On today’s edition of cabi Q&A, we’re introducing you to Taylor, the Director of The Heart of cabi Foundation, whose mission is to empower female entrepreneurs around the world and help stamp out global poverty. We asked what her favorite cabi item is, and naturally, her answer was this season’s Heart of cabi item, the Petal Blouse. When purchased, a portion of the net proceeds go toward funding our philanthropic efforts worldwide!
Taylor spent much of her childhood living in Central America, so it’s no surprise that the California sunshine was appealing to her. Before getting involved in the fashion industry, she worked on Capitol Hill—the experience and knowledge she brings to cabi is indispensable. Whatever Taylor sets out to do in life, her one goal is to always help others, and that’s how she found her way to cabi. This kindness permeates every aspect of her life, including her family. She is a loving aunt to two adorable nieces. Fun fact: fashion isn’t the only way Taylor expresses herself. Believe it or not, she used to be in a mime group in college! Check out the full interview below to learn another thing or two about this incredible woman.
Juniper: Hi, cabi fans. I am very excited to be sitting here with my friend, Taylor, who many of you know and love. Taylor is the Director of our Heart of cabi Foundation. Taylor, as the Director of our Foundation, what are some of the things that you work on every day?
Taylor: I get to manage the charitable giving for cabi, which is so much fun. I work with our two key nonprofit partners. One is World Vision—they work in 100 countries around the world, and we donate cabi clothing to them. And then we also work with Opportunity International. And they are all about empowering women entrepreneurs. And we get to do two things with them. We have a Make a Change Program, which at every point of sale, the customer has an opportunity to round up her order. And all of that change goes to fund small business loans for women in the developing world. And then, we also have our W.E. are cabi Program, which is just amazing. When any woman becomes a cabi Stylist, we fund a small business loan in her name for a woman on the other side of the world who’s also building her business. Then lastly, we of course do a lot of domestic giving. And primarily, that’s through our disaster relief events. So, when a disaster hits a community, I partner with local cabi Stylists to plan a clothing distribution event for all the women who may have lost their homes.
Juniper: It is really cool to see our Stylists come together to support women who need help. Those have been some of the coolest events that I’ve ever been to. We all really appreciate all the work that you do, and I know our Stylists do, too. She’s very busy with a lot of very cool things. And this past season, you actually got to go on our W.E are cabi Kenya and Rwanda trip, right?
Taylor: Oh my goodness, it was amazing. It was actually my first time to Africa. And the trip just exceeded my expectations on every level.
Juniper: We’re going to start asking a few questions. Tell us a little bit about where you grew up.
Taylor: I’m actually originally from a small town about three hours north of here called Wampoke. Not many people have heard of it. But when I was 11, my family actually moved to Central America, so I spent my junior high and my high school years living in three different places—Puerto Rico, Honduras, and Costa Rica. So, it was an amazing experience and one that I would not trade for anything.
Juniper: Do you think growing up in places other than just here in America is just sort of what gave you a heart to work with people all around the world?
Taylor: Absolutely, 100%. When I think back, when I moved when I was 11, it was a hard transition. But I know that it was because of that, that I was able to cultivate this heart for other people that were different than me that was kind of born in me. And it just gave me this real tangible sense of the need that exists around the world and how if we pull together that we can really meet that need.
Juniper: I love that. Now that we’ve learned a little bit about your background, we’re going to ask you just a few fun and silly questions to get to know you a little bit more.
Juniper: This is a crucial one here at cabi. Coffee or tea?
Taylor: Coffee. Absolutely coffee. But I wish it was tea. It’s more sophisticated.
Juniper: You’re very sophisticated.
Taylor: Well, it is one of the things I’m known for.
Juniper: What is your go-to ice cream flavor?
Taylor: Mint chip is one of my go-to’s. Cookie dough is a close second.
Juniper: If you could have a superpower, what would it be?
Taylor: Flying. I have a little fear of heights. I feel like if it was my superpower, I would be way over it.
Juniper: And if you could fly anywhere, where would you fly to?
Taylor: Greece is on my bucket list. Or maybe South Africa. I’m actually planning a trip to Europe with my mom.
Taylor: Maybe I could hook her on my back, and we just fly over.
Juniper: Do you have a favorite movie? Or what’s a movie that makes you laugh or cry every time you watch it?
Taylor: I love The Proposal with Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds. I laugh out loud every single time. It doesn’t matter how many times I’ve seen it. I love it.
Juniper: Cute. I’m going to have to watch that one again. What do you do to relieve stress?
Taylor: I love to get outdoors. So beach volleyball, tennis. They’re two of my go-to’s. But anything really where I can just be outside, breathe fresh air. I love to be with people and have fun with them.
Juniper: You live sort of near the beach, so that’s nice.
Taylor: I do.
Juniper: Do you have a favorite beauty product?
Taylor: A new product that I just got introduced to for the occasional breakout is a drying lotion by Mario Badescu.
Juniper: What’s your favorite cabi Spring 2019 piece?
Taylor: Well, of course the Heart of cabi top—the Petal Blouse, which I’m wearing.
Juniper: And what does that mean, Heart of cabi top?
Taylor: It means that the net proceeds from the sale of this top go to fund all of our efforts that we do through The Heart of cabi Foundation.
Juniper: Awesome. So run right out and get one of those. Do you have any other favorites?
Taylor: I love the Downtown Jumpsuit. So cute. So comfy.
