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Fashion Stylist, Designer, Online Boutique Owner, Shelly Styles SPEAKS, ON OVERCOMING OBSTACLES…
Precious: Thanks for being open to share your story with the Women in our Community Shelly. I’m grateful for your time and I am excited to discuss obstacles that you’ve overcome while pursuing your passion and biz. Shelly – what would you say is the THE GREATEST CHALLENGE YOU’VE HAD TO OVERCOME:
Shelly: Hmmm…the greatest challenge I’ve had to overcome in general, I would say, was stepping out on faith and out of my comfort zone. After much thought I relocated to Atlanta. This was a big challenge for me, because I went to college 45 miles from home and spent many weekends with my family. My family is my rock. Being the baby of my family, it was difficult for me to go out on my own. Luckily my family is super supportive and they pushed and encouraged me.
However, I also had to get out of my own way. I remember when I first moved away from home I would go back every chance I got lol. I then realized I had to establish a new foundation for myself and know that family/home would always be there.
To add, when I graduated college, I took on various career paths…I mean I had a lot of jobs! I felt a void and unfulfilled. I always knew that Philly didn’t really have much to offer me, but over time it became even clearer that I wouldn’t reach my full potential if I stayed there. I yearned for more!…more opportunity, more culture, more experiences and so I decided to go after that more!
PRECIOUS: I can totally relate to what you’re saying shelly. It was hard for me to leave home, when I left for school. I also remember going back wayyyy too often when LOL. okay so, Shelly, what would you say has been your greatest challenge in relationships?
Shelly: In love, LOL, I feel as if this is a constant challenge. OMG – I’m such a lover and romantic at heart. I swear sometimes I feel like I live in fairytale or romantic movie. However; my reality doesn’t always match that. Now that I’m 30 years old, getting into a serious committed relationship is something that’s always on my mind. It’s also a constant topic amongst my friends and I.
I am one of those driven women with a laundry list of how I would like my King to be. This list includes but is not limited to: spiritual, driven, loving, has great conversation even if we’re talking about nothing, provider, family oriented, educated, motivates and challenges me, cultured, old soul, fun, helps me come out of my shell, single (lol), looking for love and ready to settle down, loves me unconditionally, positive attitude, confident, handsome, giving, into health and fitness, enjoys traveling, notices and remembers the small things, faithful, believes in me….. I want to be that dynamic duo!!!!
I know this is a long list lol, but I’ve learned to be patient and understand that everything happens on God’s time and not Shelly’s. Lord knows I can be a control freak and I know it’s not all about what I want, it’s what I can give my soul mate as well. This may seem old school but I want that 50/50 love.
PRECIOUS: I hear you Shelly, I really do! And that “50/50” love seems hard to come by these days. With that being the case, let’s move right along to talk biz. what would you say has been your greatest challenge in businesS?
Shelly: In business my greatest challenge would be not being such a control freak. I am a Virgo which means I have a slight case of OCD. When establishing a new business there’s so much to learn and a lot of highs and lows. The highs would be doing something you love everyday. The low is not initially making money (considering it all has to go back into the business), yet still trying to maintain my usual lifestyle and making it look fabulous lol. I will say that I am truly blessed with my support system and the fact that they were willing to invest in me and my vision. They help take some of the burden off of me.
Another challenge I’ve had is learning how to have a business partner(s) and learning different work ethics and styles. Having a partner was something that was new to me and that I had to adjust to. I was so used to doing everything on my own and my way. I learned that as long as your overall goals for the business are the same, you’ll succeed, even if the direction you and your partner take to get there is different.
PRECIOUS: I agree and That’s A Great Point. Okay, let’s switch gears a bit to look at what’s it’s been like as a Designer/wardrobe consultant. What would you say the greatest challenge has been while pursuing your career in the fashion industry?
Shelly: The job isn’t as glamorous as it seems. It requires a lot of work and long hours with little to no pay in the beginning. And the fashion industry expects you to feel lucky just to be working amongst designers and celebrities. Luckily, I quickly learned that I wanted to be an entrepreneur, to brand myself as a stylist, and to establish my own clothing brand. Doing it this way, I am able to do what I love and on my terms.
PRECIOUS: Shelly, What would you say your greatest challenge has been as a woman?
Shelly: I love being a woman and being able to be an example for other girls who want to get into the fashion industry. On the flip side – not that I’m the most beautiful woman in the world – but I have been in many positions where I was hired by men to design, consult and style. I initially thought I was hired solely based off my talent and I always kept everything professional. However, it would come down to them hitting on me in some shape or form. This would truly upset me! I want my work to speak for itself and not to be chosen because of one’s attraction to me. I also like to keep my work and my personal life separate, so it’s a challenge when someone tries to mesh the two.
PRECIOUS: I see. I can imagine how that would be a challenge and I know I would be annoyed by that as well lol. Shelly, Do you feel there is some sort of formula or pattern to being a successful entrepreneur?
Shelly: I don’t believe there is a formula… Heck, I’m still figuring it out myself, but I would say you have to:
- LOVE what you do!
- Stay true to your brand and what it is you represent.
- Know that the success of your business solely is up to you. You have to put in ALL the work. Unlike a 9 to 5, as a biz owner/entrepreneur, your work hours never really end.
- Have Faith!!! Right before you feel like you want to quit ( those moments will happen) DONT because you are right there. You’re usually just one more step away of being successful!
PRECIOUS: Shelly, that was GREAT ADVICE. As an entrepreneur myself, I felt every bit of what you said there. I have just one final question for you. What’s one final piece of advice would you give an aspiring wardrobe consultant/ designer?
Shelly: I would suggest that they:
- Intern for a stylist, magazine, agency etc… Get some real world experience and stay current with the fashion industry, but also figure out your voice as a designer/stylist.
- Get a jump-start by doing closest organizing and putting looks together from things clients already have.
- Reach out to people you would love to work with on social media. Social media connects the designer directly to those who were once unattainable, so I definitely encourage using this resource. Be sure to share how ambitious you are and excited you are to be apart of the team.
- Lastly, if your city isn’t know for fashion and you don’t want to relocate, put yourself at the forefront of styling so that you’re the go to person in your city.
Michelle Savage aka Shelly Styles is a Fashion Stylist, Designer, Online Boutique Owner, Talk show Co-Host of VIP Happy Hour, and Wardrobe Consultant. Designing and styling allows her to provide a unique perspective and distinctive fashion edge to the public. She has furthered brand awareness through social media and product placement on her celebrity clients. Having a background in Marketing/PR Michelle believes you can use social media as a platform to inspire and motivate others and she does so through fashion; showing women its possible to be a successful young entrepreneur. She also prides herself of being Queen of the Look for Less. Michelle has a natural eye whether she’s styling a campaign, a client for the red carpet or just dressing them for their everyday lives, she ensures they will always stand out.! Stating “I love making women look beautiful and feel confident. I’m all about women empowerment!”
“Manifesting beautiful souls through fashion” – Shelly Styles