Create & Cultivate 100: Fashion: Tanesha Awasthi

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It's something that most, if not all, women can relate to. 

When Tanesha Awasthi started Girl With Curves in 2011, she paved the way for plus-sized fashion bloggers, stepping out from behind fashion industry constructions. She is a woman with brains, gusto, a champion for the body positive and female empowerment movements, mom (to 4-year-old son and English bulldog), digital influencer, and so much more. Her body may have carved out a place for her in the blogging world, but it's her other more compelling attributes that have staying power.

A well of inspiration to women everywhere, Tanesha challenges women to love their bodies. To love themselves. She believes that self-esteem starts with a healthy sense of realism. And the woman is real.

To point: 2017 was the year of expanding content altogether, covering a wider variety of topics outside of style and beauty that are important to her. She added a Wellness section and a Real Talk column where the blogger vents about things that are bothering her. 

Find out more below. 

In many ways your career through-line is about breaking barriers. First as a WOC in tech and then as a plus-size blogger in a formerly non-inclusive space. Was that always a goal of yours?

Not at all! When I first started GWC it was simply a creative outlet outside my now former career in tech. I never thought it would turn into anything outside of a hobby, let alone a full-blown business. But I did realize pretty quickly that I didn't fit into the "style blogger mold" at the time, in being larger than the majority of women I saw getting attention from magazines. I was happy to know I was different from everyone else by riding the line between straight and plus, because that gave me the option of really standing out in a market that wasn't yet evolved as far as curvy bodies go.

"I was happy to know I was different from everyone else."

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Would you say that your career in tech prepared you for the fashion space?

In ways I think it did, especially when it comes to organization, project and time management. My business partner and husband has a tech background as well (in software Engineering) and we often find ourselves using knowledge and business practices from our past careers to help take our digital media business forward.

Women struggle with self-confidence. With imposter syndrome. But Girl with Curves is about being unapologetically confident. At what point did you find that self-confidence within?

It took me many years to find it - I certainly didn't start GWC as a confident woman who loved her body or herself inside and out. It's been quite the journey and at times I still think I'm searching to find that confidence within myself at any given moment. GWC allows me to get my daily dose of what I call "friendship-therapy" by talking to women who have either gone through similar experiences as myself or are going through the same experiences as I am at any given time. It's a beautiful thing to find people online from all walks of life whom you can relate to on such a deep level, without even knowing them personally! I think of my audience as a community of friends and I've always had an open line of communication with them about the core values GWC stands for self-confidence, self-love and body acceptance.

GWC stands for self-confidence, self-love and body acceptance.

Can you recall a recent hard day when you had to rely on someone other than yourself to pull it together?

I rely on my husband and sisters a ton, but I often vent about things I'm going through in my #RealTalk column on the blog, which I started just a few months ago as a way to openly vent about any and everything that was on my mind. It's nice hearing from readers who can offer me advice or simply let me know that hearing me talk so openly about an issue puts them at ease in knowing they aren't alone. The last #RealTalk was about the downsides of pregnancy that women often don't discuss. Needless to say, it was a popular topic!

"Ignore the negative what-ifs and go for it."

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What's the best advice you've ever been given? Or your favorite piece of #realtalk?

Ignore the negative what-ifs and go for it. I've always been an over-analyzer, so ignoring that voice in my head is something I constantly have to overcome, and it was the best advice I got from the CFO (who also became my friend over time) at my former job in tech, who was very supportive of me leaving to pursue blogging full-time.

You're about to give birth to your little girl! How has having a girl changed your approach to parenting? Are there different concerns?

I'm due in 2 weeks! Knowing that I'm having a girl has definitely brought about some anxiety, because girls are treated so unfairly in today's society, along with a whole list of things I went through growing up that most of the women I know also went through, including sexual harassment and discrimination. At the end of the day though, I know all I can do is teach her she can be anyone she wants and accomplish anything she sets her mind to, along with reminding her that her worth is much more than physical appearance.

You also recently launched the Girl with Curves collection exclusively at Dia & Co. What did you learn through that process?

I've always wanted to be a designer, so being able to go through the process with a team of people who believe in my vision and stand for the same values I stand for through GWC was amazing. I can't wait to design more in 2018!

What are you excited for next?

I'm in the process of designing another collection for 2018, as well as continuing to build my team on the digital media side of the business.

What would you consider your superpower?

I have a knack for telling people exactly how to get what they want out of their job, their husbands, whatever it is, I can give some amazing advice that gets results!