Not-so-average: Tamiko White – Fashion Entrepreneur
Tamiko White describes herself as more than “one thing.” She says she’s multilayered. With job titles that range from writer to hand model, White is a fashion professional who has experienced all facets of the industry.
And because of that, White considers herself a fashion and media entrepreneur, whose most recent business venture calls for her to throw on her business strategist hat. With White’s business, #NOWTrending, she provides creative entrepreneurs with support, branding skills, branding systems, and community.
There’s more to the fashion industry than jobs in designing or styling. Like any other sector, fashion is a business so there’s a space and a job for everyone. That includes a person who loves math, a person who solely loves to shop or a business-minded individual.
The word “everyone” doesn’t just refer to those who have different interests or job titles, but also those of a different race or gender. We’ve decided to highlight how diverse the fashion industry is, could be, and should be with a series of stories on Black professionals with not-so-average fashion careers.
How did you get to work in fashion?
Born and raised in New York, White’s career started with entrepreneurship. “I’ve always been an entrepreneur,” said White. “My mother talks about things that I did when I was five years old – she said that I always used to take foil and make jewelry, put it in a box top under my bed and I’d be like ‘this is for my fashion business’.”
She studied fashion merchandising at The University of Maryland but instead of working for a company after graduation, she decided to become a model with the model agency Wilhelmina. White added that she did a lot of showroom and fit modeling which led her to learning more about the showroom and wholesale business.
As a result, she opened her own showroom in 2010. In addition to modeling and owning a showroom, White is, and has been, an actress, a writer, a creative consultant, a producer, a professor (at The Fashion Institute of Technology from 2011-2013, and currently at The Misa Hylton Fashion Academy), a trend forecaster and more.
“I don’t have a traditional linear trajectory meaning I didn’t go to college, get a job and become a buyer; I literally figured it out on my own – stumbling, making mistakes, bootstrapping,” explained White. “So, entrepreneurship has always been my journey, it’s always been the way I’ve done things, I’ve always been self-employed.”
What’s your current fashion job?
In 2021 White created #NOWTrending because she saw a shortage of creativity, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. She said that after the pandemic there were hundreds of new startups operating in the fashion space that weren’t aware or didn’t understand the very specific business of fashion.
White added that she recently decided to help more than just fashion brands “because now all businesses are following the fashion cycle. The tone of fashion is dominating how we think about all consumer products.”
#NOWTrending offers a 12-module course on business branding and marketing strategies. At the end of the weekly sessions, students/brands havehave over a hundred pieces of branded content as well as access to a private Facebook community where White answers questions, provides office hours, and updates on what is happening in the industry.
What does an average word day look like?
As an entrepreneur, White’s typical workday starts with what some may call self care – walking her dog, prayer and meditation, and yoga or stretching. She then checks emails and her calendar.
After, she works with creative clients on their brand messaging and initiatives. She writes content for her brand and tv/media projects, and she then researches what is happening in the fashion, media, politics, and popular culture industries.
“I love what I do because I love storytelling,” said White. “I love the beautification of things. I love fashion, meaning I love art, culture, music, clothes and accessories. I also love business and seeing a creative idea come into fruition.”
A word of career advice
According to White, her career was a beautiful series of events that opened doors. But, she added, these beautiful series of events only happened because she followed her passions and what made her feel most alive.
So, for those who wish to have a career like White’s, she advises you to “follow what brings you joy, what you like to do.”