Darling, What if you Fly | My First Speaking Engagement

What’s getting in the way of you getting started? For me, it’s fear. Fear that I won’t be as great as I imagined. Fear that my audience won’t be as receptive as I want them to be. Fear that I will fail. On Sunday, I overcame one of my fears.

I took a trip to Philly to speak in front of a small group of women about the obstacles I’ve faced and still are facing during my entrepreneurial journey. I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect but I was very pleased with the outcome.

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Dominique Danielle, a local, Philadelphia based fashion designer inspired me and all the young women in attendance to just go for it. She believes that whatever you want to accomplish in life can be done with just a little faith and hard work. She taught us the difference between our talents and gifts and showed us how to keep our fears from getting in the way of our end goals.

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One of my fears is public speaking. I purposely took on this speaking engagement to help challenge myself. One of my goals is to be able to speak to both men and women entrepreneurs about the struggles of their journey and how to overcome them. Being able to tell my story (even though this is just the beginning) to others going through similar situations helps me to see how far I’ve come and to show my audience that all the hard work, blood, sweat and tears will eventually pay off in the end.

But I wasn’t the only speaker at the workshop. I sat alongside Sheri, the founder of Beautiful Beast Networking. She too spoke words of wisdom into me and everyone in the room. She told us about her life as a momprenuer and how she juggles her work life balance.

Her story opened up the room for a few guests to share a little bit of their story and how they’re dealing with their life struggles. One thing that we could all agree on is hating our day jobs. One person even mentioned how she barely sees her daughter due to working so much but she can’t leave because it helps to pay the bills. I could definitely relate. It’s hard to step away from something that is helping to fulfil your needs.

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Take Aways:

  • Humble yourself

Don’t let the job work you, work the job. Even though you’re not where you want to be, continue to work hard and make the best out of your situation no matter what and good will come out of it.

  • Change your mindset

Yes, you may hate your job but you’re there for a reason. Learn your purpose and use your resources to help get you where you want to be. Take what you can to invest in yourself and your business.

  • Don’t let your fears stop you

You can accomplish what ever you want in life. Do what you have to do; invest in a business coach, a mentor and/or a accountability partner to keep you motivated.

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Be sure to keep an eye out for the full recap video coming to the blog soon!

 

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How I Survived my 21 day Financial Fast 

It’s finally OVER!

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Despite my usual complaining, it actually wasn’t that bad. On October 1st, I joined my church in their financial fast which consisted of 21 days of only spending money on necessities. For me, those necessities were:

 

– gas

– bills

– weekly tithes

So what about food, you ask? Well, we were allowed to go grocery shopping but only if we took out cash to spend. Studies show that swiping your card causes you to spend up between 12-18% more money compared to actually using cash.

Credit Cards Make you Spend More: Studies

As a 23 year old whose still living at home, working two part-time jobs while also juggling a small business on the side; saving hasn’t always been the easiest thing to do. So in order for me to see the results I wanted to see, I knew I had to hold myself accountable.

How did I do it?

Thankfully, my bills only consists of my two school loans with one being due at the beginning of the month and the other towards the end. Ironically, I had paid off my credit card debt right before starting the fast which helped to eliminate one less bill. My tithes fluctuated depending on how much my check was that week. As for food, my mom cooked every night which turned into lunch the next day and I made a habit of filling up my tank right before it hit the half way mark.

What didn’t I do?

I didn’t go out to eat, I avoided the mall and online shopping at all costs and I didn’t hang out with my friends as much. I kept myself busy with work to alleviate my mind from wanting to spend. I also put away $50 every week into my savings account.

Week 1: The first week was a breeze. I still had some cash on hand so I was able to go out for a drink (that I desperately needed) with a friend for her birthday and I hung out with my boyfriend.

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Week 2: By now, I had ran out of cash but was able to put gas in my car. I assisted with a few fashion shows and attended an event where everything was complimentary. But it was my moms birthday so I ended up swiping my card for a gift AND took some cash out for the weekend that I ended up spending on a birthday card, food and gas.

 

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Week 3: It’s pay week again and the fast is almost over. I haven’t swiped my card all week and have been paying my tithes consistently since I started the fast.

 

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The fast ended on Saturday and I was able to save $150 in just 3 weeks! That may not seem like a lot but for me, it’s a start. Would I do it again? YES. I’m actually thinking of adding it into my routine every 2 months. Overall, I’m very proud of myself. I didn’t spend any unnecessary money. I literally stuck to the rules and only spent money when needed.