Juniper: So comfy. It looks dressed up, but casual, too. Which brings me to another question, how would you describe your style?
Taylor: I would say I’m comfy chic. Is that a thing? I don’t know. Comfy chic.
Juniper: Yes, perfect. You like to look cute and be comfortable.
Juniper: Love it. Are you reading any good books right now?
Taylor: Yes, I am reading The Gifts of Imperfection by Brené Brown.
Juniper: What was your first job?
Taylor: My very first job where I made money besides babysitting was a brownie baking business. I sold brownies to teachers at my school.
Juniper: Wow. She didn’t just give those brownies to her teachers. Was that when you were in high school?
Taylor: Junior high and high school actually. But my very first paid job was I was a janitor at a preschool.
Juniper: That’s a tough gig. I’ve got a few preschoolers, so I get it. What’s one thing you can’t live without?
Taylor: One thing I can’t live without? Chapstick. I’m obsessed. They always have to be within an arm’s reach.
Juniper: What would you say is the best advice you’ve ever been given?
Taylor: Somebody once told me to do it afraid. That you’re never going to get past the fear, or rarely are you going to get all the way past the fear. So you just have to do it afraid, whatever it is.
Juniper: I’ve never heard that before.
Taylor: It’s like a mantra that I will say to myself quietly over and over when I’m doing something hard. “Do it afraid…do it afraid…do it afraid.” It helps.
Juniper: I’m going to start working by that mantra. Do you have any special skills?
Taylor: I hesitate to reveal this, but I did back in the day do quite a bit of miming.
Juniper: Stop it right now. Can you please show us?
Taylor: I might be a little rusty. Literally several decades ago.
Juniper: Maybe we can get some pictures.
Taylor: Okay, maybe.
Juniper: I know this is a hard one, but how do you think your friends would describe you?
Taylor: I think my friends would describe me as organized, as caring, thoughtful. I like to have fun.
Juniper: And you’re hilarious.
Taylor: And a little quirky.
Juniper: And very passionate. I think our Stylists who have seen you on stage at The Scoop talking about your heart for our Foundation, and for our Sister Entrepreneurs, and our Stylists would say that you are very passionate.
Taylor: Thank you.
Juniper: That’s something I love about you.
Taylor: I am passionate about what we’re doing here at cabi for sure.
Juniper: What advice would you give to your younger self?
Taylor: Younger Taylor, there’s so many things I’d like to tell you. Definitely to loosen up. Not take life too seriously. And I’d also tell her to stay away from perms.
Juniper: Words to live by, people. What’s a cherished memory you have or a cherished experience that you will always remember?
Taylor: When I was really young, I was in elementary school. This is when we were still living in California. My grandparents would come by every Saturday morning, and they would pick up my brother and I in our pajamas, and we would climb into their big van, and we would go to Johnson’s Donuts, and we’d get to pick out a donut and a carton of chocolate milk. It’s one of the sweetest memories that I have of both of them—my grandparents. They’ve both passed away, but I just still cherish those times. And to this day, donuts are my number one favorite food.
Juniper: Aren’t they everyone’s favorite food? That’s so sweet. I’m going to throw you a curveball, but I know you have some nieces now. Do you have any sweet traditions like that, that you’re starting with them?
Taylor: I have two nieces, and they are four and six. Their names are Parker Penny and Pippa Grace. They live in Tacoma, Washington, so I only get to see them every couple of months. I actually try to get up there. At the end of my visit, I say to them, “What does Aunt Tay always do?” And they respond, “Always comes back.” So, that’s our little goodbye. Because sometimes it’s really hard to leave there, but they always know that I’ll come back.
Juniper: Oh, that’s so sweet. Do you have any favorite family vacations?
Taylor: I do. Growing up, we would always go camping. That was our family vacation. We lived in California, so many great places to go. And we would just pile in the car and go tent camping.
Juniper: So fun. And you and your brother are pretty close, right?
Taylor: We are. We had some fun times.
Juniper: We’ve learned a lot about you today. But what’s something else that most people don’t know about you?
Taylor: Most people probably don’t know that I actually spent three years working on Capitol Hill.
Juniper: Yeah, I did not know that. What did you do on Capitol Hill?
Taylor: I worked for a Member of Congress from Northern California, and I was his scheduler so kind of his gatekeeper.
Juniper: From Capitol Hill to cabi. Well, let’s see. How long have you been working here at cabi?
Taylor: I’m coming up on my 11-year anniversary.
Juniper: What have you loved the most about working at cabi over the years?
Taylor: I love the people. I feel like that’s such an obvious thing because I get to work with amazing people—you being one of them—so many women that are so supportive. You know that if you’re having a bad day that there is somebody there to give you chocolate or give you a pep talk. Maybe a little laugh that there’s somebody there to offer that to you. I just feel so supported here at cabi by this group of women.
Juniper: Well, I know you have been an inspiration to so many of us here in the office and so many of our Stylists. So, thank you. And thank you for spending time with us today and letting us get to know a little more about you. I think my favorite is the miming. But we’re going to let you get back to it. I know you’ve got a lot of important work with the Foundation to do. So, we’ll see you next time.
Taylor: Thanks, Juni.
Thank you, Taylor for giving us a glimpse into your life outside of your essential role at cabi. We absolutely love getting to know our team members in a more personal way. When learning about their lives outside the office, there is always a fun, unexpected fact that we discover. Was there a question we didn’t get around to this session? Ask us in the comments below and we’ll include it in our next edition of cabi Q&A.