With the demands of life and business in our modern times, peace can be elusive. Yet, as female CEOs, we sometimes talk ourselves out of creating that necessary environment of calm. We wrongly believe we’re not worthy or that it’s indulgent or selfish, but it isn’t. It’s truly an investment in yourself and your business….

EP #8

Season 3 Episode 8: Fostering Peace and Serenity with Tara Fust

With the demands of life and business in our modern times, peace can be elusive. Yet, as female CEOs, we sometimes talk ourselves out of creating that necessary environment of calm. We wrongly believe we’re not worthy or that it’s indulgent or selfish, but it isn’t. It’s truly an investment in yourself and your business.

In this episode, I talk with interior designer Tara Fust (Tara Fust Design) about the value of peace. We discuss fostering peace in all endeavors, whether it’s in your surroundings or within relationships. She shares about the joy of finding common ground with other women, the pitfalls of taking on a business partner, and the power of staying present through failure. As you listen to our discussion, I hope you find the inspiration to build beauty and serenity into your life and business.

“When you can create those moments of peace and quiet where you can just kinda get back to who you are… So powerful.” – Tara Fust

What You’ll Learn

  • Finding common ground with others
  • Contemplating taking on a partner
  • Staying present in failure
  • Owning your wisdom
  • Investing in peace
  • Not asking for permission
  • Leaning into what you know

Meet Tara Fust

Tara is the founder and designer of Tara Fust Design. TFD is all about collected, casual, effortless style. It’s home. The kind of place that makes you want to kick off your shoes, grab a drink, and hang out for a while.

Tara in her own words…
THE FAT: I’m the daughter of an interior designer who grew up living in homes that were constantly evolving, changing… being redone. Combine that with the sunshine and beaches of Southern California and it’s no surprise I’m living a creative life that’s inspired by easy, beautiful living.

THE SKINNY: A move South and the springboard of a little home furnishings store—plus a handful of great clients—and I’ve found my place. It’s about creating homes and spaces that invite you in, beg you to stay, and make your day when you come through the door.

Contact Info and Recommended Resources

Connect with Tara Fust

Connect with Kris Plachy

I love and appreciate reviews from my listeners on iTunes. Would you do me the favor and take a few moments to write one today?

Kris Plachy: Welcome to Season Three of the Leadership is Feminine podcast. I’m Kris Plachy, and I’m so happy that you’re here. In this season, we’re doing something different. One of the things that I believe to be true is that there is so much unsourced beautiful wisdom in the everyday person. I really like to talk about what I call obscure wisdom. That means these are things that people know, that unless we meet them at a cocktail party, or at a barbecue, or sitting next to them on a train, we don’t hear about it.

And these aren’t celebrities, these aren’t people who’ve written bestselling books yet, these aren’t people that are on the circuit that everybody else is learning from. These are everyday women, who are CEOs, building, dealing with, working through all the pieces and parts of running a company. And I want to bring my beautiful clients, and their wisdom to your ears, because I know that you’ll find it to be validating, and insightful, and hopefully also some fun. So, without further ado, let’s get started with this week’s amazing personal client and guest on Leadership is Feminine.

Hello, everybody. How are you? I’m so excited that you’re here for this episode of Leadership is Feminine. Today, I’m super excited to introduce my client, Tara Fust. She was telling me funny things about her name. Tara and I have known each other for a few years, which is so fun. And Tara is simply delightful and intelligent, and witty. And I’m thrilled to have this time to spend to chat with you and have you share some of your story and some of your wisdom. So, welcome, Tara.

Tara Fust: Thank you. I’m happy to see you. It’s great to be with you and not be taking notes.

Kris Plachy: Well, it’s early. You never know.

Tara Fust: Okay, I got time.

Kris Plachy: It could be a truth bomb comes out and you’re like, “Wait, we need to write that down.”

Tara Fust: It could happen. It could happen.

Kris Plachy: You might say one.

Tara Fust: You never know.

Kris Plachy: You’re prone to that too.

Tara Fust: Yeah, you never know.

Kris Plachy: I like to think how lucky I am that I get to learn from people every day. All right, so, tell us who you are and what your beautiful business is and what your magic is that you do in the world.

