Tara L. Paige isn’t one who is used to sitting around. But when the the stay at home orders hit, the motivational speaker, author and mother of 8 suddenly found herself on her couch in Texas with nothing to do. “I couldn’t believe I was literally twiddling my thumbs with nowhere to go. The Pandemic had literally brought my life to a halt.”
After some soul searching which she admits included questions, tears and trepidation about the state of the world, Tara picked herself up and simply walked out the door. “I always loved being outside, but I’d never really had the time to do anything to my patio. I felt like this was the time.”
As she was looking online and on TV for inspiration, she quickly realized that there were no Black women like her making waves in the home décor industry. Her solution? Create one. She launched the Facebook group, Black Women Who Love Outdoor Spaces thinking she would attract a community of about 60 people. Clearly she underestimated because since its inception in April, the group has grown to more than 211K members. That success also helped start, “The Patio Chic,” a multi-channel digital content platform and inclusive lifestyle brand for people of all backgrounds to find inspiration, tips and products.
We were lucky enough to speak with Tara about the Pandemic, her new ventures and how she accidentally inspired a community of thousands.
Q&A With Tara L. Paige
Q: Where does your inspiration come from?
A: “I’ve always been an outside girl. I learned a lot from my dad who is a master outdoorsman and was very skilled at landscaping and my mom who was always entertaining. I just put it all together.”
Q: You’ve inspired so many people through your site. What are some of the stories you have heard from your followers?
A: “I hear from so many that working on their patios has helped them sleep, cope and stay calm. One woman admitted that she hadn’t been outside of her home in 14 years. She had a nice house, but her patio was a concrete slab. When she showed me the before and after photos she had created complete with lounge chairs and a table, I couldn’t believe it. It was just beautiful. Another woman had a balcony in what she called a concrete jungle. Through the group, she learned how to create an oasis. A serene, tranquil, elegant space with curtains, a rug, a hammock, even a water feature.”
Q: What are some tips you can give to others wanting to turn their passions into profits?
A: “Just do it, don’t overthink things and learn along the way. I didn’t make any plans, I literally just set out to inspire and empower women who looked like me. You don’t need permission, you need support. When babies start walking, they just get up and do it and when they fall, we clap. Surround yourself with people who will clap for you when you fall.”
Q: What does your dream outdoor space look like?
A: “A swimming pool with a lazy river, a huge patio and a nice outdoor kitchen near a big built in wood burning fireplace! Really, when I think of my perfect space, it’s just one where my family and friends can come, be entertained and not want to go home. That’s ultimately what makes me happy.”
Tara L. Paige
Creator, Black Women Who Love Outdoor Spaces
A successful serial entrepreneur, Tara L. Paige’s latest venture is her now viral Facebook group, which grows by more than 5,000 new members per week. Her stand-alone brand, The Patio Chic, was created as a direct result of the passion built on Facebook with a lifestyle blog and public social network pages for an inclusive audience for people of all races, ethnicities, genders and ages who love outdoor living and entertaining.
Her revolutionary voice for women as a motivational speaker, author and talk show host encourages a movement of fearless, unapologetic living.