Originally from Hawaii and raised on an island off Miami, I grew up always traveling somewhere. Trips spanned from scuba diving in Egypt to riding horses in the Dominican Republic.
I’ve lived in
- Hawaii until I was two when my family moved to Miami for work.
- Miami was home for many years. It’s still my home base where some of my family and close friends still live. I love so many things about Miami like the music and culture, but I always wanted to live in many different places, so I did.
- New Orleans, Louisiana where I went to Loyola University and studies Drama and Communications.
- Boulder, Colorado where I worked at Crispin Porter + Bogusky, hailed as Digital Agency of the Decade (almost a decade ago). Worked hard during the week, snowboarded every weekend.
- Florence, Italy where I was married to my first love. We met in Miami when we were 19. I first lived in Florence as a study abroad student with my ex for 8 months, then again before and during our marriage.
- Sestriere, Italy—deep in the Italian Alps just north of Turin—is where my ex-grandma-in-law had an apartment, so why not spend every winter and summer there?! I miss this place! Population 800 and me, the only American until tourists showed up during holiday.
- Jackson Hole, Wyoming where I lived with family and snowboarded the Tetons. Everyone needs to visit at least once.
- Now in Southern Oregon, where I’m learning to embrace a slower pace and trying to find my center through books, hiking and podcasts. I love podcasts.
What I do
I run social media, influencer marketing and content marketing for five international gourmet brands that all fall under one main enterprise. I’m proud of the social team I manage and the talented freelancers I work with.
I’ve organized 6—and counting—World Wide Instameets, one being on snowmobiles in Wyoming! What’s an Instameet? Well, Instagram rallies the world to go out and photograph twice a year during a specified weekend. Every individual meet-up (usually at the city level) creates their own group hashtag, and uses Instagram’s universal hashtag during that weekend. Then Instagram features the top images from the weekend on their account. It’s the perfect way to meet other like-minded photo fanatics in your area.
At 8, my parents gave me my first camera. It was from a trip they took in Egypt, so probably in duty free. It was shiny and red – a Konica. I loved it! At 10, I enrolled in a summer photography class where I built my own camera and took photos of random every day objects and shadows. Then I graduated to portraits. From high school to University, I was obsessed with portraits and let no one stand in my way of a shot. I have folders of negatives of all the strangers I passed in my life. After University I gave it up to ‘play adult’ and make money in sales and marketing. Photography came back into my life when I lived in Italy from 2012 to 2015. Now I’m playing more with lens and getting out to shoot more and more.
Meaning grandparents in Italian, is the subject of an Instagram account, @notmynonni, I started in 2012. Basically, I take photos of old people. I love finding them on the street (mainly in Italy), taking their photo and writing sweet little every day captions on each Instagram post. Check out this Instagram’s blog post they wrote about my project. It has turned into a community with over 23,000 photos of people tagging me in their nonni photos from around the world. @Notmynonni even has its own swag, check out the shop!
I’ve had back pains since I was 17 and a doctor recommended Pilates. It’s heaven sent. I stopped my practice while traveling around Italy and as soon as I got a desk job again the pain was back. It’s now a part of my life whether I do it at home or in a class.
I had to add him to this about page, since he’s also on my homepage’s About Me section. He’s the best. He’s helpful, down to earth and always sharing his knowledge and the knowledge of others. And yes, I met him at SXSW in Austin where he signed his book for me. He’s my secret crush.
Yes, I am coining it now, veganish, it’s my thang. I grew up with an amazing aunt who taught me why we shouldn’t eat animals and showed me how easy it is to eat meat-free. Fast forward a hundred years to 2016 and I’m finally eating waaaaay less meat. Haven’t touched much besides fish and eggs on rare occasions. Btw, I don’t care what others eat, this blog and comments section is a judge-free zone. I know how damn good a Florentine steak is, I mean, I used to eat them twice a month in between munching on prosciutto when I lived in Italy. No shame.
I have serious issues with staying home two weekends in a row, so you’ll see my taking road trips whenever I can. And I mean anywhere… even sleeping in my car in the California Redwoods just to get out of Dodge.
My goal is to read at least one book a month, and I’m averaging 1.2 a month, so I’m on track. So far this year, I’ve read:
- Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter
- The Four Agreements by Miguel Ruiz
- Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris
- Wild by Cheryl Strayed
- How To Develop Self-Confidence and Influence People by Public Speaking by Dale Carnegie
- Eat The Frog by Brian Tracy
What you can expect
I write about what I’m into and I’m into digital marketing, productivity and how to be a better human. You’ll get a taste of these subjects through my mix tapes aplenty, since I write about leadership, life hacks, social media, influencer marketing, travel, books, podcasts and a few surprises sprinkled in.
Don’t forget to follow my adventures on Instagram. Plus, check out my photography project @notmynonni. If nothing does it for you, then you can just check out the time I went bungee jumping off an ancient bridge in the French Alps.
Thanks for stopping by,
Tiana Kai M.