Tiana Kara
Executive Director, BUILT BY GIRLS

The kids are down, your work is done - how do you spend your “me” time, when you get it?

I have a few more weeks to go, so “me time” is still possible. After work my favorite way to whine down is a nap. I remember as a kid absolutely hating naps and now as a pregnant adult naps are key to my mental and physical health.

What is the thing you bought in the last three months that you have most enjoyed? 

This is so weird to say out loud but I’ve let myself truly enjoy takeout in this final trimester - and my goodness -  it has brought me joy. Ha! From Thai to southern soul food to oven baked pizzas, it’s been glorious. I also bought a juicer and my husband are now juice obsessed!

What is the quality you're most hopeful you'll have as a mother? 

As a soon to be mother I think the quality I’ll do my best to strengthen is my patience. I’ll be learning so much for the first time and I know I’ll be tempted to judge myself but the more I’m patient with myself the better experience I’ll have. Additionally, I’ll be raising a little guy who’ll be learning so much for the first time as well. He’ll need a mother who gives him grace.

What’s the other career you’d most like to try out, given a second professional life?

If given the chance, I think the profession I’d pursue is photography. I’ve always had a love for it and truly admire photographers who effortlessly capture real stories and real people. Like the recent protests for racial justice. Photographers have been filming this unprecedented time so it isn’t forgotten. So folks can remember what side of history they were on.

Is there anything that quarantine forced you to change that you would like to - or will - maintain post quarantine? 

I’ve scheduled weekly calls with my family and best friends during quarantine and this is something that I certainly want to continue post COVID. My husband and I live in a different city than where we were born and raised so we’re pretty removed from our family and the friends we grew up with. These scheduled FaceTime sessions have helped us maintain communication thus strengthening our relationships.

What are the nicest things your partner does for you, and you for them? 

Particularly, during this pregnancy I have seen the best qualities in my husband shine the brightest. He has exceeded every expectation and supported me in ways I didn’t know I needed. His support is the nicest thing he’s ever done for me. I think the nicest thing I do for him is encourage him to take a chance on himself. Sometimes we can get in our own heads and tell ourselves no or it’s not possible before even trying. I remind him of his capabilities. It’s honestly not to be nice, but because of the greatness I see in him.

How important is routine to you? What parts of your routine are sacrosanct? 

With the exception of my skin care regimen I’m not a big fan of routine. I find it bores me.

What are your professional goals and how do you go about achieving them? 

My professional goals are pretty straightforward. I want to be a leader in the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion space and I want to continue learning as the world and the workforce changes along with culture. I see myself achieving these goals by continuing to surround myself with change agents who care about the well-being, development and advancement of marginalized groups. I also will challenge myself to speak up about DE&I when opportunities arise.

What are the things that make your home personal to you and your family? 

The artwork we’ve created and collected over the years has been the touch that makes any place we move into feel like ours. We have posters from the first movie me and my husband saw together (Pulp Fiction), we have photographs from our travels, and menus from restaurants that blew us away. It’s our memories up on display that makes our house feel like a home.

How important is community to you, and how do you go about building and nurturing it for your family? 

Community is among the top 5 greatest values I have. I call my community my tribe. Together we raise families, hold each other accountable, build each other up, keep each other grounded. When I think of building my community I don’t care so much for size as I do for the quality of our group. How are we growing in wisdom, strength and love? Those are the ways we nourish each other and our children.

What maternity style or clothing item could you not find this time around that you most wish FH would create?

My maternity style is quite colorful and I noticed there weren’t many color options. I’m also a fan of dresses that show a little leg. 

Shop Tiana's Look: Belted PJ Top, PJ Pant