Meet Tara Grant: Forever on the Path to Enlightenment
Please help me give a warm welcome to Tara Grant, Revelry’s Marketing Coordinator and Content Creator extraordinaire. Tara joined Revelry just a few months ago and got a running start. With years of marketing experience under her belt and a passion for writing, Tara’s quickly proved to be an invaluable asset to the team. We sat down over Zoom a few weeks ago to get to know each other a little better. If anything’s evident after our hour-long conversation it’s that she is a consummate learner. Her journey thus far is an interesting one with a few twists and turns along the way. So before we dive into the Q&A, let’s take a few minutes to hear her story.
Rooted in Technology
Raised in upstate New York, Tara got an early introduction to technology. Her dad, a lifelong engineer and tech geek built TV stations for a living. “Most of my childhood was spent around him at work, trying to figure out what he was doing,” she explained. Under her dad’s guidance, Tara watched as he physically built a fleet of stations from the ground up, sourcing random pieces of equipment and hammering things together. She eventually learned all of the interworking parts and knew enough to consider herself a technician. If something broke and her dad wasn’t around to fix it, she could. And she did! At the ripe age of 12, nonetheless.
A Love Affair with Learning
By 18, Tara headed for Los Angeles in search of sunshine and warmer weather. A young mom, she got a quick jumpstart on life and took a job doing accounting for a company but soon realized her interest in marketing and advertising. She transitioned her role and learned all-things marketing on the job, working to support herself through school.
Tara had her sights set on UCLA for a long time and eventually made that dream a reality. While continuing to do creative work for marketing and advertising clients, she studied cognitive science—a combination of computer science, neuroscience, and psychology. “I was really interested in the brain and artificial intelligence (AI),” she explained. A self-proclaimed AI geek, Tara eventually earned her bachelor’s degree from UCLA and went into the research field. She worked in labs doing research on mice (one of her biggest fears) for three years until she arrived at a crossroads. “I thought I was going to be a researcher and a professor forever, but everyone I knew in that world seemed so miserable, and they all discouraged me from academia.” So, Tara decided to go back to school in another field.
At Antioch University she studied clinical psychology and kept her creative chops sharp doing marketing jobs on the side. After graduating with her master’s degree, Tara began working with patients and soon arrived at another crossroads. “The science side of my brain wanted to do more. I didn’t want to sit and listen to people’s problems all day.” So back to school, she went again. This time in Portland, Oregon, where she would earn her master’s degree in Traditional Chinese Medicine. In telling me her story, Tara joked, “Can you tell I’m an Aquarius? This is what we do. We get bored very easily…But the point of all this is that I LOVE learning. If I could be a professional student for my entire life, I would.”
Destined for New Orleans
Tara stayed in Portland for about four years learning and practicing acupuncture and Chinese medicine, all the while staying on top of her marketing work. But the techie inside of her was talking, and New Orleans started calling, loudly. (Tara visited the city for the first time as a teenager. “I just fell in love with it,” she explained. “I never got it out of my head. All that time in L.A., I kept imagining myself in New Orleans.”)
Upon discovering the job opening at Revelry, Tara said it felt like the perfect fit. She’d already decided she was moving to New Orleans and had been packing her things for weeks, so when she got the offer, she jumped on it—literally. In a matter of days, she moved from the Pacific Northwest to the Big Easy. She dove right into work, happy to be able to tap into her creative side while also being rooted in tech.
“There’s this really nice creative-tech balance, which I feel like I’ve been working towards for years.”
Funny side note—when Tara told her dad she’d be moving to New Orleans, he said, “Well, if circumstances were different, there’s a good chance that you could have been born there.” Her parents met in New Orleans and lived in Louisiana before she was born. Whether she knew it or not, Tara was destined for New Orleans. And we’re so glad to have her here!
And now, for the Q&A!
What stood out about Revelry that drove your decision to join the company?
Right off the bat, I loved doing the application. One of the questions was something along the lines of Tell us about a great piece of content that you’ve seen recently. It was interesting that they were asking in-depth questions, which made me think, “Oh, they’re trying to do something different here.” Also, the whole interview process was so chill and relaxed. And I liked the culture right away.
What mobile device do you use and what apps are on your home screen?
I went to Android a few years ago after being in the iPhone cult for so long, and I absolutely love my Google Pixel. For my home screen apps, I have Instagram, Gmail, Slack. An app for watching my dog at camp when she’s there. Marco Polo. A moon phase app. Babbel. And Day One, a journal which I’ve been keeping and writing in every single day for three years!
What non-digital product could you not live without?
My Neil Gaiman books. And my art supplies. I love painting.
What’s your favorite medium?
I love watercolor.
Who inspires you? Why?
Neil Gaiman is my all-time hero. He’s a fiction writer and my all-time creative inspiration. Music inspires me, so for musicians, it would have to be Justin Vernon (Bon Iver) and Nujabes. And my son inspires me.
What could you talk about for days if you climbed up on your soapbox?
(Laughs.) How the world is suffering and needs help. I’m definitely a philosopher. I love talking about why the world is the way that it is and thinking about what it’s going to be.
What’s your favorite Slack channel at Revelry?
#watercooler. There’s so much interesting stuff happening in there. #content, too, because that’s what I work in all day, and I love seeing when people submit new ideas. And #dogs. And #wellness.
What’s your favorite emoji in the Revelry Slack?
:yaaaaay: (dancing fox) and :ditto:
What’s the best thing about your job?
The best thing is that I get to stay in the mind frame of being creative. And the culture here. It doesn’t stifle you.
And that’s a wrap! If you have any burning marketing questions or enjoy philosophizing, feel free to drop Tara a line and say hello!