When you embark upon a journey that is potentially life-changing, and yes even a little intimidating, having someone there to serve as a source of genuine support [hell, sometimes even more like an experienced guide] can make all of the difference in how well you’re able to navigate the unknown.
As I ventured further into the Sincerely Syreeta journey, I faced various challenges (personally, spiritually, professionally–take your pick), as I was stretched to accommodate the needs of this growing “baby” of mine. Thankfully, my baby of a brand and business was born around the same time that so many other millennial’s were “birthing” and “raising” their own.
One such millennial was Latiaynna Tabb, 26, the owner of Tabb Management. Tabb Management is an intimate, Philadelphia-based management firm that provides marketing, management, and event production.
I was a journalist and La (as I and so many call her) managed some of the people and businesses that I went on to respect, interview, cover, and work with. Along the way, we began to develop a friendship and business relationship. Together we’ve produced speed dating events, an outdoor festival and supported one another in other areas as well. It has been relatively easy for us to “get” one another (we think that has something to do with the fact that we’re both Taureans). Oh and did I mention that she is WAY more organized than I am and she loves to have a good time too–so of course I had to keep her close, HAHA!
Throughout the last two years, I’ve watched La work hard to balance her dreams and reality, her education and her 9-5, her business and social impact duties, and to essentially build a life that brings fulfillment and pure joy. And while she doesn’t have any children–although she is mother to her dog Onyx–she’s greatly inspired this mother with her impeccable organizational skills, her love for travel, her dedication to other’s dreams, and her commitment to getting all that she desires out of life–even when it requires patience and some re-configuring.
To me, Latiaynna is the quintessential millennial woman of today. She doesn’t know it, but she’s the woman who at one point, motivated me to solidify SS via an LLC and to continue walking confidently in my purpose. If La believed in me, I knew I was on to something. She nurtured the businesswoman in me and served as a case study for success. She was a guide in the unknown territory where my dreams were taking me.
Funny enough, her ass was almost unable to do this interview because she was so busy.
But of course I wasn’t having that.
This is the last day of Women’s History Month and this is one woman that I wanted to honor in such a way that could show even an ounce of my appreciation for her and the role that she’s played in my life.
La, thank you so much suga. You are truly a Woman of Excellence.
So ladies and gents, say hello to Latiaynna Tabb…
Latiaynna Tabb: My name is Latiaynna Tabb or La or Elle… depending on when you met me [laughs]. I became Elle around the time when Twitter got really popular for my peers – my Twitter handle is @Elle__Tee and oddly enough people who “meet you on Twitter” tend to believe the name you chose is actually your real name.
I own a small business [named] Tabb Management. We are an intimate, metropolitan-based agency specializing in talent & event management. Tabb MGMT provides professional direction and support through targeted, developmental strategies typically to creative professionals and businesses/organizations that are emergent. Tabb MGMT has worked with CLIQUE Vodka, the United Way of Greater Philadelphia & Southern New Jersey, Chill Moody, the Media Arts Council, TriState NYE, Villa, Landmark Theaters, Cerebellum H2O, Philly 360 and other creative professionals and businesses.
SS: You’ve accomplished so much since you first started in November of 2010! Okay, on to the good, good stuff now. What are three things that motivate you?
LT: The opportunity to see the world; other people’s passions; my happiness.
SS: Speaking of, you have one more time to see the world without me and we’re going to have a problem. Haha! I LOVE your passion for traveling. Anywho, how did you get your start as an entrepreneur?
LT: I had no intent on starting a business when I first began, I was simply helping a friend. At the time one of my close friends, S.K., was beginning to work on a new project–he’s a rapper–and he asked me to help. Neither of us really knew what that helped looked like, I distinctly remember a conversation where he and I identified what I was good at and we tried to figure out how to transfer those skills/talents into something that could benefit him in the music industry. Turns out my social, organizational, and creative skills was the foundation for a budding business.
(Check out Philly 360's video coverage of the Tabb Management produced, Girls Like Nicethings Carnival & Concert that took place in 2013.)
SS: And a damn solid foundation they are. Your organization skills were a godsend to me! But even the best organizer can still encounter obstacles. What’s an obstacle that you faced as a woman in your industry and how did you overcome it?