Tara Fust: My name is Tara Fust. And I have an interior design firm in Atlanta, Georgia called Tara Fust Design. This is actually my third magical business. I am a serial business, I guess entrepreneur, and we create beautiful spaces for people, we let them know what’s possible. And I always tell people, I’m not selling furniture. I’m selling a feeling. I want you to walk in, I want you to love your house. It’s who I am. It’s what I do. It’s what we do. We bring that into the world. And through that, we feel like we change lives.

Kris Plachy: You do change lives. People’s spaces are…

Tara Fust: 100%, before they even know it too, so it’s super fun. I have a super fun job.

Kris Plachy: You do have a super fun job and you have a super beautiful aesthetic. So, if people don’t know about you yet, they absolutely need to go to Instagram and follow your Instagram profile. It’s Tara Fust Design, right?

Tara Fust: It is Tara Fust design, yeah.

Kris Plachy: So, beautiful, beautiful work and anyway, incredibly inspiring. So, I’m thrilled that you’re here. Now we’ve known each other for a while and walked the path as you’ve made some decisions about your business and then made new decisions about your business. How would you describe your own growth as a woman who is running her own business, the one that you’re running now?

Tara Fust: I had had this business for quite a while before you and I met, but I didn’t want employees. I wanted to keep it tight. I wanted to keep it small. I’m a control freak and my previous experience with employees was less than desirable. So, you helped me get over that hump in a big way. I now have SOPs because of you.

Kris Plachy: Oh my Gosh.

Tara Fust: And honestly, I get a little irked when people don’t follow the SOPs.

Kris Plachy: Well, what’s the point of it?

Tara Fust: What’s the problem? I laid it out for you like a beautiful gift.

Kris Plachy: Follow it and everybody’s going to be fine.

Tara Fust: I know. It is so much easier.

Kris Plachy: So, it’s an interesting journey, I love that you’ve done this three times, what did you know for sure you didn’t want to do this time that might have happened in your previous two businesses?

Tara Fust: Have a partner. I did not want a business partner. That was the issue in the second business. That was the one thing I knew, for sure, I’ll never have another business partner.

Kris Plachy: Why?

Tara Fust: It didn’t end well, and I brought so much baggage with me, and it just stayed with me for a very long time, that distrust, not being able to trust another female, not being able to trust somebody financially. The way that it ended, it put my family’s financial position in jeopardy unknowingly. There were things going on behind the scenes that I wasn’t aware of, and that I found out afterwards. So, I thought, “I’ll never.” It’s the way I started my first business, I was about 10 months pregnant, and my employer said, “Oh, hey, the girl you’ve been training for six weeks to take over for you while you’re gone, she’s going to take your job, we won’t need you.” And I said, “Sorry, we’re in California, it doesn’t work that way. I think that’s illegal.”

But I went out on maternity leave, never came back and I thought no one will ever have that control over me again. And I took them and they were my first client, I never came back. And that’s why I started my first business. And that’s how I felt after the second business. I loosened up a little bit and that’s where I think you helped me so much, is learning how to delegate and trust and let go, because I had been burned pretty badly.

Kris Plachy: Yeah, and that’s rough, that’s a real truth. It’s important that we talk about that. One of the questions that I’ve been asking my clients on these podcasts is, what’s a truth that a lot of female entrepreneur CEOs know but don’t talk about? It’s not widely discussed, because there’s either shame around it or we feel inadequate, or there’s like, stories that we have.

Tara Fust: I think there’s a whole book, there’s a ton of stories. And I think that that’s why it’s hard for women who own businesses to make friends with other women. And you and I have talked about this a lot, I experienced this a lot. Just you get judged in a lot of different ways. What’s going through your head 24/7 is not what is going through somebody else’s head 24/7. So, sometimes, it’s hard to find that common ground.

Kris Plachy: Yeah, that’s a really, really powerful thing to talk about. We’ve talked about it, I know, in lab calls, and we talked about it in Hawaii, which you come to as well. And I think it’s a source of pain for a lot of women that they don’t feel safe connecting with a lot of other women, or they don’t know how, or they can’t find other women who they can connect with at the level that they want to. I think it was Rebecca who said—when we were all together, she said, “This is really fun. It’s like we bypassed all the stuff we don’t want to talk about. And we got to the stuff that’s really fun to talk about or really interesting to talk about when it comes to relationships with other women.”

