• Etinosa J Ogbevoen

MARVELOUS MARCH | SPOTLIGHT


I'm so excited to start shining bright lights on people that I have come across that really encompass what it means to ENHANCE the individual. We are all trying to improve ourselves and sometimes all we need is someone who sparks that fire in us to achieve the best version of ourselves.

So I'm thrilled to present our first SPOTLIGHT feature!!! Say Hello to Tamara Holder the Founder and Designer of Baydian LLC. Don't forget to check out her blog http://www.baydiancollection.com and her Instagram @baydiangirl

Who is Tamara Holder.

When I introduce myself, I usually say that I'm Tamara Holder, the owner and designer of Baydian or I use these 3 words - Barbadian, Designer and Style Blogger. Some people know me as a friend, sister, cousin, graduate student, co-worker, writer, and the list goes on. Truthfully, though, those are only small slices of me. Behind all my roles, I'm a 24-year-old Caribbean dreamer, overcomer and art lover. I love doing things with a purpose, and I am constantly inspired by diversity and quotes. Most important of all, I am a Christian and a strong believer of love and grace. The only other thing I should add is, I'm an introvert, which doesn't mean I'm shy but rather that I like my alone time :) That pretty much sums me up!

How did you grow up?

I'm a Caribbean girl but more specifically, I'm a Barbadian. I was born in the beautiful island of Barbados, raised there by my parents with my little brother until I was 15, and in 2006, I moved to Columbus, Ohio.

I was raised in a Christian home where education was important and pursuing greatness was encouraged. From a very young age, my artistic gift and a love of reading were cultivated. Television was not a norm and chores were a must. I was taught the meaning of hard-work, persistence and prayer - principles that I practice to this day. I was blessed and I still am.

What sparked Baydian Collection? Why scarves?

It's a long story but let's just say it started with my art class at secondary school in Barbados. In my 3rd year of doing art classes, we had to try varying forms of art, including batique, still life and textile design. For my textile design project, I created a handcrafted scarf, which took me 3 months to complete because I hand-painted the design and hand-sewed the sequins. Nevertheless, I loved it so much that I continued to paint scarves as a hobby. Over time, I began to do custom pieces for friends, family and co-workers.

Until 2 years ago, I did not really consider making my art into a business. At the moment I decided to pursue it, it felt like a random decision but now I believe it was a divine step. I asked a few friends to model for me, contacted a former classmate to be my photographer and voila! Baydian, the company was born. So, why scarves? It's universal. It crosses religions and cultures, which is a key aspect of diversity that I love. Anyone can wear a scarf. It's an accessory that is not defined by gender, age or race. What's even better is, it's entirely up to the individual how they want to style it. It's a way to express your personality. Scarves are a great definition of art. The designer creates them but the customer can connect with the prints and create their own interpretation. Besides that, they are so versatile and they never go out of fashion! Seriously, have you ever seen a scarf go out of style? Nope. It's a timeless wardrobe item.

What are the obstacles you faced and how did you get through them?

Obstacles are funny things. Not in a comical way, rather in a love/hate way. I hate them when I'm dealing with them but I am so thankful for them when I have overcome them.

I'd say that my biggest obstacle was myself. I made so many excuses why I couldn't start, particularly because of a lack of finances and a concern about others' opinions. Despite the fact that I had a gift, my self-confidence was low. I had no idea if my passion would be accepted or rejected but I faced my fear. I followed my gut, jumped off a cliff and trusted God to catch me on the way down. I didn't wait until I was ready, which is a HUGE leap of faith for a planner like me. I just acted and I have not regretted it to this day.

After I got out of my own way, I had to learn the hard lesson of trade-offs. It's something that most people don't acknowledge about the entrepreneurial journey. Actually, it's a lesson that is omitted when acknowledging others' successes in general. There is a lot of sacrifice associated with pursuing your dreams. For me, it meant choosing business training over hanging out, and sometimes it meant little sleep. The scariest tradeoff, especially for a startup, was investing money without receiving a personal payout. However, I reminded myself that I'm living a few years how others wouldn't for a life later on that most won't have.

This leads me to the next point - the importance of a support group. Now there's a difference between supporters and fans. Fans are those who I refer to as your encouragers but supporters - those are the people that uphold you, challenge you and keep you accountable. They are those who are as dedicated to your dream as you are. They are in it for the long haul. Learning who those people were in my life was a key component to how I've grown as a person and a business woman. Don't get me wrong, I love my fans. Yet my supporters are the reason that I don't give up and I keep going when things get tough. They are priceless.

Lastly, I learned the true meaning of being fearless. It's a tad different from the first point, simply because it has to do with vulnerability. I had to learn to share my story with my customer, in order to give my brand a personal touch without making it TMI [too much information]. Being brave enough to reveal my real, imperfect, flawed self was unnerving. However, I discovered that therein lied the magic of success - being my authentic self. As a result, I began to share the inspiration behind the designs, my personal struggles and the concept that Baydian scarves were a statement.

A piece of advice for those who want to ENHANCE themselves to reach the next level?

Barbara Kingsolver said, "Don't try to figure out what other people want to hear from you; figure out what you have to say. It's the one and only thing you have to offer."

No matter what your next level is, the best advice I'd give would be to find your voice. People respond to and respect authenticity. Don't hide behind a mask. Be all that you are. When you do that, you'll realize that you have no competition.