Green Bay resident Stephanie Taylor believes that making a good first impression is critical to business success. And now she’s working on her debut at Stephanie Styled.
Having started several other businesses, Taylor knows both success and failure. In this process, she became convinced that a business should be something you love.
“I started two other businesses and they failed because of the problems I had with my partners,” she said. “At different times, even though we lined up multiple jobs, I could have started a similar business on my own, but I realized that I had no passion for those businesses.”
As she contemplates a new career, Taylor takes stock of her work and hobbies. She has years of experience in retail and brand management. She designed stores and managed clients – roles that ranged from folding clothes to responsibilities.
Taylor said, “I learned the basics of business, and business is business no matter what. Those first businesses gave me a taste of entrepreneurship and that’s when I decided to pursue styling.
The business launched in April and Taylor is working to gain brand awareness.
“I’m new, and getting people to understand what I’m doing is a bit of a challenge,” she says, “I deal with low self-esteem, anxiety, and disorganization. I make people’s lives easier and encourage people to become better people by knowing that person and making the best choices for them.
She is a personal stylist and her business provides styling and organization. She organizes wardrobes, organizes clothes, and pulls out fashions to bring to clients’ homes to try on. She is a laundry assistant and can lay out a week’s worth of clothes to ease the stress of getting dressed.
Taylor has a vision that goes beyond Green Bay. The name Styled by Stephanie can be a brand that can be seen under an umbrella with other stylists across the country.
She added: “This goal is achievable and will be amazing.
She trained hard to achieve that. She was one of 20 selected out of 60,000 entrepreneurs who applied to be on “The Blox,” a reality show where contestants compete in “startup games.”
“I spent two weeks competing in Kansas City this summer. We would go somewhere and be assigned a challenge and then sit in a classroom for three hours and learn about it. It gave me such a sold base. After class, we broke into pods and had some time to talk about how we could apply what we learned to our work.
Although she can’t say how she ended up with the new season yet to air. Taylor said how amazing it was. Her biggest insight going forward is to look at her business from the customer’s perspective.
Writing a business plan wasn’t part of the blokes, and Taylor hesitated to start one because she didn’t want investors. But she was creating a marketing plan and doing a competitive analysis.
“When you look for businesses in the area that are doing the same thing, there’s no business like that,” she said. “When it comes to stylists, some may exist, but they work for a specific boutique or shop. I offer personal experiences tailored to your needs. I find solutions to your problems and bring the looks to your home.”
The service is so intense that Taylor says a good stylist can handle only five to 10 clients a month. With an estimated 15,000 small businesses in the area, she says her target market is these businessmen and -women. Knowing how to dress can mean the difference between success and failure.
“Every body shape is different and some people have things they want to cover,” she says, “I can use colors and materials and shapes to make people feel good. Confidence reduces stress and creates success.
In addition to boosting self-confidence through clothing, Taylor emphasizes the importance of organization. With the new year upon us, she says, a fresh and clean space offers a renewed perspective on the year.
“I love aha moments when people walk into their homes and see their closets are organized. My clients cried. Those are the moments I love,” she said.
But she knows she has a ways to go before the business can financially support her. Bob Jahnke, a Green Bay SCORE consultant, worked with her and provided marketing information and ideas.
“Bob is feeding me so much information,” she says. “He saw me love and learn and was my mentor. If I had questions, he would help me.”
She plans to share her knowledge and join SCORE to help other entrepreneurs. One of the first activities will be at the “Let’s Talk Marketing” SCORE call later this month.
From what she saw on the blog and what she learned from Janke’s help, her business is moving forward. The website and social media pages are almost complete and networking is a priority. She plans to present to trade groups, contract clothing with boutiques, and eventually write a book on the barriers women face as entrepreneurs.
“I’m not going to stop until this is done,” she said. “Nothing will stop me. It’s just a thought for me. I believe in the power of your thoughts; Not even continuing is not an option. When there are setbacks, I evaluate why it didn’t work and figure out what I can do better.
Tina Dettman-Bielefeldt is co-owner of DB Commercial Real Estate in Green Bay and former district director of SCORE, Wisconsin.
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