My name is Victoria and I am originally from St. Lucia. I currently reside in New York. I started Nu Luna, a personal styling business in August of 2013. I chose not to go the "boutique" route as many persons were already doing so. I created a program called Wardrobe Builder and send monthly packages to persons who enroll in the program. Although the business was geared towards Caribbean nationals, I also have clients in the U.S, Canada and one in France. I trained a team of Independent Consultants on each island to service my clients out there.
Recently I started coaching small business owners in the Region as my way of paying it forward. I am currently working with a young lady in Barbados in getting her soap making business off the ground. I will be sponsoring her website and other marketing materials. The goal is to sponsor a woman every quarter. I also created a blog The Business Weekender and a Women Business Community on Whatsapp. And finally I am completing my first book that should be available this month on Amazon.
SB-C: Your journey to entrepreneurship began as a happy accident. Tell us more. V: In 2013 I was playing around with this fashion app creating outfits. Little did I know, the App was posting the images directly to Facebook. Persons were commenting and asking if they could purchase. I had always been the go to shopper for family and never thought that my ideas would appeal to others. In any case I saw this as a sign. I immediately created a business page on Facebook and went with the flow even though I had no clear direction. This is how Nu Luna was birthed.
SB-C: The stylist is often misunderstood. What exactly does a stylist do? V: For me a Stylist is someone with an eye for fashion - someone who can outfit a client based on body type, lifestyle, budget etc. I have no formal training as a Stylist and to some I may not even be considered one. Personal Styling is often misunderstood and persons think it is reserved for the wealthier class. I wanted to change that! Who better is deserving of a Stylist than the everyday woman who manages it all?
SB-C: Do you believe a stylist plays a role in developing confidence in women? V:Yes. A Stylist plays a huge role in developing confidence. It is more than just clothes - it is the right clothing for the right person. When a woman looks her best, she is a force to reckon with. SB-C: You have partners all over the Caribbean. These are women you have trained. Was this a strategic part of your business model? How has it helped your business? V: In the beginning my goal was just to build a clientele. However, with the internet, you have no control who sees your business. I started getting inquiries from other islands and again stumbled into another dance. I have ongoing training sessions that my reps can access to help them create the best business possible. Creating a Team of Reps has taken my business further than I could ever do on my own. It is like me being cloned all over the Caribbean.
SB-C: Tell us the profile of your clients. Who is the Nu Luna woman? V: The Nu Luna woman is confident in who she has become and never apologizes for it. She is conservative, yet bold, she is reserved yet fearless. She understands her worth and one of the ways she demonstrates it is through a classy and personally tailored wardrobe. Here is my client profile:
Age 35 Up
SB-C: Your Wardrobe Builder Programme sends monthly packages to your clients. How does this act as a marketing tool for your business? V: The Wardrobe Builder transformed my business. I realized early on that there was a great need for personalized service. The wardrobe builder creates a wardrobe for each client based on body type, budget and lifestyle. It also takes into account the pieces they already own. It is our best marketing tool by far. One client in St. Lucia has referred 23 clients to me and another in St Maarten has referred 7 clients to me - with no direct benefit to them This is a testament to how effective the program is.
SB-C: Is there a difference between style and fashion? V: Yes of course! Most women love to shop, that is easy!!! But what I teach my clients is their Signature Style. We all have one. Have you ever gone to the store and said a piece of clothing looks like a friend? That's part of signature style. Some things work best on some people, others not so much. Fashion changes everyday but style is a reflection of an individual's attitude and personality.
SB-C: What advice do you have for others who are interested in building a stylist business? V: When I advise persons interested in business - any business, I tell them to do it different from the masses. Don't follow the norm and think outside the box. Choose to stand out. I do everything different from Personal Stylists out there. They charge hourly fees - I do not. They style celebrities - I style everyday women - Teachers, Nurses, Secretaries, Grandmas etc. They shop high end stores - I use wholesale suppliers.
My other piece of advice is to offer the most personalized service you can at the most competitive price. If you have to do House Calls, do it. Do whatever is within your power to do. When a customer feels special it becomes infectious. Their friends and family will follow their lead.