Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Lora LaPratt, CEO of Shopping Girl XOXO, located in Chicago, IL, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I am the CEO and head stylist of Shopping Girl XOXO, a Chicago-based personal styling business for men and women across the globe. We help our clients not only look but, most importantly, feel stylish and confident in their own unique personal style. We specialize in styling our clients with local designers and pulling from local boutiques before all else, and we have a passion for getting to know our clients on a personal level in order to bring out the very best version of themselves!
Tell us about yourself
I have always been a lover of fashion and how it is ever-evolving and can instantly make you feel like the very best version of yourself when you're in something that is authentically you. I absolutely love helping my clients to boost their self-esteem and feel ready to take on everything life throws their way with ease and comfort in their customized wardrobes.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Oh wow, there have been so many exciting milestones over the last 15+ years in business. I think when Shopping Girl XOXO became my sole income over ten years ago was huge for me. Making it on the list of Top Women-Owned Businesses in Chicago back in 2016 felt amazing, and just last year, we were honored by being one of 8 "Power Moms: Women Redefining motherhood" in Fete Lifestyle Magazine. Every little milestone is still pinch-worthy to me. The fact that I get to wake up and do my dream job every day will always be top on that list as well.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
Being able to balance your personal life with your work life. When you're a business owner, it is impossible to turn it off sometimes. Definitely, something I'm working on.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Make sure you absolutely love what you do. If you're passionate about it and hard working, it will happen.
- Learn from the inside out. When I first started my business, I had multiple part-time jobs in the industry to learn from the inside out and help me to hone in on what my nitch was. This way, I was getting paid to advance my career and could drop a job at a time as my own business grew.
- Know that it is going to take time. Client bases don't grow overnight. Someone told me when I first started that, on average, it takes about five years to start making a healthy income from a small business. I kept that in the back of my head, and it helped me to keep pushing and never give up on my dream.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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