Indie Muse | Stylist LaTonya Yvette Staubs

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The Indie Muse interview series is an ongoing monthly series on The Indie Byline that seeks to spotlight noteworthy women who are moving and shaking in their lives in different ways, who are inspired and in turn are inspiring. Indie Muses are women who give new definitions of women by being themselves. There is so much power in seeking to empower others. 

LaTonya Yvette Staubs

Stylist, Blogger, Mother, Wife, & Co-Founder of Welkin NYC

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Q: What inspires you?

LaTonya Staubs: I'm constantly finding inspiration by random people on the streets of the city.

Q: What are you passionate about?

LS: First and foremost, my family. But also, I'm really passionate about being a woman who speaks openly and honestly. A feminist, if you will. I'm passionate about being creative in any form really.

Q: What fuels your positivity/optimism?

LS: It's easy to feel rundown by daily life and ups and downs, but I'm constantly reminded of how it could be worse. I had a wonderful childhood, but it was difficult at some points. I remind myself of that, and the reality that others live. I'm really blessed. It's hard to get down when you count your blessings.

Q: You speak so candidly on your blog on a variety of subjects, including notes on embracing your slight vitiligo and the child you lost, how are you able to write from such an honest and vulnerable place? What do you hope to gain by speaking your truth and always your truth?

LS: For me, this is how I am all the time. I'm not trying to portray anything specific or trying ot have people always understand me necessarily. I'm pretty forthright, almost to a fault, most times in person. As the blog has grown, I've been lucky enough to get a great response from readers and followers. I know that some of this is taboo, and I understand that, but I was a lost soul at one point. I felt as if I was alone at some point. The image of possibly helping someone helps me, and makes me feel more encouraged to still be me.

Q: You also write about style, what do you believe are 5 staples that should be in every girl's closet?

LS: A good pair of jeans, a good pair of high-waisted cut offs, a vintage tee, a blazer, and something...anything..floral.

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Q: What does motherhood mean to you? What has being a mother taught you about yourself?

LS: Motherhood means so much to me. I think having River by total surprise was the best thing that has ever happened to me. I believe that everyone has a path, and in my path was River. She led me to a great life and Oak. For most, your 20's is about exploring, finding out who you are and what you want to do. I had to figure it out twice as fast because I had this little soul to care for. I'm very thankful for that.

Q: What has being a wife to your love taught you about yourself?

LS: I'm learning everyday that I don't have to be an independent woman. I mean, I love being an independent person. But I don't have to be. It's been a hard idea to shake. But having him love me so, has taught me to let my guard down. And allow someone to take care of me and love me if he wants to...if I want him to. Peter is so kind and loving, and he's taught me to be that as well.

Q: How did it feel to welcome your newest addition to your family?

LS: It felt amazing. He was a dream and he's here. I can't really articulate what it feels like to have a baby after losing one so late in the game. Oak is everything. Just everything.

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Q: What is love?

LS: Love is what surrounds us day in and day out. It's the morning sun. It's the smile on our children's faces. It's the strangers that nod and say hello on the street. Love is love, and it's everywhere if you're willing to see it.

Q: What is fear?

LS: Fear is that voice in your head. It's a very loud voice that likes to show up at strange and insecure times. But fear can't get through too much if you constantly surround yourself with love and positivity.

Q: When do you feel your most beautiful self?

LS: Lately, I'm leaning toward the mornings when my kids are in my bed and want to be under me. Stinky breath and all. I don't need the extra stuff for them to see my beauty.

photos via LaTonya Yvette

Interview originally posted on 1/13/15