DCFunemployment: Tell the people – Who are you?
My name is Tanvi Rastogi, I am the creative ‘head’ behind www.tanvii.com. I started this blog in 2009 as a spontaneous decision to connect with the outside world and now over the years it has become a source of inspiration, income and a tool to collaborate with like-minded people. I am also a wardrobe stylist. I enjoy helping women find their personal style and have a wardrobe that they 100% love.
DCF: What does being funemployed mean to you & what was your path to funemployment?
TR: Being funemployed means doing something you are excited about, and willing to get out of bed for, even on days when you are not inspired. My path to funemployment has been self-discovery. Having the courage to listen to my head and heart and not give into the pressures of the society to follow a norm. Living life and ‘working’ on my own terms. This quotes defines me to a ’T’ –
“What do you do for a living?”
“I read. I travel. I love. I laugh.”
“No. How do you earn your bread?”
“Oh I work. But that’s not living.”
DCF: Who was your first cheerleader?
TR: It was my brother who first encouraged me to start writing but in no time my cheer-leading squad grew. It included my husband, my parents, my friends and family. Everyone read, commented and encouraged my writing in the early days. It was a good boost to know there are people reading your stories when you have just started something new.
DCF: What experiences in your life prepared you for where you are now?
TR: I believe you are a total sum of all your experiences. There is not a single moment in my life that I look back and think, “that was a bad experience” because each one of them made me who I am today – a strong, compassionate, creative woman who is not scared to follow her heart to any end. (DCF: So true, it’s not what happens in life but how you deal with it that shapes who you are. Things happen, you have to deal and move forward!). However, I would like to mention how much I value being exposed to many cultures and having lived in different countries in my teenage and early twenties. It broadened my world view and made me see things from various perspectives. (DCF: Exposure to the world is so important!).
DCF: Where do you get your inspiration and/or motivation?
TR: A lot of my inspiration is drawn from people I come across in my everyday life. I enjoy reading biographies and listening to people’s stories. Everyone has a story and no one’s story is perfect but how some of us decide to change the narrative of our story is quite astounding (in a good way). (DCF: Yassss it is so true, we are the designers of our own lives, I completely believe that).
My source of motivation however, is within me. I can’t quite put a finger on it but when I decide to achieve something, I give it my 100 percent. What motivates me to do that is something I have not figured out yet. (DCF: Whatever it is, hold on to it!).
DCF: What does balance mean to you and how do find balance?
TR: I remember my mother always telling me, “too much of anything isn’t good”. Her statement was in reference to food, but I had realized early on in life it could very much be applied to every.single.thing. That’s exactly what balance means to me – doing (and eating) everything in moderation. No one thing (or activity) should take over your life completely. Having a wholesome living experience comes from making time for everything including sleep and relaxation.
I find balance by being disciplined and following a routine (on most days). When you do something continuously for at least 21 days, you make it a habit. And as we all know, habits are hard to break, good or bad!
DCF: What sacrifices did you have to make to get here?
TR: As a business student, I have always referred to “sacrifice and compromise” as opportunity costs. With every single act we make a choice and making that choice means giving up on something else aka opportunity cost. For example, when I decide to stay out at till midnight, I am giving up on my sleep. When I decide to have a pizza for a meal, I am choosing to not have pasta. So on and so forth. Are those sacrifices? (DCF: Well when you put it like that, it really is all about outlook, I will happily “sacrifice” certain things when necessary but it also goes back to balance).
But I know that you don’t mean to ask this question in that simplistic way but I don’t think I have made any sacrifices. I have made choices. Choices I have been happy with so far. (DCF: I made them open for interpretation and I like how you choose to interpret it!)
DCF: What struggles have you faced as a women in your industry?
TR: I have not had any sour experiences in my work life which I can call ‘struggles as a woman’. There have been struggles (while working) but they didn’t have anything to do with my sex. However, I have had many other struggles as a woman in society, which didn’t have anything to do with my work. Ah, the dichotomies of a woman’s life.
DCF: What is the early advice you didn’t listen to that you wish you had?
TR: Oh! So many. I wish I had listen to my mother when she asked me to be more active as a kid, or when she asked me to not pick on my skin as a teenager. But I did listen to most of the advice I got while growing up. The reason to where I am and who I am today, because I always listened to the good advice my parents gave me.
DCF: What was your greatest failure and what did you learn from it?
TR: This is going to sound like a broken record – I have not had any failures. Of course, there have been things that didn’t work out in my life, but they were not failures. They were stepping stones to where I am today. No bad experiences and failure here. Only – lessons! (DCF: That is actually part of why I ask this question, because while things go wrong in life, it is often those “failures” that push us to the success we later find).
DCF: What is your proudest moment?
TR: When I moved to United States, my residence status didn’t allow employment. That is one of the reasons why I engrossed myself with my blog. Over the years the blog itself became my full-time job and has opened channels of other paid collaborations and opportunity.
I always wanted to find a way to work and travel at the same time. In the last year I pivoted my blog from being a ‘fashion blog’ to a travel+lifestyle blog’ which has given me various opportunities to collaborate with hotels, and travel boards as a part of my work.
I am mighty proud of creating something from nothing, on my own with just my cheerleaders behind me. Today my blog supports my way of life.
DCF: So what’s next??
TR: At the moment I am trying to build my portfolio as a personal wardrobe stylist. So if you are a woman (or man) reading this and looking for a fresh perspective towards your closet, get in touch with my at email@example.com.