Miguez Tabora - Lithe Collective
Miguez Tabora is the owner & Creative Director of the curated online shop LITHE COLLECTIVE, and the designer & maker of hand stamped jewelry & accessories at LOVESTAMP. She lives in Pasadena, California with my wife, KD, "All the things that I do, I couldn't be doing without her," says Miguez. With a career in Finance, Miguez's creative outlet is both brands - Lithe Collective & LoveStamp. Running is the only sport that she knows and she is currently training for the 2018 TCS NYC Marathon as part of the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s Athletes for Equality Team.
How did you find your career path?
The journey never ends. I am such a multi-tasker that I still currently keep a day job in Accounting side-by-side with my online shops. I believe that this life is what keeps me going everyday!
What inspires you?
Daily life inspires me from the walk to the coffee shop to meeting interesting people around. I realize that you can find inspiration everywhere you go. Travel is also a big part of my inspiration. Although I wish I could travel more, but even seeing new places around town and experiencing new things for the first time are always a great source of inspiration for me. Other creatives are also my biggest inspirations --- from the likes of Grace Bonney of Design Sponge and Joy Cho of Oh Joy! I have followed the success of these ladies from the very beginning & I’m still always inspired by what they do & what they’ve become. I’d be fangirling if I ever get to meet them.
How do you get into the creative flow?
There is no schedule for me! Sometimes I would be reading something out of a magazine or see something interesting on Instagram or just driving around town when something would hit my creative mind! I would suddenly run to my creative space at home and start either making things or working on my website or finding good stuff to sell on my curated online shop.
What's on your current playlist?
Because I have been training a lot lately for the NYC Marathon, my current playlist include current urban pop music & 80s pop which always keep me going. I’d say you get a mix of a little bit of Drake, DJ Khaled, Maroon 5, Sza, Miley Cyrus, Cindy Lauper & George Michael! And because my day job is in the music business, I get early access to new releases on Urban music!
Where are your favorite places to travel?
Definitely, Hawaii! I’ll be going there soon with my girlfriends and I couldn’t wait! But for a quick travel around Los Angeles, my wife, KD & I love to go on a day trip to Ojai - just serene & quiet little town to unwind away from the city. Plus that’s where we got married, so that will always be a special place for us.
What brings you joy?
Simple daily accomplishments bring me joy. If I finish a TO-DO List for the day - I’d be psyched! Or when I ran a 10-Mile weekend long run, I’d be pumped! When I receive online orders, I’d get so excited! One time I accomplished my shop lookbook and made me crazy! Every single accomplishment I do brings me joy. My online shop is small and self-managed that I do most of the work myself with such gratification. But when orders get out of hand, my wife KD always comes to the rescue and does the shipping for me. And some little downtime with my wife watching Netflix or trying a new restaurant around town makes me happy. And do Oysters count? Yes, they bring me joy :)
What are your hobbies?
Running, Sewing (which I need to do more of again) and Travelling (which I hope I could do more as well).
You're very vocal about love is love, do you feel equality for all?
Being involved with the Human Rights Campaign Foundation through their Athletes’ for Equality Program opened my eyes to how much we still need to accomplish. I feel very lucky to be able to experience equality within my family unit, but there is so much more that we need to do in the society in order to accomplish full equality for all. I believe that the fight for family rights and acceptance is still an ongoing process and we should never stop fighting. I feel privileged to be part of HRC and help make a difference. You can read more of my story & my HRC fundraising page at : https://www.crowdrise.com/o/en/campaign/human-rights-campaign-foundation-nyc-2018/migueztabora
How do you feel about the visibility in your profession? Did this push you to work towards more representation?
I believe that I still have a lot to work on to be recognized and be visible in the retail/creative world. There are a lot of creatives out there with so much talent and a lot of us are not being acknowledged or seen. There has been a lot of legwork involved in order to put my brand out there - long days at flea markets, creative shows and pop-up shops! Being online on a website and social media is one thing, but personal contact at retail events are a lot more fulfilling. Did this push me to work towards more representation? Oh yeah! A lot hard!
How does your community uplift you?
I have a tight group of creative community here in Pasadena who helps with daily inspiration & helps with my social media growth & creative connection. I believe belonging to a community of creatives helps with pushing yourself & be better every time - not through some sort of competition but more of inspiration.
Do you have any upcoming projects that you are excited about?
I am continuously searching for local brands & artisans to include in the shop - so that’s always exciting! And I’m currently working on a project to collaborate with style bloggers on an Instagram takeover --- this will be a lot of fun and l’m so looking forward to that. And as I’ve mentioned many times before, I am now on my official 12-Week Training for the NYC Marathon in November! So I need all the energy, excitement & positive vibes I can get for that.
All photos via Lithe Collective