Tara Fust: We skipped all the fluff. We skipped all the surface stuff and there was no filter. And if you asked a question, no one looked at you like you had six heads or like you were judging them. They just answered your question because it seems normal. It was amazing, which is why I’m going back.

Kris Plachy: I know. I am so excited. We’re not very far away, it’s like a month. Super fun. So, let’s ask a couple questions here that are about you and your beautiful magic. I do want to ask you one other question about the business partner thing, because I’m actually considering creating a program like a one-time thing that I’ll do this year for people who co-CEO…

Tara Fust: Their business?

Kris Plachy: Yeah, especially for men and women. But if you’re in a business partner with another woman, that’s fine, but I want to work with women who have male partners or spouses or whatever, to be able to do this work with them. I think there are things that we’ve learned. I’ve heard more people say, “I’ll never have a business partner again.” And I wonder if you could kind of give the best advice to someone who’s contemplating a partnership or maybe is in one? What would you say is something you wish you’d known or you would you think they could do better or differently that would help?

Tara Fust: 100% I would have a contract upfront. We didn’t. We were best friends. She was the godmother to my daughter. We’d known their family for years. Did I expect things to go down the way they went down? Never, never in a gazillion years. It’s just like, they say going into business with family, every everything’s fine till it’s not. So, you have to protect yourself. It’s not even really like a prenup, but it is it’s, it’s a business prenup.

Kris Plachy: We have to make decisions ahead of time when the emotion is not present.

Tara Fust: Exactly. And before lawyers get involved, because that gets really expensive very, very quickly.

Kris Plachy: And uncomfortable for everyone. So, you’ve been through a couple of iterations, so, you’ve built a relationship, I would imagine with some failure. So, how do you think your relationship with failure has changed as you’ve matured through your entrepreneurial experience?

Tara Fust: Right now, we’re best friends.

Kris Plachy: Is that because you pulled the milk and honey card?

Tara Fust: I have to fail. I can’t get forward without failing. And my younger self never ever in a gazillion years would have had that attitude. So, working my way through this, I can look back and see, if I make a mistake, the failure is if I don’t learn anything from it to move forward, if I don’t make a change, if I don’t assess and identify where the gap was, where to fill the hole, so I do it better next time and don’t make the same mistake. If I fail in the same way twice, I’m asleep.

Kris Plachy: Oh, my gosh, I was just going to say, so that’s what’s interesting about failure. In order to really make it worth it, you have to stay present through the whole thing. A lot of times when we fail, we want to just cut that part off, hide, and just disappear, avoid it, ignore it. I love that you just said that, I do it again, is because I was asleep. That’s really well said. And so how do you do that? What do you think is the emotional resilience you’ve created to do that? What do you say to yourself? Obviously, you said I can’t grow unless I’m willing to do this.

Tara Fust: I will give a lot of credit to Thought Work, I will say that has pulled me off the ledge, and Thought Work would say, “There is no ledge, Tara, it’s all good.”

Kris Plachy: It is the ledge that you make in your brain.

Tara Fust: That’s right. So, the first question I asked myself is what am I making this mean? Why am I so tweaked about this? What happened about this? What am I making it mean? And when I can pull myself away from the situation, and look at what I’m making it mean, then I’m able to really look at it from an observer versus being in it with all my emotion wrapped up in it and the shame of, oh, my gosh, I’m super type A, and we are involved in people’s personal lives in a very intimate way. When we make a mistake, it’s very present, it doesn’t get swept under the rug, literally, yeah.

Kris Plachy: If the rug is ugly, people notice.

Tara Fust: The rug is the wrong size, or you ordered it incorrectly. It’s just what do I make it mean? And then I can look at it and say, “That’s not true, we know that’s not true. I know that’s not true.” And I’m going to give a shout out to age, being in my 50s…

Kris Plachy: Is kind of lovely, isn’t it?

Tara Fust: It’s beautiful. I thought my 40s were pretty fabulous. And as you know, I’m an empty nester and your brain starts to consider things that didn’t have the opportunity—or I didn’t allow it to have the opportunity to explore previously.