If you struggle with saving money and notice that your bank account is always low, you should try the financial fast. The rules can be altered to fit your lifestyle. But if you’re strictly spending money on just your needs and holding yourself accountable, you’ll definitely see some results!

 

 

3 Easy Tips on How to Conquer Networking Events on your Own 

I’m someone who hates going places on my own, especially networking events. I get really nervous knowing that I’ll have to actually talk to people. I’m never the one to initiate a conversation but when I’m alone, I have no choice.

After attending one of my first events solo, there were a few small techniques I used that I didn’t even realize were helping with my jitters. Continue reading for a few easy tips on how to successfully conquer networking events on your own.

1. Wear a conversational piece

You always want to look the part when you’re out and about because you never know who you may run into. It’s even more important to look your best when you’re attending events. It’s possible for you to meet a few potential clients while you’re there and the first impression is everything.

Just recently, I attended an anniversary party for a well-known custom suit clothier in my city, on a boat. I made sure that I dressed appropriately because I could potentially meet some new clients. I decided to wear a fringe dress, a blue leather jacket and gray tassel earrings. All three pieces could have been seen as conversational pieces but the main one was my bright, blue leather jacket that I draped over my shoulders.

As a stylist, I try to wear a different outfit each time I attend an event. If you live in a small city like me, then you’re more than likely going to run into a few of the same people. You would hate to have on the same look you wore to the last event.

2. Sit or stand beside someone who looks as if they also came alone

After making a stop at the bar (if there is one), take a look at your surroundings and see what kind of crowd is there. Look for people who are standing or sitting alone and go stand or sit by them. I would suggest waiting a couple of minutes to make sure they actually did come alone and then GO FOR IT! Ask them questions like:

What brings you here?

What do you do?

Is this your first time coming to an event like this?

Asking open-ended questions like these are an easy way to spark up a conversation and to get to know someone without them thinking you’re trying to hit on them. Keep it neutral. How they respond can lead to a whole other topic.

3. Ask a random person to take a picture of you 

Y’all, this really works! You know that person you sat next to and sparked up a conversation with? Ask them to take your picture. The worst thing they can say is “no”. But why would they?

When you’re at these events alone, just try to make yourself comfortable. Grab a drink, a bite to eat and make your way around the room. You never know who you may run into. Also, be sure to have your business cards handy or a digital business card that can be sent via email or text with all your information.

In the end, don’t be afraid to attend events on you own. You’re likely to make more connections on your own rather than bringing a tag along who only came for the complimentary drinks and food.

Be sure to check out these tips and more in the “SoChic Survival Guide” set to release soon!

Stylists: SophisticatedChic Brand, LLC. (@sophisticatedchicrand) + Alise (@kreatorstyles)

Photographer: E. Brady Robinson (@ebradyrobinson)

Creative Director: TTtheArtist (@tttheartist)

MUA: Aris (@browzing_with_aris)

Nails: Astrid (@astridcuret)

Third Times a Charm | Sip, Create & Shop Recap

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 24TH

SIP, CREATE & SHOP

ILLICIT RAG VINTAGE BOUTIQUE

Who’d ever thought I’d have three successful events all in one year? Not me!

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I originally started having these events to make a little extra money on the side (multiple streams of income is the secret to success). But I didn’t really understand what I gotten myself into until just now. The process was very stressful and there were a lot of things and people that got in my way but thankfully, I overcame those obstacles and was able to bring my crazy visions to life.

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This particular event was catered to small business owners who made everything by hand. From jewelry to body scrub and hats, there was no question that their pure talent was a gift from God. So, it had to be celebrated. I specifically hand picked each vendor who I knew would professionally represent my brand and theirs in the right way. Not one vendor sold the same type of products or services. Their uniqueness set them a part from each other which helped to make this specific event so special.

Now, not every vendor created their own products. There were a couple of brands that I knew I couldn’t have this event without. Their high quality products and designs were the perfect balance to Sip, Create & Shop.

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Vendors

Fancy Free Hair

Jacob Heath Jewelry

Smelanin Fresh & Art-ish

Fly Nerd Apparel

Creatively Mindful

With These Hands

Eye Imagery

Khemistry Designs

Even though I was expecting a bigger crowd, this event was definitely my favorite. In the beginning, I was beating myself up a lot, wishing things would have went a little bit differently but my friends and family continued to prove me wrong. All the feedback I received during and after the event was heart warming. As I was taking a picture with one of my favorite female photographers, she was in awe that I got all these people together in one place. “See how much power you have”? she said.

