What exactly is your business?
Your Stylist, LLC is a service-based business where I serve clients (focused on women) as a Personal Stylist/Wardrobe Consultant/Personal Shopper. I help women redefine their style so they can be the best version of themselves. Based in Cincinnati serving a 100-mile radius or as some would call, “the tri-state” area.
*The style process begins with the style questionnaire and the Initial Consultation—where I get to the basics of the person, but start to dig deeper on why they want the change and how they feel. From there, the Closet Audit is scheduled and this is what I call the window into their soul. Once I’m in a client’s closet with them, I can really see what challenges they’ve been facing and get a full scope of their frustration relating to their current wardrobe. I make a full style assessment here putting the pieces together of body type, color palettes, style personalities and trouble spots with their clothes. That takes us to the biggest part of the style process, which is the Personal Shopping service. All things are considered, including the client’s budget. The biggest value is here because I shop FOR them, they never have to dig through a rack or navigate the store. They just show up and a whole rack of clothes in their size is already outfitted and waiting for them to try on! This process is very consultative. I talk through why pieces work or don’t work, where to wear it, what else to wear it with, fabric care, etc. Once items are purchased, the client can receive the Wardrobe Consulting service where they can text/email me their style questions, along with pictures to assist them in getting acclimated to their wardrobe! I also offer a follow up outfitting service in-home with the new wardrobe in case they need extra support.
How did you come up with your business idea?
I had been in retail for over 20 years and saw the disconnect with customer come about really strong around 2008. The retail landscape has really changed and I was part of that…seeing stores close and companies file bankruptcy, hiring lesser qualified leaders and associates. I was victimized in retail working 60+ hours a week with abusive leaders. All of this lead me to leave my retail career in 2015 and I knew that I wanted to truly connect with my customers again. So I created the business model for a personal styling company, YOUR STYLIST, and built my website. I had clients within 30 days and it has grown at warp speed since then! I do not recommend people just leaving a career jumping into a high risk business venture. I used my 20+ years of business acumen of running businesses for other companies to do this. Everyone’s situation is unique!
How did you find out about Aviatra?
I found out about Bad Girl Ventures through a bridal boutique owner I worked for, Kelly Hill of Lace Bridal Couture. She found value in the program and the long lasting connections that are made. What was really interesting is that it was focused on women owned businesses. So I kept it in mind, and once I started my own business, I simply went to the website and saw that applications were being accepted for Spring LAUNCH 2016. I applied knowing that chances are slim with so many female business owners applying, but two months later I received a call I was accepted into the elite five! I was thrilled and couldn’t wait to grow my knowledge and network.
What is your inspiration?
My foundation for inspiration is music. I’m a Gen-Xer so I grew up on 80-90s, but my mom’s musical influence as well. Think Blondie, early Madonna, Janet Jackson, Cyndi Lauper…then Courtney Love, Shirley Manson to my biggest inspo…GWEN STEFANI, also MIA, Santigold for that cool girl vibe. I love the 90s and grew up more alternative with music and the skate scene, so my Doc Martens will always be around! But for becoming a stylist myself, Stacy London has been my reason for going after this entrepreneurial adventure as a stylist!
What has been your biggest accomplishment with your business so far?
My biggest accomplishment so far with Your Stylist is that I have quadrupled my revenue over the last year! Equivalent to that accomplishment is that I’ve secured a studio space, first in Newport and now moving to the Cincinnati side! My Opening Celebration is this Thursday on the 7th!
What was the most valuable thing you gained from your experience with Aviatra?
The most valuable thing I gained from Aviatra was the connections. I was boxed into retail hell for so long, I didn’t know where to begin to network or anything. Aviatra gave me that window to make connections and build relationships with other female entrepreneurs and community leaders. It has really impacted me, my company and its performance.
What was the biggest challenge you faced when starting your business?
The biggest challenge I faced in starting my company was where to start to source leads. I have grown from online only, to networking, to lots of women’s events to referrals.
Where do you hope to be in 5 years?
In five years I hope to be expanded to other Midwest cities as there is a need for Personal Stylists all over. Nearly 90% of stylists are on the east and west coast. The misconception in this region is that stylists are for ritzy people like celebrities or models. WRONG! Stylists are for anyone who wants to feel great and have clothes fit their body properly! I work with all women, all ages, all ethnicities, all sizes, different backgrounds, different budget levels, different career levels, etc. And I would love nothing more than to meet my goal of expanding to other Midwest cities to serve these women. My belief is everybody deserves to feel like somebody, and that’s the foundation of what I do.
Any advice for future Aviatras?
My advice to future Aviatras is to stay true to your vision no matter what anyone says. NO ONE knows your vision like you do! Don’t pay attention to the nonsense you will hear from others about your new business, “you should do this, you should do that, you should…you should…you should.” If I had done the “you shoulds” I would have lost sight of what I do and be out of business. No matter how high ranking someone is or what committee they are on, listen to YOURSELF first and know it’s okay to say NO!
Jackie’s Opening Celebration is this Thursday, December 7th from 5:00-8:00 p.m. at 2859 Colerain Avenue, Cincinnati, OH 45225!