Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in fashion but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Atarah Styles, founder of The Atarah Styles Agency, located in Baltimore, MD, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
The Atarah Styles Agency is the nation’s only EXCLUSIVELY PLUS SIZE Styling Agency offering an array of image-based services, including personal/wardrobe styling, consulting, creative direction, hair/makeup, and photography. Our agency reaches PowerFULL plus women all across the country!
We specialize in providing high-touch styling services to Plus Size Public Figures, Media professionals, Speakers, and elite, high-visibility women. Our clients spend a lot of time on camera, on stage, and in the public eye, so they place a HIGH priority on looking their best. And while they value their image, they may not always have the time to shop or plan a wardrobe for their demanding schedules. We help them save time by offering Retainer-based, in-person, and virtual styling services.
This often means styling clients for events, press, branding, photoshoots, speaking engagements, conferences, and the like. As a plus woman myself, I understand the pain points we experience when it comes to dressing our bodies, and our market is so underserved and misrepresented. I am here to make it feel SERVED and SEEN like it never has before!
Tell us about yourself
My journey into styling was a POWERFULL PIVOT birthed from PAIN. But, plus-size fashion and lifestyle have always been a part of my identity. I was raised by strong plus-size women who, despite the lack of options in plus clothing in the 90s/00s, made sure I always looked my absolute best!
Before styling, I actually came into the image industry first as a makeup artist over 13 years ago while at my alma mater, Coppin State University.
As a beauty pro, I had the honor of teaching/mentoring other aspiring and seasoned artists and serving hundreds of women, men, and brides!
Here is where the pivot comes. It was March 2020, and the pandemic had the world shut down. Then, a few short weeks later, in April 2020, my mother, Latonya Carter, unexpectedly passed away. It knocked the wind out of me and is still one of the most traumatic chapters to navigate. My mother was always my biggest advocate and cheerleader. An irreplaceable loss. But, her death showed me I didn’t want to waste ANY MORE time with my dreams. I wanted to go for EVERYTHING that was mine.
While everyone else was becoming more relaxed in their clothing options during quarantine, I slowly discovered what helped my grief process was being able to get dressed up! Style is what has helped to heal me. From there, I took the leap, and now I use STYLE to heal others. Consequently, I made the decision to retire from my makeup business completely and focus on my styling Agency.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Finding my purpose and living it. Not everyone is fortunate to know their calling, but I am truly at home in my work as a plus-size style expert. Also, having the opportunity to work with some of my dream brands as a stylist: ELOQUII, Ashley Stewart, and Eleven60.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Finding your sense of balance. When you are truly in love with what you do, it can be hard to stop working.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
Style is for "EVERY body." Including YOURS!
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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