Ahhhhh. You guys DON’T UNDERSTAND how excited I am for today’s interview. You just don’t.
So, I back when I started blogging ( almost a year ago ), I was looking for ways to ‘find my voice’ ( which I still haven’t entirely honed in on, honestly… but its a work in progress! ). Basically, I was looking here and there to find places to write & have my work published ( practice, practice, practice ), which led to to HauteMess Magazine. I submitted to be a contributor, and thats when I met ( via the internet ) the Editor-in-Chief of HMM, Tiffany Wood.
She. Is. Life. Seriously, this girl is IT. Tiffany is a freelance writer, master of all things curly-hair, tequila-lover, & Canadian HOTTIE ( why have I come across so many Canadians blogging? ) with a reaaaally witty sense of humor. Did I mention she’s hot stuff? I so, SO love the people that blogging has connected me with! Okay, y’all are going to love this interview… here we go.
» Introduce Yo-Self.
Tiffany: Hi lovely lady friends & readers of Hustle + Halcyon! How much do you looooooove Payton and her blog? I’m grossly obsessed.
My name is Tiffany Wood and I’m a freelance writer & #GIRLBOSS at HauteMessMag.com (I’ve also been known to dabble in some styling/photography/designing/justaboutanythingelseyoucanthinkof … I’m a bit of an industry-whore… can I say whore on H+H? Sorry Payt.) I’m born and raised in Canada, but I’m currently exploring a little bit of the world- one random, last-minute, unplanned trip at a time. Always caffeinated, 20 going on 84, lover of tequila & man-buns, smallest hands EVER, adventurer and professional troublemaker. FULL-BLOWN SCORPIO- no seriously, read up on Scorpio’s and you’ll understand me perfectly.
» Let’s talk about your online mag, HauteMess Magazine: What inspired you to start HMM?
T: I’ve created about a million and ten blogs since the age of 12 but the only one to ever stick was TorontoBlonde.com (the most obnoxious name ever, right?) I created TorontoBlonde.com in October 2012 and kept it going until August 2014, something about it never felt right, I knew I was on the right track and had found my passion but I hated the traditional ‘fashion blog’ dealings. I’m a total behind-the-scenes girl, so to talk about myself (although I’m doing a pretty good job of it now- sorry guys) and to do photoshoots showcasing my outfits made me CRINGE. I wanted my fashion blog to be more like a magazine (my number one career goal is to eventually write for Cosmopolitan.) I started steering away from the traditional fashion posts and OOTD’S and started writing articles FOR the audience rather than to simply showcase myself. TorontoBlonde was definitely not a brand I wanted to stick with for long and it took me MONTHS of brainstorming to come up with new branding (HauteMess) that I was actually happy with. It’s funny because I thought of this name pretty quickly, wrote it on my notepad app and kept brainstorming. After months of trying to think of a DOPE-ASS name, I returned to my notepad to discover the name I forgot ALL ABOUT. I shared my HauteMess idea with my friends and family and everyone was sold immediately, it was just right. Ya know?
Anyways, now it’s a fully developed brand and I have several amazing writers (like Payton) that help to feed my passion and create bomb content that people love to read. HauteMess Magazine is read by thousands of people per month in almost 150 countries worldwide! I’m so proud of HauteMess and so grateful to each of the writers that help to make it such a success!
» So, you’re a pretty successful Freelance Writer, which is actually SO HARD to do. How TF do you stay inspired, write like a badass, and actually get published?
T: I have NO IDEA how this happens to me. I have really good luck with landing jobs (I think it’s because I have such bad luck with like, walking and stuff- I’m the clumsiest bitch around.) I’m very motivated, determined and actually enjoy #GIRLBOSS –ING it up, so that’s obviously helpful in the workforce. I’m also a Scorpio so the stars are literally in my favor when it comes to hard work and determination (I totally believe all that BS.) I find myself most-inspired after about 10pm so that’s when I get most of my work done (my schedule is so effed up) and I don’t usually have a hard-time creating content or brainstorming ideas- THANK GOODNESS.
» TELL US ABOUT LIVING IN PARIS!
