You know how there are just some people that are genuinely kind, there’s no BS and no matter how busy or crazy their schedules are, no matter how much they have going on in their own life, they will always give you their time. One of those people that really truly do love seeing others succeed. Well, Tania DeBono is one of those people. I’ve never met this talented babe but have been a long time fan of her work. As a serious quote lover, I stumbled upon one of her Instagram posts a few years back and followed immediately. Something drew me into her account, it was more than just the cool typography (and she’s wickedly talented at typography, let me tell you!), but it was the content and the feeling you got upon perusing her posts.
Tania is the brains, beauty and heart behind The Writing; if you haven’t already, you need to check out her Instagram page. I guarantee you, you will find some serious inspiration over there. That’s not all this beauty does though, she is also the founder of PR company: CAKE. Tania is crazy talented and knows how to dish out real advice. She knows what’s what. Tania is definitely an old soul, wise beyond her years. An Australian ex-pat living in New York, Tania knows ALL about dreams and how hard you gotta hustle to make them a reality. She is also a living, breathing, reality of how if you work hard enough, believe in yourself and your dreams you can turn your passion into a successful career. Through The Writing, Tania has been involved in some amazing collaborations with big freaking names from Estee Lauder and VOGUE to The Coveteur. She is a huge believer in following your dreams and backing yourself and there’s already a gazillion quotes from her interview that I want to print out and put above my desk!
I have just re-read Tania’s interview prior to writing her introduction and every single time I read it, it seriously makes me want to take on the world and live out my biggest dreams. She tells it how it is. It’s real, it’s so freaking real, practical and inspiring. I know the word inspiring gets thrown around a lot, but seriously – THIS is inspiring. Tania is an advocate for kindness and I’m telling you, it’s all real, none of this fake ima-pretend-to-be-a-kind-person stuff. She’s a dreamer and proof that we should all be dreamers because not only are they limitless, they can become reality.
Tania is simply wonderful and after reading this I want you to walk away and write down (on a note pad / your diary / your phone) what your biggest dream is, and find inspiration from Tania who moved half way across the world to chase her dreams, and know that YOU can make it happen and bring it to life. You just gotta BELIEVE, girl!
TANIA DEBONO // FOUNDER, THE WRITING + OWNER / DIRECTOR OF CAKE (MARKETING AND BRANDING)
How would you describe yourself in one word?
A slice. Many different layers to the cake…#sheisASLICE
‘The only thing too big are the limits you set.’
What would you tell your younger self?
Move away, leave everything behind, move to the furthest part of the world, and do something, anything. It doesn’t matter, but you need to be able to have a couple of good stories.
What are the greatest life lessons you have learnt to date?
Not everyone is going to like you, and like what you do, as long as you like you, and you like what you do.
The scariest thing you have ever done?
Roam around a forest in the middle of the night to visit a haunted lost grave site – it was a family holiday, my mum thought it would have been fun :/
Is there any dream too big? And what’s something you wish someone told you earlier on about chasing them?
Hell no, the only thing too big are the limits you set. < I wish someone told me that.
Fear and failure…what are your thoughts?
Failure is important, fear is unnecessary. What are you scared of? But, failing, you need to fail, and you need to fail again.
What isn’t engrained enough into girls at a young age that you think should be?
That moving away is ok, push yourself, work hard and learn more than what you are given at school. Find what you love, what interests you, what makes you smile and never let anyone tell you that you can’t do something.
What drives you?
That’s a really good question…. I think I drive myself. I drive myself to create daily, to make money to buy coffee, to pay rent, I drive myself to call my mum and dad and let him know I’m ok, I’m driven to create and learn so I can collaborate with my partner and my friends. So it’s everything and me I guess.
Do you have any advice to share on how to hone in on your passion and then turn it into a career?
Don’t imagine that you will turn your passion into your career – I find too many people sit and strategize how they will build up their passion, how they will make money and what they can do 10 years from now. You need to stop and focus, and work- work so hard and create so much that people stop and look.
‘Find what you love, what interests you, what makes you smile and never let anyone tell you that you can’t do something.’
One of your proudest achievements?
Hmmmm I think it was being a part of the Art Hunter with The Coolhunter, it’s still one of my favorite works to date, I was finding my voice, and spent 3 days drawing and painting on my hands and knees.. I had a little cry after seeing it be unveiled.
