Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Dallas Dweller: Tiffany Hendra

Dallas is full of colorful characters. There are those you see monthly in the society pages, whose stories are legendary in this town. But, this feature is inspired by the people that I think you should know more about because of their fabulous style, interesting back-story or amazing accomplishments.  Dallas Dweller seeks to introduce you to these fabulous faces. Tiffany Hendra is a wife, TV host, beauty & style expert and lifestyle mentor to women of all ages. She's on a mission to help the ladies of Dallas and women around the world discover their true beauty - inside and out.

Dallas Dweller: Tiffany Hendra
by Cynthia Smoot

Aaron and Tiffany Hendra at House of Blues Foundation Room (May 19, 2015) photo by Thomas Garza

In the world of fashion it is easy to get caught up in superficial beauty and shallow thinking based on looks and things. For many years Tiffany Hendra claims she did not love herself, had low self-worth and lived a shame-based existence. She was living a fast-paced life in Los Angeles, partying hard and walking on the edge. Her “mess became her message" and she now shares her years of experience on the catwalk through her fabulous blog called Sanctuary of Style. "Every woman wants to be confident & comfortable in her skin and live life on her terms, all while looking her best. Too many women are only dreaming of a vibrant & exciting life instead of actually living it. That’s why all these glamorous housewives reality shows are so popular. Women are watching other people living a fabulous life with the belief that they are not worthy of living it too. I’m sick of seeing women living life below their potential! I was one of them for a very long time. If I can help women walk confident in their power and begin living the life they deserve… then mission accomplished," says Tiffany.  "On SOS, I share my two-cents, tips and tricks on everything women are interested in from beauty, skincare, shopping, personal style, and health and wellness, but I also focus on spiritual nourishment - which I call 'inner beauty' tips. A great haircut, fitting into our skinny jeans and rockin’ the latest Louis Vuitton handbag is fabulous, but without a radiant and peaceful spirit those external things really do not matter."

Tiffany Hendra, Cynthia Smoot
House of Blues Foundation Room, May 19th, 2015
Hendra grew up in a trailer park in the Houston-area and started modeling in high school. Her exotic looks (she's a mix of Japanese, Czechoslovakian, Cherokee & Chickasaw) kept her in high demand and like so many, she left Texas for Los Angeles to find fame and fortune. Her self-deprecating Southern charm combined with her ‘keep-it-real’ attitude landed her hosting/acting gigs on VH1, NBC, FX, Comedy Central, Showtime, and Spike TV as well as several internet shows like Tour of Italy with Top Chef all-star, Fabio Viviani.

After proving on her first television show, The X Show, that a model can be quick-witted and improvise, Executive Producer Mark Cronin took Tiffany under his wing and nurtured her on camera talent. Without an audition, Cronin gave Tiffany her next role as the “geek adoring” co-host of his pop trivia gameshow, Beat The Geeks, seen on Comedy Central. Tiffany went on to land the role of sexy spy operative in the first season of NBC’s Spy TV, co-host of VH1′s edgy talk show, The Girlie Show and was hand-selected by Kelsey Grammer to host the Spike TV talk show, Girls To Girls.

Want a free copy of Tiffany's book? Sign up for
her email list at http://tiffanyhendra.com
These opportunities were the perfect preparation for Tiffany as she began to create her own content and brand herself as a champion for young women. This was just in time for the YouTube revolution and explosion in social media which became a powerful platform for Tiffany to develop and share her message. In 2011 when Oprah launched the OWN Network, Tiffany became one of twenty finalists out of thousands for the reality series, Your OWN Show, in which she pitched her show idea of empowering young women directly to Mark Burnett, Executive Producer of Survivor and The Apprentice. Although she did not win her own series, this experience was the kick in the butt Tiffany needed to begin filming, hosting, producing and editing her webseries Sanctuary of Style which can be now be seen on her YouTube Channel and has a loyal fanbase of worldwide subscribers.

Not only did Tiffany find success in LA, she also found love with a hunky Australian rock star named Aaron Hendra. The pair started as friends - she was dating a friend of his when they first met - and she says she wasn't attracted to "good guys" when they first met. Flash forward 3 years later, she bumped into him at a restaurant and "it was like the heavens opened up and the angels sang." They were married four months after that chance meeting and 11 years later are still inseparable. The best thing about being married to a musician is that show their love through their music. You can hear for yourself how crazy in love Aaron is with Tiffany in the song he wrote for her called "Alive". She says she still cries every time she hears it because she feels so lucky to have found him.

After 16 years in LA, she felt the need to be near family and recently moved back to Texas. "People are so transient in L.A. that it's hard to make long-lasting, true friends," laments Tiffany. "With Aaron on the road so much, I just wanted to be closer to my family and friends and Dallas is a great central location for Aaron to easily fly in and out of to travel. I could create the blog from anywhere, so we picked up and moved!" I asked Tiffany what her impressions of Dallas were after living in L.A. for so long. "I love the sense of community that exists in Dallas and that people know their neighbors. I have been completely blown away about how generous this town is. It's almost overwhelming how important charity is here. I love to see people using their wealth to give back to their community," she muses. "I also love the amazing fashion community that resides in Dallas. Their are so many amazing designers and so much creative talent in this town. It's super exciting!"  Tiffany is an avid animal lover and supports the SPCA locally. She and Aaron also support Angels of East Africa, run by their friend Sam Childers aka The Machine Gun Preacher. To learn more about Tiffany and her stylish inspirational life, visit http://tiffanyhendra.com or http://sanctuaryofstyle.net.

photos c/o Thomas Garza Photography