We had the good fortune of connecting with Taylor Silva and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Taylor, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
When I was younger, I used to make greeting cards for friends and family for special occasions. I was determined at a young age that I would one day sell cards to people to connect with one another. Over the years that dream grew to become about connecting with and encouraging women with not just greeting cards but other products as well. It took me years to finally say “yes” to myself and starting my business. After all the dreaming I had done and seeing other friends start their businesses I finally told myself that I had nothing to lose.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I am a passionate Project Manager in the tech industry. I absolutely love project management and feel that it was a calling for me that I stumbled into. After college, I found myself with zero work experience and landed a job in the call center of a startup company. It was a humbling experience because I was a very proud 22 year old that thought I could take over the world with my Bachelors degree. Through the years of being at this startup company I was able to have great experiences on different teams and eventually found myself in a Project Management role working with engineers. It was love at first sight.
My career path has not been smooth sailing, however, I’ve been blessed to be surrounded by so many amazing people that have supported me.
In my journey, I have had to learn to love who I am as a Black woman – especially my skin and my hair. Since I was young, I’ve dealt with prejudices and rudeness for being Black. I was extremely surprised that I would deal with it as an adult in corporate America. For years I struggled most days just showing up to work because I feared the next comment someone would say about my hair. I felt like I couldn’t be ME in my own skin because it brought comments from all the professionals around me. For example, one time in a business meeting with about 20 people, a head of department said to me, “Wow, looks like you just rolled outta bed.” He was commenting on my head wrap. After that day, I never wore a head wrap again.
Why do I talk about this challenge? What does this have to do with my business? My story and experiences have connected me with other women and their similar experiences. Connecting with these other women have made me feel like I am not alone, that I am seen and heard. Its made me see that my story and experiences are important. They have shaped me and helped me fall more in love with myself when I am inspired by hearing the stories of other women and them embracing themselves. This right here is why I care about connection. I want to inspire other women with my products but also by encouraging them to say yes to themselves and share their story because we never know the next person that needs to hear it.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I actually live in Austin so I’ll give you an ATX itinerary.
I live for good food and great cup of tea! First we would swing by South Congress Cafe for brunch and order a plate of the Carrot Cake French Toast. After enjoying our delicious meal we would stroll up and down SoCo and visit all of the shops – vintage and new. There’s no visiting ATX in good weather without going kayaking on Town Lake. Later we would visit the Steeping Room and drink hot pots of tea and eat desserts. Later for dinner we would find ourselves at Cuantos Tacos for some great street tacos!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I’d like to dedicate my shoutout to Jan Madden. One night, while doing a study at her house, the ladies in the group each shared something that they thought they were gifted in. When it was my turn I wasn’t sure what to say and, for the first time in my life, someone told me, “Taylor, you have the gift of connection.” Jan told me that. It resonated with me and really opened my eyes to that passion I’ve always had to connect with people, especially women. Its that passion that drove me to start my business.
Photographer credit: Ana Peli (IG: @anaelizabethphoto)