How do you celebrate successes?
Usually with a high-five….and sometimes with an aperol sour (my new favorite drink)
I try not to sit and rest on the successes and keep going.
Who inspires you?
My parents inspire me, they had it instilled within me from a young age to be an entrepreneur and I am grateful each and every day.
My boyfriend is also not only my partner but my creative business partner too, he is so talented and I love working alongside him, we push each other and I know I wouldn’t be where I am without him.
In your opinion, what does it take to follow your heart and be successful?
Sacrifice – so much sacrifice. Living away from family and friends, missing out on events, parties, and dinners to work, putting all your money into your passion. It’s all sacrifice and not everyone will understand, and it will be hard, but it will be worth it.
‘No one is you, and you are enough.’
The last experience that made you a stronger person?
I worked as a creative director at a company and it really tested me, I stopped believing in myself, and started to doubt my abilities… No one and nothing should make you doubt you, especially those who don’t understand you.
Something on your bucket list?
To hold a gallery exhibition in NY.
Your greatest vice?
Lollies/candy – I need it, it keeps me going.
Do you ever face self-doubt?
All – the – time.
‘No one and nothing should make you doubt you, especially those who don’t understand you.’
Self-love and positive self talk; why do you believe they are important to master?
We would never tell our lovers, our boyfriend or girlfriend that we hate them, that they are fat, they look crap, and their work is terrible. We wouldn’t tell them they suck if they miss a deadline, don’t get a new client, or get fired.
Then why would we tell ourselves this?
We need to treat ourselves with love, because our heads and our hearts is the only place we have to live. I like to have little things that I tell myself daily before I walk out the door, it fills me with confidence.
How do you show yourself you love yourself?
I practice Pilate’s daily, it’s been my savior for keeping me sane. I don’t think you can be strong in mind, when your body isn’t strong too.
What is something you don’t tell yourself enough?
No one is you, and you are enough.
‘We would never tell our lovers, boyfriends or girlfriend that we hate them, that they look fat and that their work is terrible. So why would we tell ourselves that?’
What triggers stress / anxiety / overwhelm for you? And what are your coping mechanisms?
I have this special talent where I think my work week is bigger than it actually is, I love to push myself and take on too much, and then I freak out.
How do I manage this? I make lists, each day, achieving at least 3 things, IF I know I’m on top of things I’m ok.
Why do you think it is integral for girls and women to support one another and build each other up?
No matter where we are from, what we look like, what we do, we need to support and build each other up.
Everyone is a daughter, or a mother, a boss with a dream no matter what they do.
Women have the most insane strength; let’s use that to build each other up.
Something that makes you really really happy?
I love seeing people around me succeed, create, and just do good things, no matter what’s happening in their world.
‘Tomorrow is another day and you’re stronger than you know.’
If you could teach someone one thing, what would it be?
To believe in themselves.
I’d also like to teach most of the baristas in NY how to make a good espresso.
Bullying in any way, shape or form is heartbreaking. If you could offer someone being bullied some advice, what would it be?
It’s not about you, don’t take it to heart, don’t let it change you, don’t let it stop you from being you, don’t let them make you feel any less brilliant than you are. Tomorrow is another day, and you’re stronger than you know.
Why do you believe in kindness?
Because, it’s the only way we will survive.
An example of a time you have gone above and beyond?
With every single client I have! My favorite was running in torrential rain on my birthday to find a celebrity I was looking after who had gone rogue. Also, I once graffitied the entire front of a restaurant here in NY called Sant Ambroeus, it was below 0 and one of the coldest winter days, I couldn’t feel my hands and had to run it under boiling water to regain feeling.
One thing we can all do each day to make the world a kinder place?
Smile more, bitch less.
What are the top two compliments you receive?
Lol, ummm I love your lip/hair color.
Thank you for never giving up.
‘Everyone is a daughter, or a mother, or a boss with a dream no matter what they do. Women have the most insane strength: let’s use that to build each other up.’
When was the last time you pushed yourself out of your comfort zone?
Today. I usually push myself to be uncomfortable daily.
Your favorite quote that always inspires you and makes you feel like you can take on the world?
Say yes, no matter what it is and work it out later.
**All images courtesy of Tania and her Instagram