“Never stop learning and educating yourself.” With Beau Henderson & Tiffany Keriakos

I would tell them it’s never too late to start and no act is too small. If you make a positive impact even to a small group of people within your community, that positive energy is infectious, and it will become a ripple effect. As part of our series about 5 Steps That Each Of […]

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I would tell them it’s never too late to start and no act is too small. If you make a positive impact even to a small group of people within your community, that positive energy is infectious, and it will become a ripple effect.

As part of our series about 5 Steps That Each Of Us Can Take To Proactively Help Heal Our Country, I had the pleasure of interviewing Tiffany Keriakos. Tiffany is a wife, mom, avid consignment shopper/clothes collector and small business owner. Her brick and mortar luxury consignment shop, Designer Revival, is located on the Upper East Side of Manhattan and has been a mainstay in the neighborhood for nearly 30 years. When Tiffany rebranded the store (formerly Designer Resale), she set out to turn it into an omnichannel business — introducing e-commerce in 2016 and growing its social media simultaneously.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dig in, our readers would like to get to know you. Can you tell us a bit about how you grew up?

Igrew up in New Haven, CT in a family of 3 children. My parents were in education and public health and made sure that we grew up in a very diverse community.

Is there a particular book that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story or explain why it resonated with you so much?

Khalil Gibran’s The Prophet made a significant impact on me. His story shared wisdom that can be applied to all facets of life especially the most important, which are love and spirituality.

Do you have a favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Do you have a story about how that was relevant in your life or your work?

“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and lead a trail”. I have always made my own path and have not tried to do what everyone else consider the “norm” in both my personal and professional life. I always worked for larger corporations and people thought I was crazy to leave corporate America to run my own store/small business. As far as my personal life goes, I did not get married until my late 30’s and had kids in my early 40’s because I wanted to travel the world before settling down.

How do you define “Leadership”? Can you explain what you mean or give an example?

When you were made a leader you weren’t given a crown, you were given the responsibility to bring out the best in others. — Jack Welch

In life we come across many people, some who inspire us, some who change us and some who make us better people. Is there a person or people who have helped you get to where you are today? Can you share a story?

My husband is my inspiration. He influenced me to make a major change in my career and if it were not for him there wouldn’t be a Designer Revival. He also inspires me everyday with his love for life and the way he treats and loves others, especially our children.

Ok, thank you for all that. Now let’s move to the main focus of our interview. The United States is currently facing a series of unprecedented crises. So many of us see the news and ask how we can help. We’d love to talk about the steps that each of us can take to help heal our county, in our own way. Which particular crisis would you like to discuss with us today?

Why does that resonate with you so much? There are two particular crisis’ that are unavoidable at the moment — the pandemic and race issues in America. However, I’d love to discuss racism as it pertains to POC and how we can be a part of the solution moving forward.

This is likely a huge topic. But briefly, can you share your view on how this crisis evolved to the boiling point that it’s at now?

The thing is — it’s been boiling for a while. In fact, it’s boiled over before. Yet this time the advocates are being louder. We’re taking to the streets, taking to social media, using this time off (whether it be from being unemployed due to the pandemic or because we’re working from home) to demand change.

Can you tell our readers a bit about your experience either working on this cause or your experience being impacted by it? Can you share a story with us?

My store was impacted just last week during the riots in New York City. Due to the high price point of the items I sell, I have steal gates that I put down when we close up. However, my display windows, which aren’t covered by the steal gates, were shattered and the merchandise in them was stolen. We also were broken into again a few days later and they were able to get into the store this time. As I stated on Designer Revival’s Instagram account, “Sometimes a little glass needs to be broken to wake people up. Even if the glass is the windows to our store.” Although my initial reaction was to be upset or angry, I quickly reframed my thinking to understand the importance of the bigger issue at hand. I maintain that materials items can be replaced, but lives cannot. While I don’t think violence is the answer, I am very aware of why it was time to make as much noise as possible. I stand strong with the millions of protestors in the fight against racism and injustice.

Ok. Here is the main question of our discussion. Can you please share your “5 Steps That Each Of Us Can Take To Proactively Help Heal Our Country”. Kindly share a story or example for each.

1. Never stop learning and educating yourself. If you feel like you know it all, that’s you’re first mistake.

2. Practice empathy. While all of our experiences may be different, try to put yourself in someone else shoes to see their truth and heart.

3. Listen. You don’t always need to be the one leading conversation. Sometimes you need to be the one taking it all in.

4. Ask questions. It’s ok to ask questions if you don’t know the answer to something. It’s better to ask than assume or not know at all.

5. Treat people how you would want to be treated. You’ve heard it before, but it’s true. Stop to think, how would I want to be treated right now?

It’s very nice to suggest ideas, but what can we do to make these ideas a reality? What specific steps can you suggest to make these ideas actually happen? Are there things that the community can do to help you promote these ideas?

Fashion in general is known for its lack of representation — from excluding BIPOC to only showcasing women with slim body types and the list goes on. Something I do specifically is hire diverse employees, as well as models that represent various ethnicity. That said, there’s always more to learn and this past week showed me that I can do more. We’ve begun spotlighting black female-owned consignment shops on our Instagram to support other small businesses and my social team will be taking a look at the influencers we partner with to see how we can diversify that roster as well. There is always more change to be made, but our community can best support us by giving us grace as we continue to learn.

We are going through a rough period now. Are you optimistic that this issue can eventually be resolved? Can you explain?

Do I think things will change overnight? Realistically, no. However I have to be optimistic that we’re doing good by talking about these tough topics.

If you could tell other young people one thing about why they should consider making a positive impact on our environment or society, like you, what would you tell them?

I would tell them it’s never too late to start and no act is too small. If you make a positive impact even to a small group of people within your community, that positive energy is infectious, and it will become a ripple effect.

Is there a person in the world, or in the US, with whom you would like to have a private breakfast or lunch, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them. 🙂

It would have to be Barack Obama. He is the epitome of style and grace. He is an amazing leader, husband and father — truly an inspiration. When he speaks he can move anyone to tears.

How can our readers follow you online?

From a personal standpoint, I stay off social media, but the best way to support me is by following my business’s account — @DesignerRevival and checking us out online:

This was very meaningful, thank you so much. We wish you only continued success on your great work!

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