ESSENCE Network: Tara Pringle Jefferson, How She Built a Global Community with a Blog

When Tara Pringle Jefferson had her daughter while in college, she realized how few resources there were for young mothers. So she created the community she craved. See how she created a global resource for women.

Charreah K. Jackson Jul, 01, 2014

When Tara Pringle Jefferson had her daughter while in college, she realized how few resources there were for young mothers. So she created the community she craved and launched a blog which provides content and hosts events for women. See how she created a global resource while juggling motherhood and marriage.

Name: Tara Pringle Jefferson

Age: 28

Title: President, Jefferson Consulting and creator of

Location: Akron, Ohio

Twitter: @TheYoungMommy

Relationship status: Married

The gig: I am a digital publisher and communications strategist who uses technology to advance young women’s lives, particularly those who are in their first few years of motherhood.

The journey: I had my daughter while in college and it struck me how out-of-place I felt and how difficult it was to find other women who had walked in my shoes. I began a website for young mothers and soon found a community of women who could relate to my story. One day, I got two emails from readers: one from a 15-year-old mom in the U.K. and the other from a 24-year-old South African woman. It struck me how technology can make anything possible; it can certainly make motherhood a little easier. I knew then that I wanted to do this full-time.

Her career highlight: Self-publishing my first book. I had just gotten laid off from my day job and was trying to make my side hustle of blogging and social media work for me. I sold a decent amount of copies and was able to use the money to keep me afloat while I worked on building my business.

In her younger days: When I was younger, I used to write these long, Vibe magazine-type profiles on…myself. I’m talking 6,000 words on how I had a hit single and Puff Daddy was dying to sign me to Bad Boy. Never mind the fact that I can’t sing. I just knew I was going to be famous!

Confessions of a Black woman in media: I’m grateful to provide another voice. A lot of Black bloggers have started their sites precisely because mainstream media didn’t cover our stories. Now I don’t have to wait for anyone else to speak for me. I speak for myself and the many others who don’t see their stories represented anywhere else.

Her networking tip: I’m an introvert and I find that it helps me with networking. Because I’m bad at small talk, I tend to get to the “good stuff” quickly and within 5-10 minutes of meeting someone, we’ve connected on a true level. The key to networking is about sowing seeds and doing favors for people before you ask for a favor.

Her student loans status: I was fortunate to have a few scholarships so my student loans are very manageable. I’m almost done paying them off which is unheard of among my friends.

How she balances personal and professional: For me, the personal and professional line is blurred. My career is based off my personal life and so I find that it doesn’t really help to separate the two. If I have a meeting, more than likely my kids will come with me. My main thing is that I don’t make myself feel guilty for being an ambitious woman. My kids see how hard I work and I hope it motivates them to do great things.

Her best timesaving tip: I love cooking but it takes a long time to cook dinner every night. Recently, I began freeing up time in my evenings by cooking 3-4 meals on Sunday and Wednesdays. That way, I can just reheat dinner and have more time with my kids after school and husband after work.

Her biggest lesson learned: For so long I was courting clients rather than creating my own opportunities. I would depend on landing contracts versus thinking about creating revenue streams that didn’t depend on me spending all my time building someone else’s brand. I want something to pass on to my children and if I’m giving 25 hours a week to this other company, there won’t be anything for my kids to sustain.

Her stress relievers: I’m trying this new thing called “exercise” to help me manage stress. I used to reach for sweets when I got overwhelmed, but now I call my elliptical my therapist. There’s nothing like that first 20 minutes after a workout when my mind is completely clear.

Her tech fix: As a small business owner, I love Shoeboxed for managing my expenses and mileage. Can’t live without it.

Her beauty must-have: Water. I don’t wear a ton of make-up and I tend to keep it low-maintenance with my beauty routine. However, no matter what I do, if I’m not drinking my water, my skin won’t look as good.

Her power accessory: A fitted blazer. It instantly makes any outfit look more polished.

Her secret superpower: I can hold entire conversations in Beyoncé lyrics.

Her theme song: “Diva” by Beyoncé.