Wondering how to take your business to the next level and gain some consistency after a few years of running your personal styling business? Perfect because this week we’re excited to introduce Michelle Judice, a recent alumni of the Elevate Program. Michelle runs her personal styling business from Lafayette, Louisiana. Today she’s sharing how the Elevate Program helped her business and her confidence, what she’s learned after being in business for three years and her favorite places to shop with clients in Lafayette.
How long had you owned a personal styling business before you came to the Elevate Program?
I began my styling business in 2013, after I moved back to Louisiana from working in the Fashion Industry in New York City. This was around the same time I discovered the Paid Stylist. I continued to follow the blog posts and admired the PS mentors from afar, until finally I made the leap to join the Elevate program in Fall of 2016.
What were some of the challenges you were facing in your business that led you to The Paid Stylist?
Since I live in a smaller city where there are very few stylists, I had nothing to compare my business to when I started. After three years, I was tired of feeling unsure of my pricing, confused on how to convert from an hourly rate to packages. Most of all, I was ready to take a big step forward in my business but couldn’t do so without establishing systems that would streamline my day-to-day work load.
"I was tired of feeling unsure of my pricing, confused on how to convert from an hourly rate to packages. Most of all, I was ready to take a big step forward in my business."
Since completing the program, what has been the biggest change you've seen in your business?
Since I finished the Elevate program, my confidence in myself has significantly increased which, in turn, has been reflected in all aspects of my business. My mentor, Nicole, really helped me to understand my value and how to convey that value in my styling packages.
Just as importantly, I have been able to save so much time each day since implementing the Sort, Shop and Style and the other packages that I was able to customize for my clientele in this program.
Where in your city is your favorite place to shop with clients? Any hidden gems you can share with us?
Unfortunately where I live, we do not have a Neiman’s, Saks or even Nordstrom so I rely heavily on some great boutiques. We have a luxury women’s boutique called Kiki, which carries really incredible accessories and handbags for ladies with larger budgets. Another one of my favorite places is Raffaele’s, which is a furrier and boutique. Outside of furs, they specialize in dresses and suiting perfect for my more mature ladies and working women. For men, I love Moseley + Hollard - they have incredible style and carry everything from athleisure to custom suiting.
What are your favorite styling tips and/ or tricks?
For me, styling is so much about getting to know the client. It’s about understanding his or her needs and determining where they are flexible and where they are not. The most common thing I hear is, “I would have never picked this out for myself!” I love finding pieces that push clients outside their comfort zone, but that are still easy for them to wear. I don’t push clients to buy anything unless they love it.
I’m also a big advocate of quality over quantity. I aim to refine and simplify my clients’ wardrobes, which they appreciate because they know I am working to build a long-term wardrobe over a wardrobe based purely on trends.
What is the biggest lesson (personal or professional) you've learned from having a personal styling business?
Without a doubt, the biggest lesson I have learned in the last three years of styling is that relationships are everything and that everyone you encounter can teach you something. A large chunk of my new business is referral-based, so it is essential for me to maintain great relationships with every one of my clients and business partners. Small, thoughtful gestures can go a long way, like asking a client how her holiday was, or sending a card on her birthday.
Follow Michelle on Instagram as she continues to take her business to the next level in 2017. Find her here.
Ready to take your established business to new heights in 2017? Learn more about Elevate through an info call. Sign up here.