Kris Plachy: It’s interesting you say that. I would say that my 40s, I don’t really remember them. I have kids that are a little bit younger than yours, so that might be part of it as I was still in, people need, baths and dinner. So, I feel like coming into – I’m 52 – I feel like I’m sort of like “Oh,” this is cool the clouds or maybe the clouds are still there, but I’m up above that, which is super fun.

Tara Fust: It is really about when people say, “Oh, I really don’t care what other people…” you’re able to really delineate and filter that a lot quicker than previously.

Kris Plachy: I was just talking to another client this morning, you know, there’s a lot of women who don’t trust their own knowing.

Tara Fust: I find that so common with women. I feel like I want to get on a table and cheerlead them and just say, you can do it. I had a client say to me recently, she said, “You walked into my house, and you told me yes to everything. Everything that I was thinking, was it crazy/ Was it possible?” She started crying. She said, “I had no idea I could be validated in that way, in what I knew.”

Kris Plachy: Really, powerful to hear and very true. To hear you say it, it’s easier now as I’ve gotten older to know, really, if it’s a yes or no. And I think that other pieces that we were talking about, not trusting people, not trusting ourselves, not feeling confident in ourselves, all those things cloud our wisdom that’s always there. I don’t think you become wiser, necessarily, I think it just gets more revealed to yourself that it’s always been in you.

Tara Fust: And you own it a little bit. There’s a lot less people pleasing. It’s still there, but I can see it. Before, it couldn’t see it. I didn’t see it. I didn’t know it. Why am I exhausted all the time? I’m burning out the candle at both ends.

Kris Plachy: To what end?

Tara Fust: To what end? What am I doing here? I don’t need to do this.

Kris Plachy: No, you don’t. Listen to Tara, everybody, do what she says, she’s very smart.

Tara Fust: I think I said that about you once.

Kris Plachy: Listen, we tell each other we’re very smart daily.

Tara Fust: I’d be okay with that.

Kris Plachy: Because I believe you. When you say it to me, I believe you wholeheartedly. So, if I do not believe it myself, I’ll just let you tell me.

Tara Fust: And you know what, sometimes that’s enough. And sometimes that’s the nudge to get you through. And that is another thing that it’s being around all these other women who are just like, “Yeah, you can do it.” It’s odd to meet other people who have that same mindset. I’m like, “Yeah, let’s go. What’s the problem? Let’s go.”

Kris Plachy: It’s interesting. I just sent out an email to potential new clients. And I wrote this note, and I said in there some of the expectations I have for clients, which I don’t do very often, but I hold space for it. And I said, “I’d like to invite women who want to pursue their possibilities and not fight for their limitations.” And somebody replied back and loved that line. And I do think there is some truth that there are environments for women to go into, where that’s all everybody’s doing, is validating everybody’s limitations on why things are hard. Why things should not go? o

Tara Fust: Is that called bucko?

Kris Plachy: I think it is called buck, or PTA meetings? No, offense PTA folks.

Tara Fust: It’s the myth of busy, and the busier I am, that’s where your value comes from, the value is coming from the busyness.

Kris Plachy: Yeah, and the more tired I am…Yeah.

Tara Fust: “Oh, I have so much going on” I’m exhausted just saying that. It could be true, but I don’t want to tell it to myself.

Kris Plachy: No. And it’s not useful. So, it’s nice to be with other women who are like, “Listen to me.” And I love all the evidence too, the thing that I loved about my work with women is all the things that people do to make money. I have somebody coming to a call tomorrow, she owns a funeral home. I’m like, “Listen, people make money with funeral homes.” I just love all of it. I love all the ways that people serve others and make money because the more women that make money, the better the world will be.

Tara Fust: I don’t disagree with you.

Kris Plachy: Yeah, I think we just keep going on and on. And of course, you need a beautiful home to come home to.

Tara Fust: Well, that’s the building block. People don’t even know all the benefits, you’re using your word, that’s the magic of what I do and there are other layers to it.

Kris Plachy: I wanted to ask, why design?

