Have you ever met someone and instantly felt drawn to their energy and enthusiasm for Life!? That's how we felt about Taylor Basilio When we sat down to discuss her many creative ENDEAVORS!
Tell us a little about yourself!
To start, I’m Taylor Basilio! I recently launched my new business Wild Pine Creative Co. There, one of my best friends and I offer small business website copywriting, content strategy sessions, social media strategy, and social media management. I’m a military wife, a mama to two toddlers, and I’m really passionate about dessert. Like…really passionate. I’m the Director of Marketing at a Raleigh-based consulting firm, the Community Manager at a Palo Alto-based startup, and I blog in a very lazy way at Comfort + Chaos. I spend a lot of my free time reading and scrolling through Instagram. I also love exploring the South with my husband. We have two dogs, an Airedale and a Scottie.
You are quite the multitasking military spouse! Tell us more about your different creative endeavors and how they’ve progressed for you.
My work and creative endeavors have been both organized and absolute chaos. After I graduated I had a full ride for grad school that I ended up pushing back by a year. It didn’t feel right, so I waited. During that time I worked some random jobs that I never really loved. I also started a terrible blog that only my parents and best friend read. (Thanks, guys.) I’ve always loved writing and needed an outlet while I figured out what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. After I decided grad school wasn’t part of my plan, I somehow landed a marketing assistant job at a digital marketing firm in Raleigh. I have no idea how I got this, as I had literally zero marketing experience. From there, I found a way for an old passion (writing) and a new passion (marketing) to meet in copywriting. When I had my daughter I decided to stay home with her, but I later knew I wanted something extra, so I started my blog, and I also started freelance copywriting on Upwork. A year and a half in, this led to me being hired as a community manager at a startup, and then I ended up getting hired recently as a marketing director at a different startup. That all being said, I’ve always wanted to start a business. This is what brought me to launch Wild Pine. Working for myself has always been a goal of mine, so I took what I learned and applied it where I could. My husband jokes that I’m a jack of all trades and a master of none, but learning so many different things has led me to a great position in a great career and a business I love that I was able to start with one of my best friends. It hasn’t been without a lot of hard work, but it’s been so worth it.
What has helped you pursue both your passions and purpose while also balancing the early stages of family life?
Can I say wine? Just kidding. (Sort of.) I'm the type of person who has a lot of interests and who gets bored easily. Before I knew what I was really passionate about, I was constantly trying to fit into a mold that wasn’t quite the right shape. I ended up leaving a lot of jobs, changing career paths a lot, starting and stopping grad school a couple times. Deciding to freelance is when things began to change for me. I found a way to turn something I loved (writing) into a job. I had a lot of success with it, made a solid supplementary income, and that led me to my community manager job. I ended up talking my boss into hiring a lot of my friends (who are also military wives), and one of them is now my co-founder at Wild Pine. So to answer your question: pursuing my passions instead of trying to fit the mold. Working with passionate, creative friends. Trying to make the most of my time with my kids (sometimes easier said than done). Having open communication with my husband and letting him know what was important to me in regards to my career (because they don’t always know if you don’t tell them). And also wine.
Haha, We love that, and wine! Tell us more about how you met your spouse!
We met my freshman year of college at Ohio University. He was a junior and I was newly in ROTC—which is incredibly hard to believe now, but my dad was the recruiter, and I like to say I got suckered into it. My dad is actually the one who introduced us at a picnic before the quarter started. Dom ended up being my peer mentor, and the rest is history.
That is so neat! Would you agree that opposites attract? If so, how has this played out in your own relationships?
I would, but maybe that’s because it couldn’t be more true in my own relationship. I’ve always been a social butterfly. I’m pretty outgoing, I love meeting new people, and I’ll talk your ear off if you let me. My husband is NOT like that. I often jokingly say to him that the theme of our relationship was “stalk ‘em ’til they love you.” He was so quiet and I thought he was so mysterious and it took a lot of me trying to crack open his shell to get him to open up. Now, we’ve become more similar to each other—him a little more extroverted and me a little more introverted—but I would still say that our strengths and weaknesses balance one another out. This seems to be the same in my friendships. I find great friends who are strong in what I’m lacking.
What were your impressions or ideas on what military life would be? Has your experience been different than your expectations?
