Take back the community and then some...
A community is a group of people sharing a common goal and the goal should be to BUILD and PROSPER. We have all seen businesses come and go, just as much as we have seen outsider businesses come through and wipe out local smaller ones. Tiffaine Stephens decided to figure out why ‘outsiders’ could come in and benefit more than the community itself. With her business, The Image Republic, Tiffaine has created proven tactics to take back what’s ours. Through empowerment and strong business development tools, The Image Republic can help clients prosper while building and growing.
What inspired you to start your business and why?: As a young marketer, I saw the opportunity to provide small businesses with services that may not ordinarily have access to. Having been born and raised in East Orange, New Jersey, a low-income neighborhood, I have witnessed what can happen to a community when small business development isn't a focus. People who are not from the community start to move in and generate their own wealth, often times not directly contributing to the needs of the community stakeholders. I wanted to have a direct impact on the growth of communities like East Orange to hopefully spur generational wealth for underrepresented groups.
What does your company stand for?: The Image Republic stands for empowerment. Our goal is to empower our clients to fulfill their vision through strong brand and business development. Our goal is to serve clientele who are adamant about empowering their communities through their work.
How do you create the life you want?: Creating the life I want boils down to one habit - writing. I write my goals down every year, and I revisit them monthly to assess my progress. What's just as important is breaking your goals down by small actions that you can take every day or every week to ensure achievement. I also journal. I don't limit myself to a certain format or tool. I use my notes on my phone or my actual journal and I capture my thoughts in prose, poetry, or blog format. Being able to reflect on my day, my actions, and most importantly, my feelings, keeps me honest about how much progress I'm actually making.
Where do you find inspiration?: I find the most inspiration in music, especially hip hop. I love lyricism and artists who could easily transition to spoken word format. I use music (rhythms, beats, and lyrics) to guide my creative direction when thinking of a new campaign or approach to a client's request.
I also love traveling and exploring new places. Breaking outside of my comfort zone is essential to growing as a creative. Recently, I took a trip to Koh Tao, Thailand, and being able to take in the beauty of the culture spurred so many new ideas.
How has your business made you a better person?: My business has forced me to release fear. For so long, I lived my life in fear of what people think, fear of failure, and even fear of success. Having a business has taught me that the only way to constantly learn is to constantly fail; and I cannot fail if I don't try. Letting go of fear for my business has in turn forced me to let go of fear in other areas of my personal life.
What makes you HUMAN?: There's a Lupe Fiasco line in his song, Real: "Cause on the low, being po', make you humble"
My upbringing forces me to always be compassionate to others, and willing to give people the benefit of the doubt.
Social Media Handles: @theimgrepublic on all platforms