Small Talk Series: Taylor

Small Talk Series: Taylor

We are so excited to introduce you to another customer and one of our brand ambassadors, Taylor. We're so excited to share her story and journey with sustainability with you.

Meet Taylor,

Tell us a little about yourself.

Hi! My name is Taylor and I’m a Texas attorney and blogger. I’m married to my best friend and have two fur babies. In my free time (ha!) I run a law firm with my husband as well as the Extra Blog - an online platform built to help women KILL IT in business, at home + in life. Through the Extra Blog, I’m building a community of women who want to live their lives boldly, out loud + in color -- all while sharing tips and tricks: 

(1) for female entrepreneurs to excel in business; 

(2) for busy women to have the clean, luxe (and maybe Extra) home they’ve always dreamed of;  

(3) for all women to build their self-esteem and confidence to build the life they’ve never dared to.

What inspired you to start blogging?

I’ve always been a writer at heart. I went to college thinking I’d end up being a fashion or sports (I was a D1 college soccer player) journalist, but ended up going into the law. Coincidentally, I gravitated towards transactional law since it was so reading/writing-based and have always thought about writing a book or perhaps even some legislation. 

The same month I started my blog (July 21, 2020 - my husband’s birthday of all days), I stepped down as President from my local chapter of Junior League and needed something to direct my energy and attention to that also ignited my creative side. 

The former team member and soccer captain in me loves helping other women and seeing them succeed and like I said, I’ve always had a passion for fashion, styling + design. Marrying the two aspects - the Extra Blog was born! To learn where the name, the Extra, came from - you can check outthis post- it’s far too long! 

You recently rebranded, tell us more about that decision and process.

Yes! I rebranded and moved away from doing fashion, beauty, home content out of necessity. 

Very spur of the moment, my husband and I decided to make the leap and move our home of the last 7 years and law firm 3.5 hours away from Abilene (West Texas), Texas to Round Rock (just outside of Austin, Texas), Texas in a matter of hours one Friday afternoon. This was a decision we had been discussing for years, but the timing was right, our finances were in order, and honestly our office space and apartment just fell into our lap too perfectly.  If the stars weren’t aligned that day - I don’t think they ever will be. 

And as much as I would love for the Extra Blog to grow into something I could focus exclusively on one day - right now that isn’t possible and I need to focus on my law firm and helping my husband get it off the ground in a new city. 

By adding legal templates and business tips and tricks for female entrepreneurs - this gives me the opportunity to help women in a bigger capacity while I’m still dipping into my zone of authority and what I know best.And truly, I find so much satisfaction in helping other women see their potential and path for growth.I’ve already gotten to help out a few women with their businesses and contracts and I know this is the path I’m meant for. Luckily, I’m also able to do fashion-related posts - I’m just gearing them more towards workwear outfits now!

How do you define sustainability? What do you look for in brands/ products when you’re shopping?

That’s a hard one! There are so many different ways to define sustainability and I appreciate so much when a company (like Paneros!) does the work for me and tells me exactly how they’re “sustainable” and the different certifications they’ve achieved or the type of materials and fabrics they use.  

I’m going to cheat and say that I typically tend to use the United Nations definition of sustainability as my default definition, “sustainability is about promoting energy and resource efficiency: advocating for sustainable infrastructure, better work conditions, and improved quality of life.” 

With this in mind, I typically head towards looking at the material first; what is it made out of, is it recyclable or compostable, etc. I then look at whether or not any percentage of the profits goes towards any sort of nonprofit and how the staff and factory workers are treated. A lot of the time, if it isn’t mentioned - it isn’t great conditions. But, price is my biggest hindrance on whether or not I pull the trigger and purchase one sustainable item over the other. Sustainable items tend to be better quality, and much more expensive. Some items I have to budget for!

How did you get interested in sustainability and sustainable fashion?

I’ve always wanted to support women-owned businesses and socially conscious brands - and as I came to discover these two concepts essentially make-up the sustainable fashion realm that I’ve been exposed to so far. But, it started because I was trying to narrow down my fashion/beauty content into a smaller niche and honestly, in doing so, I ended up taking a hard look at what companies values and ethics are. As an attorney, I’m always dubious of what marketing and ads say and what they really mean, but in looking into sustainable fashion, I was shocked to learn the waste and unethical conditions SO many companies seem to thrive in.  I knew once all of the bad morals and ethics were visible - I couldn’t in good conscience lead people to these brands, tell them they’re safe to bring into their home, and know full well they aren’t good for all members of your household or the earth. 

Has your view of sustainable fashion changed over the years?

Yes, absolutely. I love that in the digital age anyone can be Woodward and Bernstein-style investigative reporters and get their news out to the public so quickly and to such a massive audience. The research is out there - it’s just clouded by the other companies and lobbying groups. Now more than ever, I feel more responsible for where my dollars are being spent and how that company is spending my dollars. It’s one of the only true ways to get a “vote” in a capitalistic society. I guess you could say I’m much less naive and less willing to just believe what a brand tells me.

What are some core/ timeless styles that you look for time and time again?

My mom taught me from a young age that if you buy quality items that you love (and not pieces that are super trendy), you can wear and use them for decades. She treasured her Louis Vuitton purse that she bought with her own paycheck as a young working mom and taught me to love quality pieces. Because of her, I am a big fan of vintage accessories and fashion. 

My go-to work outfit tends to be black cigarette pants, a fitted black top, black heels + a blazer. I love mixing basic essential pieces with bold, colorful accessories. But, some of my other favorites are: 

  • a great leather purse in black or brown that you can use over and over again
  • a fitted little black dress
  • vintage neck scarves and ties, headbands, and any and all hair accessories
  • a great white t-shirt/bodysuit (my all-time favorite is @Santicler)
  • pearls and gold jewelry
  • tweed suits and sets

What’s your favorite thing about fashion? Why is it a passion of yours?

Such a great question. My favorite thing about fashion is that it all comes and goes with time - it’s both static and fluid simultaneously. It’s both so cyclical (in that what’s trendy now will be trendy again in 30 years) and also so flexible that each time the same trends come around - there’s a whole new way of seeing those trends through other designers eyes and through the next generations eyes. 

I wish I had the closet space to house decades of fashion all at once so I could keep going back to my favorites as each decade’s fashion comes back into style. I love the 60s puff sleeves and headbands, the fringe and jumpsuits of the 70s, and the big hair and high waisted jeans of the 80s, the 90s choker necklaces and chunky heels. It all comes and goes with time - it’s both static and fluid at the same time.