Tell us a little about what you do.
As a certified image consultant and personal stylist it is my job to teach my clients to believe in themselves again. I crafted a unique personal styling business where I specialize in empowering women through the art and technique of style- it’s what I call Stylepowerment™. By not focusing on the trends or fads and instead focusing on body love, proper fit, effortless style techniques, inner radiance and of course confidence, the process becomes transformative. Women begin to believe in possibilities again. “People first, style second,” is the philosophy I live by and it is the secret sauce to truly transforming lives. In my work personal styling work I do everything from cleaning out wardrobes, to restyling wardrobes (something I call “shop the closet”), to personal shopping for my individual clients. I work in person throughout southern California or via Skype all over the world. On a bigger scale, I frequently take the stage speaking about women empowerment and dressing for success for women’s leadership groups, companies and corporations. I am also the Style Ambassador for the Outlets at Tejon. As their brand spokeswoman and resident style expert, I forecast my favorite wearable trends, IMC fashion shows, do radio interviews, host TV segments, film TV commercials and even do makeovers on their shoppers. It’s a blast and we re-signed for 2017!
What inspired you to start styling “real women” as opposed to celebrities?
I worked in all areas of styling, from TV/film to red carpet, to editorial to personal styling. While working with models, celebrities and public figures was fun and creative, I found a deeper connection working with real women who were craving for a fresh start. I understood them because I myself had the same kind of cravings…to take my world, break it down, shake it up and break through anew. What I’ve discovered in my work is that women don’t take enough care of themselves; putting their work and family first, self-love becomes a last priority. For me, a personal styling session with a client is the truest act of self-love! It’s giving yourself time to acknowledge what you’ve been through, to shed the scales and let go of the old you, and begin to learn about yourself again. The styling process is a self-discovery process. Plus this is only just the beginning for my clients. The discovery of style expression and possibility opens a gate way to more possibilities throughout your life. Style becomes a mindset, a way of looking at yourself and your wardrobe each and every day as you step out the door. When I see the women I style take on their own lives with a whole new energy, soul fire and confidence, it always reminds me why I do what I do.
What’s been your biggest career highlight to-date?
2016! This year was a major career highlight. So many incredible opportunities and accolades happened throughout the year and they paint a bright pathway for 2017. The year starts out with re-booking my year contract as the Style Ambassador for the Outlets at Tejon. (A job I LOVE and have so much pride in.) Next, I was contacted by O magazine and hired to style a contest winner in the LA area on behalf of the magazine. Out of all the stylists in Los Angeles, O magazine felt I was the best representative of their messaging and brand? Now that is a dream come true. I love Oprah! And to cap out this year in September 2016, I was named one of L.A.’s top personal shoppers and stylists by Angeleno magazine! Just a month later, I was named L.A.’s Power Stylists by Women’s Wear Daily. I’m honored and I’m thrilled, but more importantly I am motivated. The more influence I can create, the more positivity and good I can put into the world. 2016 was a big stepping-stone in that dream of really making a difference in the world. I always said I wanted to change the world one closet at a time and this year set the stage to do that on a mass level. Exciting!
Talk about one moment where you wanted to quit everything and what brought you out of it.
I’ve joked recently that I was planning on writing an article called “ I was NOT an overnight success.” I’m about to hit my eighth year of business and through the ups and downs, the highs and the lows, the successes and the failures, I persevered. But there was most definitely a turning point moment when everything changed in my career and life. After five years of building my business tirelessly, I was broke, I had dwindled my savings, I was uninspired, unmotivated and job hunting. How did I end up here? I’ve worked so hard! And now I was ready to throw in the towel and admit defeat. I was turning 35, still single and my life did not look what I was expecting it to look like, which made the pain of failure feel even worse. So in a complete unexpected turn, I took what was left of my savings and decided to take a hop on a plane to Paris, alone. I don’t know what hit me. It was a almost like a cartoon light bulb popped up. Scared and unsure, I followed my soul. I woke up in Paris on my 35th birthday and that is when everything changed. I was exposed. There was a big beautiful world ripe for exploring, discovering inspiration and meant for truly living. I hadn’t been living. In Paris, I shopped my little heart away, drank in cafes, got lost in the streets, ate macaroons, and took as much photography as possible. I took care of myself. I came home feeling free, open, and hopeful. Within a month, the phone rang with a job opportunity that would change the course of my life. An outlet mall had found me and work online and felt I would be a perfect representative for their marketing initiatives. Four interviews later, I booked my first long term contract of six months and took on my favorite job ever as the Style Ambassador for the Outlets at Tejon. But then everything else started to fall into place, incredible clients, more speeches, more ways to empower more women, and then I met my boyfriend. Paris was a turning point. And I realized something that I now teach my clients. “When you take care of yourself, the universe will take care of you.”
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned thus far?
Change is the only consistency when running your own business in the quickly changing societal terrain. But each time I fall down, fell challenged or realize that I have a new mountain to climb I just say to myself the mantra I created. “Passion, Patience, Persistence Perseverance.” I say it over and over again. It’s a reminder to have passion in my work, to have patience in the process, to maintain my persistence in my passion and to persevere through each and every step of the way. Now when I fall, I take space to reflect, I just dust off my knees, put my statement necklace back in place, lace up my statement heels and continue to hold my standards high and set the bar higher as lead the way creating an inspired life that will hopefully inspire others to do the same.
Who inspires you on a professional level? Any role models?
In the past few years, I’ve been looking to leaders in society who use their influence to make a difference in the world. For example, I am so inspired by Mary Alice Stevenson. She took her style influence and created a non-profit called Glam4Good. I most definitely see myself following in footsteps like hers. I also love Lubov Azria, designer for BCBG Max Azria and Herve Leger. I’ve met her personally and can attest that she is quite the inspiring woman. Not just because of her business savvy, or vision to design beautiful and affordable clothes for women, but most importantly her outlook on life. She sees inspiration everywhere, beauty in the small things, carries a joie de vivre and is passionate about women deserving to feel beautiful and confident in their clothes. When I see my future self, I see that powerfully confident woman who doesn’t just talk the talk, she walks the walk. Leading by example and paving the way for more bright souls to make a difference too.
What’s next for Laurie B Style?
I want to make the world brighter this year. I want to use my voice and influence to inspire others in their own lives. I would like to reach more women on bigger platforms teaching the education of style, the power of body love and the art of self-expression. I would like to create a #bstyleinspired movement, empowering everyone to have a new conversation with themselves. To no longer look at what isn’t possible but instead to look at the world around them and see that everything is possible in life, in style and in career. I will also be launching a new product this year–The Stylepowerment Series. This program is not just a style education it’s transformative discovery process that works for everyone! In eight years I’ve developed the most fun and practical tools that make getting dressed easy and creative and I can’t wait to share that with the world. And lastly, want to continue to speak up and out about what matters to me the most, to set the example and set the stage for more women to speak up and speak their minds. To empower through the art of wardrobe and support more women to rise up in their own lives. Oh…and really one last thing to manifest! A feature in O Magazine. I want to share my story, style advice and mindset with Oprah and her readers. (Did I mention I loved her!) My 2017 is made for conquering.
For more info on Laurie and her services, check out her website, LaurieBStyle.com.