My moment of reset came not when I was unexpectedly laid off from my marketing job after only a little over a year on the job, but ten months later, after yet another interview for a marketing position I did not get. I suddenly realized, “I don’t want these jobs I’m interviewing for and I don’t need the approval of the interviewer to know that I’m worth something.”
Overnight I went from someone out of work and down on her luck to the self-proclaimed owner of my own personal styling firm, Real Life Style. I went down to city hall to register my business, ordered business cards, had a graphic designer friend create a website for me and never looked back.
I had known that I wanted to be a personal stylist since I was 14 years old and landed a job at New York City’s first personal styling firm while still at Parsons School of Design. Nevertheless, after seven years I knew I wasn’t happy, and took a position as a Marketing Manager for a fashion company.
People had been telling me to start my own business for years. However, having student loans to pay on my own every month and not wanting to take any business away from my current employer, I had no interest whatsoever. Only after freelance personal styling on my own to make ends meet after losing my job did I realize that I had been right at age 14, personal styling was my true calling.
I woke up the morning after Labor Day in 2006 and thought, I am so fulfilled by my work right now, I wouldn’t change a thing. I had rediscovered my passion for personal styling, which is to instill confidence in women to go out every day looking and feeling their best, both at home and at work.
It has been over ten years since I started my own business and I can’t imagine living and working any other way. Having my own business allowed me to meet and date my husband who lived in another city, and have flexibility once we started a family.
I’m not going to lie, living in two cities for five years and moving my business from New York City to Washington, D.C. was not easy and its own reset. But I will never have to ask anyone but myself if I can have the morning off to take my child to the doctor, and am now able to offer a family-friendly, flexible workplace to my own employees.
The next frontier? I’ve recently created The Stylist Studio with another personal stylist in the D.C. area. Our goal is to help other women create their own reset by offering professional training for those wanting to become personal stylists themselves.