DESIGN YOUR LIFE: tieka of selective potential

Those who have seen the new Jess LC lookbook might recognize Tieka of Selective Potential. Having met Tieka during the photo shoot and through reading her blog, I’ve come to admire her so much for her sweet, kind personality. No to mention her accomplishments in art school, her personal life, and the blog. So of course I wanted to learn more about how her intentions guide her actions. (I feel pretty lucky that I can just ask the people I admire to spill the secrets to their success through DYL interviews.)

After reading Tieka’s intentions, I really admired how honest and candid she was about her progress. I feel like she’s almost left us a road map of sorts to help us overcome some of the same obstacles she’s faced in the past.


DESIGN YOUR LIFE: Tieka of Selective Potential

Just go for it

I run a personal style blog, Selective Potential, and when I started – I had no idea where I was going with it… or how to even start, but I just went for it. I set it up the best I knew how and started networking and working hard. It was day in and day out on the blog, making it better each and every day and all of those hard working days turned into months of amazing success. I was so intimidated by such high powered fashion bloggers – I always thought to myself, “I could never afford that!” or “I could never pull that off.” It’s not about that. Running my blog – I just put myself out there – with my budget, my life restrictions and try to inspire others through what I’m able to do. I always try to put my best work into the blog – I truly think it all out – and then I just go for it! Most of the time, I get an amazing response from readers and truly feel accomplished with what I have done!

Be in control

I found that I used to “out of control”. I didn’t have a good grasp on time management, or what I should be doing with my life. I found that once I tried to make every second of my day count – the day ended and I felt amazing about how I spent my time and how the next day kept looking better and better! Last year, I lost 35 pounds following the Weight Watchers program. Prior to starting the program, I found myself stressed, busy, with no motivation to wake up in the mornings causing me to be even more rushed and busy, I’d grab food without thinking about it, I’d put off homework to sit on the couch and complain about how I didn’t have it all together. Until, I was tired of that lifestyle! And my weight was the biggest thing holding me down. As soon as I was able to control my daily diet with Weight Watchers, I felt I could do anything. Losing weight made me a better student, a happier wife, a more motivated person to clean the apartment or to be active outside. I’d think of each activity as a bonus for the diet and at the end of it all, I found myself having a blast being busy, and active because it was all things I wanted to do with my life.

Love your surroundings

I grew up with people who complained left and right about our state, our town. “It’s awful here,” “There is nothing to do,” “It’s freezing,” “I hate everyone here,” whatever their excuse, it was unnecessary. And I used to be one of them, until I embraced my surroundings. I live in Michigan – a place not too exciting to the outsider – but as soon as I immersed myself into my surroundings, I fell in love with living here. And being in love with your location and your surroundings, changes your entire outlook on life. My husband, Brett, and I now take monthly adventures around our state to explore something new. I always try to incorporate something unique about Michigan into my fashion blog, by surrounding myself by interesting sculptures or gorgeous scenery. I’ve even found that putting myself into these settings has helped inspire my fashion sense! I feel like whenever I look at an outfit I put together, I think to myself, “That is so Michigan – so perfect for my little beach town!” It’s amazing the fun you can find in where you live, instead of wishing you were always somewhere else. Love where you are.

Love who surrounds you

Surround yourself with genuine people. And most of the time, you’ll know if they are genuine or not. I used to surround myself with some of the worst people and I was never sure why. I knew they weren’t good people, but yet I still spent my time with them until after enough time passed – I still felt alone, like I didn’t actually have friends. I didn’t really get a good grasp on this until I met my husband, Brett. He was the most kind and most caring person I had ever met. Spending so much time with him makes me realize I wish I had spent more time with people like him my entire life. It would have been so much more fun and carefree and “drama”-free. He comes from an amazing family who makes my life so much more worthwhile. And granted, I don’t have many girlfriends – two very close ones – but I know they are both going to be there for me through everything. It’s not the quantity – but the quality of the relationships you have in your life.

Be passionate

I get countless emails from girls asking, “How did you get so many readers?” “How do you get so many comments?” “Why am I not getting comments or readers?” and my answer is always – don’t do something for others, always do it for yourself. When I started blogging, I had no idea what to expect. I blogged because I thought it looked fun, and it was a great hobby, for a keepsake – never to gain sponsors, or readers, or clicks, or whatever! In each one of my blog posts, I always think to myself – how do I want to remember this time period, what outfit do I want to wear while having fun, etc. Many of my blog posts back in November didn’t have many comments – but I put just as much hard work into those as I do now! It’s about yourself – if you’re not passionate about something, then it becomes a job and it loses its edge! So many people believe they can start something and it’s an instant success – it doesn’t work that way. I spent seven hour alone coming up with a blog name! I can’t even begin to tell you how many hours I’ve spent designing the layout, taking outfit shots, editing the shots, planning outfits, shopping, networking, commenting. It’s honestly a full time job – but it doesn’t feel like it because I love it so much. And this pertains to anything in life – whether it’s a blog, or a shop, or a class, or going to college – whatever. As soon as you look at it like it’s a chore, it’ll be a chore!

Every day counts

This was my motto when I started my “life change” January 1 2009, the first day I started Weight Watchers. Every single day, I made sure that every day counted. It would motivate me to wake up in the morning, attend that 8:30 AM class, make it count, to pay attention in class, to eat something healthy for that day’s lunch, and that day’s dinner, and to head to the gym afterwards – just for that night. I didn’t think about the upcoming weeks – how many countless hours I’d have to spend eating non-buttered popcorn or sweating around the track at the gym. I’d think about today. And by the end of it all – I was 35 pounds lighter, ran my very first 5K, had a straight A semester, was on the president’s list at college and the happiest I’ve ever been. After keeping up the “every day counts” mentality for over a year now – I’m graduating, with a studio excellence award, still at my weight goal, insanely passionate about blogging and still have those true genuine people in my life – and I feel like all of those “every days” made up some amazing successful months (and years!)