My dad is retired military so I had an idea of what it would be like. That being said, it’s so much different once you’re experiencing it yourself, in your relationship. I tell all my friends all the time how much better they are at being military wives than me. It hasn’t been an easy experience for me, but I’ve also been lucky with the path my husband’s career has taken us on. For me, I would say it depends on the day—sometimes my experience meets my expectations, sometimes it doesn’t, and sometimes it surpasses them.
With often being relocated by the military what are some things that have helped you turn your house(s) into a home?
We have been very lucky in that we have been in the same location since my husband commissioned. My husband’s military career changed paths after his first four years, so we were able to stay at Bragg, and we love it here. We own our house and decorating is one of my favorite hobbies. We were always afraid we would PCS, but that never stopped me from making changes to our home, big or small. Even if you’re only somewhere for a little while, I think there are so many ways you can stay true to your style and make your house cozy and inviting. If nothing else, find great friends and have them over often. No decorating could ever match up with bonfires with your best friends. But those twinkly outdoor lights help.
In a world that is often chaotic what is one thing that grounds you?
My husband. Like any relationship, he can often be the source of my chaos, but he’s also the one thing that brings me back to speed. I tend to get easily overwhelmed and often joke that I’m a conclusion jumper extraordinaire (it’s even in my Twitter bio), but when I’m spinning out of control, he knows what to say to set me straight. But if he’s the source of the chaos (let’s get real: it happens), yoga is what helps me. Yoga with a really good playlist.
How do you make space for creativity?
In my professional life, I literally set aside time for it in my planner. I like to wake up really early, have a big cup of coffee, and get to work before the kids are up. This is when I feel most creative. For creativity in things like my home, my relationships, and my hobbies, I tend to look for inspiration and surround myself with people who care about the same things I do. I love getting together with my friend Melissa, who owns Grins & Grace, for sangria and biz talk. I get so many great ideas during our chats.
Do areas of your Personal, Professional, and Relational life overlap? If so in what ways?
Yes and no. This is something I’m working on. In many ways I’m an open book, and this often leads to the overlap; I love to talk things out and I very much value the opinions of those I care about. But for every one thing I talk out, I hold something else back. I also have trouble with knowing when it’s time for my family, when it’s time to work, and when it’s time for my friends. Sometimes I’m lucky and these things naturally meet up or diverge, but it can be difficult for me, like it is with many creatives and entrepreneurs, to turn off during the times I need to just enjoy life. It’s always a work in progress.
What are some things that have helped you cultivate a creative tribe?
This is my favorite question. Over the past few years, I’ve found my creative tribe in different ways. The first and most important to me was to finally realize what I loved doing: writing, creative work, and marketing. When my quarter-life crisis ended (ha!) and I understood what I wanted to do with the rest of my life career-wise, I found that I naturally ended up surrounded by likeminded people. This was both awful and awesome, as my friendships changed a lot, but I gained so many new, wonderful friends who are so similar to me. Another thing that has helped me is to put myself out there. I’m a member of several creative Facebook groups (The Rising Tide Society is my favorite), and I’ve met several creative new friends there who I love bouncing ideas off of or who I love working with. Pursuing my passion has been quite the journey for me, but finding these amazing individuals has been one huge payoff.
What is some advice you would extend to a fellow spouse that is in the early stages of pursuing her passions?
Just go for it. Put yourself out there. Take risks. There’s a quote by Helen Keller that says, “Life is either a daring risk or nothing at all.” I have two kids and know as much as any mom that it is hard. I’m also a military wife and know as much as any military wife that it can always feel like your career, your passions, your dreams always come second. That being said, there’s something so special about overcoming hardship in pursuit of what makes you happy and excited or what makes you wake up at 5 a.m. every day just so you can spend more time doing what you love. Sometimes reaching your passions may not go the way you planned, but where there’s a will, there’s a way. It’s cheesy but it’s true. Sometimes things don’t always work out, but one of these days, they will. And working hard for it makes meeting your passions that much better.
What is one thing you know to be true?
At the end of the day, those who love you will be there. In family and in friendship.
Lastly, what is your favorite book or quote?
I have three favorite books. “Eat, Pray, Love” by Elizabeth Gilbert, “The House We Grew Up In” by Lisa Jewell, and “The Secret History” by Donna Tartt. My husband rolls his eyes when I read Gilbert’s book at least once a year because I always have this great idea of us moving to Italy or Bali. Maybe one day.