Allow Me To Re-Introduce Myself
Hi Dolls! Okay, so I've been debating on how I want to navigate this blog page. I know you all love the style inspirations so that will definitely be the main focus, but I've also been contemplating, do I keep it focused strictly on styling, What To Wear, and on-trend fashion or should I mix in a few personal notes as well? So I decided, I'll do what feels right for me and share what I think will continue to inspire women who love fashion just as much as I do. Now I'm no fashion blogger in the traditional sense (I hate taking pictures, I'm more of the BTS type of girl), so you won't see any OOTD posts, but I would love to share my thoughts and experiences on certain topics here and there.
For those that have been following my journey, you may be familiar with the Style Is My Obsession story, but I'm often asked by so many women who are inspired by my work how I got started. So I figured with the relaunch of the site, I'd give a little background on my work as a virtual stylist and the evolution of Style Is My Obsession. So here we go... (bear with me, this is a long read. I wrote this a while back, and I'm not a writer, I was just flowing with my words).
Fall 2010, I was in limbo. After receiving my Master’s degree in Counseling, I was going back and forth between putting my energy into Psychology or fashion. Since I was 11 years old, I always knew I was going to be a therapist with my own private practice in a chic Westwood office where I'd have clients come to me and talk about their everyday lives (this is not the reality, at least not as an intern). But I was working a corporate job that had nothing to do with my degree or my passion, so I needed an outlet to foster my creativity. I just wasn’t ready to fully commit to a blog. To be honest, I was too scared. I knew having a blog would be a lot of work, so I just started creating styling sets and in 2011/2012 created a Facebook page called My Moments InStyle (now Style Is My Obsession). I took bathroom selfies in my “OOTD” and called it a “blog”. It was so unprofessional and a hot ass mess, but in my mind it was easier than creating my own website because I didn’t know where to begin. But after some time, maybe a few months or so, I dropped the selfies altogether and dedicated the page to my styling sets.
Simultaneously, Instagram became a thing. So I moved my obsession with fashion there. Instagram was still fairly new and people hadn’t started using the social media app as a way to garner business and build their brands. It was just a place to share pictures with your friends and follow your favorite celebrities, so I just posted whatever I was “obsessed” with at the time.
Then in May 2013, I got the opportunity to work for Fashion Bomb Daily (FBD). I entered a contest to intern as the site's What To Wear stylist and I won! I was so excited because I was an avid reader of the site, especially their What To Wear section, and couldn't wait to be a part of the team and showcase my talents. But after sometime, juggling multiple jobs, I was drained. I was overworked having a 9-5 plus interning in the evenings and weekends to complete my 3000 hours to obtain my Marriage and Family Therapy license. I didn’t think I could continue working a third job as FBD's resident stylist. Some nights I would stay up until 2-3am creating looks, trying to meet my deadlines, and would have to wake up the next morning at 6am to go to work. So many times I tried to quit, but Claire insisted I stay and I’m glad that I did. I’m glad she didn’t just allow me to walk away. Claire really saw the value in my work and I’m so appreciative because often we don’t see the bigger picture, but God always has a plan.
So maybe 2 years into my position with FBD, this transition happened where Instagram became a place to promote your business, allowing for small companies and brands to reach a larger audience. Without even realizing it, my social media profiles had grown into a place that inspired women to create dope ass outfit ideas, so my mind shifted from just posting whatever fashion or trends I thought were "cute", to having a strategic plan regarding what I posted. I started to receive emails and DMs about my services as a personal stylist. I don’t have a degree in business so I didn’t know what I was doing. I just knew I wanted to take my passion beyond social media, so I began to take on clients and it just grew from there. But mind you, I still didn’t have a website. Luckily my boyfriend who is business savvy (he knew I needed to branch out) bought my domain name (even though I didn't put it to use until a year later) because Lord knows I wasn’t going to do it.
In December 2015 I met Kelli, a super sweet, goal-oriented ex-attorney who wanted to partner with other black women in LA whose businesses or brands were fashion focused. Going into the new year (2016), I told myself I was going to network more (I'm the textbook definition of an introvert), so meeting Kelli was really God aligning His vision with my goals because it was Kelli who pushed me to start my website.
By this time I had given up on my childhood dream of becoming a therapist. I had a traumatic experience at one of my internships with a schizophrenic client that made me re-think the whole therapist thing. Plus it was taking too damn long to get those 3000 hours! So I made the decision to focus 100% on personal styling. God knew that if Kelli hadn’t come into the picture, I probably still wouldn’t have a website up to this day. I just didn’t think I was ready, even after 4 years. I have a Type A personality, so in my head it had to be the right time, everything had to be perfect, but most importantly, I had no idea how to create a blog. But Kelli agreed to help me build my website and gave me a deadline of April 2016.
Kelli came up with an idea to do a pop-up shop to celebrate the debut of her new business Sundry Style and the launch of my website. I was still in this mode of stepping outside of my comfort zone, so I went with it initially, even though everything in me was telling me I wasn’t ready. My blog wasn't going to be up in time for the pop-up shop and after weeks of staying up until the crack of dawn working on the site, I was exhausted and I wanted to quit. It's crazy how self-doubt and fear will talk you out of your blessings if you allow them to. But I didn't quit. To be honest, the only reason I went through with launching my blog and doing the pop-up shop is because of Kelli. I couldn't just bail on her or my commitment.
On April 9, 2016 Kelli & I had our pop-up shop in Downtown LA and it was so much fun. I had such an amazing time meeting so many like-minded women. And five days later on April 14, 2016 at 1am, I officially launched www.styleismyobsession.com. I remember making this quiet little announcement on Instagram and Facebook. At the time I wasn’t proud that I had launched my site because it wasn’t what I had envisioned. But honestly, nothing is ever really how we envision it to be, but I needed to start somewhere. So after years of excuses, I finally had a place of my own to house all of my creativity and for potential clients to inquire about my services.
Last year was an amazing year. My business grew tremendously (much of which I wasn't really ready for). I learned a lot about myself and about having a business. There were definitely some growing pains that I'll share in a later post, but they were experiences that I had to go through to really learn what it's like to be an entrepreneur.
Now fast forward. Here I am, September 2017, launching my new site and this time I feel better about it. I'm still working on my perfectionism, but it's a step in the right direction.
Growth comes with time and a willingness to step out of your comfort zone. And one thing that I've learned is you can't rush the process. Turning your passion into a business requires A LOT of patience, especially when you're doing it on your own. Whatever it is you're striving toward, whatever goals you have in mind, written down in your journal, or posted up on a vision board, keep going no matter the negative self-talk or obstacles that are placed in your way because there will be many. Trust me, it's often a daily struggle, but you have to push through, work hard, study your craft, read every single day, meditate, practice visualization, don't take any short cuts, continue to write down your goals, and pray, pray, pray! In the end, no matter the result, you will have accomplished much more than you could have imagined and learned some amazing life lessons along the way.
I'd love to know what other topics you ladies would be interested in hearing me share my thoughts on? Comment below and let me know.