T: Paris was such an incredible experience! I was actually there with my sister, who is a model signed with agencies internationally (including in Paris.) She landed tons of jobs and shoots and we met so many amazing people! We were very busy so we didn’t get to absorb ourselves in the culture as much as we wish we could have, between Lexi’s modeling and my writing we were pretty much home-bodies, which wasn’t terrible at all considering we were in friggin’ PARIS and we had a bomb-ass balcony (we also discovered some delicious champagne early-on in our stay heheheh.) Neither of us speak any French and had never been anywhere in Europe before so it was a super intimidating experience and we missed our parents and nana and pa a lot (we’re very very very close, like, embarrassingly close- LOVE U GUYS) but we got through it! Our favorite thing to do in Paris was have picnics at the Eiffel Tower at night (it was SUPER overrated and actually kind of gross during the day) we were the biggest cliché in the world and didn’t care at all. Cheese and baguettes all day errrrryday. And also champagne.
» After thoroughly stalking your Instagram, I noticed you were a part of the #LifeIsWhy campaign for the American Heart Association. Gimme the downlow on this campaign & why you are a part of it.
T: Ahhh! I loved this campaign so much. I usually do campaigns surrounding products so this was really different for me. I love being able to use my social media presence to do good and the American Heart Association does just that. I think it’s so important to live a heart-healthy life for yourself and for your loved ones. I don’t know about you, but I want to live happily for as long as I possibly can. The American Heart Association asked me to post pictures of the reasons why I want to live heart-healthy, my responses surrounded my family and adventure (of course.)
» Speaking of Instagram, as a blogger, I’m always trying to expand my reach through Instagram (it may just be as important for my personal brand as the blog itself). You are owning the Instagram Game right now. Any tips?
T: I love, love, love Instagram! I’ve found a lot of my insta-success has come from simply being NICE to other people. Interacting with your followers is so important, not just on your own pictures, but on theirs too! Starting a few years ago (before instagram was as popular as it is today) each morning I would wake up, search the hashtags #depression #anxiety #anorexia etc. and try to leave little words of encouragement, letting people know that someone in the world genuinely gives a shit about them, and I still do this today! In NO way do I do this to get followers but I have met some amazing people just from being a good human. I think I’ve inspired others to reach out to strangers on Instagram as well, I’m so happy to have built a little community of good people, who doesn’t love good people?!
On a less-deep note, I am reposted by large instagram accounts pretty frequently for a number of different reasons- when a company sends me a product to promote, they’ll repost my picture which always brings in new followers. Some accounts even post my pictures just because of my hair (read my story below!) this brings in a lot of followers as well.
My sister and I both feed off of each other in a way- when her pictures get reposted by her agencies, or a client or some other account, a lot of the time people will find me through her and vice versa! We’re a perfect little team.
» Lets just address the elephant in the room: Your. Hair. Is. Incredible. I know curly hair can be difficult to work with, so what is your #1 tip (or tips) for maintaining controlled-but-effortlessly-sexy hair?
T: Oh no, you asked about my hair. It’s gonna be a loooooong story!
I absolutely HATED my hair for sooooo many years. I was constantly being teased because I was different and it was super hard for me growing up, no one in my family had curly hair, so I really had no one to relate to or look up to. When my hair started coming in, I had two curly lil’ devil horns and my mom said to my Nana, ‘Could you imagine if I had a curly-haired little girl? How the hell would I manage it?’ About a year and a half later, my afro had come in with full force. Both my parents tried their best to help me manage and style it (and they were pretty good at it to be honest) but I still didn’t like it, I was always trying to straighten my curls with my fingers and I would smooth my roots down 400 times a day, which looked even worse than letting it go natural ever would- but I didn’t care.
As I got older, I began straightening my hair, I started straightening it only for special occasions, then only on the weekends, and then I was straightening it every day. It was too difficult to straighten it myself, so my mom and my sister would do it for me EVERY MORNING. This was like a 1-2 hour ordeal. The boy’s at school always said, ‘you’re so much hotter with straight hair’ and later a boyfriend always said ‘you look so good with straight hair, curly hair is okay too, but I like it much better straight’ this definitely made me hate my natural curls even more. After about 3 years of damaging my hair with heated styling tools, shitty hair products, bleach blonde highlights, and then a NIGHTMARE salon experience, my hair had had enough. I had to cut about 12 inches of my hair off all at once, which was almost convenient because the LOB was just becoming the hair trend of the moment. Even though I’d had to cut all my hair off, I still wasn’t confident enough to let my curls run wild. I was still straightening my hair daily. During a spring-break vacay in Miami with my family, I said ‘EFF IT’ and swam in the friggin ocean and let my hair DO IT’S THING and let me tell you, that salt water does wonders for my curls- I actually liked the way it looked, I left my hair curly for the whole 2-week stay! When I got home, I started straightening my hair less and less until I decided to never straighten it again back in May! I began watching youtube videos and following curly haired girls on instagram- seeing other beautiful women show off and admire their curls was really inspiring to me. I hope I can have the same influence on other young women struggling to love themselves! I haven’t used any heat on my hair since may, I use products that are GOOD for my hair and I only shampoo once a week!
