The Curvy Vegetarian is excited to feature Naida R. of Styled by Naida in observance of Women’s History Month and her AWESOMEness! Women are powerful, necessary, beautiful, strong, and deserve to be celebrated all year for all that we are! I am so grateful to Naida for her willingness to share her journey and look forward to working with her on another project (stay tuned)!
Read our interview below, comment, and share with friends!
TCV: What inspired you to start your own styling business?
Naida: I am a full time PhD student and nurse practitioner. I lost a job when I accepted my full scholarship to pursue my PhD. StyledByNaida started as a garage sale. I was in the middle of a horrible divorce and all I had to my name was clothes, shoes, and handbags. I was really struggling financially and had to figure out a plan. I couldn’t get a regular nurse practitioner job and go to school so I had to come up with a plan. So, I had a yard sale to try and earn some money. I did this several times and my friends started encouraging me to make it into a business. It was a super tough time emotionally and financially, but that is how I got started. I have always been a thrifter, 90% of my wardrobe is from thrift and consignment stores. I always styled my friends and now I have the opportunity to meet new people and style them too.
TCV: What do you think helps you to maintain balance between work, family, and business pursuits?
Naida: I am a workaholic. Anything I do, I go at it 100%. There are days that I feel like I have it all together and then days that it all feels overwhelming. That’s the crazy thing about entrepreneurial endeavors. You are doing everything yourself. There are no breaks, no one to delegate tasks to and you can’t call off to work. As my business grows, I will hire someone to help me, but for right now, I am very content handling things on my own. I wake up early, get my rest, say no when necessary and I do not let others run my schedule. I stick to my schedule and leave room to relax. I think I am still learning balance.
TCV: What makes you passionate about styling others?
Naida: I find so much joy in seeing someone feel great about themselves. It’s amazing how clothes can transform someone’s mood; alter their confidence. I have clients from size 0-26. And when I am able to find that look that makes them feel beautiful or handsome, it truly is worth all of the hours of shopping, planning and sorting through pounds of clothes to find the perfect item. I am humbled by that experience every time.
TCV: Who are some of your favorite designers?
Naida: I am not really into designers as much as I am into design and quality. I can find a great fitting dress at a high end boutique just like I could at a less expensive store. The key is to find what looks best on your body type and in the right colors for your skin tone. Color and fit are key to looking your best.
TCV: Who are some of your favorite stylists?
Naida: Is it bad that I don’t know any celebrity stylists? I don’t watch tv. I don’t follow celebrity stylists, I wouldn’t even know who to google to be honest. I really have no interest in those things. I like to think that each of my clients are a celebrity in their own way and I work to make them feel that way. I have never tried to imitate others because I like bringing my own sense of fashion to each encounter.
TCV: In your opinion, what is the most rewarding element of entrepreneurship?
Naida: Being able to live a productive life and truly live. I chose to be an entrepreneur so I could be in charge of my life. So I am a full time student and I am able to work my businesses and pay my bills and be happy. I feel fulfilled, whole and content. I can try new things, I have time to explore my ideas and give those ideas the necessary critical thinking they deserve. So the most rewarding thing about this life is time.
TCV: What advice would you give another aspiring female entrepreneur?
Naida: Start. Work hard, readjust as necessary. Focus, plan and execute. Always reevaluate and surround yourself with others who are thinking beyond business. Surround yourself with people who are encouraging your success and support others.
TCV: Is there a certain quote, Bible verse, or affirmation that keeps you encouraged? If so, what is it and why?
I have three things I try to live by:
1. Go hard or go home. Say no, if you’re not going to give 100% of your effort.
2. Be intentional. ( do things with purpose, or learn to say no, see number 1)
3. Be kind. ( compliment others, smile, be mindful of your interactions with others and do your best to offer your best self, every time)
I don’t know if this is a motto, dress the way you want to be addressed, but it is advice that I give to others. How we dress says a lot about how we are feeling on the inside and can alter how we are feeling. If we are spending our time in clothes that don’t make us feel good,we probably have some other issues internally. When we feel great, we want to look our best and that’s relative and very individual. I truly believe that when we look our best, we perform better in every scenario.
Follow Naida on Instagram @StyledByNaida and check her website out at www.styledbynaida.com!