We were lucky to catch up with Jessica Ryan, the creator and founder of Curate & Style; a personal styling consultancy that she built from the ground up. From the creating the original concept to building and designing the website, this Melbourne, Australia-based entrepreneur and mom is on fire… and we are seriously inspired!
This self-described, “fashion nerd”, got her start like many of us, blogging with a passion for fashion and some seriously original ideas…. The key to success? “Following your passion!” she says, “….and having the courage to listen to yourself!”
Point taken! Follow along as we spend a few moments with Jess!
So, what are the origins of Curate & Style?
Well, it was an idea I had, that I started in October of 2017. I launched it, and I started taking clients straight away; but then a month later found out I was pregnant (with daughter Scarlett)! The idea came originally about 3 or 4 years ago – I was already a personal blogger and was feeling a bit overwhelmed by my own wardrobe, and just everything, really; so I began the process of curating my own wardrobe – and I found it to be life-changing!
I’d already had the idea to launch a virtual tool to help women curate their wardrobe and develop their personal style, but once I found out I was pregnant, that sort of got put on hold. After my daughter was born, I decided to just go for it… So with literally a Zero-dollar budget (and some help from Fiverr.com), I started putting it into action.
What are some things people may not know about starting your own business?
It’s a lot of hard work! My website was built entirely by me with 4am starts while my daughter was asleep!
The first head shots I did were with my daughter’s highchair! She would be just waking up from her nap and would be watching me taking these photos! The original pictures that I have, I’m laughing with her as she’s watching me!
Luckily, the local newspaper was running an issue on brand new startups and contacted me to set up an interview! The photographer was kind enough to let me use those shots as a start!
“It’s so funny how, when you are following your passion, and really being authentic to it, doors just seem to open for you. But it really takes having the courage to listen to yourself!”
We couldn’t agree more! But since we’re on the subject of Fashion, we have to ask: What is fashion to you?
There’s something really magnetic and sparkly and exciting about fashion! I just love it… Even now, my brain has fireworks when I’m in the shops… But style is very different… It’s personal – it’s part of who we are and it’s sort of a way we define ourselves, and that’s very personal to everyone.
How do you use that to work with your clients?
A lot of the clients I work with have found themselves in a bit of a style rut… I try to encourage them to push their boundaries; to get them thinking about how do they feel when their wardrobe is staring back at them, and see where they can take some risks while still remaining true to themselves.
We all have them (boundaries), don’t we… I know that for myself, I started to feel like I lost myself once become a mom. In my work, I’m careful not to limit my clients to my own personal style, and be mindful of their actual needs. A lot of my work comes from helping them channel their innate sense of style and really helping them bring that out.
What is your vision for the brand?
Well, a little known thing about me is that I’ve got a Professional Qualification in interior design – hopefully as the brand grows, we will start expanding to apply the Curate & Style principles to the home!
Best advice for other women who are looking to start up their own brand?
I would say to have a real vision; for what you want, and also for your clients. Really channel your energy into your brand and be open to where it goes. Also consistency! Being consistent is really important for building trust and credibility. But the main thing is to just be authentic to yourself…You’ve got to follow your passion – that’s the most important – it’s got to come from the heart in order for it to be successful!
Jess, you’re a rockstar… And definitely a badass female entrepreneur!
Be sure to check out Curate and Style for more information about this awesome mom-trepreneur! And if you’re looking for some wardrobe fitness yourself, don’t worry – she does virtual consultations too, so you can curate and be inspired, anywhere in the world!