Ladies Who Launch, #7: Tamara Sabatino of Fierce Females NJ
Updated: May 15
Santa honey, one thing I really do need — the deed
The holidays are here! This time of year, I always look forward to watching my favorite Christmas movies while baking cookies, shopping online, or wrapping presents.
One of my all-time favorites is Miracle on 34th Street (the 1947 version). I realized only recently that it may have been one of my earliest introductions to what marketing is. Maureen O'Hara plays Doris Walker who works as the marketing director for Macy's, and the film opens with her busily coordinating their famous Thanksgiving Day Parade. She famously deals with a drunk Santa Claus, and then begs "Kris" (Edmund Gwenn) to take his place. He does a great job at the parade and then is hired as the in-store Santa... and insists he is the REAL Kris Kringle.
The film unfolds from there, as the characters all get to know "Santa". One of these characters is Doris' daughter, Susan (Natalie Wood), who doesn't believe in fairy tales or spend much time in her imagination.
She decides that the only way she'll believe that Kris is the real Santa, is if he gets her the one thing she wants: her dream house.
Well, spoiler alert: you can figure out what eventually happens:
I've come to realize that this movie has probably set unrealistic home-buying expectations for many a young lady, including myself.
Santa isn't going to get you a house. It's not a thing.
So, how to go about purchasing YOUR dream home?
Meet: Tamara Sabatino.
Tamara is a realtor associate for Keller Williams in the Monmouth/Ocean County NJ area, and also heads up Fierce Females New Jersey -- providing female real estate clients with support, resources, and guidance.
The organization is based in NJ and officially launched in 2019.
We support women through all areas of their Real Estate journey from credit repair, divorce counseling, home staging, not just home buying and selling. We wanted to provide a community for resources to truly help our clients every step of the way. If someone wants to renovate her kitchen and is unsure where to start, we can provide her with a reputable contract we have personally vetted, so she does not worry about being taken advantage of. We have been in Real Estate for many many years. Fierce Females NJ began in 2019 because we felt there was something missing for women during the real estate transactions.
Tamara and Fierce Females is hosting a Self Defense & Sangria event on December 7th in Colts Neck, NJ! You’ll spend the afternoon having fun, connecting with other women, sipping sangria, and learning a set of key techniques that you can use to defend yourself if you’re ever in real-life danger. Hopefully you'll never need these skills, but you'll be grateful you have them.
I'm so excited to publish Tamara's Ladies Who Launch story this week so you can learn more about this fierce female!
(ICYMI, this is a blog series where I chat with badass bossladies around the world who have taken the leap of faith into entrepreneurial life.)
BTW - If you know a bosslady who would be perfect for a future feature in this blog series, send her this link.
I was eager to hear more about Tamara's experience starting her business, and the inspiration for how Fierce Females New Jersey came to be.
Q: What made you decide to launch your business?
I have always felt the need to go above and beyond to help my circle. When I felt someone needed something or would call me with a problem or just to even vent I would instantly go into this mode where I would step in and research and give them all the tools they needed to help them through the process. One of my good friends calls me her warrior. It was humbling to know that I had people who felt that about me because I have felt a lot of setbacks and pain. I started attending networking groups listening to women share their stories, and I left one night feeling like I could do more; I wanted to do more. I loved Real Estate, but I loved my client's stories more than anything, and I love helping to empower women. I truly believe in sharing my personal story and the mountains I have climbed; maybe it will be someone else's survival guide.
Q: What is your earliest entrepreneurial memory, long before you decided to become a business owner?
My earliest entrepreneurial memory, I am not sure. I spent my entire life supporting other's businesses and growing them. I would do crazy things, like go out in a hurricane or hop a fence in a pencil skirt to get the client what they needed. I would see a problem and research the heck out of it and find the solutions. One time a boss called me and said he had fired someone, and I needed to take on a new role. I said "ok, I don't know what I am doing but I'll do." I don't crack under pressure; I get it done. I have always had the personality where I see something and just run with it. I questioned myself as to what I was doing? Why am I not building my empire? So here I am, creating something that I feel is much bigger than me, and I think that's important.
Q: Who is/are your personal support system?
My support system varies; I have fantastic family and friends. But I have found my biggest supporters and accountability partners I found in the Babes In Business NJ Community. We cheer each other on daily and support each other's events and businesses, and they are not shy when it comes to telling each other to step up. I think there is a dynamic there that is very real, compassionate, and rare. I am extremely grateful for them.
(Above: Some members of the Babes In Business NJ community recently gathered in Asbury Park, NJ to take a group photo celebrating 10,000 members. Yay! Tamara is in the back row, 4th from the left. Photo by Rosebud Photography.)
Q: What is something you wish you knew before starting your own business (the shit nobody tells you about)?
You're not alone. I think the misconception of owning a business is that you are on an island, and you have to go at it alone. That's not right; there are so many resources and people out there to guide you along the way. If you are passionate about it, you can do it. Just jump in.
Q: What is something you're REALLY bad at?
My biggest weakness is putting work away. We are in such a connected digital world that we are all on a leash. The last few years I have been a work in progress on putting the phone down and letting things go once in a while. I am learning that days off are okay and healthy. For someone who preaches self-care, I try to follow my advice and commit to it, and like everyone else, I struggle with it sometimes.
Q: How do you de-compress -- such as binge tv, activities, food, hobbies, pop culture guilty pleasures, etc?
When I need to decompress, you can find me near a beach, usually regardless of the season, doing yoga, or in a house full of people with my family. My heart is always whole with my crazy family around.
Q: Most-played track on Spotify?
My current most played on Spotify lately is Ziggy Alberts, I love so many of his songs and that voice ugh.
Q: Favorite liquid refreshment?
My drink of choice is tequila on the rocks with lime, preferably near the ocean.
Q: Could you tell me about a woman who inspires you, or who you look up to?
A woman who has inspired me in my life is my Aunt. She has raised three amazing young men, but I was always like the daughter she never had. She has played an enormous role in how I am as a woman, parent, family member, and friend.
Q: Favorite inspirational quote?
One of my favorite quotes is:
Q: What's your best business tip?
If I could give one business tip, it would be: Do not expect someone else to be able to provide you with a roadmap; building a business does not come with set guidelines. You have to learn to trust your gut, your passion, and your vision and just put the work in.
Q: What are your Top 5 tools of the trade that you couldn't live without?
1. My Phone 2. My Laptop 3. My Team 4. Daily Affirmations 5. Ice Cream
Q: Time to let it out... favorite curse word?!
I love how popular this word is. Almost everyone I've interviewed in the series thus far has chosen FUCK as their favorite expletive. It's what unites us all :-)
Q: Last question: what about this job & lifestyle brings you the most joy and fulfillment?
I love what I am doing because it gives me the ability to not only support my daughter but help people in the process. It is not a one-size-fits-all box of the same routine task over and over. Every client is different and requires different things. It allows me to be challenged constantly. There is just something special about helping other people reach their goals while working on reaching mine at the same time.
yes, literally: #goals! Love that!
Thanks to Tamara for sharing your story with me, and bringing us all into your world of empowerment, education, and happy new homeowners!
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Are you (or someone you know) perfect for a future feature in this series? Click here!
Read our previous interview: Katie Us of Kismet Acupuncture & Apothecary
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed within these interview answers are those of the interviewee and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Alycia Yerves Creative. Any content provided by our interviewees are of their opinion and are not intended to malign any religion, ethnic group, club, organization, company, individual, or anyone or anything.