How to Maintain a Work-Life Balance When You Run New York’s Coolest Clothing Store
Telsha Anderson of t.a. is redefining luxury living.
Published Dec 23, 2021 6:00 AM
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Small rituals make home a place for rest and rejuvenation. In The Wind Down: Day to Night, presented by Lincoln, we explore the wellness routines of people we admire. Because it’s the little moments throughout the day that make us feel our best—and stress-free.
Opening a brick-and-mortar retail space is never a small feat—particularly when it comes in the middle of a global pandemic. But last July, Telsha Anderson did what felt near impossible and launched t.a., a concept store in downtown Manhattan that’s self-described as “catering to the women-identifying community in New York City.” There you’ll find clothing by Christopher John Rogers and Theophilio and shoes by Brother Vellies and Reike Nen, alongside photo books by Tyler Mitchell and Antwaun Sargent and indie style magazines.
To make sure that each day runs as smoothly as possible, Anderson gets an early start; she wakes up at 7, has some tea, and catches up on reality TV (usually the latest episode of Real Housewives, any city, which she probably missed the night before). Afterward she gets ready to spend hours among products she’s carefully sourced from around the globe—items that, in her own words, present a renewed outlook on luxury living. And that’s something she tries to live by daily.
Listen to your heart: Wellness starts inward before it can be expressed outwardly—and by inward, I mean spiritually and mentally. I look to prayer, and singing and dancing while leaving the house to a really good Drake song. In my opinion, what keeps the store environment calm (aside from the big windows!) is the music that I play while I’m there.
Shopgirl: I’m usually at my store 24-7. I have a pink table in the center of the space where I take meetings, answer emails, and brainstorm. When building the store out, I made sure it was a relaxing environment that could obviously be used for selling clothing, but also as an “open” office. Whenever I need a mini break, I step outside and sit on the front steps and soak in the sun. That’s been working for the summer, but I’m not sure what my winter routine will be yet.
Support system: The most stressful part of opening the store was the uncertainty—and it still is. There’s a lot about being a business owner that can’t be predicted, and to manage my nerves, I pray a lot and surround myself with people who share the same mindset that I do. When we opened, I had (and still have) an amazing support system, and making sure I make time for them, and myself, is important.
On schedule: Google Calendar saves my life each and every day. I make sure that all of my work events, meetings, and appointments are scheduled so that my “free time” can truly feel like it belongs to me.
Date night: I usually look to my husband to help me “get out of my funk.” We’ll either go on a date or find something fun and random to do. We most recently went to EN Japanese Brasserie after an event and had an amazing evening. Another place we frequent is Planta. And he recently had me accompany him on a trip to a rock climbing gym while he was on a project in Philadelphia, and I loved it! We’ve been a few times since and I can’t wait to go back.
Do not disturb: On my nightstand, you’ll find my wedding band and a glass of water (my go-to drink is warm water with lemon and extra (extra!) honey). I’m still learning to unplug, and lately I’ve been leaving my phone to charge in the bathroom. I’ve almost started to forget it’s there.
Plush life: A full Parachute bed is my go-to, from the covers to the mattress itself. My husband and I love about six pillows on the bed—options! For pajamas, I’ve been wearing a lot of Lunya. Its silk fabric is the best in the game.