No one curates for the free spirit quite like Tara Mazzeo Jackson. With a knack for finding anything and everything quintessentially bohemian, Tara is clearly emerging as a lifestyle guru for the whimsical wanderer. One need not dig too far on her popular “Bohemian Living” Facebook page to see that this South Floridian is as authentic as the timeless snapshots she posts. Her treasure trove of obscure pictures and quotes never ceases to enchant her audience (nearly 6000 and counting at last glance). After the palpable reaction to her latest exquisite post subsides, one is left wondering, "Where did she find that?" and, undoubtedly, "Who is this girl?"
Precious Beast recently had the opportunity to sit with Tara for SOMEONE YOU OUGHTA KNOW... WITH BOHEMIAN LIVING…
PB: Tell us about Bohemian Living - what inspired you to start it and how long did it take to catch on?
TM: I am certainly not alone in the amount of time I spend online. Within the last year or so, I began to find myself thirsty for an e-community. Something more than the one-sidedness I was bumping into left and right all over the web. In my mind's eye this was a place where kindred spirits could come together in one cozy spot and get a dose of beauty, humor and inspiration. Kind of like a vitamin for the soul.
So with a love for connectedness, a lifelong hobby of building inspiration boards well under way and a killer collection of inspiring imagery already at my fingertips, I launched Bohemian Living with the hopes it would bloom into the e-community I was on a quest for.
So far, so great! I am humbled (and really stoked) to say that in less than 9 months our community has blossomed to just under 6k members. I contribute that to two things: 1) Positive energy attracting positive energies. 2) The human element. The fact that I make it a point to respond and interact with anyone and everyone who takes the time to comment, write and reach out. That right there is what makes this a heart-swelling and motivational activity for me.
PB: Here's a tricky one - Can you define what "bohemian" means to you?
TM: Bohemian to me means a true lover of the "right now". Someone who can find joy in simple pleasures and beauty in the overlooked. Someone who can walk, crawl or climb through life's trails and tragedies and maintain their gratitude for "today". Someone who is willing to say "I'd rather know than wonder what if". Someone who sees artistry all around them. Someone who is guided by authenticity. Someone who is a rebel in all the fun ways and someone who isn't interested in the rat race and instead listens to what makes their heart race and follows that instead.
PB: How old were you when you first felt connected to the bohemian lifestyle?
TM: I was a youngster when I realized I was drumming to a different beat than the rest of my inner city family and friends. They can all confirm this with an enthusiastic nod (alongside lots of stories and giggles). However, it wasn't until several moves around the country and lots of life & experience lived that my most pure boho self blossomed. It's been a process of shedding layers. I'm down to sun-kissed skin now and love it.
PB: You've recently started revealing more about yourself on the page, much to your audience's delight. Can you tell us a little more about you?
TM: Me in a nutty shell....here goes: I am a Gemini, through and through. I carry a journal with me always. I have a serious case of wanderlust. I was born and raised in Boston and will forever call it home. I met the love of my life (and now my husband) on the edge of the jungle in a magical little surf town in Costa Rica. With my camera in hand time goes by at record speed. I refer to my nieces and nephews as "fireflies". I am known to strike a (yoga) pose just about anywhere. I truly believe in making choices based on the following question: "Will I regret NOT doing it?".
PB: Where do you find inspiration?
TM: Oh, the inspiration bank. It could be anywhere at anytime, really. I could be walking through the city and see a piece of graffiti that just stops me in my tracks. I could be at the beach and find a shell that whispers for me to make something with it. Flowers, oh flowers always grab my attention! I am a sucker for a vibrant sunset and I'm literally a word lover....a true, real life, lover of words. Because of all of the above, I don't really go anywhere without my camera in hand to capture whatever magical bit has me spellbound.
PB: You find the most amazing pictures. What do you look for and where do you look when producing content?
TM: My only requirement (aside from it not being vulgar or offensive) is: If I don't feel it, I don't post it. The imagery I curate absolutely must move me. It's truly the pulse of the page.
My curating, storing and organizing is done mostly via Pinterest. I have always been a fan of building inspiration boards (we're time traveling back to the vintage days of scissors, magazines and tape..imagine?), so when I found the online equivalent (Pinterest) it was love at first pin.
Any time I'm surfing the web and come across an image that I think would fit Bohemian Living I'll pin it for future reference. Each morning I'll comb through images as I sip my Earl Grey tea and prepare the day's lineup.
Cherry on top: This exercise has the best way of setting an awesome tone to my day.
PB: What has been the most exciting moment so far with Bohemian Living? The most frustrating?
TM: The most exciting moments have been when I receive a note from someone who follows the page telling me that a post or quote I had shared made a positive impact on their day. I know that must seem really cliché to anyone reading this right now (I totally saw you roll your eyes! hahaha). The truth is, there was a time in my life that I had been moved at a time that I really needed it by an image or words that were splashed across the web. So the thought that I get to pay that forward is really a gift I never imagined.
On the other paw, of course there are frustrating moments too (just to keep things balanced, ha!). In all honesty, this doesn't happen often at all and when it does it usually takes form in comments that can sometimes come off as a tad bit rough around the edges. Never anything outright ugly, just an observation that I think has more to do with "social media etiquette" and us, as a whole, actually being the writers of such a handbook.
PB: What do we have to look forward to from Bohemian Living?
TM: Bohemian Living is just at the beginning of (what I'm hopeful will be) a long legacy. As the page continues to grow, so will the community, the name, the story and the mission. All of which are unfolding as I type.
PB: Any advice for your fellow "wandering gypsies" or lifestyle curators out there?
TM: My best piece of advice is to listen to the magical bits that truly move you, that make eyes light up and your heart race. It's those bits and pieces that will never steer you wrong. It's what I refer to as authenticity and it's important in anything you do.
PB: Where can people find out more?