This month we’re excited to introduce you personal stylist and Committed Program alum, Neepa Sikdar. Neepa’s personal styling business, Accessible Style, is based in Weehawken, New Jersey. This week Neepa is sharing what led her to become a personal stylist, her styling philosophy, and how treating each and every one of her clients like a VIP has paved the road to her success. Meet Neepa!
What led you to The Paid Stylist?
I made the decision to start my personal styling business to transition from my corporate life into entrepreneurship. From using social media to creating newsletters, and building a website, I found myself overwhelmed with the amount of information available on how to start a business. I wasn’t sure where to begin. The Paid Stylist Committed Program appealed to me because it showed me exactly what I needed to get started. Plus, it’s taught by women who work as personal stylists and could give real-world examples and advice. I completed the program and launched my business in July 2013.
What did you do before you became a personal stylist?
Before becoming a personal stylist, I worked in the fashion industry as a buyer for companies such as J.Crew, Liz Claiborne, and Donna Karan New York. It was a glamorous job, but my life lacked balance, and I was unhappy. As a stylist, I have the flexibility to create my schedule, allowing me more time with my kids while making a positive difference in the lives of my clients. My insider understanding of brands as well as my in-depth understanding of garment, shoe, and accessory construction allows me to draw upon a wealth of valuable knowledge to help my clients.
What types of clients do you most enjoy working with most?
I enjoy working with women who are leaders in their community and are interested in making a difference. I am inspired by their work and their desire to help others. Their hard work inspires me to go the extra mile to help them look her best. Since I’m a mom and an entrepreneur, I'm able to relate to my clients when they struggle with being overwhelmed with their busy lives and getting dressed in the morning.
Where is your favorite place to shop with clients?
My clients live in NJ but work in NYC, so I shop where it's convenient for them. I always start with Bloomingdales, Lord & Taylor, and Saks. If we’re shopping at boutiques, we usually go to Lower East Side/Soho and South Moon Under, Town House Shops in NJ.
Do you have a styling philosophy?
Women are always telling me they have no clue how to be stylish. I don’t believe that. I think they know what they like and what they don’t. So, my first step when working with my clients is to determine their taste, identify whose style they admire, and which brands they would buy if money wasn't an object.
Women are filled with self-limiting beliefs and internal dialogue that makes them think they cannot wear something. During our shopping trip, I usually choose an item out of their comfort zone or an item they told me they could never wear. When they try it on, all of a sudden, a world of possibilities open up. It’s like magic. Most importantly, I try to make the experience fun for my clients. I take them out for coffee or a sweet treat after our shopping session as a reward. I try to really get to know my client, to make her feel like she’s important, and that she’s a VIP.
Follow Neepa on Instagram here.