Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Nina Walder, Founder of Style Accelerator, located in Neuchatel, Switzerland.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
My business, Style Accelerator, offers personalized style coaching and online programs to help women transform their wardrobe, style, and image. Our customers are women of all shapes, sizes, and heights from all over the world who want to create functional and inspiring wardrobes and showcase their unique styles effortlessly. Most are professional women or entrepreneurs. I guide them through the process of creating intentional styles & wardrobes that align with their lifestyle, preferences, and personal aesthetics.
Tell us about yourself
I'm a Personal Stylist & Style Coach, and I have to pinch myself every day because I'm so in love with my work. And while now, many women admire my style & outfits on Instagram; it is not something that came naturally to me. I'm an average woman with an average body. I've always appreciated great style and wanted to look chic, but I could never achieve this look and believed something was 'wrong' with me.
Constant shopping, overflowing closets, yet 'nothing to wear' were my reality all through my 20-s until I decided to get serious about it and learn about style properly beyond Youtube or magazines. The knowledge I gained blew my mind, and I felt so powerful and confident when I could actually create outfits I loved every time. I couldn't believe that women are not taught anything about personal style, given that we are getting dressed every day, and our image matters more than we care to believe.
So when I mastered my own style, friends & family quickly noticed and started asking for advice. I've helped many of them with their outfits and wardrobes, and one day I finally decided that I wanted that to be my job and enrolled in the Stylist Course. Since then, it's been a very rewarding journey of helping women live their own style & image transformation.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
As a business owner, my biggest accomplishment has been transforming the lives of hundreds of clients by helping them develop their personal style and gain confidence in their image. Every day I get messages like "Nina, I've followed your advice and I'm so happy with my outfits now! Look how much color I'm wearing, and people compliment me all the time!" and this is something I appreciate the most.
I've expanded my business from one-on-one consultations to offering online programs and masterclasses, making my services accessible to a wider audience. Running my styling business on my own terms - since the beginning, I knew that I wanted to help many more women than what I possibly do through 1-1 services, so my programs that work and bring my clients results are my biggest accomplishments.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
Firstly, the behind-the-scenes in running the business! I want to do creative tasks all day, every day, but as a business owner, I have to think about the business actually running. And while I have people helping me with operations, I still have to stay on top of things (i.e., what tax system we are choosing, what is going to be the strategy for the new quarter, how we can find and hire a specific talent...)
Then, it's definitely switching off from business - as a passionate entrepreneur, it feels like my brain is never off and is always running in the background, looking for new ideas. So comes nighttime or weekend, sometimes you wish you had a switch-off button to actually focus on the present.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Identify your passion and strengths, and make it clear what kind of business you want to run. You will then work hard day in and out on your business, and this consistency creates results. And you shall really think through and create your own terms for your business - do you want to succeed by all means, or do you want a business that you can comfortably combine with raising a family or run as a side hustle? Everything is possible, but you need to know what you want.
- Create a personal brand and get visible online. No matter what business you are in, people buy from people, and everything is online now. And if they know you and trust you, you can reach more customers. Getting online might be uncomfortable at first (I know that, I'm a very shy and reserved person naturally, but I learned to show up online), but with practice and time, you will be great. A big part of a strong personal brand is your image - think about what kind of image you want to project and what would help you with your goals. Do you want to be relatable and casual? Do you want to look extra sharp for selling your exclusive offering? All of that will guide the choice of outfits, colors, fabrics, shapes, etc., for your online presence.
- Invest in learning, but listen to yourself. Trying to figure out everything by yourself is a challenging road, which would take forever. If you want to succeed quicker, learn from other people and their experiences. But don't just use the free resources - those are great for getting a taste of an expert, but you will never get a real step-by-step strategy there. I constantly invest in myself (in all areas of business and still in styling, too!) because I want to provide the best resources for my clients.
All that being said, at the end of the day, listen to your inner voice and do what truly feels aligned with your strengths and your vision. Everyone has their own path, and you shall choose the one that works best for you.
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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