You really don’t notice how much of an impact you have on others until after the fact. Being able to bring like-minded people together to connect and potentially collaborate is a powerful thing.

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Thank you to everyone for coming out and supporting SophisticatedChic’s third event and all the amazing vendors who participated.

A special thanks to Danny, the owner of Illicit Rag Vintage boutique, for allowing me to take over her space yet again. Thanks to Ryen, my wonderful media correspondent, for traveling all the way from NY to help a sister out. Thanks for Mo, the amazing videograpaher for agreeing to be a part at the last minutes and thank to Chuk, my personal photographer for capturing all the of photos you see above and the cool recap video. I really couldn’t have done it without you guys!

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The Look

Pink crochet dress: Illicit Rag Vintage

Pink tassel earrings: Netty’s Glitz

Black/silver block heel sandals: Justfab

Photographer: Chuk @_reign_supreme

Videographer: Mo @shotbymlb

Media correspondent: Ryen @ryenwatkins

Be sure to check out our guest bloggers full recap on her blog “The V Way“!

Stylist United Launch Party + Mixer Recap 

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 8TH

STYLIST UNITED LAUNCH PARTY + MIXER

SANGRIA PATIO BAR

It’s official. Stylist United has officially launched and we’re ready to work!

We turned Sangria upside on Friday as we celebrated our success and future endeavors with family and friends in all red (of course). We received over 100 RSVP’s and couldn’t thank everyone enough for coming out and supporting us.

We worked really hard to bring you a night full of networking, pictures against the iconic grassy backdrop, gift bags and interviews. Check out this exclusive interview below with our sister in style, Tonae Lee of Style Fanatic! 

(the video is a little hard to hear by the way)

 


If you didn’t get a chance to grab a copy of our press kit, feel free to click the link below for a closer look!

Stylist United Press Kit

We couldn’t thank you all enough for all the support and donations. We really appreciate each and everyone of you and are excited to see what the future holds for us.

Thanks again for coming out and stay tune for what we have coming up next ✨

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The Look

Red Tuxedo Jacket: Missguided

Red Skinny Cigarette Trouser: Missguided

Selina Body Suit in red: Irregular Exposure 

 

We want to work with you! Email us at Stylistunitedbrand@gmail.com

Photographer: @kingbozzvy

 

Learning to Let Go | How to Survive the Entrepreneurial Journey

“Every day is a fresh start” is what I’ve been drilling in my head since I left my previous full time job in September 2016. Last year around this time, I was living out my personal styling dreams at Trunk Club. A place that I thought I’d still be calling home until God decided to switch gears on me.

Fast forward to this year and just like clock work, I’m back in the same boat. Two weeks ago, I decided my time was up at my former job working as an executive assistant for a local designer. It had to have been the most uncomfortable feeling I’ve ever felt in a long time. I never had to leave a job before. After googling a few tips, I typed up my resignation letter and sealed it in an envelope. The following week, I asked my boss if we could speak in private and I broke the news to her. I had no idea what I was doing or what was next but I knew I had to go. 

Friday, September 8th was my last day and I felt rejuvenated and hella pressed to have some free time to work on me and my business. I’m not fully unemployed though. I actually picked up a part time job as a receptionist at a spa just to make ends meet until I’m financially prepared to work for myself. The same day I left, I headed straight to an interview for another part-time position and GOT THE JOB! And guess what. The pay rate was exactly the same as what I was receiving as an assistant. God knew that having  one part time job just wasn’t enough for me to get where I needed to be.

Working as a full time entrepreneur is my ultimate end goal. I know it won’t be an easy process but there are definitely some things that I plan to do to help get me there.

Want to find out how I plan to survive the crazy entrepreneurial journey? Keep reading.

Never say Never

The world is full of opportunities that are just waiting for us to take advantage of! Sometimes we find them on our own and other times God places them right in front of us. But it’s up to us to decide what choice to make.

Yes, there are opportunities in my life that I wish I would have taken but I am a firm believer in everything happening for a reason. I’m learning to trust my instinct and God. But I have learned that if an opportunity is meant for you than it will work out. And if not, something bigger and better is definitely coming. But until then, I try to say “yes” to almost every opportunity that comes by way that of course is related to what I do and that will get me closer to my end goal.

