Updated: May 29, 2019
So, it's been a little while since I officially re-launched my blog and I realized I haven't formally introduced myself. This post will serve as a little introduction of who I am + what Stepfanie Tyler is all about.
I'm Stepfanie. I'll be 30 in May. I live in Las Vegas, but am originally from the Bay Area. I have a degree in Women's & Gender Studies + Biology from Sonoma State University (Alum, 2012)
My background is in retail management & visual merchandising, as well as digital marketing, online branding and social media development and management.
I live with my boyfriend, James, and our dog, Minnie, who is everything except "mini". (She's 105-pounds of pure love and affection.) Together we enjoy: photography, hiking, off-roading, traveling, Quiplash and homemade breakfast burritos.
& the blog:
When deciding whether or not I wanted to take a step into the 'blogosphere', I really tried to analyze what it was I wanted to do - what types of things I wanted to accomplish - who I wanted to be in this crazy world of social media. I wanted to pinpoint exactly WHY I was doing it, WHO I would be talking to and networking with, and HOW often I'd be doing this.
Committing your time to social media can be overwhelming, cause anxiety, accelerate negative thoughts and insecurities about yourself and your personal life, etc. My point being: I wanted to make sure I was in this for the right reasons.
At the tip-top of my list of "what" I would be doing, I landed on one important key factor: no matter what, always maintain a level of realness.
Before I go any further, I'm not saying this to slam other bloggers or influencers. Everyone is on their own journey. However, one of the main reasons I needed to consider these factors to begin with was the amount of fake, contrived, over-the-top, over-edited and insincere content I'd been seeing, which I'm sure you've noticed more than once.
Instagram started as a way to "instantly" post photos and clips of what we were up to. Over the past couple of years, it has quickly transitioned into a platform where we share very thought-out, carefully crafted and (sometimes) overly curated content. WE are content. WE are what we post. WE are our own brand. So, how do we participate in this without selling out? How do we curate a feed without turning our entire lives into a hunt for content. (I'll revisit this shortly).
What do I mean by "maintaining a level of realness"?
Well, for starters, I am not a robot (as you may have noticed). I have real feelings, real faults, and sometimes, really bad days. I have anxiety, which I've struggled with for over 15 years. I have days where I wouldn't be able to find my head if it wasn't attached to my body. I don't drink enough water. I run on dry-shampoo and setting-spray. I occasionally indulge in foods I know aren't good for me, like McDonalds because, fries. And, if I'm being completely honest, I freaking love Top Ramen. I have no idea how to contour. I'm not walking around the grocery store in Gucci and Dior. I'm a planner, organizer and write-things-downer, and am a huge proponent of colorful gel pens (and I love hyphens). I frequent Target. I dabble in the kitchen, but don't have many photos to prove it because, hunger. I am obsessed with pepper. Like, all pepper. Black pepper, whole peppercorns, crushed red pepper, Red Hot Chili Peppers (Flea, duh), pepper-spray in my hiking backpacks... bust most of all, DR PEPPER. And every once in a while, I like to pepper in some puns when I write. (See what I did there? I know, I'm ridiculous. Please stay with me.)
That is really me. I am not perfect. I have flaws and faults. I sometimes feed my vices. I don't always see the bright-side. I've lost my temper. I've lost friends. Hell, I've even lost myself once or twice, but that's the beauty of it all...
I am an everyday girl, just like you. Perfectly imperfect.
Some people would probably call me a cynic, but I think cynicism and realism sometimes need each other to thrive and keep things in perspective. I wouldn't disagree with that label, but I know (and I'll let you know) that's not all I am. I benefit from my cynicism and am adamant about taking things I am critical of and shifting them to be something that helps me curate my own happiness or improve my life.
I tend to have unpopular opinions. I sometimes tend to voice those unpopular opinions when the time may not always be right. However, my voice is the work I am most proud of to date (put a pin in this for a. later date, please).
