In The Know got to interview two winners of the Yahoo Creators Contest. The contest was a call to action for creators on Instagram and TikTok to post what they’ve been working on while at home and share how it’s been helping them get through this time. Yahoo gifted 200 creators with a $500 gift card ($100,000 total) to help support the creative community.
Influencer Frankie Tavares initially just wanted to be a model. She fell into the influencing realm when she posted photos of her outfits and people asked her what she was wearing and where she found her clothes.
“Being a curvier, plus-sized girl, it’s hard for us, usually, to find clothes — you know, trendy, fashion-forward clothes,” Tavares explained to In The Know. “I started taking my own photos. And it just kind of turned into this whole, like, full-on influencing thing.”
Tavares quickly noticed she was forming an online community of like-minded women who felt ostracized by the mainstream fashion industry, but still wanted to wear trendy outfits and cool accessories. The fact that Tavares’ photos were snapped in her backyard also gave her a level of accessibility and relatability not many influencers have with their following.
“I’m able to find women that don’t necessarily know where to shop or know how to dress their bodies, and I’m able to help them,” she said. “I think it’s more important for young women and women who are kind of growing into themselves to see somebody that looks like them.”
As important as Tavares’ message is for young followers, the creativity it requires for Tavares to come up with an outfit idea or a photoshoot concept is also crucial to her mental health during this time period.
“Creativity has gotten me through quarantine by basically taking my mind off of what’s going on in the world right now,” she said. “Like, kids use their imagination to get away. Sometimes we need to do the same thing.”
One photoshoot was inspired by a vacation lost to the pandemic. Tavares was reminiscing with her girlfriends about their annual girls’ trip and she woke up the next morning and realized she wanted to build a photoshoot to honor the memories.
“We always end up on some island. And we’re getting, you know, waited on hand and foot by, like, cabana boys,” she said. “I kind of went and got some, like, drapings from my basement and some palm trees, and recreated the whole scenario. And it was up in my house for probably, like, a week — at least a week, because I wouldn’t take it down. I’m like, this is where I should be right now.”
In addition to influencing and modeling, Tavares also somehow finds time to run her small business, Frankie Tee’s.
“I challenge myself with everything that I do,” Tavares said.
Enjoy reading this article? Check out In The Know’s profile on Francis Lola and find out how she comes up with her creative content.
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