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Meet Trailblazer Tara Millamena

Today we’d like to introduce you to Tara Millamena.

Tara, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
During the summer of 2011, I made the decision to drop out of college for a year and move from New York to Los Angeles. Being only 19 years old, the summer still felt long. To keep myself entertained, I started going on YouTube a lot. Back then, YouTube wasn’t as popular as it is today. For some reason, I went on YouTube and ran into a girl posting videos about what she did that day. Back then, it was a strange video to stumble upon but it really grew on me! I particularly loved the “haul” videos. Haul videos are where people show off what they bought when they went shopping. Long story short, that summer, I watched so many of those YouTube videos that it made me want to film some on my own! So, I filmed some videos and uploaded them on YouTube. I eventually would go through this battle of deleting my videos and then uploaded new ones that I liked more. Years went by and I kept up with this YouTube battle until one day in 2014, I uploaded a video on YouTube that I did not delete that ended up gaining some traction. By that point, Instagram was up and coming and I was able to transfer my traction from YouTube over to my Instagram. Once that started happening, I started to begin my Instagram journey to build up my audience in Lifestyle and Fashion.

Has it been a smooth road?
There was a battle along the way. Like I previously mentioned, I used to get insecure about the YouTube Videos that I used to post so I would constantly delete them and start over. I feel that I put myself at a disadvantage by doing that. I should have just kept my journey organic and just kept posting no matter if I started to think my videos weren’t good enough. For all the young woman starting their journey, my advice is to keep going. Even if you hit lows where you get insecure about where you are trying to go, just keep going. If you try to reel back, you could very well take longer to get where you are trying to go.

We’d love to hear more about your work.
I specialize in lifestyle/fashion. That means that on my social media platform, I tend to show the simple things that I am interested in such as where I hang out, what I like to eat, what I like to wear, etc. I feel like I am pretty organic. I don’t pretend to wear the nicest brands or go to the fanciest places if that is not true to what I am actually doing. The thing that I am the proudest of is getting from 10,000 followers in 2017 to 72,000 in 2019 organically- I never bought Instagram followers or likes. My progression is purely based off of engaging with my followers + curating content I love that my followers also can appreciate. I believe what sets me apart is my transparency. On Instagram, I am not afraid to say that I don’t have perfect skin and I have no problem showing people the not so perfect portrayal.

Do you feel like there was something about the experiences you had growing up that played an outsized role in setting you up for success later in life?
I do believe that there have been some experiences growing up that played a role in my success later in life. When I was younger, I would constantly move around. I went to multiple different middle schools and three different high schools. When I was younger, I saw this as a disadvantage. I noticed I wasn’t able to have the same friends very long because I was constantly leaving them. As I got older, I started to see the advantages of moving around a lot as a child. I noticed it was easy for me to adapt to different situations. I noticed that I wasn’t scared about taking risks because I was comfortable being in uncomfortable situations. I truly believe one must take risks in life in order to see what you’re fully capable of.

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Image Credit:
Ivan Arefkov

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