Tara Fust: All my businesses have been creative. I’m just a creative person. My mother was an interior designer, my heart races, I have a visceral reaction when I see certain fabrics, I’m really excited. I know I’m in the right job or career because I can see a sofa and I might fall over and swim. It’s amazing, do you feel? It’s so good. And just how that can make you feel and how that can support your life, and how that can be a launching pad for everything else that you want to create in your life. What kind of kitchen do I want to be in and have these family dinners and create these beautiful moments? Where do I want to gather? When I go to bed at night after a hard day at work, how is my bedroom supporting? You should really love it because the exponential value that you’ll receive from all that, crazy time.

Kris Plachy: Let’s talk about that. Because I was just talking to my coach about this this morning, as my space is incredibly important to me. And you and I’ve had conversations about chairs. I can’t function if I’m unhappy in my space, I physically can’t function. And yet, I think there are a lot of people who probably feel that way, but they don’t think they’re worthy of a beautiful space. You work with people who have lovely, beautiful home budgets. And then there are other people who are just getting started or whatever. What are some things that we can keep in mind, to pay attention to the energy of a space and give ourselves permission?

Tara Fust: It’s paying attention to how you feel. You don’t even realize… first it is clutter, edit out the clutter, it’s editing, it’s the visual weight of things, like a to-do list or if your drop zone is right, where you walk in or where you’re having your family dinner, all you can see is all the things that have to be done. If you lay in bed, but you can see your home office across the hall, that’s not good. It’s just all the little pieces of paper. It comes back to systems. And I’ve never been a big organizational girl, I’m a little bit more peace and love and flow. The systems that I’ve put into my business, I’m kind of talking about the same thing for your house.

Kris Plachy: I have a personal assistant, who comes to the house a few days a week, and she’s been so great. Her job is to support my house, not the house, my children or my husband live in, but the one I live in. And I walk across the house from my bedroom, then to the kitchen, and then to my office, my office is at the front of the house. And what I told her when she started working with me is, “I just want my pathway to be beautiful.” But what she’s done is she does have an organizational expertise. And so she figured out where everything goes in the pantry and everything goes in the drawers and this is where the plastic spoons go. This is where the wooden spoons go, here’s where the towels go…

Tara Fust: Everything has a place.

Kris Plachy: Yeah. And that’s the same metaphor that you made a parallel to your business. It’s like what I like to say is, once you’ve built the job description and the interview questions, and the job posting for a role, now it’s there, whether it’s in your Dropbox folder, or it’s a folder that you have in a cabinet and now you just pull it out when you need it, it’s done.

Tara Fust: And you know where to find it and you know what to do. And if anybody else needed it, they would know where to go and where to find it. There’s a peace to that and there’s a calm in your head. And I think life is so crazy now with social media input and your phone going off every 20 seconds and people texting you and thinking that you should get back to them in 10 minutes and stuff like that. When you can create those moments of peace and quiet where you can just get back to who you are, it is so powerful, so powerful. And it’s the first thing to go out the door, when we get busy, any sort of self-care any sort of taking care of yourself, your home, your surroundings…

Kris Plachy: I love what you said, and I hope people are hearing is that, investing in your home and in your aesthetic and in the energy of your home, is such a form of self-care. And it’s not indulgent, it’s not selfish. It’s not an expense, it really is an investment. We need to paint our house, that is the last $6,000 I want to spend, can I just be honest with you?

Tara Fust: Paint has superpowers. You could be so excited, because paint is the least expensive way to get the biggest bang for your buck.

Kris Plachy: I know, but I don’t want to spend $6,000 on the painting of my house. But here’s what I do want, I want a beautifully painted house.

Tara Fust: That’s right. So, every time you drive up, it’s going to feel good.

Kris Plachy: Exactly. So, we have to think there are certain things that we think about investing in in our home and it feels like… but the beauty of that investment, then the recurring validation and energy currency that you’re getting from it is so good.

Tara Fust: It’s ease. I’ll never forget, when I first met you, I was asking, “I don’t get the point. What’s the deliverable? What’s the payoff?” You said ease. And it’s so interesting, because in my brain, I feel like it’s the same way. It’s an ease of how we go through our day, how we manage our life, how we walk through this life, and we do it with intention. I intended this room to be this way, because this is how we live. This is how my family lives. It supports who we are as a family, it tells our story, we have a history. We’ve walked a path, we have a history. It shouldn’t look like a designer was there. It should look like it’s you, it should look like it is your house.

