With an eye for a fashion deal and an ability to make a budget-friendly buy look uber trendy, friends were convinced Tina Abeysekara should put her bargain-hunting powers to good… The result? The birth of Instagram account and style blog Trash To Treasured. Devoted to hunting down the latest retail sales and on-trend styles at affordable prices, Trash to Treasured pays homage to Tina’s top finds.
After chatting to Tina about the concept at a recent fashion launch, we decided she definitely had to be next on our hit list for our “50 Questions” series. Here, we’re chatting to her about everything both career and life, including first collaborations and hosting live styling workshops.
1. Best beauty product of all time? Oils! I love coconut oil or Tartes Maracuja oil
2. Five beauty products you can’t live without? Coconut oil, Tarte Frxxxtion Stick exfoliator (great to travel with), Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Water Foundation in Deep Sand, NYX Intense Butter Gloss in Chocolate Crepe, and Nude By Nature Touch of Glow Highlight Stick in Bronze
3. Hair “done” or messy? Messy
4. Makeup or no makeup? Makeup but minimal
5. Favourite fragrance? Rose the One by Dolce and Gabbana – it was the first present my partner Paul gave me
6. Favourite item of clothing? Abrand high waisted mom jeans I recently found for $50 in a TK Maxx outlet store
7. Favourite fashion brand? Anywhere with a bargain… 😉
8. Sneakers or heels? Both, though I’m pretty unsteady in heels – love those girls that can rock them like a boss!
9. Gym or exercising outdoors? Outdoors
10. Yoga or running? Yoga
11. Healthy eating or treating yourself? 80/20 rule works for me! No stress in treating yourself when the mood hits
12. Can you cook? Haha – well, I LIKE to cook and try new recipes… can you always eat it?… no!
13. Favourite food? Anything Asian and spicy or good old hot chips
14. Favourite drink? Cappuccino by day, chilli salt margaritas by night
15. Best place to eat out? Bathers Pavilion for Balmoral Beach views with a side of mussels, fat chips and wine – amazing!
16. Happiest moment? Whenever I’m with my family, Paul AND my dog at the same time, eating mum’s curry. Haha. Bliss
17. Saddest moment? Losing loved ones
18. Instagram or Snapchat? Instagram
19. Blog or YouTube? Blog, but currently exploring video content – watch this space 😉
20. Iphone or camera? Both
21. Type of camera? Nikon D7200
22. VSCO cam or Snapseed? VSCO
23. Facetune or untouched? Untouched
24. Favourite filter? Don’t use them!
25. 9-5 job or full-time influencer? 9-5 as a hydrologist
26. How did you first get your start in media? I’ve always had a knack for finding bargains and sales, so a friend suggest I start uploading my finds on Instagram to help y’all out. It grew into a website/styling/content creation business from there!
27. How much time goes into a normal picture found on your Instagram account? It depends – some are actual ‘Outfit Of The Day’ shots of what I wore so they’re taken on my iPhone on the way to work or brunch etc. For collaborations, I set aside a couple of hours on the weekend to shoot. After that, about 20 minutes to double check the product/s in my outfit are still available or find similar items, edit the shot and upload. Then I’ll stay online for about 30 minutes after the post is live to answer any questions or send links to items. Sooo yes, can be time-consuming stuff!
28. What’s your top Instagram tip? Don’t post for the sake of it! I try to make sure each post will be value adding to my audience in some way – be it a sale alert, styling inspo or bargain find
29. Who takes your pics? Mainly my partner, and occasionally friends/work colleagues I bribe with food :p
30. Most exciting moment since being an influencer? I’d created an email account for collaboration enquires and it sat empty for MONTHS. It was SO exciting to receive my very first collaboration offer, and from a brand I loved too!
31. Most terrifying moment since being an influencer? I’m a bit of an introvert, so events (eeek Fashion Week!) and networking etc are out of my comfort zone. It’s a work in progress but I’m pushing through!
32. Best campaign you’ve ever worked on? Creating and hosting live styling workshops at Macquarie Shopping Centre as part of their A/W 2017 fashion launch! It was my first time doing anything like it and the audience was full of my followers, some who’d worn outfits I’d helped them hunt out through my Insta/blog. It was an amazing experience!
33. The best gift you’ve ever received as an influencer? All of them! I still pinch myself that brands and stores I’ve shopped at for years want to send me things!
34. Last thing you googled? Show date for RnB Fridays Live festival (it’s October 13th, btw)
35. Favourite film? Mean Girls! Really well written and makes me laugh every time I watch it (#thelimitdoesnotexist)
36. Favourite book? I read 2-3 books a month (bookworm alert!). But few recent faves: Harry Hole series by Jo Nesbo (scandi thrillers), Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty, and Shoe Dog by Phil Knight (founder of Nike)
37. Favourite song? Billie Jean by Michael Jackson
38. Favourite band? Watching Coldplay and Foo Fighters live
39. Living in the city or living by the beach? Beach
40. Favourite travel destination? A life highlight was going on safari in East Africa – everyone needs to go!
41. Going out clubbing or quiet dinner with friends? Was a huge clubber back in the day but now it’s quiet dinner with friends every time ☺
42. Partner or single? Partner
43. Siblings? Younger brother
44. What city are you currently living in? Sydney
45. Celebrity girl crush? Victoria Beckham for how she juggles her business and family life – all while being dressed impeccably! AND she was a Spice Girl!
46. Celebrity boy crush? John Mayer: guitar, tattoos with a dorky sense of humour… it’s love
47. Pets? A cranky 13-year-old Chihuahua named Kahlua
48. Top five Instagram accounts to follow? @songofstyle, @apairandaspare, @humansofny, @deepicam, @farahdhukai
49. Favourite quote you live by? Be your best self
50. Top career tip? Comparison really is the thief of joy – and productivity! Look to others for advice and inspiration but then put your head down, hustle and keep your eyes on YOUR goal