I caught up with Totally Tikaa, as she’s known on her blog and social media channels, while she was being driven to Waco to attend her Baylor freshman’s first equestrian competition. I follow her on Instagram and had noticed she was doing something with Lenox, the china company. I messaged her about “Shooting the Breeze,” and she agreed. A whole bunch of laughs later, I understand why her Snapchats regularly attract 1,500 viewers at a time—even the ones where she tries out pickled eggs. Note to Tikaa’s family: she may try to devil some pickled eggs in the future—and serve them on fine china. I am also very impressed that, in addition to teaching bow design classes, she can back a trailer.
Just the Facts
Name: Tikaa Cone
Occupation: Stay-at-homemom who blogs—and designs plates for Lenox
DOB: March 1971
Family: Husband, two children (one of each), three dogs and a bunch of horses
Education: University of Houston
How did you get to Brenham? A blind date. My husband was born and raised here; his business was here, and so here I am.
How did you become a blogger/social media expert? Persistence.
And I was bored. Really. And challenged. My husband said I couldn’t be a blogger, so I set out to prove him wrong. I’ve been blogging for eight years; I started my Instagram account four years ago and Snapchat last year. I do feel like blogging is less important now. My followers like Instagram and Snapchat. I don’t do Facebook though.
My family loves Shark Week, so I created a shark-themed table scape using my Lenox china (that happens to be a discontinued pattern) and posted pictures. A representative from Lenox saw the post, called and asked if I’d create another look for them—and that I couldn’t tell anyone what I was doing.
I worked on some sketches and took 14 ideas to New York in May. They accepted five designs and asked me to do three more. Lenox will take my designs to create accent plates to market in January. They will have my name on the back!
What was your first paying job? Retail in high school. My parents wouldn’t pay for the clothes I wanted.
When I was six, I wanted to be: A pediatrician. That wasn’t going to work out. Vomit, ugh.
Who is your favorite author? Ken Follett
What would I tell a 16-year-old Tikaa? Go to art school.
Favorite app(s): Instagram and Snapchat
Most famous person I’ve ever met: President George H.W. Bush—oh and Eddie Ross [East Coast Editor of Better Homes & Garden]. I met him last year at Round Top. He was so nice.
Red or white? White.
How do you define hospitality? One thing I have learned is that hospitality is so different all over the country and world, but for me if someone is coming to my home it’s about fresh flowers, a nice meal, drinks and, most importantly, my undivided attention. Even when I go out to Round Top shopping during junk month (as we call it) and take friends, I always pack a drink cooler that includes their favorite drinks, a snack and plenty of hand wipes. Being hospitable for me is treating people with the same respect as I would treat my family.
Early or late? Late.
Haven’t been to the grocery store, and dinner time looms: I call my husband to bring something home.
Pickled beets, eggs or pigs’ feet? Say pickled beets. I will try them—I don’t ever want another pickled egg. I am NOT going to eat any kind of pigs’ feet.
Favorite vacation spot? Horseshoe Bay—or really any place with water. I love parasailing in the Bahamas.
What is the biggest compliment you have ever received? When Lenox called—they believed in me. And I get some pretty awesome feedback from my viewers. It’s nice to know we’re connecting.
What are you afraid of? Rollercoasters. And rodents. The whole family: mice, rats, hamsters, gerbils, guinea pigs. Oh and birds. No birds.
Stick or automatic? Automatic. I have to be able to drink my Diet Coke.
First car? Chevrolet Blazer—one of the big ones. Because my dad thought it would be safer. But then he discovered I was hauling lots of kids everywhere and got me a two-seater.
Dream car? Land Rover or a 1971 VW bug convertible.
Last picture you took with your phone? The treats I am taking to Baylor for the equestrian team.
How do you start a conversation? “Hey! Listen to me! Are you listening to me?” Of course, that’s just with my family. I don’t do that to strangers.
Every day I: Can’t believe how blessed I am.
I am never without: A Diet Coke. I usually have a cooler of Diet Cokes with me..
Can you tell a joke? Sure.
The funniest person in your life: My children. My husband thinks he is, but it’s really my children.
What’s next? A book. I want to do a book.
What do you tell people about Brenham? If you like small towns, country life and a slower pace, then this is great. I also say “home of Blue Bell Ice Cream.”
by Katie Dickie Stavinoha