I’m almost 100% certain, that if Tash was a colour, she would be yellow, or pink, or maybe rainbow. To her 13,ooo odd Instagram followers Tash Bonniface is the account you hit if you want a dose of fashion, colour and positive vibes.
She is happiness personified. She is also a strategic business woman and quite possibly one of my favourite content creators.
This #careerstory is fundamentally about new beginnings and begins in New Zealand where Tash was born. At the age of 20 she moved across the ditch to Sydney and worked at David Jones while studying at FBI Fashion College. In this interview Tash talks us through her internship and work experience, dream jobs, sacrifice and her immense love for content creation.
This interview is your perfect mid year snack.
OMG, it’s Tash Bonniface! Let’s start at the beginning…
I grew up in Auckland, New Zealand! New Zealand is very small and laid back but when I was younger, it wasn’t a super creative city or much out there for creatives (which has changed significantly over the years) and I always felt like I wanted to go against the stream of what everyone I knew was doing, I felt so stuck going to university for something I wasn’t passionate about. I’m unsure if this shaped the career I’m in today but I do believe it means it took a lot longer for me to reach what I wanted to do as I constantly had to prove to people and had to move countries to study what I wanted to! Also no one in New Zealand really understood what I wanted to do back then… it wasn’t a thing! Content creating was barely a hobby back then let alone a career.
Where did you go to High School and how was that experience for you?
I went to a Catholic high school in Auckland, New Zealand. I never really enjoyed high school, I loved my friends but that was the only reason I enjoyed it. I am very much a visual learner and a creative person and I never felt like being creative or being a visual person was encouraged!
Did your high school play an important role in helping you choose your further education and future career?
I believe so, I remember being in my last year of high school and talking to the careers teacher and telling her I was interested in fashion… she almost laughed at me I swear. I felt really kicked back and forced into doing something at university that I wasn’t interested in just to go along with the norm. I ended up studying psychology and dropping out.. such a waste of money and time!
Did you complete any internships or work experience placements in high school? Tell us about that experience.
We didn’t have placements during high school but I did work experiences and internships at both of my fashion courses. I did work experience at a fashion head office in Auckland and then in Sydney I interned in the fashion cupboard at Girlfriend magazine and did a social media internship at Mon Purse! Both of these I really enjoyed and taught me valuable things that I still take with me in my day to day life. Internships are so so valuable.
Did you go to College, University, Tafe or another equivalent? Take us through the courses that you studied and why you chose them?
As mentioned previously I studied psychology for a few semesters then dropped out, I then studied a certificate in garment technology and then moved to Sydney to study. I got a diploma of fashion business at FBI Fashion School. My diploma covered everything from marketing, starting your own business, photography and the list goes on.. although it was called fashion business the information was so valuable and can be used in any aspect. I really loved FBI because all the teachers worked in the industry and all the information was relevant not dated. They also really pushed you to do internships and volunteer which is so valuable in the fashion industry, nothing is better than hands on experience.
Tell us about your career journey so far. Who you have worked for, and explain any highlights.
When I finished up my fashion certificate course in Auckland I went straight in to working full time at a shoe shop to save money for my big move to Sydney. Once I landed in Sydney I started working at David Jones and spent three years on the shop floor there whilst studying at FBI, if there is anything I suggest to any young person is that everyone needs to work AT LEAST a year in retail… it really shaped me into who I am as a person and teaches you a lot of resilience if anything.
Once I finished up at FBI and David Jones I started my dream job at an agency called ID Collective as the Content Producer. Unfortunately in my first few months there I fell really unwell and had to give up my job after 8 months which is super disappointing. Although it was such a short time, I learnt a lot about the digital and PR space that will stay with me on my career. During these five years I’ve also always had my side hustle doing content creation/Instagram and the next few months I have some projects I’ve been wanting to dive into for a while and I think that’s where you’ll find me from here on out.
How did you get into the job that you are in now?
I started creating content around 5 or 6 years ago.. I actually started out on Tumblr (does anyone remember tumblr?!). I would post my outfits and get a positive response so it just become a habit of posting my OOTD’s.
Instagram came shortly after and I continued to post my daily outfits and I remember the first company that reached out to me to post their product. It slowly grew and I started to work with brands I really like, five years later and my style has changed a lot so has my content creation but it’s still my favourite thing to do.
Although I create my own content for Instagram, eventually I would like to dive into content creation for companies which is one of my projects in the works and hopefully that’s where I’ll end up in the next few years.
What is the hardest part of your current job freelancing?
The hardest part of freelancing is never knowing when or where your next job will come from! I also find it hard as you are constantly critiquing your own work very harshly, even if I take an amazing image, I still get worried sending it to the client and waiting for a response. It can also be hard working by yourself all day everyday, luckily I have my fur child to keep me company.
What does a day a typical business day look like for you in your current job?
Currently freelancing, everyday is totally different. Some days I’m creating for sponsored posts, sometimes I’m working on my own project behind the scenes and other days I’m doing absolutely nothing. Since I have only just gone into the freelance life, every day is extremely different and some days I have nothing to do.
Who has been your hero, or greatest inspiration growing up and why?
My mum! She has always encouraged me to do what I want, even if its to go against the grain of what everyone else is doing. She always has the right words to say even in the worst of times and has never stopped me from following my dreams, even if they are a little crazy!
What advice would you give girls who are interested in your career?
If you’re thinking of starting and wanted a sign, this is it! You’ve got to keep creating, even if what you’re creating isn’t for anyone and maybe no one will even see it… it’s all about practicing and some days I’ll spend playing around with different props and backdrops just to see what I can do better! If you’re passionate, nothing can stop you.
List your most valuable resources that you turn to constantly for inspiration in your profession?
- Favourite Websites: It’s Nice That, Mind Body Green, Sitchu!
- Name an Instagram Account that you can’t go a day without checking: @jasminedowling
- Favourite Podcast: Shameless! Nothing beats it.
- Favourite Netflix Series: Can I say a Stan series? Because.. THE BOLD TYPE.
- Favourite all time book/s: Ice Cream for Breakfast by Laura Jane Williams and Mad Girl by Bryony Gordon
- People: @jasminedowling @eloise__jenkins