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My name is Tilden, I’m 26 years young, New Jersey born & raised and currently living in New York City.
I started To Be Bright on January 22, 2013 during my senior year in college. I started it as an online resume/portfolio to help me land a job in New York, focusing on sharing my graphic design projects and personal contributions to the student magazine.
Soon I began posting captures of my personal style in an effort to show myself as a credible college student who likes to dress well, look the part, & is worthy of employment. With zero income & a parental-controlled monthly allowance, I had to get creative with how to make my budgeted style appear ‘tasteful & credible’ to an industry elite.
This led to finding ways to cheat the system, from scouting retailers to shop quality from at an affordable cost to teaching myself how to design a website instead of hiring a developer. I shared everything I discovered on my blog – from what colors always look great together in an outfit and where to score a designer-inspired look for less, to how I designed my own business cards and the steps I took to go from 1,000 to 14,000 page views in less than one month.
Little did I realize I had tapped into a niche that not only reflected my personal situation at the time, but also the shared dilemma of my peers who were also faced with the same struggles of trying to land a post-grad job. I shifted focus from posting projects to (hopefully) please potential employers to sharing personal, tried & true content to inspire the present audience my blog attracted. In the process, our goal of attaining this ‘girl boss-desired life’ started to appear easier to accomplish.
Today, To Be Bright continues its mission of offering a solution to help soften the blow that comes with transitioning to post-grad world. Life after college is a harsh reality and learning how to ‘adult’ is like growing a garden in a desert. No one prepares you for the challenges that come with the desire to succeed on our own, especially in the world we live in today.
I learned some things along the way that worked and led me to become my own boss in 4 1/2 years, yet I always wished I had a resource where I could draw inspiration from while in the process of growing my garden. Which is why I decided to turn To Be Bright into exactly that; the resource for driven post-grads eager to work towards making their dreams become realities just like I have, while limiting those dark days spent sitting in the sand, seeking rain & wondering how to move upward and onward.
To Be Bright is the destination for ‘hacking’ the stress that comes with the life of a 20-something girl who’s navigating young adulthood, aiming to look the part while honoring a budget, and striving to succeed in all her endeavors. Life is hard enough; putting outfits together shouldn’t spark grey hairs, looking the part shouldn’t be expensive, and building a successful brand shouldn’t be a competition. Join me as I continue to inspire the notion of getting up & dressed in the morning as something we can look forward to!
☆ I’m the oldest of 3 girls & the only brunette in my immediate family
☆ Before the blog, I was a Nationally ranked horseback rider & recruited for The University of South Carolina’s NCAA Equestrian Team in 2009; I no longer show but enjoy riding my old 4-legged partner Nikko for fun when I can!
☆ I only get (3) colors on my nails during a manicure; white, light grey, or charcoal; but I’m really starting to like the color mauve & need to find a good shade of it soon
☆ My personality type is an “outgoing introvert” which is an oxymoron on par with “jumbo shrimp” and “deafening silence.” My life can be an unusual mix of traits and tendencies that only I can truly appreciate.
☆ Oreos & Cheez-Its are my guilty pleasure, together…don’t judge, it’s a salty/sweet thing
☆ I spoke at TEDx about the importance of putting your passion online to secure your future, just as how my blog did for me! You can watch it below or click here to witness how nervous I was!
☆ I’m an organized neat freak and calm my anxious OCD moments by cleaning; just call me the perfect wife in training…lol
☆ When it comes to jewelry, I wear gold around my neck & wrists and silver on my fingers; I rarely/never change my earrings
☆ #1 on my bucket list: Skydive in Hawaii; The pictures would be so epic!
☆ I LOVE getting emails from my readers, so shoot me a message with a question or just to say hi anytime!
Defining TO BE BRIGHT
Bright – 1) giving out or reflecting a lot of light; shining – 2)
I wear clothes that make me feel good both on the inside & outside. When I’m happy with what I’m wearing, I become the best version of myself. For me, that’s what is most important when putting outfits together.
Our clothes often reflects who we are as an individual, from our physical preferences to our innermost attitudes. Style runs deep and shines on the surface. At the same time, so does our confidence. We may not show it 24/7 but its something within us that emerges when we’re confronted with a passion. And it starts with what we choose to wear and what makes us essentially feel “bright.”
That Time I Spoke at TEDx
I’m so unbelievably blessed to have began living my dream at only 26 years old; but the journey there was far from smooth. I faced more personal/professional/emotional setbacks and discouragement than I ever imagined when getting my feet off the ground post-college.
But I never gave up on pursuing the ONE thing that gave me such joy during these dark times; I kept reminding myself that all my hard work and dedication WILL pay off in the end. And guess what, IT DID!
The goal I set when delivering this talk is to hopefully inspire someone to put their passion out there and see where it takes them. Get ahead of the game by getting started on something you can call your own, something that just might become your full time job.
If you do what you love, then you never have to work a day in your life.