At the intersection of creativity and strategy, you’ll find brilliance.
She’s the walking embodiment of a Paradox. One part Miranda Priestly and one part Snow White. A military girl turned fashion slayer. A serious observer of fashion, and a director of photo shoots and storylines, with a heart that melts for those she loves.
Meet Tamara Boxx, Co-Founder and Publisher of LUXYMOM®. As the lucky one who gets to call Tamara my friend and business partner, I’m going to tell you a little more about this lovely lady, and share with you her brilliance, which you get to see on the other side of your screen.
Sometimes you have to get out of your comfort zone to find yourself.
My first encounter with Tamara was during a photo shoot in the early days of LUXYMOM®, when it was a newbie style blog. I observed Tamara observing me through the lens. Her eyes would focus as she stared into her camera, and then at me – as she pointed for me to move this way, or challenged me to strike a very unnatural pose. Was she judging me? I wondered, perhaps feeling a little out of place in what I was doing.
Her perfectly sleek, jet-black hair would swing left and right as she whipped her head here and there, and she continued to shoot – always ahead of me in assessing where we should move to next in our shoots. Like a marksman in search of her target, she was calculated and precise. And yet like an adventurous school-girl, she was never afraid to get down and dirty and find the most incredible angle. Sometimes she’d stand up high – on a chair, shooting down at me – and sometimes she’d lay on the downtown sidewalk, shooting upward.
She was never judging. She was calculating and planning the best angle, allowing the camera to meet the light with love and respect, and to meet my body with kindness.
She already knew that moving both of us out of our comfort zones would certainly result in breathtaking photos worth more than a thousand words. And I soon realized that this is how she operates – moving herself out of her comfort zone on the regular – and this is one of the many traits that has inherently contributed to her success.
Through these photo shoots, we’ve learned a lot about each other. We’ve laughed a lot, we’ve inspired and challenged each other, and little did we know that three years later, we’d be in business together. Oh, but things do happen for a reason, now, don’t they.
Before moving forward, let’s switch gears and hit rewind for one moment – to an unfortunate time, and one that changed many of us, in very different ways. The September 11th terrorist attacks on the US inspired incredible patriotism in many. And in this spirit of patriotism – and in that spirit of pulling herself out of her comfort zone – Tamara enlisted in the United States Air Force, and spent nearly ten years serving our country in the role of Military Police.
She credits this time with teaching her many valuable lessons about life that she carries with her every day. She truly understands that we are all created equal – but with our own very unique skillsets and talents imprinted in our genes. After all, when you enlist in the military, they break you down and build you all back up together as one team with very strong links – none more important than the other, but all serving in different capacities to support the group.
And she brings her military experiences home, as well – speaking to her daughter like she’s an Executive in the Board Meeting, and keeping her very much a part of every decision.
But how to find balance?
Serving in the military comes with some sacrifices – and one big one for Tamara was that during this time, she suppressed her creative side, which had always been a huge part of her identity. She feared how she would be viewed if she spoke much about fashion or her love of art and photography. So she kept it bottled up.
She met her husband, Brian, a sea captain, while in the Air Force, and it wasn’t until after she was medically retired due to an injury that she even told her husband about her loves of fashion and art.
This is part of the beautiful Paradox that is Mrs. Boxx. After a strict and structured military career, she made a hard right back into art, able to explore fashion and photography like never before.
From there, her creative career has flourished. When she was a young child, she knew she’d own her own company, and so she set out to combine creativity with business, opening The Painted Boxx Art and Photography in Naples, Florida, where she and Brian have stayed to raise their daughter and make their mark.
She developed her own unique style and voice in fashion and photography by watching documentaries on designers and their ateliers, and by studying the works of Grace Coddington and other photographers who knew how to weave a story.
Tamara doesn’t just take photos – she studies light and movement and weaves the two together into her work to make literal magic and tell a story that bursts from the page with raw emotion.
She was able to further develop her creative gusto and business acumen by serving as Fashion Editor to a Florida-based print magazine. She wanted to lift other women up by transporting them into the beautiful world of fashion and describe to them through photos and words what she could see through her lens – color, movement, an extraordinary symphony of art.
Stepping out of her comfort zone one more time – and into her current role – it was through a chance discussion between myself and Tamara that we realized of each other’s interest to pursue a business relationship and bring our unique skillsets to the forefront in support of creating the most powerful content for an underserved market. In full respect and with great honor, I look forward to growing LUXYMOM® with Tamara and sharing her talent with you.