Tannis Spencer

TANNIS SPENCER

TANNIS SPENCER

WRITER/DIRECTOR/FOUNDER OF THEMICOLE.COM

NEW YORK, NY

How does your craft reflect your personal aesthetic?

I think my personal aesthetic has actually influenced my craft more. I adopted a minimalist aesthetic early in my adult life and that comes across in my work relatively strongly. I’ve really tried to focus on noise reduction in everything I produce and hopefully that’s what sets my work apart.

How have the women in your life been instrumental in your life and career?

Women have been immeasurably instrumental to both my life and career. I’ve been surrounded by such excellent examples of strong women all my life. From my mother being my first role model and someone I attain to consistently make proud to the women I work with professionally who inspire me every day. I joined a sorority in college and have been fortunate enough to literally be surrounded by women that are excelling in every industry. They push me to do my best. My linesisters are a constant motivating factor in my life; we’re all very close. We push each other, we cheer for each other’s victories, and support one another in our downfalls. It’s a friendship I wouldn’t trade for the world. Women are among the strongest, smartest, and resilient people on earth, so I’m rarely surprised when we succeed. I just applaud and hope we keep doing it.

“Two” Trailer – Directed by Tannis Spencer

Cultural trends constantly change. What do you do to stay relevant, connected, and ahead of the curve?

First off, I hope to be a participant in these cultural changes so for me it’s always about being authentic and present. Thanks to social media it is a bit easier to stay connected, but to stay ahead of the curve I have to surround myself with people that know more than me. I try to have a diverse group of people in my life that can offer me perspectives I wouldn’t normally think of myself. It’s those sometimes idle conversations that can lead to creating something really innovative and pushing the culture forward.

How do you keep track of your personal and business goals – and stay creative at the same time (even when you’re exhausted)?

My notebook is over flowing with ideas and projects, some of which will likely never see the light of day. I’ve learned to be selective with what I give energy to so that helps keep me on track. Staying creative can be super difficult! We all go through creative droughts but I get inspired when I see other people doing awesome things. That keeps me creative, other peoples success. It makes me try harder.

TANNIS SPENCER

How important are mentors? Who is your mentor?

I think mentors are very important. Having someone that can help point you in the right direction when you’re at a crossroads can be invaluable. My mentors are generally for less professional needs but they’re people I speak with to find grounding in a lot of my decisions. They’re typically family or very close friends.

What is your advice for women entering creative fields or starting their own business?

No matter, do what you love. I’m still figuring things out myself but what keeps me going is that I’m working towards something I love. I’d also advise other women to really do their research in their craft, do your due diligence and really articulate how you plan on contributing to the culture of whatever it is you’re doing.

TANNIS SPENCER

Place that inspires me the most… I love sitting on the subway! It’s so fun to imagine what everyone’s life is like, and I draw great inspiration from that. I come up with tons of stories and ideas based on what I think I saw or experienced on the train. You never know what to expect on the subway and I love what that uncertainty can create.

I feel most powerful when… When I’m with people that love me. Not in the authoritative sense but that I feel my most capable, smart, and confident when I’m with those people. That’s powerful to me.

I love what I do because… It makes my heart happy. A funny phrase I know, but it is genuinely true. I’m so fulfilled by my brand and the work I produce because they come from such a pure place. I’m always trying to make my heart happy.

Best advice I have ever received… People are watching even when you think they aren’t.

TANNIS SPENCER

Connect with Tannis Spencer on the themicole.com!!

Rana Campbell

Rana Campbell

RANA CAMPBELL
CONTENT STRATEGIST & FOUNDER OF RANACAMPBELL.COM
ORANGE, NEW JERSEY

Earlier this year, I had the pleasure of meeting Rana Campbell, Princeton University alumni and Founder of lifestyle website: RanaCampbell.comRana and I instantly bonded over our passion for bridging the gap between vision and reality – as she shared her website’s mission to help individuals shine in their personal and professional lives. Rana’s work has been featured on FOX 5 Good Day New York, The Huffington Post, Princeton Alumni Weekly, and many more.

I tell this to everyone: be a student of your industry. Understand the space well. Understand your future customer’s pain points and work on building relationships with them. No one can want your dream more than you want your dream. A lot of people talk about this in terms of “passion”, but I think this goes beyond passion. If you want to enter a field and create something that you actually want to see some tangible results from, you need to really be involved in the system and process of figuring out how to see something from ideation to execution. I think that’s where a lot of people have it wrong. They think talent alone will cause success. It may, but I think that having a larger bird’s eye view of the industry and the little intricacies can help insure long-term success.

