Founder of Tweaked Style
Summarize your life in a few sentence …
It’s challenging for me to summarize my life in a few sentences. My goal has always been to lead a life that was book worthy so a few sentences scares me. But what I can say is that my life has been a journey of love, growth, struggle and survival held together by resiliency, passion, creativity and community.
What is your background?
I grew up in a small town in Vermont for the half of my childhood and the other half, I grew up in New Hampshire. I’m a New Englander at heart. I love being outdoors and often crave being in nature. I overcame a lot of adversity at a young age; raising my siblings and having to make the most of the little we had. I got through the obstacles by staying healthy, dancing, and tweaking my spaces, style and mindset for success. I also new the importance of creating a strong community of people who would challenge me to reach my highest potential.
Dance choreography was always my first language and my first way in which I shared stories through styled experiences. When I was old enough to work and drive I hit the ground running. I got accepted into a program at the Broadway Dance Center in NYC and worked my butt off to prove my passion. It was my first entrepreneurial project where I had to raise money and convince people that I really wanted to succeed. After training in NYC, I decided to share my valuable experience by teaching hip hop dance classes to kids who didn’t have the resources or funds to take professional classes.
Teaching and training dance was the tipping point of my entrepreneurial journey where I realized how much I loved bringing a vision to life, bringing people together and inspiring others to make things happen.
How did you start your business?
It all started when I gained clarity with who I was and what I valued in life – this eventually led to my inspiration for coaching others. Once I really understood who I was then I was able to set intentional goals and create a business that communicated the impact I hoped to make. I didn’t use the word “entrepreneur” to describe myself until I discovered a degree program at my college. I initially went to college for dance at Columbia College Chicago and when I decided not to dilute my passion for dance by pursuing it as a career I decided to tap into my natural skills as an entrepreneur and completed my degree in arts entrepreneurship – business management.
As I finished my degree, I picked up job at my college’s art boutique. There I was able to help several artists in various industries with their branding, pricing, and merchandising for the sale of their work. My passion to help more people led me to the creation of an artist resource guidebook and a workshop series. Eventually I started getting inquiries to do one-on-one marketing and business coaching and today, 5 years later, I’m still passionately helping creative business owners to put their best foot forward.
What inspire you as a creative woman?
As a stylist I’m always finding inspiration everywhere. I often get distracted and just want to spend most of my days creating art, styling interiors, taking photos, scoping fashion trends and of course dancing. My inspiration in my work usually comes from my passion to inspire others to lead a life with integrity and optimism – this translates into bright, pure, uplifting styled spaces, brands and photos that communicate the abundance of possibilities. The love and support of my closest friends and family have most definitely inspired and encouraged my success and creativity.
What was the biggest mistake that you ever did in a job or in your business? How did you get through it?
Undervaluing my services and working for free. Growing up thinking that what was a little bit of money for the average person seemed like a lot to me challenged me to shift my mindset of what my value was. Like a lot of creatives I often think “I’m so passionate in what I do. How can I charge someone for doing something I really love? This seems selfish.”
Because I undervalued myself financially, it led me to struggling to pay bills and take care of my health. It meant that I couldn’t give 100% to those I was trying to help.
When I realized that my top 3 values of relationships, health and integrity were being compromised I knew I had to change my mindset and BELIEVE more in my value and financial abundance. Very soon after this mindset shift I created higher quality opportunities and demanded my worth. Today I continue to take care of myself, invest in myself, and continue to grow financially.
If you won a lottery today, will you still continue build your business?
YES, YES and YES! In fact, I would invest and grow my business team if I won the lottery. If I had the funds to invest in more people to help me I could bring more resources and inspiration to those in need.
Walk us through your day …
As a business strategist, interior stylist and creative director my days vary every single day. My morning routine is important to me. It’s the one time of my day that’s super consistent. I usually try not to schedule my meetings in the morning. It’s not because I’m not up early, but because I like to prepare for the day. Check out my morning routine on my blog.
On average my typical week consists of a 2-3 days shopping, painting, and styling spaces for business owners looking to create an inspirational experience for their customers or themselves. The other 2-3 days I’m meeting with business leaders to strategize their marketing, scheduling, goal planning, and branding for their small business. 1-3 days a week include my creative collaborations and projects; meeting with entrepreneur friends, collaborating on photo shoot projects, filming a Youtube video and blogging. Everyday I make time for office hours where I send emails, invoice and edit media.
Everyday I always spend my lunch with my dog Chloe. I block out 2 hours in the middle of the day that’s devoted to her and taking a mental break. It has really increased my productivity.
Which on your accomplishment are you most proud of?
My biggest life accomplishment has been overcoming my childhood and demanding my worth even if the odds have been against me. Being the first to graduate high school and earn my college degree in my family was really huge for me. Everything after as many of my friends say, has been an anomaly.
And second one is following my heart and passion in life. With life’s pressures and mixed messages it’s hard for people to truly follow what they want in life. The one silver lining of having parents that weren’t involved in my life goals was that I was able to do what I wanted without answering to anyone. Although it would’ve been nice to have more love and support I’m grateful I could lead my own choices.
Where or what do you think you will be doing in the next 5 years?
I see myself traveling and inspiring larger communities to go after their dreams. I also hope to finish my book about my resiliency story. In terms of business goals we are currently working on the future of Tweaked Style and looking into investors for team growth. I see a TS style studio in our future:)
My long term goal is to help youth, no matter what their struggles are, become resilient leaders using strategy and style to achieve their goals.
Share a quote or advice that you’d like to tell the 25-years old you.
Believe in yourself and the value you bring to others. Let go and love more even when it’s hard. Also, let go of the wrong things to make room for the right. And dance it out when you find yourself being too serious.