RICHMOND, Va. -- With her signature Southern twang, this Texas mom of eight dubbed 'The Patio Chic' spreads love and knowledge of creating relaxing outdoor spaces.
She's now a social media sensation.
Tara Paige is a light for scores of women across the country who joined the Black Women Who Love Outdoor Living Spaces group she created on Facebook.
"I'm always pinching myself. I cannot believe that. It's like, what we're 220,000? Oh my gosh," Paige said.
The group is about more than outdoor decorating. Many of the suga sisters as Paige calls them share how therapeutic it has been during the pandemic.
She knows firsthand the mental toll it has taken.
"When I initially started this, it was because I was crying on my couch. I couldn't believe that I was in a space, you know that we were in a space where everything in life. As we knew it just stopped" Paige explained.
She said some of the women have shared stories of devastating loss in the past year since she created the Facebook group.
"I listened to a young lady who messaged me about her daughter who was suicidal, I listened to a message from a young lady who talked to me about having PTSD, and someone who had just lost her mom. It is a lifeline for a lot of people. It's a healing place. It's a loving space and a safe place for us," Paige said.
The hard work she put in during this past year has morphed into a full-time Patio Chic career for Paige.
She now has a line of patio furniture, is starting a TPC Construction Group and is open to exploring television possibilities.
Paige said after seeing a lack of African American home design personalities as she began her journey, and noticing very little marketing to Black women, she created her own platform.
She said her followers are making an economic impact.
"We really have all the stores in a tizzy like, wait a minute, wait, we need to get this done. We want different colors. We want to decorate in different ways, and we want to bring our culture into it. I'm just excited to be able to share how much buying power we have. We are a powerful, powerful, powerful group," Paige added.
This weekend she'll bring the first-ever Patio Chic conference complete with entertainment, DIY projects, and more to her loyal followers.
Comedian Rodney Perry will kick off the festivities on the patio and Paige said participants will also take part in Praise on the Patio with a special guest.
After the weekend's conference, Paige said she'll regroup and is looking to make good on a promise she made to loved ones and suga sisters here in Richmond.
"To all my sugar sisters in Richmond. Thank you. Thank you, thank you. When I come and visit my grandbaby I am coming to see you ladies and listen, we've got to get together, and I've got to tell her hey! So, hey pep, I love you."
Paige said, so far, more than 400 women are signed up for TPC CON.
The virtual conference runs from April 23 through April 25. Click here to register.