How does your craft reflect your personal aesthetic?

I’ve always been a storyteller, talker, and question-asker. These parts of my persona have definitely translated into what I do now. For me, my site and brand is all about empowering and sharing the stories of others. That’s always been intriguing to me. I’m the type of person who admires and wonders “Why?” How did things get to be the way they are? At the same time, I’ve always wondered, “What’s the best way to share this and share with others? Perhaps that’s why I love marketing so much.

How have the women in your life been instrumental in your life and career?

The women in my life have shown me resilience and strength. I think one of the most influential women in my life has been my mother. When I think of her I think of sacrifice and resilience. My mother went through alot in her life, and despite almost dying when I was a baby, she is still here with us. All along she has supported me and through her sacrifice I have been able to accomplish so much.

Other important women in my life such as teachers, mentors, and even former bosses have been instrumental in my life because they both believed in me and pushed me. They showed me new possibilities for my dreams and also showed me the ways that I can navigate those open waters as a woman.

Cultural trends constantly change. What do you do to stay relevant, connected, and ahead of the curve?

I’m obsessed with reading. I always try to have a book in tow, if possible. I’m always trying to find new information to consume via blogs, news, film, social media, networking events, music, etc… I am like a sponge and revel at opportunities to learn new things. I think if you’re constantly seeking new knowledge, staying ahead of the curve is easy. This is where my love for asking “why?” comes in.

Rana Campbell

How do you keep track of your personal and business goals – and stay creative at the same time (even when you’re exhausted)?

This one is a bit hard for me. Personally, I try to make sure to write everything down and revisit my goals from time to time. By keeping myself accountable, I’m able to keep track. For me, keeping track of my goals and staying creative don’t always go hand-in-hand. I feel that sometimes I have too many creative ideas which can cause an overload, which may cause me NOT to focus on my goals. There you have it… staying focused is what I find to be the most important thing. At the end of the day, I always try to remain positive. Burnout is real.

How important are mentors? Who is your mentor?

Mentors are everything. Having someone who did it already and can show you the ropes can save you a lot of time and also guide your own journey. Mentors are another part of your support system- which every creative needs. One of my mentors is Gabrielle Simpson, who is a director of Communications at NBC. I’ve known Gabby (as I call her) from when she worked at CBS Corporate and I as an intern. She’s always been a great support to me and has pushed me to pursue new opportunities. She also helped open up alot of doors for me, which I would have a really hard time gaining access to (quite literally.) Gabby sees greatness in me – having someone who sees that in you and wants you to achieve that is the best thing ever.

Rana Campbell

What is your advice for women entering creative fields or starting their own business?

I tell this to everyone: be a student of your industry. Understand the space well. Understand your future customer’s pain points and work on building relationships with them. No one can want your dream more than you want your dream. A lot of people talk about this in terms of “passion”, but I think this goes beyond passion. If you want to enter a field and create something that you actually want to see some tangible results from, you need to really be involved in the system and process of figuring out how to see something from ideation to execution. I think that’s where a lot of people have it wrong. They think talent alone will cause success. It may, but I think that having a larger bird’s eye view of the industry and the little intricacies can help insure long-term success.

My dad once told me, “As long as you’re awake and have the ability to think, you should never be bored.”

Place that inspires me the most:

I get a lot of ideas while driving without the radio on. There’s something about being on the move that gets my mind going. Honestly, I can get inspired from pretty much everywhere. Everything is a story to me. You just have to want to see it. My dad once told me, “As long as you’re awake and have the ability to think, you should never be bored.”

I feel most powerful when:

This may sound crazy, but I love being naked. I think there’s power in loving your body in its rawest form. True power comes from within and I think that moment of nakedness where you have nothing to hide behind is where we can start to build that power.

For the more politically correct answer, I’ll say, I feel most powerful when I’m looking good, feeling good, and am prepared. Those things give me confidence.

I love what I do because:

I get to meet so many different people and hear so many different stories. At the same time, I love inspiring others and helping others accomplish their dreams. This may be because I’m an ENFJ, but I really enjoy seeing other people smile and feel good about themselves. I also like presenting ways that individuals can start challenging themselves to open their eyes to something new.

I read a quote the other day that sums this up perfectly: “If we all did the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves.

Best advice I have ever received:

Don’t let what others think weigh you down. I say this is the best advice because it’s something I find myself working on every day. Having courage to pursue a journey that others may not fully support or understand is hard, but if you believe in yourself and start to care less about what “others” may say the possibilities are endless. I read a quote the other day that sums this up perfectly: “If we all did the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves.”

Rana Campbell

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