Let’s celebrate the month of May by honoring the power of creation within us. I’m a firm believer that human beings have the power to create whatever they want. We create good, evil, situations, business, families, etc. We choose what we want, where we go, and where we end up (for the most part). Which puts us in complete control of our lives. This belief helps me hold myself accountable. But this is not about me. This is about the girl of the month!
This month’s “GOTM” is a creator. I’ve looked up to her since our Palmer Trinity days (even though she was younger than me) and I’ve watched her grow into the woman she is today. Annie Jensen Chapur is the co-founder of TAJA Collection, a fabulous line of customizable home accessories, that has taken the market by storm! Annie is also beautiful, sweet, and VERY smart. She was always top of her class in high-school, graduated from the NYU College of Arts & Sciences and the University of Miami School of Law all while maintaining an active social life, great friendships, and a solid romantic relationship with her now husband, Rafa. I mean…for real, this girl does it all!
When I reached out to her for the feature, her response was an immediate “I'd love to! But, I’m pregnant”. I said “Congratulations, even better!”. See what I meant by a “bonus” (wink wink). Now, let’s honor the power or creation and get to know this gorgeous mommy-to-be.
Please tell us a little bit about yourself.Describe a day in Annie’s life.
Like you, I’m a virgo, so I’m all about routine. I’m not a morning person so I like to take things slow: warm water with lemon while I hand-write my to-do list. I like to work out in the morning and then I’m off to our offices in Wynwood. At night, my husband and I eat dinner together and then take our German Shepherd Max on a walk. We’ll usually end the night with a TV show (we’re addicted to so many).
What is TAJA.
TAJA Collection is the custom home accessories company I co-founded with Annabelle DeGrazio. We’re hoping to re-define gifting. It’s all about being thoughtful. All of our products (currently candles, diffusers, and vases) are completely customizable. We like to say it’s customization beyond a simple monogram. If you want to engrave your wedding vows on the inside of the wooden lid, we’ll do that. I’m so inspired by how creative and thoughtful our customers can be. Last week someone designed a beautiful candle with the picture of a friend’s dog who had passed away as a tribute to her!
How was your transition from attorney to entrepreneur?
Unexpected! I never planned to be an entrepreneur. I was fully committed to becoming a partner at the law firm I was working at. Actually, that was my dream for as long as I could remember. But once Annabelle and I had the idea, it had us by the throats. At first it became a weekend hobby, but soon it became clear that this was a passion that wasn’t going away.
How do you manage being a business owner, wife, and now mommy-to-be? Congratulations, by the way.
Thank you, we’re so excited! I think the whole idea of “work-life-balance” sets you up for failure. I’m all about juggling. Women especially have amazing intuition so I always try to tune into that. I try to remember to stay present in whatever it is I’m doing (easier said than done).
Can’t leave the house without? Cell phone.
Favorite coffee shop in Miami. Dr. Smood.
Favorite season. Fall.
Best way to decompress at home. Taking a salt bath with lots of TAJA candles lit and a great podcast.
Favorite candle scent. TAJA Collection’s Queen of Hearts ;-)
Last thing you cooked. Pumpkin muffins. I have this amazing recipe that my husband loves and begs me to cook. He has no idea how simple and healthy they are.
On your reading list. I’m kind of a book hoarder. I have so many books I’m dying to get to. On the top of my list now are: A Return to Love by Marianne Williamson and Growth Hacker Marketing by Ryan Holiday.
Best host gift to give/receive. Other than a personalized gift from TAJA Collection, anything that’s thoughtful. Fresh flowers and a bottle of wine are always safe, but so much more special if you know the recipient’s favorite flowers are peonies or favorite wines are California reds (my two favorites ;-) ).
What’s your go-to fitness routine or regimen?
I’m always switching it up depending on my mood. One of my favorite things to do is fasted cardio. If I’m feeling overwhelmed at work I’ll wake up and just hop on the treadmill and walk on an incline while I answer my pending e-mails. I also love intense workouts like Barry’s Bootcamp and Jetset.
Where do you work out and why do you go there?
I usually work out at home with a personal trainer, mainly due to convenience. But whenever I can make it to Derek’s class at Barry’s Bootcamp that’s a win. His classes are effective, efficient, and always filled with positive vibes.
What is your approach to nutrition?
Nourish yourself. If you’re focusing on getting nourished, it’s not about restricting, it’s actually about adding. It sounds cliche but I also think you should listen to your body and lean into what feels right (this is my approach to a lot of areas of my life). For example, I LOVE green juice and look forward to it every morning. I lean into the things I love and don’t beat myself up over (or force myself to eat) anything that doesn’t speak to me (like kombucha).
What are your lifestyle “must-do’s” and your absolute “no ways”?
Must-Do: Schedule everything that’s important to you in your calendar (workouts, alone time, recipe testing, whatever).
No Way: Dieting.
What’s the cheat treat you can’t resist? French fries! Luckily it’s easy to recreate healthy versions at home (I LOVE my air fryer)… but sometimes you just need the real deal.
What’s your “passed down from Mom” beauty secret? Sunblock every day (especially on your hands).
Your “can’t live without” beauty product. Biologique Recherche Lotion P50.
Beauty secret. Probiotics.
Best beauty tip. Lymphatic massage.
Favorite place in Miami to get beautified. Flawless by Melissa Fox.
Favorite app. Amazon.
Last person you texted. My mom.
Person you text the most. My TAJA Co-founder Annabelle DeGrazio.
Favorite social-media platform. For personal use: Pinterest. For business: Instagram.
Favorite person to follow on Instagram. @humansofny
Favorite news source. Bloomberg
Word you love or hate. My name, when my husband says it =) Doesn’t everyone love that?
Last google search. “How much kicking is normal in the 2nd trimester?” I have a very active baby…
App you’re most embarrassed to have on your phone. I wouldn’t say I’m embarrassed of it but it’s probably the strangest: Susan Miller’s Astrology Zone. I check my horoscope and my family’s horoscopes every day.
What would your superpower be. Time travel.
FASHION & TRAVEL
Ideal “date night” outfit. I love getting dressed up and it really depends because I love so much. I’m always a sucker for a good jumpsuit though.
Favorite outfit. Something classic and neutral with fun accessories.
Place you want to travel next. Australia & New Zealand.
Words to live by. Remember when you wanted what you currently have.
What career would you choose in your next life. Elementary school teacher.
Hope you guys enjoyed this one as much as I did. Stay tuned for May announcements and Mother's Day events!