Tiffany Napper

Growing up, Tiffany Napper’s mother advised her to “keep a song in your heart.” That simple and practical yet elegant tidbit may have had more to it than Tiffany could ever realize. Starting her own boutique public relations and branding firm for musicians and artists called Bats on Strings means music is always close at hand.

Working closely with her clients on everything from publicity to website optimization to video production, Tiffany keeps busy as the woman behind the scenes of artists such as Grandmaster Flash and Maggie Koerner. And if juggling clients in the 24-7 world of public relations wasn’t enough, Tiffany has also started a custom apparel line, Flying Fox.

If your head is already spinning after reading about this Leading Lady’s fast-paced life (guilty!), then perhaps you might want to consider her suggestion for a balance check. “I give myself a deadline: work for one more hour and then take … a long bubble bath or an hour in front of the television.” Sounds like solid advice to us.

I live by the theory that good things happen to those who hustle.

How did you discover your current job?

I guess you could say I discovered it in my dreams, because I created my current jobs. Starting Bats on Strings, a PR and branding firm for musicians and creative artists, felt natural after I had some solid experience under my belt. I wanted to spread my wings, and for some mysterious reason, I wasn’t afraid of the unknown.

I dreamed for years of partnering with artists to create apparel, so last year I took the leap and launched Flying Fox (formerly Bats on Tees). With that line, I also started designing handbags. The combination of running a boutique PR firm and designing apparel and handbags has created such a wonderful balance in my life.

Where does the name Bats on Strings come from?

“Bats on Strings” refers to the concept of helping something take flight. As a publicist or creative director, I feel like I am the invisible string behind the scenes giving something wings.

How do you organize your day?

Because of the enormous amount of multi-tasking I have to do, each workweek is planned one week in advance. Then, my day is organized around what’s on my calendar. But no matter what, I start with a cup of French press coffee in hand, sitting in front of my computer, and I read through my social media feeds for inspiration and the latest news in my industries.

What is it about your job that makes you feel it’s the right fit for you?

I know it’s right because I never dread going to work. My jobs don’t have a hard stop, and that doesn’t bother me. Every day is fresh and exciting.

What challenges keep you awake at night?

Not having enough hours in the day to do everything I want to do. I hope growing my team will help with that in the future. And accounting! I’m not a numbers gal. It’s high on my goals right now—to find a part-time accountant who can take some of that off of my plate.

Is work/life balance ever a problem with you? If so, what is one no-fail tactic you use to create balance?

Absolutely. I’d be lying if I said I’m an entrepreneur running two startup businesses and I lead a perfectly balanced life. Luckily for me, I have the most supportive friends, family and boyfriend who not only cut me some slack, but offer to help when they can see me drowning. It’s something I hope to never take for granted. But when I’m giving myself a balance check, I give myself a deadline: work for one more hour and then take some ‘me’ time. Whether that’s a long bubble bath or just an hour in front of the television, I try to find a way to relax.

Was there ever a moment in your career where you’ve thought, “I made it!” What was it?

There have been so many moments when I’ve thought, “Wow, I can’t believe my life right now!” I try to celebrate the milestones as they come, but I’m continuously striving to be a better version of myself every day.

What are some of the rules you live by?

“Keep a song in your heart.” My mother taught me that one. It’s about keeping a positive attitude throughout life. And I live by the theory that good things happen to those who hustle. I truly feel like I’ve gotten to where I am because of my determination and hopeful attitude.

My PR company abides by the motto that “Magic is something you make.” I believe that if you work hard enough with good intentions, you can indeed create magic.

What qualities does it take for someone to be successful in your line of work?

It’s a little different for each company. The PR and branding world requires creativity, confidence, intuition and dedication. With my apparel and handbag line, I find that it requires courage, passion, flexibility and a strong sense of self.

What one piece of advice do you wish you could tell a 21-year-old version of yourself?

Don’t be afraid to risk it all! The younger you are, the more time you have to bounce back and the more agile you can be. There were definitely some times when I played it safe. But every experience leads to the next, so if you want something, you have to go after it with purpose, no matter the risk. And your early twenties are the perfect time to be bold.