Meet the Maker: Jolene Taracatac

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Jolene Taracatac is the founder of Style Squad, a fashion app that aims to empower people to feel confident in who they are in all aspects of their life including their style. She is a UCF alumna where she got her degree in Business Management. A few years after graduating from UCF she attended and graduated from the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in LA. She has been involved in the fashion industry for years doing different things from managing a clothing retail store to assisting fashion stylists during her time in LA.

Let’s meet Jolene:

What time of day do you like to start work?

I like to start my mornings off slow and start work somewhere between 10:00am and 11:00am.

Are tough decisions best taken on by one person or by a group?

I think tough decisions are best taken on by one person that maybe would consult a mentor or two. It usually depends on how important the decision is and how fast it needs to be made. Making a tough decision in a group can definitely slow down the process.

Do you want to be liked or respected?

I would prefer both but I think being respected is definitely more important.

What does your support system look like?

I like to keep other entrepreneurial-minded people close to me. People who are also working on their own goals and dreams. It’s a good support system to have because they understand the challenges of starting a business and will be there to cheer you on and give advice.

What would your key entrepreneur advice be?

Be willing to get uncomfortable, know that obstacles and failures are inevitable but all that matters is keeping your head in the game. Mindset is everything.

The right mindset, an action plan, and resilience is the recipe for success.

What do you find the most difficult part of your job?

The most difficult part of my job is there is no one telling me exactly what I need to do. It’s about trying a bunch of different things and learning as I go. But it’s also one of the most exciting things about the job.

Have you ever made a mistake you wish you could take back?

No because every mistake is a valuable lesson learned.

If you could fix one thing about your company today, what would it be?

It would be to fix the missing gaps in my team. We could definitely use someone with marketing expertise.

What does ‘style’ mean in Orlando/Central Florida?

I think style in Orlando and Central Florida means wearing whatever is comfortable, keeps you cool, and doesn’t take too much thought. I think a lot of inspiration is needed, which is a problem I hope to help solve. I would say there are handful of people who are confident in their style here, but so many people don’t seem to put too much thought into it.

Describe your ideal food day in Orlando.

Having an ideal food day in Orlando is tough because there are still so many places I haven’t tried. I have started a list, so it would involve trying out these new places. I love all kinds of food so send recommendations my way!

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Meet the Maker: Hillary LaMountain

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Hillary LaMountain is an illustrator based in Orlando. “My work is bright, colorful, filled with sass, and a little morbid, but in like, a cute way. Growing up, I was always obsessed with horror and all things strange, so I love incorporating those themes into my brand. More recently, I’ve been working toward opening an online shop and I’ve been having so much fun creating products for it. I’m so grateful to be able to create every day, because it’s something that I genuinely enjoy and love doing.”

What time of day do you like to start working on your art/design?

I’m one of those crazy morning people. I wake up between 5-6am so that I can have time to think about my day ahead. Maybe drink a coffee, scroll through various social media accounts, taking in the memes. And then I like to get started right away while I have the energy. 

Do you want to be liked or respected?

I mean if someone doesn’t like me, then they don’t like me — I couldn’t possibly please everyone. But yeah I’d like to be respected; and I just think that comes from being a genuine, reliable non-asshole human.

What does your support system look like?

My support system looks like my mom, my 2 cats, the Great British Baking Show and bubble baths. 

What would your key entrepreneur/artist advice be?

Self-care, and I can’t stress that enough. As someone who has burnt themselves out from working many times, taking time to invest in yourself is not only important, but necessary. So, devote some time in your day to doing something you like, even if it’s small! And sometimes, you can even use it as an incentive to get work done. Somehow, knowing you’ve got a Netflix-binge or a bubble bath (or both if you’re really living your best life) waiting for when you finish work makes it a little more enjoyable.

What do you find the most difficult part of your work/art?

I’m actually just getting out of an art block right now so this question is kinda perfect; my biggest struggle with my art is myself. I’m an over-thinker and I’m constantly questioning everything that I’m doing — so much so, that every so often, I begin to hate everything I make. So, I go back to the drawing board (pun always intended) and sketch until I like what I see. And sometimes that takes a few days, and sometimes it takes a few months. 

Have you ever made a mistake you wish you could take back?

Gahhh so many.

If you could fix one thing about your solopreneurship today, what would it be?

Time management. I’m a master-procrastinator so I wish that I would’ve just taught myself better habits early on so that they weren’t so hard to stick with nowadays. 

Describe your ideal food day in Orlando.

Okay so prepare yourself for an extremely thought-out answer; and I’m going to start by waking up and going straight to White Wolf for breakfast. Then since it’s early, I’m gonna to run to P is for Pie to get some handheld pecan pies for dessert when I get home later. Then for lunch, I always love a classic burger and fries with a twist — so for that, I’m going to Toasted. And for dinner, I’m sooo going to Sushi Lola’s because Lava Dips are what dreams are truly made of. Throw in stopping by Skyebird for a lavender lemonade and I could die happy (and full).   

How does Orlando inspire your work?

Orlando is such a weird and fun place to live and the one thing that I love the most, is how time and time again, I’ve seen this community come together and do amazing things. Orlando inspires me to work hard and create meaningful work, so that maybe I too can make Orlando a lil more awesome. 

What do you miss most about home when you travel?

My bed!

Timucua Arts is an Orlando Gem

Timucua Arts Foundation is a home. A real home where people live. It’s also an event space for musicians and music performances that is unlike any other. A three story space that has every instrument imaginable and which has featured international musicians, Grammy award winners, and countless others. This tour of the space with founder Benoit Glazer is something you have to see to believe. Watch it below.

The mission says it all:

This, we believe:

Art and music belong to everyone.

Art and music are the highest manifestation of our humanity.

Art and music should be enjoyed in the most intimate venue: the living room.

Every community is better when art and music are performed and nurtured within it.

The mission of the Timucua Arts Foundation is to present and inspire great music and art in Central Florida through performance and education.

This FAQ page will answer all your questions.

Timucua White House

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Event Space Address:
2000 South Summerlin
Orlando, FL
32806