Who is TaKeira Simon?
The first thing you need to know about me is...I am very long-winded (sorry in advance). Secondly, I am a hybrid of "What a Friend We Have in Jesus" and "Back That 'Thing Up", I'm a Gemini, and my personality type is ENFJ. Now that we got the small talk out the way, let's get into it! 🤝🏽
My name is TaKeira Simon and I am a Fashion and Lifestyle Influencer and Content Creator, Brand Strategist, Personal Stylist, Social Worker...okay, I'll stop there. If you can't tell, I'm multi-hyphenated, but those are my main areas of expertise. However, to sum them up as one, I am a Social Image Consultant. My ultimate goal is to help women learn how to share their personal and/or brand story with the world in social environments, especially on social media platforms, visually through their personal style.
Social Work to Social Work?
I graduated from the University of Pittsburgh in 2014 with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Psychology and from Temple University in 2016 with a Masters of Social Work degree. I have always had the desire to learn about people so that I could understand how I could be of service to them. Part of understanding human behavior is understanding humans in the context of their social environment, which is why my degrees complement each other so well. However, after a few years of working in child welfare, behavioral health, juvenile justice, and education, I was burned out! God told me that it was time to resign from my job in October 2021. I had no back up plan, a newborn baby, just purchased a home, and very little funds saved. I only had incomplete ideas written down that I didn't see possible to make happen. Crazy, right?! He (as in God) told me that I would be a full time Content Creator, which I was already doing for my personal brand, but BELIEVE ME, it was not enough to pay the bills. I didn't know what God had in store for me, but I continued to trust Him through the tears, anxiety, sleepless nights, past due payments, and all. After almost a year of being out of work, I received a job offer to become a Creator for VaynerMedia, a media and creative agency, where I create social media content for Fortune 500 brands. So now, I'm a full time Influencer and Content Creator for my personal brand, as well as a full time Content Creator for an agency. To date, I have collaborated, as an Influencer, with major brands such as Aerie, Torrid, SHEIN, Good American, and Dick's Sporting Goods (to name a few) and for VaynerMedia have created for brands including Zappos, Headspace, EchoPark, Goodnites, and Fanatics. Yes, I went from Social Work to Social (Media) Work. Obviously my ENFJ personality type can't resist social interactions and helping others, only this time, it's in a more fun and exciting way that allows me to have a creative outlet. I enjoy telling my story, but I love sharing the stories of brands, as well! God really did his thang, huh?
What is Your Why?
My Grandma was the most influential person in my life. (I hate that I'm writing about her in past tense. She passed away 3/17/23). She was the epitome of style and grace. I witnessed her be a pillar of strength to family, friends, and even strangers, opening up her home up many people over the years, whether they were recovering from an illness, homeless, or just needing a hot meal and a shoulder to cry on. She spent her life serving others. I watched her have a great impact on everyone she encountered. At one point, she led the women’s ministry at church for a couple of years, which was usually the role of the Pastor’s wife, but my grandpa was not the pastor. As a teenage girl, that was major, to me. So, I would often attend her events and assist her as much as I could. I clung to her, staying up under her as much as I could because I admired everything that she did. She inspired me so much that I co-created an event called "Not Ya Granny's Tea Party". The purpose of the tea party was to bring women together with the intent to network, empower, and uplift one another just as I had witnessed my grandma doing in her ministry. I made it my mission in life to empower other women through sharing my journey- the good, the bad, the ugly. There is power in sharing stories which is why I am dedicated to being fully transparent about mine and passionate about encouraging others to share theirs.
I’m so passionate about helping others share their stories because for a part of my life, I didn’t even think I had one. If you were to ask people how I was growing up, they would probably say “quiet” and “shy”. I didn’t necessarily want to be shy, but I was too afraid to be myself. I felt unseen, like nobody knew I existed. “Look I joined the choir!” “Look I joined the praise dance team!” “Look, I’m a straight A student!” “Look, I’m graduating summa cum laude!” I felt that I had to perform to get others to notice me and despite constantly involving myself in so much, I still didn’t receive the acceptance that I had desired. I attributed my feelings of rejection to me being a "fat" girl. So, I started dressing myself with the intent to be “best dressed” so that I could mask my insecurities. Coincidentally, dressing up made me feel amazing, boosting my dopamine levels. So, I continued to get STYLED TO A TEE, becoming bolder with my style. I'm a sucker for prints, patterns, bright colors, crops tops, and spandex! I wanted to control my narrative by the way I presented myself to the world. I have adopted dopamine dressing as my style mechanism. I would be remiss if I didn't mention that my grandma was a style icon in my eyes. So, I was heavily influenced by her style. She loved the prints, patterns, nice fabrics, and rich colors, as well. Wearing these things makes me feel like I'm channeling her energy, which is my goal.
Although I learned how to make my exterior look fabulous, I also had to do a lot of inner work to be as confident as I portrayed. I was truly an example of “fake it ‘til you make it”, but here I am today. More confident than I have ever been and all I want to do is instill the same confidence in other women regardless of how they look. I remember asking myself "What makes me so special?" I couldn't understand why out of the billions of people in the world, that I could be of any value, but then I realized, there is only one me. It took me some time to really figure out who I was, but when I did, everything else in life seemed to have made more sense. I have been investing in my personal brand for years by sharing my story, developing my own sense of style, becoming an expert in my field, and understanding how I could be of value to others. I want other women to invest in their personal brands, as well whether they are busy entrepreneurs/mompreneurs, business owners, Influencers/Content Creators, or have a vision, but don't know where to start. I want to help them create, develop, and tell their stories in an intentional manner visually by wearing the clothes that make them feel confident and display their personalities before even speaking.