming to say the least. After self-reflection and meditation, I remembered one of the main notions I live by – faith over fear! Soon enough, I grew comfortable with the uncomfortable and that allowed me to make the strides to begin my expedition of blogging!
Those that know me very well know, fashion is my first love but somehow lifestyle and travel influence have stolen my heart as well. Due to strict parenting, I was discouraged from pursuing this love on a professional level and set out on a course of people pleasing and monotonous box-checking. Within a six-year span, I earned a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature, a Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing, and a Master’s in Business Administration. On paper, I am decorated nicely, but ironically, my first love has never left me. In 2012, I started a basic fashion blog. I had no idea what I was doing or that it would evolve into a sustainable brand, I simply delved into the culture and began having pictures taken of my random outfits and bucket list endeavors. This was my outlet to express my creativity and escape from my corporate position and the real world. In trying to bring attention to my blog, I soon realized that fashion blogging was quite popular and a lot of hard work, not to mention endless competition. Though with passion, persistence, excellence, and energy, my goal has always been to be successful in whatever I set out to do, and “Madame Smith” is definitely not exempt to this mindset.
“Madame Smith” is my open journal that includes my lifestyle, fashion sense, travel adventures, my rants and takes on life, and random epiphanies. This is my creative place – vibrant colors, bold patterns, simplicity, complexity, versatility, and mismatching describe my fashion sense. I tend to not to follow current trends or rules, I create them as I go and with what I feel. My personal style preference ranges from classy, chic, feminine and edgy, to comfortable. “Madame Smith” is more than a hobby for me. This is my passion. I put my heart and soul into every blog post as though I am pouring my spirit out to the entire world. Funny how life works, right? Although I work for a corporate company and am collegiately decorated, and was advised not pursue fashion on any level ever, somehow and some way, I’ve found my way back to my first love through this outlet.
God Is My Source:
It all started with a password! Fast-forward to 2017, my business partner and I trademarked the phrase and printed these words on a dad hat. We believe there is a greater power – a being from which all things impossible instantaneously become possible, and regardless of what you call or how you reference God, this supreme being is your source; of health, wealth and maintaining at this game of life. While everything in our existence is merely a resource, God is primarily your source. GOD IS MY SOURCE.
Although inspired by innumerable people, places, things and/or ideas, throughout the entire universe, we are most inspired through art which is simply God flowing through us at any given moment. It is from and through God that we are able to pour into and give back; tried and true, GOD IS MY SOURCE.
Through our brand, we encourage humanity to make their statement and proclaim who their source is in the “God Is My Source” merch!
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
The road has not been as smooth as I would have imagined. Being a fashion blogger is tough when there’s so much competition in an already overloaded and oversaturated space. Before fashion blogging became attractive as a result of the “Instafame” and glamour era, I always had a passion to share my style with the world. What I would learn a few years back is that there were so many others doing the same thing which made it, and still continues to make it, difficult to survive in this field. I am one blog out of millions (or so it seems), so it’s my job to continue evolving my platform. Blogging requires a lot – money, time, resources, etc., and sometimes keeping up that lifestyle can be challenging. I luckily try to remain grounded, and as true to myself as possible. I refrain from feeling the pressure to have to keep up with the next blogger in the aspect of blogging high-priced items, spending considerably large amounts on trips, etc. I refuse to accumulate mountains of debt “just to make it.” Instead, whatever and wherever I can influence (positively) and it aligns with who I am, is the kind of content I create. I still work a 9-5 job, so finding time to fit in shoots becomes a struggle sometimes as well. Lastly, the biggest challenge I’ve faced is monetizing my blog.
God Is My Source:
The entire brand consists of different pieces of clothing and accessories with the phrase “God Is My Source.” The biggest challenge we’ve run into is designing new collections that are current with fashion trends but keeping our message relevant and appealing. Reinventing every season with a slogan has had its challenges, but luckily we’ve been blessed to have a solid customer base still supporting our brand. Marketing has also been a struggle of ours. We are a smaller brand who can’t always gift out our merchandise to mega influencers who could potentially bring awareness.
Madame Smith, God Is My Source – what should we know? What do you do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
I am a fashion blogger, influencer, designer, and stylist.
I am known for my conservative, girly-girl sense of style, positivity overload, and contagious spirit of living through giving.
I am most proud that my brand has opened several business opportunities under my name. I started out by taking pictures of my OOTD’s and posting my random thoughts in a blogpost. In recent years, I’ve been able to influence many, obtain brand deals, collaborate with mega brands, provide content for start-up brands and companies, style influencers and celebrities, and design an entire fashion collection.
God Is My Source:
Co-owned by three friends – we believe there is a greater power – a being from which all things impossible instantaneously become possible and regardless of what you call or how you reference God, this supreme being is your source; of health, wealth and maintaining at this game of life. While everything in our existence is merely a resource, God is primarily your source. GOD IS MY SOURCE.
I oversee operations of the company, specializing in the product releasing, day to day operations of the company, customer service, and marketing.
I am most proud that we’ve been able to introduce individuals to God with our merchandise, that our merchandise starts positive conversations, and that it encourages those around us to live life knowing that we’re not alone or on our own.
What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
If I had to pinpoint a proud moment, it would be the fact that I’ve been able to stay relevant, true to self, and inspire for close to 10 years; I feel like I haven’t even reached my full potential yet.
I’m still writing this chapter of my brand, however, I look forward to monetizing my blog/website and bringing further exposure and expansion to my passion. I do however get excited over small milestones such as collaborating with brands that I love and witnessing clients that I style get recognized for the looks I’ve put together.
God Is My Source:
The proudest moment thus far has been witnessing total strangers wearing our brand. I randomly spotted a woman in the crowd at the California Strawberry Festival wearing a God Is My Source dad hat. Without being completely and uncomfortably weird, I starred in awe as she was telling another stranger (who was complimenting her on the hat) about where she purchased it from. Stepping completely from my comfort zone, I walked closer to engage with her. I started the conversation by complimenting her on the hat, and she begins to tell me how she’s saved souls and introduce many to God by wearing the hat. At the end of the conversation, I told her that I co-owned the brand which brought tears to both mine and her eyes.
I am also proud that we are able to give proceeds of our sales as donations to non-profit organizations we are passionate and care about.
- Website: godismysource.store, madamesmith.com, shopmadamesmith.com
- Email: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @madamesmith, @godismysource_