And then you can continue to build on that, to create this life that you want. Everybody has different goals for their life and how they want to spend their time and what they want to do. And I don’t assume that everybody’s in the same place at the same time. But for those who are and are willing, the payoff is pretty big.

Kris Plachy: I just like that we’re giving it attention, because I think we often overlooked it. And with the one thing that I know was true, is during COVID with everybody trapped in their houses, so that really, really became pretty powerful time for a lot of people. None of us can buy cabinets because [inaudible 28:21].

Tara Fust: I need to stay in my happy place, we’re not going to talk about that.

Kris Plachy: Okay, we’re not talking about how long it takes to get a subzero fridge.

Tara Fust: No, we’re not. I think it makes 11 months, if I’m correct.

Kris Plachy: That’s why if we buy houses, we buy them with the fridge and the washer and dryer. Okay, so we have time for a couple other questions. So, I’m curious, I don’t think I’ve asked you this in a while. What is the big goal? What’s kind of the next thing you want to do in your business? It doesn’t have to be like, this much money or whatever. It’s more like, what’s calling you for your attention right now?

Tara Fust: Isn’t it funny? The first thing that came into my head when you said that is to go out with a bang. I do still have all the money goals. I do want the multiple seven figures. I do want to do that. But I also want to work three days a week. I want to find that sweet spot where I live this beautiful life, that’s exactly the way I want it to be. That’s really the big goal. I’m still not to that place where I stopped working at five o’clock. I would love to say that I’m not disciplined, that I’m there, I’m not.

Kris Plachy: Well, five o’clock is an arbitrary time that anchors created.

Tara Fust: But the point is I work very long hours and I work long days, but I love what I do, I get a lot out of it. But I’m ready to get back out there. We’ve been locked down for a couple of years, I’m ready to have my life back and travel and get inspired and go places and see people and…

Kris Plachy: Go and touch textiles.

Tara Fust: Yes, absolutely, go eat great food, go do it all. This will be the last iteration of my business, of course I say that now and when I’m 65, I’ll probably go, “I think I’ll do this.” But I don’t want to have any regrets, so I’m very much in the mindset of when do it, I’m just going to do it. I’m not going to think about it.

Kris Plachy: I love that.

Tara Fust: I’m not going to talk about it. I’m just going to do it.

Kris Plachy: I love it. Because what do you have to lose?

Tara Fust: I’m not going to worry. I’m not going to ask for permission. I’ve never been one to ask for permission, but I’m not going to be as cautious. I’m not going to be foolish, but I’m looking at things through a little bit of a different lens. I just don’t want to have any regrets. If I want to do something, and if I want to go somewhere, and if I want to have a voice about a certain topic or idea, let’s go, let’s it. And I want to be around people who are as excited about what they do, as well. That’s a big thing. It’s hard, it’s been a rough couple of years, but a lot of people are feeling heavy, bogged down. I’m ready to get a little happy back.

Kris Plachy: Well, that’s a commitment first on your own. The heaviness is simply because… I think it’s just decision fatigue and thinking fatigue. The circumstances aren’t creating it. It’s the way that we’ve had to negotiate a lot of these decisions that we’re way more aware of than we’ve ever been before. I remember my son kept asking me if he could go hang out with a friend, in October 2020. And I’m like, I feel like you’re asking me a life and death decision right now. I don’t know how to answer. I don’t know the right answer. It feels overwhelming to answer it, like, I don’t know. So, anyway, I do think we’re coming out of that and we’re all identifying a relationship we have with the circumstances of the world that we’re in, that’s different than it was we’ve all had.

Tara Fust: Do you think we’re identifying changes we want to make and who we want to be? I don’t know if I’m seeing that as much. That’s the path I want to be on.

Kris Plachy: There are a lot of little tracks, right? There’s exactly what you’re saying, which is, let’s go, and the energy of that. And then there’s other people who are a little swirly, still confused, overwhelmed, can’t figure it out. In the world of leadership and managing businesses. A lot of people are still very, very committed trying to hire good people that kind of thought process, which for as long as you think it, it will continue to be true. That’s hard to help people understand. But it’s been my experience but that is the truth.

