Editor's note: We're shining a spotlight on the six finalists in the 2017 CultureMap Stylemaker Awards, continuing with finalist Yasmeen Tadia. Voting for the readers' choice winner continues through October 24 at 11:59 pm. The winners will be named at our Reveal Party on October 26 at Tootsies in The Plaza.
What do you wear to work when you’re the founder of a company that sells cotton candy and promises to “make life sweeter” for people all over the country?
Neither a stiff, buttoned-up suit nor a pink, frilly confection.
It’s closet challenge that Yasmeen Tadia welcomes every day. Tadia, 35, is CEO and founder of Make Your Life Sweeter Brands: Fluffpop, Hotpoppin, Sugaire, and Modsweets.
"Make your life sweeter” is a motto she lives by, too. Tadia's philanthropic passion has motivated her to create a nonprofit organization called Random Acts of Sweetness.
But her yummiest title of all may be that of mom.
We caught up with her recently to chat about looking her best while living her sweetest life.
CultureMap: What is your style philosophy?
Yasmeen Tadia: “I love being able to make a first impression lasting for everybody. So my biggest thing is having something memorable that I’m wearing, making sure that I dress conservatively but always professionally.”
CM: How has your style evolved?
YT: “I am a mom of an 8-year-old, and I have to remember to dress like a mom sometimes. So my style has evolved quite a bit. I always try to make sure that when I’m traveling, I also can carry luggage and be that mom. But on the other hand, I always want to create a first lasting impression. Over the years when I was in corporate America, I used to dress in a very suit-and-pants style, and now I’m trying to get to the point where I dress more fun and trendy.”
CM: How has your Indian culture influenced your fashion choices?
YT: “My culture and heritage does have a lot to do with my style and how I present myself. At 12 years old, I decided that I was going to follow a modest lifestyle and dress conservatively but also fashion forward. So you won’t see me dress in a manner that’s not conservative or modest.”
CM: How do you incorporate that idea into a work wardrobe?
YT: “Cotton candy is all about pink and having pops of different color and pops of fun and creativity. So you’ll always see me dressed in something that’s a little more muted so when I show up to events, I’m not, like, bright and ‘out there.’ But I will always try to have some really cool shoes or a cool accessory.”
CM: Tell us a little more about the sweet charity you founded.
YT: “I have a nonprofit called Random Acts of Sweetness, and it is really about celebrating people who do good things for others without expecting anything in return. We love just celebrating people who are good people. We do a ton of charity and philanthropic events all over the country, as well as just celebrating individuals who just go above and beyond to do good things.”
CM: How did you feel when you found out you were nominated for a CultureMap Stylemaker Award?
YT: “I was beyond excited. I really have never been put in a position where people even noticed my style. I get compliments every now again from people saying, ‘I like the way you dress’ or ‘I like what you have on,’ but I never felt like I was stylish. Being conservative and having a modest outlook on dressing was a little bit of a challenge for me — to make sure that I’m in style but still upholding my standards — so it’s definitely an honor.”