I recently came across an Instagram photo that read: “Build your own dreams or someone else will hire you to build theirs.” I spent the first 6 years of my career building other peoples’ dreams. Immediately after college, I moved to New York and was fortunate enough to snag a dream internship at Glamour Magazine. Hard work, perseverance and a great attitude helped me parlay that internship into a freelance assistant position and, later, freelance positions at Women’s Health and Teen Vogue. I fell deeply in love with the fashion industry and editorial world, feeling I had found my niche.
Then, my father passed away suddenly, leaving behind 4 daughters (including two teenagers) a widow, and a struggling business. My family needed me. I made the decision to leave New York and Teen Vogue to start a new chapter. Figuring out my next step was a difficult one. I never anticipated coming back to Miami after leaving for college. In addition to the devastation I felt at suddenly losing my dad, was a sense (albeit more minor, but sense nonetheless) that I had to leave what I thought at the time was the path to my dream job and start over. My situation necessitated some creativity and a spirit of entrepreneurship to lead me to create my OWN dream job. So I thought about it. What did I love about all of my past jobs? And how could I combine all those things to create my own dream job?
I knew that I loved helping people shop. I love the challenge presented when someone asks me to help them find the perfect outfit to celebrate an occasion or a moment in their life. I knew that I loved to write about fashion, trends, and celeb style. And I knew that ultimately, I LOVE what’s called “The Market”. The Market is how editors refer to the fashion industry and all the brands, designers, and stores that make it up. Learning about new brands, analyzing trends, and discovering new styles has always been my favorite thing about magazines. Working in a fashion closet is a constant stream of clothes and accessories. I loved learning about new designers and seeing how a trend translated from high-end to mass market.
So I combined all those things and created A Sparkle Factor LLC: a styling business where I work with clients and friends to build their wardrobes and refine their personal style, and a blog where I can share my personal style, favorite trends, fashion news, brands, and more. I help women edit their closets, shop for gifts for their loved ones, and pick out what to wear for some of the most important moments of their lives. (And even some not-so-important ones!)
Taking the leap into a new venture was scary. Starting a business that offers a service in lieu of actual goods can be hard… success is truly dependant on word of mouth! But what I discovered is that if you do a good job, work hard, and go above and beyond, people will be impressed and word will spread. All you need is one great client and the others will come. My service is one that many don’t understand at first- but once they do, they realize that the cost is an investment in the future- plus, hiring a stylist actually SAVES you money in the long run!
Ultimately, I have been amazed and exhilarated by the experience of launching my own business. There are good days and bad, and there are always struggles. But, in the end, I believe that hard work, determination, authenticity and passion pay off. The sky is the limit and the possibilities are endless when all of those things come together. In a very short time, amazing things have happened for A Sparkle Factor. Opportunities and partnerships have come my way that I feel very blessed and fortunate to have been extended. I feel excited to be a part of Miami’s vibrant and growing fashion scene and fortunate that the city’s tight-knit blogging community has been so accepting of me. I’ve met some awe-inspiring girls who have been nothing but encouraging and lovely. Truth be told, A Sparkle Factor has a lot of growing to do and I am excited to learn and evolve my business and brand.
If you’ve been thinking about starting your own business, here are 10 things I’ve learned about creating my own dream job:
- Think about what you love and are good at and figure out how to monetize it.
- Analyze your competition and learn from them.
- Just DO IT. You’ll always be able to find an excuse not to or why it’s not a good time. Take the plunge, you’ll be glad you did.
- Be yourself. Don’t try to brand yourself as something you aren’t. No one is you. Be you.
- Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. We all make them. Just make sure that you learn from them and grow accordingly.
- Always self-analyze and figure out what is working. Don’t be afraid to get rid of what isn’t.
- Network, network, network
- Social Media is key to building relationships and getting your brand out there.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help. We can’t do it all ourselves. Recognize when something is not your strength and find someone who is good at it to do it for you.
- Have big picture plans, but focus on small, manageable goals. Success is not a destination, it’s a journey.