OK…. I think I’m done now.
If you’re looking for bomb-ass curly hair products, I highly recommend the Marc Anthony line. I’ve used the shampoo, conditioner, curl cream, curl lotion and the sea salt spray and the line has been my go-to for years. Oh, and it’s super affordable and can be found at the drug store. You’re welcome.
( Find DIY Hair Mask Listed Below! )
» Give us a little run-down of your morning routine:
T: Hahahah this question is sooooo embarrassing, I’m the laziest person alive, but here it goes.
I usually get up at around 9-9:30 AM. I make a yogurt parfait or smoothie and binge-watch Greys Anatomy. I’m in the middle of season 8 and I’m not ready to watch Sloan and Lexie die in the plane crash FOR THE SECOND TIME. Spoiler alert?!
That’s literally all I do on your average morning. I usually start my day at 4pm and work into the wee hours of the night (ask Payton, she’s probably gotten a million emails from me at the WEIRDEST time of night.)
I’m working on developing a better schedule for myself, I brainstorm some pretty weird shit as 2 am.
Oh, and most days I don’t even bother getting ready. So like, don’t ever try to snapchat me. Ever.
» You’re such a busy, busy, #GIRLBOSS. When do you find the time to exercise / stay active?
T: It’s so hard to find time to be active, especially since I’m always sitting at my computer. I do work part-time at a bar, mostly because I’d get cabin fever otherwise and also because I friggin love the place and the people there. Because I’m usually running around like a mad-woman GSD (getting shit done) I find myself burning cals like nobodies business without even noticing it. And not to brag or anything, but the arm I hold my serving tray on is pretty jacked… bicep on fleek?
Also, living in the city, I don’t drive anywhere and public transit kinda grosses me out and I’m also the cheapest bitch in the world, far too cheap to pay for cabs 5 times a day- I walk absolutely everywhere (and I walk the mall a lot too… guilty as charged.)
» Where is your FAVORITE travel location?
T: There’s no place in the world I love more than New York City. I truly feel at home there, it reminds me of a really big (and much more exciting) Toronto, my home town! I feel like you can truly be yourself in a big city, there’s such a sense of anonymity, which is something I really crave. There’s so many amazing neighbourhoods with cultures of their own, I love experiencing new things and exploring new places and there’s definitely no shortage of that in NYC.
» Let’s just say its 5 o’clock. What are you sippin’ on?
T: When I’m out, I always, always, always just do shots of tequila and I always, always, always get teased. While everyone else nurses a beer or mixed drink, I’m shooting them back. Mostly because I’m lazy, I want to get drunk, and I want to get drunk nowwwwww. Jose Cuervo is my man, and he fits perfectly into my struggling writer budget, but when I land a big project, I love Tromba and/or Patron!
If I’m feeling fancy I love a good glass of pink champagne, if it’s 9 o’clock in the morning- it’s a mimosa.
If I’m at starbucks, I always order a green tea Frappuccino. Cals on cals on cals.
Oh, and I’m addicted to Coca Cola. Seriously addicted. It’s not funny. Seriously.
» You have SUCH a passion for life and a glowing-energy about you, what is your advice on creating (and maintaining) a happy, beautiful life?
T: Payton, I love you.
I have to say that the reason I am such a happy, positive person is because of my support system. I have the most amazing family in the world and I keep my circle of friends veeeerrrrryyyy small. I have no time for people who don’t bring out the very best in me and vice versa.
My best advice to you is to surround yourself with the best people you can and to be the best person you can be. Don’t talk shit about other people and don’t worry when people talk shit about you. Stay away from anything that doesn’t feed your friggin’ soul. Oh, and be good to Karma, she’s only a bitch if you are!
Can’t get enough of Tiffany? ( Yeah, me neither)
Some of my/her fav articles are:
This DIY Hair Mask for Dry/Damaged, Curly Hair
How-To Get Gigi Hadid’s Natural Beauty Look
Kylie Jenner Lip Tutorial
How-To Eliminate Tan Lines
Celeb Secrets: Juicing!
10 Tips to Hide a Hangover