For many, Tiffany Alcide (pronounced AL-SEED), is a wife, a mother, a daughter, a sister, and a friend. For us here, at Miss Millennia Magazine, Tiffany is a remarkable millennial who has started a movement that celebrates and inspires women through creative art. With a loving family, a thriving career, and a desire to empower women, Tiffany is a millennial that effortlessly proves that a woman can have it all!
Lindsey Christie (LC): Thank you, Tiffany, for allowing Miss Millennia Magazine to interview you for our Women’s Appreciation series. Miss Millennia Magazine believes in the empowerment of women through knowledge, and their liberation through education. It is a pleasure for us to share, with our readers, your vision, and passion for empowering women through creative art.
Tiffany Alcide (TA): Thank you for having me! I am thankful that Miss Millennia Magazine is supportive of my work. Sharing my vision and art isn't always easy, but platforms such as this make it worth it.
LC: I must say Tiffany; you wear a lot of ‘hats’ on a daily basis. You are a wife, a mother, a daughter, a sister, a friend, a coworker, an entrepreneur, and most importantly, an inspiration to us all! May I also point out that you wear all of these ‘hats’ so effortlessly! Please tell me how you manage to balance it all?
TA: Working full time as a Clinical Application Manager, and being a wife and a mother, does present challenges. It is my belief that if you are passionate about something, and you want it bad enough, you will find the time. Every day is a learning experience. I have been blessed with a supportive family, and a loving husband, who is also my best friend.
LC: That is wonderful. Having a support system is very important. It always feels good to know that you have supportive people in your corner.
TA: It is extremely important to have a support system. My husband and my son are my biggest cheerleaders. Whenever I’ve had a long and stressful day, or I just need to unwind, I do one of two things. I either get my hands messy with my son and some paint, or I watch pre-recorded TV shows with my husband. So yes, having supportive people in your corner is a must have!
LC: I know that you have many artistic ventures, TADA Creations, Kritters Craft, WISE Art, and Tiffany Alcide Art. Can you tell me about each of them?
TA: Well TADA CREATIONS is the umbrella company housing my many artistic ventures. I have a creative side, which to me, does not appeal to one genre or age group. TADA (which is an acronym of my initials, and also a play on the word ‘tada’), is in itself descriptive of how I see my work and others. TADA actually comprises of Kritters Craft, WISE Art, and Tiffany Alcide Art.
Kritters Craft is an arts and crafts entertainment business geared towards children. Through the hosting of parties and workshops, arts and crafts are presented in a manner that fosters education, and the development of social skills.
WISE Art is a women’s movement! It stands for Women who Inspire, Strengthen and Empower. The purpose of this movement is to use creative art to celebrate the women in our lives who may have inspired, strengthened, or empowered us. These women do not necessarily have to be world-renowned. A WISE Art woman could be your mother, your sister, your aunt, your best friend, your high school teacher, or even yourself. The purpose is to use these women, and the positive things that they may have done in our lives, to inspire the creation of something beautiful.
Tiffany Alcide Art is all about my art. I use my art to inspire others. Most of my creations are based on my emotions and personal experiences.
LC: WOW! TADA Creations and its smaller ventures are phenomenal! Your vision is an inspiration to so many women. Can you tell me what inspired your vision?
TA: My son. I always loved creating, but after I had my son, my vision really started to take shape. I began to notice that there were not many African-American mixed media artist. Most African-American women are not exposed to this type of art. In realizing this, I wanted to make it my duty to bring art back to our community, and to show others that anyone can be an artist.
LC: Did you find the process of launching TADA Creations to be difficult? Did you ever have any doubts about what you were doing?
TA: The hardest part was trying to convince myself that I could actually do this! My background is technical. I have a Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering, and a Master of Science in Medical Informatics, so the business side did not come naturally. I am, however, a self-taught mixed media artist. It was hard in the beginning. But with research, and a supportive husband, who is also my business partner, I was able to see my vision into fruition. I must admit, we can sometimes be our own enemy, and biggest critic. I often doubted that people would be interested in what I had to offer. Self-doubt really started to set in. I questioned whether people would even be able to see me, Tiffany, as an artist. I didn’t go to art school to study art, so why would they take me seriously? Creating art to me is synonymous to undressing or peeling off layers. For me, sharing your art is like showing your nakedness. I had encountered so many people who only saw art as fine art. Those people had no clue that art has many dimensions. I decided not to give into my self-doubt, or even listen to the naysayers. I let my passion for mixed media art propel me. I am actually proud of myself. I am proud to say that I am a mixed media artist, whose focus is whimsical pieces and surrealism.