Be Uncomfortable

As I mentioned above, I was extremely uncomfortable leaving my assistant job behind. I’m swimming in student loans, I’m still living at home and I’m just barely making enough money to get by but I knew my time was up. Even though I couldn’t technically see it, I knew God had another plan for me.

I used to catch an attitude and get all worked up when things weren’t going as I planned (and I still do sometimes) but everything that you hope and pray for isn’t meant for you. You have to step out of your comfort zone sometimes to gain a blessing. Sometimes you have to do the total opposite of what you want to do just to get where you want to be. No it’s not fair but it’s definitely rewarding in the end.

Ask for Help

I’m probably the most stubborn person I know and that’s a fact. But when I’m at a point where I feel like I can’t do or give anything else, I simply ask for help. And I say simply because it’s just that. One of the most simple things to do. Not everybody you ask for help from will be willing to help you and some of them may not even respond but at least you tried. At least you stepped out of your comfort zone and let them know that you admire what they do and need some guidance.

I’m the type of person that thinks I can do everything on my own. But it’s nothing like being guided in the right direction by someone whose already been in the same situation as you. I’m sure the person you’re reaching out to eventually asked for help too.

Invest

Investing in yourself and your business is the most important thing you could ever do as a business owner. Over the past year, I’ve personally learned that everything isn’t an investment and every investment isn’t everything. What does that even mean?

Well, when you want to invest in something you have to make sure that it is the right investment for you. You don’t want to be broke after putting all your money into something that won’t even benefit you in the long run. Do your research. You have to make sure that what you’re planning to invest in is worth the investment. What will you lose? What will you gain? How will it effect your business in the future? These are questions I always ask myself when deciding whether to invest in something.

Plan Ahead

I write EVERYTHING DOWN. And if I don’t, it doesn’t get done.

I’ve always been organized but college really took my OCD (I haven’t been diagnosed yet) and the perfectionist in me to the next level. Every night, I take out my planner/journal and write down everything that I plan to accomplish the following day. A lot of the information is redundant as far as posting on social media or working on my blog. I make sure that these tasks are completed each day so that I get in the habit of being consistent. Consistency is key when it comes to owning a brand and business!

Network

NETWORK. NETWORK. NETWORK. Networking is a blessing and a curse. At least for me. There aren’t many fashion related events that happen in Baltimore, so I tend to travel to D.C or other surrounding ares for most events. The commute from Baltimore to D.C is an hour so the event definitely has to be worth the travel.

But how do you know that it’s worth it?

Well, you have to do your research! Stalk the people that you know will be in attendance. Look at their website. Learn about what they’ve done and who they know. Make sure you know their names so that you can introduce yourself when you run into them at the event. Make sure you have plenty of business cards on hand to pass out to those people who you could potentially collaborate with. And make sure you get their business cards as well. If they don’t have one, follow them on social media. You want to be able to follow up with them after the event so that they remember who you are. It’s all in the follow up!

Even if you don’t get any business cards, make sure you gain some kind f knowlege from the event. It can be something like a marketing tool to use for social media or even an upcoming fashion event that could be taking place in your city. Always be sure to bring a pen and notebook to take notes. Like I mentioned before, I write EVERYTHING DOWN.

These are just a few tips that I live by in order to survive this crazy entrepreneurial journey that I am on. It’s all about trial and error and having a solid strategy. If you map out your goals and plan accordingly, something is destined to come out of it.

Some of the things that help me, may not help the next person so comment below and let me know the advice your live by that keep you level headed during your journey!

Thanks for reading guys 🙂

Stylist: SophisticatedChic Brand

Photographer: Crystal Brooks @crystalaegeanb

 

Stylist United is Launching!

We’re Launching!

Stylist United is a new and upcoming non-profit organization in the Baltimore metropolitan area. Our team of Stylists are ready to introduce themselves to the community and ready to connect with local businesses and organizations to help rebuild our city.

Come celebrate with us at Sangria Lounge this Friday at 8pm. You will be the first to receive our featured Press Kit for bookings!

Please join us for:

• A night of Networking

• Raffle Giveaways (bring business card for entry)

• Receiving our featured Press Kit

This is a cocktail attire event! We thank you for your support and any donations to help build this brand.

For Inquiries, email us at stylistunitedbrand@gmail.com

RSVP HERE