LT: During the first year or so that I began working, I struggled a lot with the men around me taking credit for the work I was doing, because you know I was only “helping”. It was okay for people to think of me as the silent partner to my clients (invisible partner is probably more fitting), but I’d be damned if someone would say the work I spent hours on conceptualizing, planning, and strategizing would be credited to someone else. There were many tears shed to my clients/friends, all males at that period, as I struggled to get them to understand that my role with them as a female was more precarious than if I had been a man. I explained to them that while this was my responsibility, it was also their job and responsibility to demand I was at the fictitious table because people were more apt to dismiss me.
I’m not really sure how I overcame it, because this isn’t as huge of a problem these days. Actually it really started with me – I became more confident in my role.
SS: Often times that’s where it must start. Arriving at “these days” has been no walk in the park though. What have you had to sacrifice to pursue or become successful and how did that affect your personal and professional development?
LT: My first inclination was to say I luckily haven’t had to sacrifice anything, but that wouldn’t be true. The things I’ve had to sacrifice may not be a big deal for other people, but to me they matter.
When I first began my business I was enrolled in graduate school and working part-time. I’ve been out of school since 2012, but I don’t have my actual Master’s. I need to complete my thesis and if I’m honest with myself, it’s not because I’m lazy (although most times I don’t feel like it), but it’s because I have not given my thesis any priority. Once I bought into the fact that I was truly building a business, I have made that the important thing in my life. Well I got a reality check a few weeks ago when I saw my student loan debt…thesis has now been re-prioritized.
Also, I don’t have much times for nurturing my friendships. I have about three friends that I speak with regularly and I have a lot of true friends. Lately I have committed to spending one-on-one time with the people I care about, because I can’t commit to it frequently, the quality of our time together should be high…hence why I schedule one-on-ones.
SS: Ugh, I don’t want to event hear the words student debt! That aside, I love the idea of scheduling the one-on-ones with friends–
that’s an area that I struggled with as well: quality time with those who matter most. Given what you’ve learned thus far, what’s the best piece of advice that you would give to a woman who is in pursuit of her dreams?
LT: When unsure, keep going. Never let fear paralyze you. Read a book, find a mentor, do it – the most important lessons I’ve learned about myself, business, and others have been because I just got out there and did it.
In college I overheard someone say “I’d rather be a quitter, than a never-even-trier” and that has stuck with me. People will say quitting isn’t good, but there is wisdom in knowing when to walk away and let something go. I have let quite a few business relationships go and I am okay with that.
SS: A “never-even-trier”…who the hell said that in college? Never mind don’t answer that [laughs].What advice would you give to the spouse/significant other of an ambitious or hard working woman such as yourself?
LT: Maybe I shouldn’t answer this because I don’t have a spouse or significant other, [laughs] – but I will because I spend a lot of time thinking about who this person should/will be. I do these notes on social media to my “Future husband” (I actually amuse myself by thinking he is out there reading them and will know me very well once we meet). Here goes:
#DearFutureHusband be interested in what I do. When I complete my thesis, read it. When I plan an event, come to it. When my artist finishes a project, listen to it. Invest in me, by being interested in what I do.
#DearFutureHusband give me space. I really enjoy waking at 5am because I feel alone and productive. Don’t wake up and try to ask me about what I’m doing. Reserve your interest to times that are not just mine.
I know how both of these sound…but my future husband will get it.
SS: Five a.m.? Those are special days for me [laughs]; I commend you for doing that EVERY day and aspire to do it…one day. 😉 Speaking of time in a day, being a woman with a demanding schedule can often leave little time for oneself to recuperate. What are some ways that you take care of yourself and/or de-stress?
LT: I keep my schedule clear on Mondays. I do not accept meetings or business phone calls, I am unavailable. Also, I sleep when I’m tired.
SS: I’ve been contemplating doing the same for Sundays! I’m becoming increasingly aware of the need for sacred time. And the sleeping when tired–YES! It made a huge difference in my overall disposition throughout my work days. So we’re coming to our close because I know you’ve got a 100 things to do, [laughs], what’s your key to “Sincerely Lovin’” life, La?
LT: “Food is the cornerstone of happiness.”
SS: See, this is why I love you. My fellow fatkid. Let’s go eat and grab a drink. <3
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