Updated: Sep 20
This guest interview is with Chi, the founder of a styling company called "Styling by Chi". This styling company is aimed at styling people with autism, physical ailments and troubled youth. Read on to find out more about Chi and her brand while also being encouraged by her story!
1. Tell us a little bit about your company “Styling by Chi” and what you aim to achieve through it.
StylingByChi is a company I started when I was 17 years old. Originally, I wanted it to be a “styling company” where you do the celebrity, personal & editorial styling, but I wanted to take things a step further and change my narrative. While those areas of styling are great I wanted to give back with styling. Styling has been known for being self-serving and I wanted to change that. That change for me was styling those with autism, mental illness, physical ailment, troubled youth, etc... I wanted to make everyone feel good through clothing no matter who or what they were. My ultimate goal is to create jobs in the styling industry for little black boys and girls who want to be stylists, create magazines for black stylists, and give back with styling.
2. How did your passion for fashion start and what encouraged you to put yourself out there?
My passion for fashion started at about 7 years old. I always dressed in wacky clothes and prints, and most people teased me for how I dressed. But I then began to realise as I got older that most people put down what has potential or value. From that revelation on I knew it was something I wanted to pursue. I knew I needed to put myself out there because I wanted all black girls and boys who are outcasts to feel welcomed, represented, and included. If I can do it, they can do it too and they can do it better!
3. What advice would you give to someone aspiring to get into the fashion industry?
I would advise them to utilise networking and to learn patience. Networking will get you in rooms you cannot fathom and patience will keep you in them. We entrepreneurs think we can do it all alone, and we at times think time is running short. While both statements may-be-true in a sense, it’s important to get help while running a business and it’s important to trust your process and God’s timing. These two key factors will never steer you wrong, I am a living testament of that.
4. What is your biggest inspiration in life?
My biggest inspiration in life is to help young creative men and women who are lost, confused, worried about where they’re headed, how they’re going to get there, and what to do once they get there. I do what I do to show them that they can do it and will do it and I believe in them. At a point in my life I was in their shoes, and still find myself in their shoes till this day but it gets better, you must keep going, and with God on your side you’ll always end up where you need to be on time.
5. What would you say has been your biggest challenge since starting your company and how did you overcome it?
My biggest challenge since starting my company was losing one of my closest friends Anthony Miller to suicide. He supported my fashion dreams and goals since I’ve had them. He believed in me before I did. Not being able to share it with him and text him or call him about my process is a heartache I don’t think I’ll ever get over. I can’t say I’ve overcome it but I’ve learned to live with it and through it. I decided to go to therapy and that helped tremendously and I realised that his spirit lives through mine in all I do and in all I am. Anthony was also an amazing artist who I definitely recommend checking out. His Instagram is: Instagram.com/atmsart
6. How do you think God has turned some of the pain you have experienced in your life into purpose? What have these experiences taught you?
In every life experience and moment of pain I’ve experienced, God has taught me that there was a reason behind each experience. I’ve learned that we go through things to help others get through things. Being able to use styling to inspire, help, and heal people is an amazing and humbling opportunity that I will never take for granted. Had I not been through some of the things I’ve been through I wouldn't be able to help nor connect with clients I may have that find themselves in similar situations. I’ve learned that everything happens for a reason good or bad, and our bad day may be a breakthrough for someone else. It is all about perspective.
7. What does the phrase “Do Better Everyday” mean to you?
Do Better Everyday to me means to "keep going, to stay resilient, encouraged and motivated no matter what". Life can and will be hard but getting up every morning with a positive attitude and outlook is indeed Doing Better Everyday.
8. What is the most important lesson that you have learned to date?
The most important lesson that I’ve learned to date is that while you may be doubting yourself, someone somewhere is rooting for you. There is always someone watching you with the power to bless you.
9. Give one piece of advice to our readers on how they can do better in their daily life.
I highly recommend starting your day with gospel, a devotional and reading of your word. I also recommend waking up and not immediately grabbing your phone but looking to God and thanking Him for another opportunity to try again. Write down daily goals, and try to check off at least two of them by the end of the day. Try these things and your day will go from bland to brilliant.
10. Is there anything else you would like to say?
I would like to say thank you so much for the opportunity and thank you for the support. May God bless and keep you all.
Check out Chi's amazing work on her website and be sure to connect with her on her socials:
Instagram and Twitter: Igbohippie_
Website : StylingByChi.com