I'm a pretty political person and my work these last few years has made me really hone in on what that means in my professional networks. I've been trying to learn how to navigate the world as a political being, even when I know taking a stand for something I believe in could very likely derail some other aspect of my life. I'm a huge proponent of speaking your own truths, even when they're ugly - especially when they're ugly. Embracing them + learning from them is #MajorKey. I've been focusing on how to approach this with poise and grace, rather than like the wrecking ball I was for the first 25 years of my life.
My site was originally called AND SHE'S SMART because I found that I was usually adding those words to the end of people's sentences when they were describing another woman to me (guys, I'm referring mostly to you). We'd be sitting around a table listening to Joe-Shmo talking about "Krista" who is "insanely hot and has a body like no other" and I'd be like, dude, Joe! Krista has a fucking Masters in Social Work and has done some amazing things with children's hospitals and charities. She's raised a half a million dollars for nonprofits and has a book on the NYT best-sellers list. She's really fucking smart, bro!
Without diving too deep into the reasoning behind the name (that's for a later date), it essentially named itself. I was so sick, specifically, of taking trips to LA and being around people who constantly go to the same 2 questions upon meeting you: Are you a model?? (No). Are you an actress? (Only in the comfort of my own home lol).
After answering their questions with immediate "no's", I could always see the confusion on their faces as they would slowly start to ask a 3rd question: sooo, what do you do? (As if model and actress is all there is).
Well, Joe-Shmo, I own my own business. I am a visual storyteller for brands. I create content and curate feeds. I write poetry. I read books - I started a book club. I write articles and am a contributing author on a couple of different sites. I started an online vintage store. I build websites. I write copy. I listen to podcasts. Etc, etc, etc. I have a BRAIN in my head and I use it on a daily basis to continue to build the life I want for myself.
Point: I am not a sum of my physical appearance or ability to be social in public.
We, as women, are not a sum of our physical appearances or ability to be social in public.
So, what IS And She's Smart? (now, Stepfanie Tyler)
I can start by saying this: If you’re looking for tips on how to contour or what type of pants to wear with white booties, this probably isn’t the place for you. BUT, If you’re looking for ways to empower yourself in your everyday life, using things you already have around you or can easily attain, tips on how to nourish your friendships or relationships, how to disconnect whilst remaining connected (to what really matters), or you’re looking for ways to improve, rather than compare; I might be your girl (I hope I am).
I try to remain as unedited and unfiltered as possible. I like my feed and blog posts to be a reflection of what I actually saw, where I actually was and most importantly, who and what I really am. Of course I use filters, I'm not saying I don't. But, the edits I make are usually made to keep my feed and website cohesive (from a branding standpoint), rather than to change my overall appearance in an attempt to make it look like I'm living in an episode of MTV Cribs, Barbie edition. You will never see me photoshop my body; I don't subscribe to that.
The expectations and comparisons that come along with social media only drive anxiety and create self-doubt. We should all be embracing our differences. Finding our truths. Figuring out what we love and stop letting social media dictate what we “should” be interested in or what our kitchen should look like... how to wear our hair, what shopping bags should be under our Christmas tree during the holidays, how many friends we should have, where we should brunch, etc.
What do you like?? What makes you happy?? DO THAT. Document that. Cherish that.
I just read a statistic that was published on another bloggers podcast that said: 33% of women said orange was their least favorite color. The blogger went on to say, "I encourage you to stick to the fonts, colors, and icons that are most popular when you are considering how to style your blog, social accounts and websites".
While I always appreciate some data, I strongly disagree with this (mostly because I love orange and my entire feed is orange/brown/neutral/whatever). But in all seriousness and my own bias towards orange aside, this is MY FEED. It's supposed to be a representation of ME.
So again, to double-down on my previous point: What do you like? What makes you happy? DO THAT.
Whether you have 100, 10,000, or 1 million followers, your value as a human cannot be condensed into the # of Likes you get on a post.
With that said, I like to think I'm working towards a blog that will eventually help to encourage you all to be exactly who and what you already are - or whoever it is you want to be. LOVE yourself. Accept the love you deserve for yourself. Stop comparing yourself to others. Talk about what's important to you. Start doing what makes you happy.
Easier said than done? That's where I hope my posts will come in handy. Stay tuned! :)
Lots of love, xx