LC: There are so many women out there that have great ideas that they would love to bring into fruition, but they are plagued with self-doubt. It’s inspiring to see that you were able to overcome those feelings of self-doubt. We are all human, and many of us will have feelings of self-doubt at one time or another. Did you ever question, or reach a point where you felt like TADA Creations just wasn’t going to work out?
TA: If you give into those feelings, you will never accomplish anything. Once I developed the confidence to share my work, it never crossed my mind that TADA Creations or Kritters Craft wouldn't work out. I was, however, worried about balancing my fulltime job, with my commitment to my family. The best thing however, is that the experiences with my family, and my full-time job, fueled my passion to create. I started to think about how great it would be to work for myself, and to eventually be there full-time for my husband, and my son.
LC: What is your advice for women who are interested in starting their own businesses but, like you were in the beginning, filled with self-doubt?
TA: DO IT! We live in a big world. There are people in this world who are interested in what you have to offer.
LC: From your personal, professional, and entrepreneurial experiences, what do you think are the keys to success?
TA: There is only one key – passion. Passion is a catalyst. Having passion leads to the determination and willingness to succeed. It will give you the much needed extra push during difficult times. Starting a business and trying to bring a vision to life is not easy!
LC: You are right. When a person is passionate about something, there is nothing that can stop them. Can you describe your personal journey when launching Kritters Craft, WISE Art, or Tiffany Alcide Art?
TA: I remember knowing what I wanted to do with Kritters Craft, but not knowing where to start. I decided to start by reaching out to potential customers via Living Social. Initially, Living Social turned me down because I did not meet their minimum requirements. I remember asking the agent to give me a week to get things in order. This was my first experience at doing whatever it takes to get a job done! It was stressful, but the reward was well worth it. After that, I continued to learn as I went along. Things became much easier after repeated trial and error (laughs).
LC: What would you say are the dos and don’ts of managing a business?
TA: My two dos are: just do it, and ignore the naysayers. It is okay to make mistakes, as long as you are still trying. My two don’ts are: don’t give up, and don’t overwhelm yourself.
LC: Let’s talk a little about the multiple ‘hats’ that you and many other women wear. I am mostly interested in your role as a mother. Some of our readers are new Moms trying to balance their careers with the demands of motherhood. I know that you are the Mom of an adorable three year-old boy. In your opinion, what is the hardest part about being a Mom?
TA: Loving so much! I never knew that I could love someone so much. Honestly, at times, it scares me!
LC: If you could teach your son one thing, what would it be?
TA: There are so many things that I am teaching my son that are equally important. Since it is so hard for me to narrow it down to one particular thing, I will give you my top three. I want him to always be true to himself, to always be confident, and to always love and respect others.
LC: Indeed, being true to yourself is definitely important! We are now living in the technology and information age. Are you scared of how the Internet can affect your son?
TA: In my opinion, that is where parents come into play. If we teach our kids the right things, and have open conversations, then it leaves little room for kids to go astray. In addition, we as parents should monitor our kids’ activities.
LC: What do you hope for your son’s future?
TA: I hope that he achieves whatever he aspires to be. I want him to know that his Dad and I will always be there to cheer him on.
LC: I’m not a mother yet. But from what I hear, there’s really no way to prepare a woman for motherhood. Based on your experiences, what advice would you give to a new Mom adjusting to a newborn?
TA: Make sure that you immediately create a routine for your baby. This is what worked for me and my husband. My son is now 3, and he knows that when he showers at night, it is bedtime! He doesn't even put up a fight.
LC: Yes, children do need a routine! Can you suggest any good reads for new Moms?
TA: There are two books that I purchased while I was pregnant; Why I Love My Mommy and Why I Love My Daddy, both books are by Daniel Howarth. I read them to my son all the time. My son and I have many special moments around this book, because he is able to relate to the many reasons why the animals in the book love their parents.
LC: Are your parenting skills inspired by anyone?
TA: My parenting skills were inspired by many people, but I noticed that I am a lot like my late Grandmother. She was very soft spoken, very creative, and very nurturing. This may sound funny, but I always wanted a family like the one on The Cosby Show. You know what; I think in my own little way, I kind of have that.
LC: That’s very touching Tiffany. I’m sure that your Grandmother is very proud of the woman that you have become.
TA: Thank you.
LC: On behalf of Miss Millennia Magazine, I thank you for sharing your story and your beautiful art with our readers. I’m sure that there are many millennials out there that have found inspiration through your journey. We wish you nothing but continued success with TADA Creations.
TA: Again, I thank you for providing a platform for me to share my story, and my art.
To find out more information about Kritters Craft, please visit www.kritterscraft.com.
Like WISE Art on Facebook: www.facebook.com/groups/wiseart.