Name: (Akia Danielle) Thomas
Life Mission: Have no regrets,enjoy every moment in life.
Hometown: Trenton, New Jersey, but spent majority of my youth in Norfolk, VA
Can you explain the motivation behind your brand The East on the West and what you plan to achieve?
I started my blog because I was in a chapter of having lack of confidence due to a separation from a job in fashion. Motherhood and my career choice wasn't aligning at the time. So I had to find a way to build my confidence back and that's where blogging came in. A part of feeling good about yourself is looking good. That's what began my mission to seek out tall and tall-friendly clothing to model and review for other women,who need help finding clothes and shoes. It was a challenge I knew I could take on. My brand's mission is to encourage women to stand tall confidently in style. In the future I hope to do collaborations with different retailers for tall clothing.
What advice would you give someone that wishes to start a fashion blog like yourself?
Run Girl! LOL, just kidding just kidding. I would say be like Nike and "Just Do It". The truth about blogging is it's the same as starting a business. You have to crawl before you can walk. I learned this the hard way and I don't want you to do the same. You can't expect anything to pop off overnight. Invest in yourself and your brand. Ignore the numbers starting off because with hard work and consistency that all will come later. Remember your mission, so you can stay focused. Most importantly HAVE FUN!!!
Walk me through a typical day in your shoes.
I am a Mrs. and a mother of 2 school age kids (9 and 13). So I get up an hour earlier than everyone to have time to myself. Once everyone is off to school, I spent an hour working on my blog or social media platforms. Then during the early part of my day, I work as at a middle school as an Instructional Aide in Special Needs. After that it's back to doing the household/mommy duties and doing my homework (I am working on my B.A) before getting back to working on the blog. Whew...I felt like that was a lot,LOL
I haven't always been the most confident being 5'9. The tallest person in school, and I also suffered from bullying. As I got older I learned to love myself and my height. Can you tell me about your journey being tall. Were you always confident? If so, where were you able to draw your confidence from? Did it come naturally? If not, when did you gain your confidence and how?
Honestly, I didn't even pay attention to my height until I got to high school. That's when everyone's comments started to get to me. I wanted to fit in so I would slouch. The boys didn't help either because I was skinny and they would make a lot of comments. That really took a shot at my confidence. Then I discovered modeling and killed a school fashion show. From then on I felt like I found my place and took pride in my height.
How do you fit in time for yourself? When you can fit in "me" time, what do you like to do?
As I mentioned before, I get up an hour earlier than my family. Right now from 4:30-5:30 I read a verse from my bible, listen to podcasts or a motivation video, and then meditate using this app called Headspace for 3-5 mins. These 3 things have really help with my anxiety and getting ready for the day.
Before you became a wife, how was dating being tall? Were a lot of men intimidated? Any dating advice for the single tall beauties out there?
I didn't really date before I met my husband. He was the first adult relationship I had and we've been married for 11 years.
My best advice is to never settle. You deserve someone who loves you for you and wants you to be the queen that you are.
How do you feel about the clothing industry from the perspective of a tall woman? What specific changes would you like to see within that industry?