Hello, Gorgeous! Today’s post is part of my mini series called #BlushBoss. I love to get to know the readers of Blush & Camo and through talking to many of you I quickly found out all of you are a total #BlushBosses! You are driven, follow your goals, and know how to #sidehustle like no ones business. You have dreams and aren’t afraid to work hard towards them. Each of you inspire me everyday and so this series is a celebration of strong women who dared to follow their dream and make it a reality. I hope this mini series gives you a little inspiration to continue to go after your goals and never give up!
In this #BlushBoss series I’ve teamed up with CEO’s of amazing companies, asked them to share insight on their business, and give Blush & Camo readers insight as to what it takes to be your own boss.
Today’s #BlushBoss is Darcy who started her own styling business called Styled Seattle. I met Darcy at the Style Boss event I did with Westfield Mall back in April and instantly connected with her! I could tell immediately how much she loved her job and her attitude was totally infectious! She is gorgeous, driven, and an amazing stylist:). I can’t wait for you to read her about how she started her business (hint: she gives really good advice!).
#BlushBoss: Darcy From Styled Seattle
Name: Darcy Camden
Age: 34 (I typed 33, then I typed 35, then I asked someone how old I am. I forget!)
Current Title/Company: Owner and Chief Stylist at Styled Seattle, styledseattle.com
Past Education: BA in Communication from WWU
What was your first job out of college?
I graduated with a degree in Communications with the intention to work in Public Relations, and my first “job” was an unpaid internship at a PR firm on Bainbridge Island. Of course, I wanted to live in downtown Seattle, so I had to take the bus to the ferry, and get into work by 8am. I remember I couldn’t afford bus fare, and I lived about 5 blocks away from the Free Zone, so I would leave my apartment at 6am, run 5 blocks, ride the bus, run to the ferry, sleep on the Ferry, and then run another 6 or so blocks to the office. Every day. I had an evening job too that paid me actual money; I worked in the office of a talent agency. And when my internship ended, I got hired full time at the agency and eventually ran their PR and events department.
What inspired you to start your own company?
I was working with a local TV show, doing fashion segments and a series called “Ambush Makeover”—kind of like What Not To Wear, but with no budget. Viewers would track me down at my job (I still worked at the talent agency) and ask me if I could do a makeover on them off camera, and I realized I wanted to start a business that helped people get an authentic, lasting, real makeover experience.
What advice would you give to Blush Babe readers thinking about starting their own business?
Sometimes you need to take a big leap of faith and do something drastic, like quit your job…but not always! I don’t think I ever took a big leap, I took a lot of small strategic steps to build something over time. You have to be patient. You can’t build something from nothing and expect it to be huge overnight.
What was your biggest fear in starting your own business?
It’s a little scary at first not having a steady paycheck or the safety nets of having a traditional job (like insurance, vacation pay, 401k), but you adjust.
Take Blush Babe readers through your journey of developing your own styling business. How did you ensure your company was a success?
I quote Oprah a lot, and she has said, “When you do your best, people notice.” I believe that is the basis of lasting success: lots of little moments of doing your very best. Eventually, your hard work will get recognized, and you will start to gain a solid reputation. To me, a great reputation IS success.
What were some of the biggest challenges and greatest rewards you faced while starting your business?
I actually think the challenges ARE the rewards. And vice versa. Challenge and Reward are really two sides of the same coin, and you can’t really separate them. I can look at pretty much any part of my business and say “it’s hard because ABC, but it’s also great because XYZ.” You sort of have to accept that everything you do will have it’s Pros and Cons (that’s why it’s called WORK!).
I think anytime you start something (whatever it is!) you face a host of Catch-22s and those are the biggest challenges. In my business, clients want to hire a stylist with a lot of experience, but you can’t get experience without working with lots of clients… Gaining credibility just takes time. The only reason I’m still doing this and I’m good at it is because I didn’t give up.
What does a typical day look like for you?
My 2 year old wakes me up (I hear him in his room yelling, “Mama come get me, I’m awake in here!”) and we have about an hour of coffee (for me) and breakfast and playing. Then, we get dressed and he either goes to Nanny or comes with me. Every day is different: I might have a client, I might have a day of meetings, I might be running around buying or pulling clothes, I always have lots of emails coming in and out, there might be an issue with a client I have to address.
There’s usually always some sort of surprise. Sometimes I think I’m going to have an easy day, and I’m surprised by all the work that lands on me and I end up working really late, other days I think I’m going to be buried with work and everything goes easy and I get done early. When I was in college, I took a Business class and learned about something called “soldiering”—it’s where you aren’t really working, but you’re sitting at your desk killing time because you have to be (like, you finished your work at 4pm but you can’t leave until 5pm so you just sort of sit there), and I had a really strong reaction to that.
I don’t believe in that AT ALL. If I finish something early, I’m happy to take the rest of the day off. In the evenings, I hang out with my husband and baby, we go for walks and play and have dinner. We watch TV. I probably spend a little too much time on my phone answering emails or texting people when I don’t really need to be, that’s something I am working on. I go to bed pretty early whenever I can. I really enjoy a long night’s sleep!
What is the best moment of your career to date?
Um…I don’t have, like, one big thing I can point to. I think the best moments are when clients email just to say thank you, and we remember that the work we do really matters. Or anytime I can walk away from something feeling like I did a great job (like we put on a great fashion show, or a TV segment turns out really well) and someone else says, “Yeah, that was great.” Small moments of validation are the best, they let me know I’m on the right track.
What advice would you give your 22-year-old self?
Appreciate the lessons. Starting a career is all about trial and error. You are gonna mess up along the way, and it’s going to be humbling. But that’s what building a career is all about. I used to be really hard on myself if I made a mistake or something didn’t turn out the way I wanted, but now I can look back on everything I did a decade ago and I can appreciate every experience as a lesson—I wish I could have done that in the moment, because it could have relieved some of the stress.
Also: try not to hear the criticism louder than that the compliments; it used to be that one negative comment would cancel out one hundred positive ones. I’ve come to respect that you can’t always please everyone. No one is perfect all the time to everyone.
Darcy is a total #BlushBoss…
What trend are your clients loving this season?
Creative toppers, like vests, utility jackets, leather jackets, etc. We call them “third pieces” items you can throw over almost everything to make an outfit more interesting. Versatile toppers are the MVPs of any wardrobe.
You wish you knew how to… dance REALLY well.
What is your favorite way to unwind?
Wine, a night out in a fun outfit, talking/laughing with a friend. I also really love going to movies by myself, that’s a great way to unplug for a few hours.
If you could pick one Sex and The City character, who would you be? Charlotte’s daughter Lilly.
If you could have brunch with three women who would they be?
Um… I know most people list celebrities living and dead, but I actually think that might be sort of awkward. I’d rather go to brunch with three of my best girlfriends. If I could have brunch with ONE person, I’d probably pick Oprah!
Thank you so much for stopping by Blush & Camo!