We had the good fortune of connecting with Tamara B. Rodriguez and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Tamara, what habits do you feel play an important role in your life?
For me, I think that staying focused and looking for the positive side of every situation has helped me succeed. It is very easy to get distracted and lose your way when you are starting a business. There are so many obstacles and it can feel very lonely. I imagine that I am wearing a baseball cap or a visor, but there are two shields on each side. These imaginary shields are there to remind me that if I keep looking forward, I will reach my goal – but if I turn to the left or to the right, I might encounter a deterring factor. Deterring factors can be external as well as internal. External factors could be naysayers and internal factors could be self-doubt, so these shields act as a filter or block the shade, so to speak. Starting a new venture, can also mean that you will face rejection or take a very long time to reach a particular goal. With every phase, I review the takeaways — I take in the positive elements of every situation but also take note of the negatives so that they don’t occur again. There is always an opportunity to learn, grow, or adapt.
What should our readers know about your business?
My educational background is in finance and accounting. I often tell the story that I was drawn to accounting because the Dean at the School of Business I attended at the time said accountants help people “keep their money” I was intrigued and decided that if I mastered those rules, I would always find a job. I worked in public and private accounting for 13 years. Although the experience was necessary, I think I stayed too many years working at half of my potential. Not feeling fulfilled, I decided to create my own accounting practice, EMCO accounting. My first client was Fatima Group, a privately held conglomerate that specializes in hospitality and media. Later, I also took on my husband’s technology firm, Centuric. When I authored my first children’s book a few years later (I couldn’t find the book I was looking for to explain a difficult subject to my daughters so decided to write one) and partaking in the book tour that followed, it was a serendipitous moment for me — a creative treat for a nerdy accountant. Having my own firm, allows me to explore my passions (I call them my extra-curricular activities). Giving back is an important part of my life. I am involved in a few organizations in Miami-Dade and Broward that focuses on various topics including: helping Haitians in the community thrive; bringing awareness to cancer education and research; and creating initiatives for diversity, equity, and inclusion in schools. In my constant attempt to create bold and meaningful initiatives that elevate and celebrate my Caribbean culture, I am currently working on a television show that will highlight the best Caribbean culinary experiences. As an entrepreneur, I create a space for women to feel empowered, so with my new bi-monthly blog A Cup of T, I share tips on various topics that have helped me and hopefully will help others toward a purposeful life. A Cup of T offers quick tips to attain goals, self-fulfillment and self-love, especially made for women on-the- go but it’s been well-received by all!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I love South Florida and there is so much to do! I am going to assume that my best friend hired a babysitter to watch our kids for a week so that we can have uninterrupted fun! LOL. I love to eat and walk around exploring beautiful spaces, so the majority of the week would involve dining at some of our favorite locales, walking around our hot spots, and maybe include some shopping into the mix of fun. My favorite go-to breakfast restaurant is Bake Shack in Dania Beach where EVERYTHING is homemade and organic! I love eating clean so I tend to go places where I know they are conscious and as organic as possible. I also think good service and an amazing vibe are important. My go-to for lunch is Tomorrowland, near the beautiful Arsht Center. Tomorrowland is a local hangout that has a vibe like no other with a twist on traditional bar food but full of Miami flavor! It is family-owned, which I love supporting, and features an outdoor area and a DJ at times. You can feel the authenticity and warmth right when you walk in. For dinner, we would go to Café Europa as it’s also a family-owned restaurant and specializes in Italian fare. The service is unparalleled, and the food is beyond delicious. I enjoy spending the afternoon in the Design District, walking around visiting beautiful galleries and shops, and discovering hidden gems. Whether with kids or not, The Museum of Discovery and Science is a must. They always have great new exhibitions and events. The Broward Performing Art Center is our favorite theater for plays and events. Walking distance from the theater, is The Riverwalk in Fort Lauderdale — a beautifully renovated waterfront promenade with a flourishing culinary scene. Spending time at local bookstores like Librari Mapou in Little Haiti or Books and Books in Coral Gables is always a favorite pastime too. The upper Keys is great for a quick day trip or a sunset dinner on the beach. There’s so much to do in South Florida that 1 week is simply not enough!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I come from a family that believes in hard work and discipline and luckily, I married someone that believes in the same principles. So, my shoutout is to my family! Interestingly, most of my family members are not as vocal or extroverted but they have supported me and my projects every step of the way. My husband was the one who encouraged me to publish my first book. I must mention that I am surrounded by some incredibly audacious and talented girlfriends. When you are surrounded by fearless women you aspire to be fearless and do better. It’s so true when they say that your network becomes your net worth!
Linkedin: Tamara Beliard Rodriguez
Other: www.HairtotheQueenbook.com @HairtotheQueenbook (IG and FB)