We love inspiring stories from amazing people across the globe who are doing great things. This week’s feature focuses on Erica Finney, the owner of The Style Refresh LLC. TSR offers various wardrobe consulting services, such as personal styling, special occasion shopping and the DDK package, which stands for Dump, Donate, Keep.
Who is Erica Finney?
I have a degree from the University of North Texas in Fashion Merchandising, so fashion has always been a huge part of my life. I’ve worked both in-store and in the corporate world of retail. I’m hoping to be able to leave corporate America behind eventually and pursue wardrobe consulting full-time. I love meeting new people and helping them look and feel great, from the inside out.
What is The Style Refresh LLC?
My website highlights all the different wardrobe needs anyone (male or female) may possibly need. I definitely wanted to include men because sometimes they are looking for a wardrobe boost just like women. Some clients may need an entire wardrobe overhaul, so the packages part of my services page would work best for them. While others may only need a few touch ups or smaller services, so shopping with them or helping them to shop their own closet would be perfect. The initial style consultation is free; this helps clients to lower their guard and understand how I work and what I think is best for them.
I enjoy meeting new people, and working with clothes/accessories is always fun for me. By combining the 2, I can provide a service to people who may need some help. I started out helping friends/family when they needed a shopping buddy or stylist, and decided to seriously pursue this after encouragement from all of them. I’ve learned that when you feel good, you look even better, so I really try to get to know my clients so they can trust me to make great wardrobe choices for them.
What made you leap forward to make the first step to becoming an entrepreneur?
I interned with a local styling agency in the fall of 2012, which consisted of assisting the lead stylist on set with various shoots. This initially made me think, “I could do this as my career later in life.” Shortly after, I started working for a retailer in their corporate office and assisted with moving new merchandise to the shoots that were set up for their online look books and catalogs. I was learning a lot of great information and able to see things on a larger scale. I finally worked up the courage to start reading business books and creating a business plan. After months of research, late nights and changing the business name multiple times, I finally bought my LLC and decided to pursue this on a more serious level. I’m so happy I did!
How did you know this was what you wanted to do for sure?
I had dinner with the owner of a boutique I interned with my senior year of college. She encouraged me to pursue my dreams, and even lent me some business books to start reading over while I began setting up my business. I learned a lot from her with my internship, and just hearing her words of wisdom put a lot of my fears at ease.
So after getting set up, what were the setbacks and what did you do to improve?
Business was very slow in the beginning, and it began to be slightly discouraging. I imagined my phone to be buzzing all the time with clients wanting to use my services. Instead of feeling defeated and letting my business fall to the wayside, I sat down and came up with goals and a vision for myself for 2016. I posted more on my social media sights and started practicing various services/packages with friends so I could time myself and see what exactly was needed. I still do that now, just to keep myself prepped and ready for clients.
Do you have any featured products, sales, promotions, launches – etc? Tell us about them and what inspired them?
I’m currently working on a creating some summer time sales/promotions. People tend to travel the most in the summer, so a lot of times they want help pulling together the best outfits. I’m also looking to collaborate with an MUA I know on some photo shoots to build up my portfolio, so hopefully that will work out.
Tell us something unique about your service/product that sets it apart from your competitors?
Something unique about my service is that my initial style consultation is free! I want to really understand my clients, I want them to fully trust me and let their guard down. Fashion is very subjective and personal, so when you start to toe the line of people’s personal boundaries or things they’re not comfortable emphasizing/showing off, you have to be very sensitive to that. You can’t talk to each client the same way or give everyone the same, standard outfit. Some clients may not like their arms, while others may be bottom heavy and don’t want a lot of attention drawn there. Others may have gone through a recent weight loss journey and have trouble seeing themselves the way they are now compared to how they were before. When you’re down to earth and personable, people will open up to you and allow you to take control. I’m also able to run through the different pricing I offer to get them the best service for their money.
What is your advice to people having a fear of launching their business?
Just do it! Honestly, don’t waste time when it comes to your dreams of being an entrepreneur. If you have something you’re really skilled in, start it as a side hustle. Once you have things done and have a better understanding of being a business owner, pursue it seriously as a full-time option. It will take time and you may have different levels of rejection or disappointment but that’s life. If you love something, pursue it. When you love what you do, it’s no longer work. It’s just your life. Go for it!
Where and how can people find you?
My website is www.thestylerefresh.com. You can also find my on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram under @thestylerefresh. My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. I currently only serve clients in the Dallas/Fort Worth area but I’m hoping to expand further within the next year. Be on the look out!