Today we’d like to introduce you to Tamika Mack.
Hi Tamika, thanks for joining us today. We’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
In 2016, I stepped out on faith, left a job I was miserable in, packed all my things, and moved from Houston to Dallas. My best friend opened her home to me and helped me get my foot in the door with Hilton. With all the life changes I was going through- moving to a new city, starting a new career, and navigating the Dallas dating scene, I quickly let my fitness routines fall by the wayside. Before I knew it, I had put back on the 50 pounds I previously lost by taking Herbalife products and working out with a trainer. I tried off and on for another year to lose weight and wasn’t obtaining the results I was looking for so I decided to pursue having weight loss surgery in 2018.
I had the gastric sleeve in May 2018 and as a result, was able to lose 80 pounds. I was very open with my friends and family about my surgery process and found that more people than I thought were interested in having surgery. That revelation really pushed me to start sharing and documenting my journey on Instagram. I’ve also always been into fashion, makeup, and being super cute and ‘flashy’. As a result, some of my previous employees gave me the nickname ‘BlackBarbie.’ It just stuck and I’ve been living up to it ever since. I have always been an unapologetic woman working for the finer things in life, so my goal is to empower other women to live their best life now. In 2020, I was furloughed from my full-time job for six months, which made way for me to have time to really focus on my blog and my brand. With all my newfound free time, I found myself cooking more, traveling, and finding some great fashion deals. In 2021, I made the decision to rebrand my blog from Sleeved and Fabulous to Diary of a Black Barbie as I have shifted my focus from weight loss surgery to plus size lifestyle. I want women like me to know that no matter what size, skin color, occupation, economic status, or relationship status, they can do all the things, go anywhere they want and look great while doing it all.
Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
This has definitely not been a smooth journey by any means, but it also hasn’t been the worse. I have been very lucky to have a super supportive family and have surrounded myself with amazing Dallas local creatives that had been a huge help. Last year I joined both Dallas Social Influencers and Dallas Black Bloggers and these groups of amazing women have been a Godsend! The collaboration and sharing of resources has been invaluable to me.
Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
I both curate a blog and influencer on Instagram. My niche is plus-size lifestyle, which is inclusive of Fashion, Self-love/Mental health, food and beverage, and travel. My primary demographic is plus size women as I have been plus size my entire life even despite the weight loss. I am know as the life of the party amongst my friends so I usually plan all the social events and help all my ladies pick their outfits. I am so proud of the fact that people actually look to me to help them discover new restaurants and food items in the grocery store. What sets me apart is my warm southern charm and hospitality. I have a way of making people feel comfortable immediately and bringing people out of their shells.
Any advice for finding a mentor or networking in general?
I highly recommend finding organizations of other like-minded people in your field. The best part of the groups I have joined is that there are people in all phases of their creative journey, so they all of a wealth of different knowledge to share. You have to be teachable and willing to take constructive criticism in order to grow your brand. But even more important is making sure you are only taking advice from people that you admire. There is no sense in taking advice or criticism from someone that is not even on a level you want to be on. Every person will have an opinion that doesn’t mean you have to take it. Also invest in your business. It costs money to make money and if you are serious about entrepreneurship, you will have to spend money to be successful. Invest in business courses, a great camera/phone, web designer, and whatever other tools you need to build a brand you are proud of.