Welcome to Hiya Tootsie!
I’m Heather, a writer, hope-raiser, and dream-chaser originally from the East Coast (represent!) relocated to L.A.
I like asking people what they would do if no one told them it was impossible.
I love spoken word poetry, rock and roll, glitter, and gunmetal. I fangirl out over Tom Waits. I have my degree in Professional Writing, wear a lot of black, love Jesus, and after 32 years, feel like my hair has finally arrived.
I wear chocolate cake perfume to bed and pearls when I write. I’m intentionally working on pinpointing what I want and need and am getting better at asking for it all the time. I love graffiti and tattoos. I’d like to take out stock in Victoria’s Secret. I’m an ENFP and only child who took 8 years of no-show to finally arrive. I lived in Hollywood for 3 years and now rent a room 2 miles from the ocean.
If Brené Brown and Amanda Palmer had a baby, she would be my spirit animal. And speaking of animals, Gracie.
The fact that I am stoked out of my ever loving mind to finally pursue the things I love most in the world – words, artistry, adventure, connection, and tenacious heart – should probably win the understatement of the year award.
I spent the last 9 years working in nonprofit organizations as a missionary and chaplain. The first gig was with college students. The second and third were a nosedive into the ever calm and tranquil waters of the sex industry, mental illness, and chemical dependency.
I was applauded (loudly) for this work by a lot of people, but by year 8, was professionally informed that vicarious trauma, burnout, compassion fatigue, codependency, and adrenal fatigue were the culprits for why my bed deserved to have its own mailing address.
Hiya Tootsie! was born out of necessity, readiness, and a punk rock spirit of unwillingness to keep my loudest dreams on mute any longer. Plus, I figured I couldn’t possibly be the only one ready to rock and roll.
So here we are, sugar!
The name of this project came from a nickname my Czechoslovakian grandfather used to call me and my cousins when we were little that made me feel seen, celebrated, encouraged to be who I was, and allowed to become whoever I wanted to be. Every time he’d greet us, it was with a larger than life “Hiya Tootsie!”
So when I heard his booming voice rise up from memories past late one night, I sucked in my breath, openly wept, laughed, and just knew – this was it. This was us.
This is a community of badass believers who never learned to turn down the volume on their wild, raucous cheers when one of us succeeds in staring down the she-beast of what-ifs and steps out to make room for her dreams.
We are the women who run with the wolves.
We do the things that make our hearts hammer out of our chests with breathless, hell yes joy. We own who we are and love it. Because we need more of that. And so does the rest of the world.
This is for all of us.
Welcome to Hiya Tootsie!
Heather Born Elkins is an East Coast writer based out of L.A.
Prior to officially launching her writing career as a full-time blogger and solopreneur, she spent 9 years in various nonprofits as a missionary and chaplain working with college students, sex industry workers, women living with mental illness, and women who are chemically dependent.
The push in career shift came from a professional diagnosis of vicarious trauma, burnout, situational depression, codependency, and adrenal fatigue.
It turned out to be the best thing that ever happened to her.
Forced to recover and reprioritize, Heather decided to pursue her passions and create a platform to invite other women to do the same.
In 2014 and 2015, she won two scholarships to The Blogcademy, a blogging workshop run by pro bloggers Gala Darling of galadarling.com, Kat Williams of rocknrollbride.com, and Shauna Haider of nubbytwiglet.com that solidified her resolve to blog professionally. Plus, after years of searching, she felt like she finally found her very glittery and colorful tribe.
Heather has made a name for herself as a courage-infuser who is bold, relatable, and has a natural ability to connect with a wide audience.
She dreams of turning Hiya Tootsie! into a locked and loaded full-fledged brand, seeing Candy Ass inspire women all over the world, and designing a line of kick ass lingerie, statement necklaces, shoes, cosmetics – you name it!
She penned the original Broadifesto, a rally cry for women to go hard after their dreams, and can be easily recognized by her signature “rock and roll in pearls” style, attitude, and outlook on life.
When she’s not clacking away on a keyboard, she’d just as soon read some poetry, wail along with Tom Waits, and call it a day.