As the reality of the pandemic and “shelter in place” set in, Tara Paige realized her outdoor space was the ultimate escape. The Texas native sought to expand her living space beyond the four walls of her house, and share that passion with others. In April, she launched the Black Women Who Love Outdoor Living SpacesTM Facebook group, which a few short months later has already surpassed over 150k users and continues to grow by 10k a week. Clearly, Tara was onto something! We had a recent chat with the entrepreneur, from the group’s beginning to what she has planned next:
What first sparked your interest in (and love of!) outdoor spaces?
I love being outside and entertaining. Back in April, I realized that my patio was the perfect project to get my mind off of the pandemic and instead focus on something that I really enjoy doing.
When you first launched the Facebook group, how did you “recruit” new members or get the word out?
It has been entirely by word of mouth! Members shared the group with their friends and family and has continued to grow by 10,000 new members every week.
Tell us about some of the “a-ha!” or lightbulb moments you’ve had since creating this community. Any moments that made you feel like you were really onto something?
One moment in specific is when I went into a Kirkland’s store looking for a specific outdoor stool that the group recommended, and the cashier told me they were sold out nationwide because of “some Facebook Group.” I realized she was talking about my group and the community I started – I couldn’t believe it! Over the coming weeks, members shared that similar stools were now sold out at Michael’s, Walmart and other stores. Then, the same thing happened with a floating wine glass. That’s when it really hit me what this could grow into, and really just how needed it was.
Tell us about your own patio. What do you love most about the space? What are your favorite rituals or routines on your patio?
What I love most about my patio is sitting out with a glass of wine listening to the rustle of the wind blowing through the trees. It’s so calming to hear the sounds of nature.
You’ve decided to keep the group dedicated specifically for Black women. Tell us a bit about this choice.
As I looked for décor inspiration for myself, I realized that there weren’t any big-names talking about outdoor decorating and entertaining that looked like me. As a Black woman, you don’t always have options to hear from someone who looks like you and I wanted to change that. We’re at a point in our country where Black women need a safe space of true identity, where we can heal together. That doesn’t mean we don’t love everyone, but it means we need our own space. And that needs to be OK.
Finally, your brand is now expanding to products. What are some of you favorites?
I am excited to offer T-shirt’s and wine glasses right now. I have my first meeting with a major retailer to carry The Patio Chic Outdoor living spaces accessory line. My team and I are elated to be behind this journey.