Stephanie Taylor of Green Bay believes that making a good first impression is essential to the success of a business. And now she’s turning it into a business with her startup, Styled by Stephanie.
Taylor, who has started several other businesses, knows both success and failure. In the process, he was convinced that a business should be something you love.
“I started two other businesses and they failed because of my problems with my partners,” he said. “When they broke up, even though we had so many jobs lined up, I could have started a similar business on my own, but realized I didn’t have the passion for those businesses.”
As she contemplates a new venture, Taylor reviews her career and the jobs she wants. He has years of experience in retail and brand management. She designed stores and styled customers – roles that included everything from folding clothes to being in charge.
Taylor said, “I learned the basics of business, and business is business regardless of type. Those first businesses gave me a taste of entrepreneurship and that’s when I decided to pursue styling.
The business started in April, and Taylor is working hard to build brand awareness.
“I’m new, and it’s kind of hard to get people to understand what I’m doing,” she says. “I’ve solved problems of low self-esteem, anxiety, and disorganization. I make people’s lives easier and I encourage people to be the best person they can be by getting to know that person and making the best choices for them.”
She is a personal stylist and her business provides style and organization. She organizes closets, rearranges clothes, and pulls fashions to take to a client’s home to try on. She is a wardrobe assistant and can lay out a week’s worth of clothes to reduce the stress of getting dressed.
Taylor has a vision beyond Green Bay. The name, Styled by Stephanie, could be a brand featured nationally with other stylists under the umbrella.
“This goal will be achieved and it will be amazing,” he added.
To achieve that, he devoted himself to intensive training. Out of 60,000 entrepreneurs who applied to be on “The Blox,” a reality show where contestants face off in “startup games,” he was one of 20 chosen.
“I spent two weeks competing this summer in Kansas City,” he said. “We would go to a location and be assigned a challenge and then sit in a class for three hours and learn about it. It gave me a marketable foundation. After class, we were separated into pods and had a short to say how we’re going to apply what we’ve learned to our business.”
Although he can’t divulge how he ended up because the new season hasn’t aired yet. Taylor gushes about how incredible it is. A key insight he will bring is looking at his business from a customer’s perspective as opposed to his own.
Writing a business plan isn’t part of The Blox, and Taylor is hesitant to start one because he’s not looking for investors. However, he is working on a marketing plan and has done a competitive analysis.
“In finding businesses in the area that do the same thing, there’s no business like it,” he said. “When it comes to stylists, there may be several, but they work for a specific boutique or store. I offer personal experiences that meet your needs. I find a solution to your difficulties and pull off a look and bringing them to your home.”
The service is so intense that Taylor says a good stylist can only handle five to 10 clients a month. With an estimated 15,000 small businesses in the area, he says his target market, businessmen and -women, is huge. 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 up,” she says. “I can use colors and materials and shapes to make people feel good. Having confidence reduces anxiety and creates success.
In addition to maximizing confidence through clothing, Taylor also emphasizes the importance of organization. As the new year approaches, he says a fresh and clean space will give a fresh perspective on the year.
“I love the aha moment when people walk into their house and see their closets are organized. I have clients who cry. Those are the moments I love,” she said.
But he knows he has a way to get to the point where the business will support him financially. Bob Jahnke, a Green Bay SCORE mentor, works with him and provides information and marketing ideas.
“Bob feeds me so much information,” he said. “He sees that I love it and absorbs it and becomes my mentor. If I have questions, he helps me.”
He also plans to share his knowledge and join SCORE to help other entrepreneurs. One of the first activities will be presenting at a “Let’s Talk Marketing” SCORE call later this month.
From what he learned from his appearance on The Blox and with help from Jahnke, his business is taking off. The website and social media pages are almost complete and networking is a priority. Plans include presentations to business groups, contracts with clothing boutiques, and eventually, she plans to write a book on the obstacles women face as entrepreneurs.
“I’m not going to stop until it works,” he said. “No one can stop me. For me, it’s just a mindset. I believe in the power of your thoughts; it is not even an option not to continue. When there are obstacles, I analyze 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 past district director for SCORE, Wisconsin.