Psyche Southwell, creator and editor of Economy of Style, produces narratives and visual content on fashion and style on a budget.
She has appeared in several publications, including Redbook, Cosmopolitan, and Refinery29.
She has appeared as a media personality in TV segments on NBC and CBS.
She has been named the best budget blogger in St. Louis, a top 5 black budget fashion blogger in the US, and a winner of Redbook's Real Women Style Awards.
SB-C: Tell us about your typical day. What time do you start? What do you do? How does your day end? PS: My blog week begins on Sunday when I get up at 5AM to prepare for a day of photo shoots for the upcoming week. I’m usually on site taking photographs by 6:30AM for about 2 hours. I spend the rest of the day selecting, editing, and assigning images to posts throughout the week. I work on drafts that have to be sent to collaborators. I, then, outline post concepts for every day of the week ahead. My day ends at about 6PM. SB-C: What do you do to preserve your health as you run your business? Do you have any rituals for example? PS: Health and wellness have become increasingly important as I’ve gotten older. I’m more conscious about what I eat, an intentional vegan diet. I also discovered powerlifting a few years ago, which continues to teach me things about my body’s own strength. SB-C: Can you discuss some of the major changes that have occurred between starting your business and where it is now? For example, business model or management changes? PS: My business emerged organically from a hobby. As it has grown, I’ve benefitted from relying on networks and agencies to ensure that I don’t miss opportunities. I’ve also been able to extend my work beyond my own platform, for example, contributing to magazines. SB-C: What are some of the challenges you are facing or have faced this year? PS: For one, producing quality content to match my visions is a welcome challenge, but a challenge nonetheless. In addition, finding creative ways to break through all the noise in a saturated market constitutes another ongoing challenge. SB-C: Describe what innovation means in your business and how do you go about it? PS: Innovation in my field occurs as people discover new or creative ways to present ideas, visual content, or word-image combinations. In order to make cutting-edge contributions, it's crucial that I remain, on the one hand, immersed in the field as a good researcher and evaluator. At the same time, I have to commit myself to producing a high quantity of quality content so that I can raise the likelihood of achieving breakthroughs. SB-C: How do you balance being a “big dreamer” vs setting realistic goals for your business? PS: I enjoy having big dreams, but I'm also a serial planner—constantly sketching routes and checklists on my way to attaining my goals. I rely on my imagination to see far and beyond where I am, and my planning regime provides me with the checks and balance I need. SB-C: Who or what motivates you to keep going with your business? And Why? PS: The mere possibility that my visions can be materialized remains a huge motivating factor. Being recognized and honored by leaders in my field, such as editors of major magazines, has been quite encouraging as well. SB-C: Has your definition of success changed since you have started your business? If so, how? PS: Since I work on different campaigns and in different mediums, the main shift relates to my developing sense of success as a series of steps and processes rather than a final destination. So, I'm inclined to see areas for improvement in what previously looked like a solid success, and I'll see some minor successes in projects that turned out less than ideal. SB-C: What would you say is the most important skill required to run a business? PS: Be a good researcher and evaluator of your field. SB-C: There are a lot of myths about entrepreneurs. Now that you have started and are successfully running your own business what would you say is the biggest myth? What have you learned most from it? PS: The fashion industry is often characterized as anti-intellectual and superficial. Those descriptions come across as a myth in comparison to my experiences. On any given day, I perform tasks that require conceptual thinking and specialized skills—planning, writing, photography, graphic design, continuous research, and substantial decision-making.