1. Share some of your backstory with the House of Haute tribe. Who is Talia?
Toni is my best friend of 16 yrs. Even though we were in our early 20's when we met we were still technically girls growing into women. Toni has always had vision and charisma. To see where she has grown HOH is inspiring. I have witnessed her persevere and defeat the odds. HOH is a Dallas staple for many years to come. She uplifts women and wants you to look and feel your best that’s why I will always support and love what she does for women in Dallas and women all over the world.
2. How did Live and Muse come about? What inspired the name and overall focus of your brand?
Live and Muse (L&M) is a lifestyle store. All things self-care, self-worth first. I understood starting this business that I can’t do anything if I don’t celebrate me. I can’t give what I don’t have. I can’t preach self-esteem if I don’t love myself. So I named it Live and Muse. I live my life with fulfillment, self-love and adventure. From travel to date nights, shopping trips, a soft life and self-care.
3. Did you always want to be a lifestyle entrepreneur? What brought you to this position?
I’ve always posted on social media my outfits or travels but I never thought about monetizing it. I just want women to know it’s okay to get dressed up and be fabulous. Often times women are asked to apologize for being too zealous about life. When I found out HOH had a step-by-step Haute Pink Labs (guide to opening a business), I was interested. Toni invested in me as she does many women and offered me her classes. I jumped at the chance and Live and Muse was born.
4. Take us through a day in the life of Talia. Describe a workday and/or off day.
Since starting Live and Muse I learned the early bird gets the worm. So I’m up by 6:00 or 7:00 AM. I like to take time for gratitude, always. I thank God or the opportunity to do what I love and I have a humongous cup of coffee. Check my over night orders and start my day. My day consists of content, creating and scheduling my pop-ups. I design 80% of my products so my day is full of hands-on work. From vegan candles to room sprays, custom jackets and sweatshirts.
5. Sounds like a productive day! We know you enjoy and sell home fragrances. Tell us about your latest collection. What does a signature "Talia/Live and Muse" scent smell like?
If I told you the deep truth about how I narrow down my vegan candles and room sprays, you’d think I was a crazy lady. I have hundreds of samples I order and go through each one. Then I convince myself of why they are in or out. It’s like a beauty pageant and I’m the judge. Hundreds of scents are narrowed down to 10 or so. The scents must make me feel alive, present, peaceful, elegant, sensual and sexy. The scents must trigger good memories only.
6. We saw a recent Instagram story where you mentioned searching for new scents. If you don't mind, walk us through the process of curating the perfect home fragrance.
The perfect home fragrance should awaken your zen vibes. All things decompress. Letting go of the world and just being. No drama, no tears or how the world treated you that day. When you light an L&M luxury candle, it should inspire you to relax and get ready to start fresh the next day.
7. We noticed Toni's "CEO Vibes" sweatshirt during our summer sale event. Super cute. Where did you get the idea to start that collection and what does it mean for you to be a CEO?
CEO Vibes was created by my sister Joi. I loved the idea so I jumped on it. You either have the vibes of entrepreneur or you don’t. I’ve learned not everyone desires to work for themselves and rightfully so. It's a heavy load to carry. But it you have CEO Vibes, welcome to the club. You are supported an celebrated and Toni definitely exudes CEO Vibes. She might be the president of it.
8. You also have Live and Muse Fit! We stan athleisure babes. Why is it important for you to work out and stay healthy?
My father was a boxer growing up. He taught us four kids about the importance of fitness early. When I was 14 I’d run for miles upon miles. It was a daily habit for me. It wasn’t for looks, it was for mental health and heart rate. My dad instilled that in me early to take care of your body. He’s 64 and in the best shape of his life all because fitness was important. I wanted to implement that into Live and Muse. I want women to put health and fitness first.
9. Have you faced any challenges in your industry? If so, what were they & what advice would you give to aspiring lifestyle entrepreneurs?
The challenges I have faced are the quiet days when no one is buying or acknowledging you as a brand. That’s going to happen when you’re new. You have to build trust with your avatar. You have to keep pushing and stay creative. You have to know God gave you the vision and you have to walk in faith, not by sight. When your store is quiet, that leaves room for creativity.
10. Did you have to pivot your business during the pandemic? What are some lessons you learned & things you do differently?
My business was born in the pandemic, which (to me) was terrifying because no one was shopping. It seemed selfish to find my life’s purpose in others' time of pain and strife. During the pandemic, time was on my side. I had time for time. The fire was lit; I didn’t look back.
11. Do you have any exciting plans for the remainder of the summer or fall/winter? Give our tribe a taste of what we can expect to see from you in the last half of 2022.
The exciting plans for L&M are to keep creating and spreading the message of self-care, self-worth and self-love. We women can be so hard on ourselves and it stumps our growth. I’m on a mission to get more women to smile from the inside out. Put on that red lippie, light that sexy candle, grab the oversized sweatshirt and dance 'til your soul says it is well.