Check out past DESIGN YOUR LIFE interviews.

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  1. Stephanie

    Very motivating post! Way to go with Weight Watchers- that’s awesome!

  2. Jamillah

    Where did you get that chair?? It is so cute!! Thank you for writing this post. Like the old saying ” Nothing venture, nothing gain” Great blog!!

  3. What an inspiring post – I love that she had the courage and dedication to just go for it!

  4. Janene

    so inspirational, and from such a beautiful girl! congrats on all your success, Tieka!

    love & light…

  5. Katrina

    I love the “Design Your Life” feature and this particular interview was a real treat! It was very inspiring and put a big smile on my face. Thanks!

  6. Kim

    Wow, what great advice! Some of these things, I feel like she’s speaking right to me! I’ve been needing to lose weight for a while and can’t seem to get motivated. I’ll stick with something for a day then go off the wagon. Have thought about Weight Watchers but keep making excuses like “it’s too expensive” or “I don’t have time”. I need to just shut up and do it! lol. I also love the comments about doing things for yourself, appreciating your surroundings and who is around you (I need to work on living in the moment more and being grateful for what I DO have, rather than mad about what I don’t!). Really, all of this advice is good for me to keep in mind! I love Tieka’s blog and love her even more now as a person after this post 🙂 Thanks Tieka!

  7. Kim

    Oh! I also meant to say that I’m also with you on the quality more than quantity of friends – I don’t have a huge group of friends either – I have two best friends, and a few gals that are more “acquaintences” that I hang out with once in a while. But I like it like that. I have to spend a lot of time with someone before I feel really comfortable with them and can totally open myself up, so that means it’s hard for me to make new friends; takes a lot of time. But what’s the use in having 20 close friends if you don’t really feel “close” to them in the true sense? I’ll take my two close gals over being the most popular any day!

  8. Stacey

    Lovely post, Tieka! Thanks so much…I also felt like you were speaking directly to me. 🙂 Thank you for the reminder to make every day count. Congratulations on your successes!

  9. Katie

    such a good design your life piece! i think tieka is a great lady and was so excited to see her post here today! awesome job. xo.

  10. Flavia

    Loved this one! I particularly like her ‘be in control’ intention. Sometimes it’s easy to forget how much we really can control our lives. I constantly feel like things just ‘happen’ to me, but this is a nice reminder that I can make things happen…thanks!

  11. Ann

    That’s so funny for me to read this right now. I just joined Weight Watchers online about an hour ago and was thinking, “am I really going to do this everyday?” So taking it one day at a time is really good advice! I am having trouble locating my passion right now, but I am intentionally working on finding it each day. Maybe I will also lose the weight and find the passion.

  12. Kate M

    Wow! Thanks so much for featuring this gem. She is my absolute favorite…I love how you did this interview. You made it so uplifting and special. Your blog is truly great. <3

  13. Eva

    Wow! I read this in the morning and had to come back and re-read it! Completely inspired by Tieka! Thanks!!!! x 1,000!

  14. Elena

    What an amazing interview! I love reading Selective Potential/Tieka’s posts. These photos are all stunning. Having lost 25 pounds this past year, can definitely relate to some of it!

  15. Loved this interview – her positivity + passion for life. Awesome to hear she’s from Michigan, too!

  16. Kat

    This was a great feature! Tieka you are awesome and so inspirational. Keep it up girl!

  17. Lisa

    Tieka – Thank you SO MUCH for being so open and up front. I’ve been following Selective Potential for a while, and while I’ve loved your posts and outfits, I’ve also come to have a great deal of respect for you!!! I work full time, go to school at night, am trying to start and business and have a life somewhere in between…not to mention struggling with my weight and time management. Reading this makes me feel like I have some serious changes to make about how I approach things! Making every day count adds up to every single day being productive and having substance. Seriously – thank you for sharing…very inspirational!

  18. This is my favorite interview thus far. Absolutely inspirational. Her exeperiences are very relatable and for her to share the steps to her triumps is greatly appreciated. I finished the rest of my day making each day count and left work feeling acheived then finished class that night in front of the ball. Thank you for this post.

  19. Katie

    Great interview Jess, you picked a great blogger with a fantastic attitude to life, thanks.

  20. K.O.

    Tieka is gorgeous, funny, motivated, etc. Love this girl, love her blog. Her sincerity is just wonderful. Go, Tieka, go!

  21. love this, especially the “be in control”& “just go for it”–i’m finding this to be so true about my own life! fabulous!

  22. Kelley

    Wow, this was a really inspiring post. Thank you Tieka for sharing with us.

  23. Simone

    I think this was one of my favorite Design your Life Posts!
    Its really awesome how honest Tieka was about her experiences. Its inspiring to read about someone who has struggled through similar stuff & come out the other side shining! 🙂

  24. Mara

    aw such a great interview! I love Tieka and her blog. She has such an amazing drive and is great inspiration 🙂

  25. Lisa

    Thank you for this inspiring post! What a great motto to make every second of your day count. I’m so glad I found your blog through Selective Potential.

  26. kim

    This is a really great interview. I’ve been reading Tieka’s blog for a long while now and her positive outlook on life is really inspirational. And I also completely agree on the quality of friends vs quantity thing. I used to have a lot of not-so-real friends, and I’m much happier now with the few truely real friends I do have.
    Go Tieka! 🙂

  27. What I really LOVE about this article and about Tieka’s approach is that she stuck with it. I’ve set my intention many times before to do this, that or the other thing or to make each day count, etc. but I end up slacking off and then letting it go. Any tips on how you stuck with it, Tieka?

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