Tara Fust: I don’t want to blame anything about my business on whether or not I was able to find good people, or have the right employees.

Kris Plachy: There are good people everywhere. There are very talented people everywhere. I just was talking to somebody else today, I’m like, “This is just a marketing problem. You just have to pick that hook up and put it in another pond.” This isn’t like, there’s nobody, there’s 7 billion people on the planet, we can find someone, but you have to be relentless with your eagerness to attract great people as you are with finding clients or whatever.

Tara Fust: Whatever it is we do.

Kris Plachy: Whatever it is we do. Okay, so one last question. When you talk to other women who run companies and you could give them a little bit of sage leadership advice, what would you say?

Tara Fust: There have like six things that come into my head. It doesn’t have to be like everybody else. Enough with the FOMO, enough with the social media. Your path doesn’t have to look like anyone else’s path. You can do it differently. It’ll still be successful. You don’t have to wait till it’s perfect. All of this perfectionism and trying to get it right and “I can’t start until it’s…” just go, just do it. It’s funny when I look back on my businesses, I never gave it much thought, I just went, “Go, go, go.”

And now that I have time to sit and think I had to catch myself because I felt myself being a little bit more cautious and analyzing a little bit more and “Oh, wait a minute, is that right? Look at so and so over here, and how they’re running their business. Wait, I heard this person speak and what they’re doing.” No, shut it down. It’s leaning in to what I know, who I am, what I know, how I show up, how I want to show up, who I want to be. And I would say that when I do meet other women business owners… I have a friend right now whose business isn’t at the place that she would like it to be. I’m like, “You know what? It’s a decision. It’s a choice. The only thing that’s holding you back are your thoughts about whether or not you can do it.”

Kris Plachy: Yeah. So, well said. You know what the word is that I’m thinking about when I’m listening to you? I don’t know if you will like it.

Tara Fust: Okay.

Kris Plachy: Irreverent. I don’t like it for you.

Tara Fust: I’m a little irreverent. I’m a little snarky.

Kris Plachy: No, I don’t think so at all. Being irreverent like, “Listen, I’m going to do what I want.”

Tara Fust: Well, I have to be in what I do, because with what I do, you’re not for everybody, either…

Kris Plachy: No, you have to not be for everybody. If you are for everybody, you are Home Goods.

Tara Fust: And then somebody wants to be for everybody; I just don’t. So, it’s taken some time to really sit in those shoes and go, “Listen, you’re with me or you’re not with me? And if you’re with me, it’s ride or die, I’ve got your back, let’s go.”

Kris Plachy: Let’s go! Oh, my god, that’s so fun. It is so good to have you today and chat with you. I’m excited.

Tara Fust: And I didn’t take one note… well, I did take one note, the bit where you said I was irreverent.

Kris Plachy: Yeah, you might want to play with that.

Tara Fust: I think that’s super fun.

Kris Plachy: We’ll follow up on that one.

Tara Fust: In a couple of weeks.

Kris Plachy: In a couple of weeks, by the seashore.

Tara Fust: That sounds great.

Kris Plachy: All right. Thank you so much for being here and where can people find you again, remind them?

Tara Fust: Tara Fust Design. It’s F-U-S-T. I’m on Instagram and on the web. And I would love it if people would just say hello. It’s so funny when you meet somebody and they’re like, “I follow you. I love your stuff. I love your aesthetic.” And like, “Just say hi. I’d love to hear from you.”

Kris Plachy: I know, and Tara posts beautiful, beautiful work. Her work is just… I’m like, “Oh my God, where’s that chair?” You had chandeliers one day that I was…

Tara Fust: I did, yeah.

Kris Plachy: Listen to me… They’re probably $12,000.

Tara Fust: Do you see the feeling that you have?

Kris Plachy: Oh, yes.

Tara Fust: That’s what I’m shooting for.

Kris Plachy: I love this feeling.

Tara Fust: It’s a little euphoric, I’m going to say.

Kris Plachy: I don’t know why but I’m right there with you. And I love really good fabrics. All right, have a wonderful day and thank you.

Tara Fust: Awesome, thank you so much. I appreciate you

Download Transcript
Site By Alchemy + Aim
Photography Danielle Cohen