Chantera Gunn of “The Style Gunn” is a Sacramento based Wardrobe Stylist. A single mother of three, she took a leap of faith to pursue her passion to positively impact her client’s perceptions about their ever changing personal style. She lives for those fashion AH HA moments when her clients look in the mirror and LOVE the person looking back at them. Read our interview with the lovely Chantera below…
What motivated and inspired you to start your own business?
I was a sales associate at Nordstrom and a lot of my customers wanted me to shop with them outside of the store. I was doing that for a while and I grew to really love it, it was so natural for me to go into the different stores and local boutiques, build relationships with management and pull for my clients. I instantly fell in love and thought how I could make this my full time job. I’m raising my three daughters so it was important for me to still be able to provide for them. When my clientele started to grow outside of Sacramento, I knew it was time to take the leap to make my passion my full time job.
Tell us about your business.
I am a personal shopper, stylist and closet editor. I edit closets by retiring pieces in my client’s wardrobe that are outdated and unwearable, I take the pieces left in their closet and update those outfits with new pieces we add from our personal shopping appointments and then we come back to their closets and style their new pieces with what they already have. Drawing out their personal styles and showing them multiple ways to wear outfits for different occasions throughout their lives.
I have been awarded by CBS as Best Local Personal Stylist Shopper. I have also been awarded by Thumbtack as Best Personal Stylist Shopper. Most recently, I was interviewed and featured on Yahoo! Style.
Where is your business based?
I am based in Sacramento, but I’ve traveled as far as New York, Atlanta, Houston and Seattle for my clients.
What were the first few steps you took to get your business up and running?
My first step was building a website and securing a URL for my business. Then set up social media accounts on Facebook, Instagram and Snap Chat to really publicize my business. I linked up with Tiana Burse of District Media Press to really take my business to the next level marketing wise and of course on the legal side I set up DBA and acquired my tax ID number.
What has been the most effective way of raising awareness of your business and getting new customers?
Social media outlets are key in this day and age to really promote your business quickly. I love interacting with my clients and driving potential clients to my websites just off my posts.
What have been your biggest challenges so far?
Staying on myself to do more Vlogs! I am a single mom of three and the day-to-day mommy routine kind of takes away from me videoing what I’m doing, I’d much rather take a pic and post that then to visually interact with my audience, but I’m quickly learning that interacting in that form really allows me to really show who I am and what I do in a more personal way.
How did you overcome these challenges?
I keep a strict schedule for myself and that keeps me accountable for myself and posts throughout the week.
How do you keep motivated through difficult times?
This truly is my passion, so during difficult times I remind myself how far I’ve come! I’m a Christian so I heavily rely on my faith and it’s through that I am able to persevere through the tough times.
How do you distinguish yourself from your competitors?
I’m just me, I don’t think about what others are doing or try to change up what I’m doing because I want to out do the competition. I am my only competition, I’m grounded in the fact that this business is about people and impacting their lives in an authentic and positive way. My clients, their stories of overcoming and then the faces I see in the fitting room mirror after I’ve styled them – it is those smiles and happy tears that distinguishes me.
What is the best advice you have received recently?
Keep dreaming and never forget where you came from. It’s my trials that have lead me to this point in my career and I just want to use my life to be a positive impact on other stylists who come along and share my passion for people.
What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs?
Take every NO as an opportunity to reach your YES. Business especially a good business is about reaching that yes, and if you allow a few no’s to stop you from your ultimate goal of a successful business you should probably rethink what your doing. Keep pushing no matter what!
What is your favorite business tool or resource?
I am obsessed with reading up on what’s going on with fashion. It may be old fashioned but I love reading Vogue, Elle and Cosmopolitan – they are my bibles!
What social media outlets do you use? List them below.
What is a good article or book you have read recently?
I’ve been reading up on the history of fashion. I’m also reading about textiles and fabrics, it is important to me to be the expert, so knowing how fabrics will fall or wash, what can be tailored or what cannot, are all important to know so that I can honestly speak to it for my clients.
What are you currently learning about for your business or looking for help with?
With Tiana’s help, I’m learning the art of marketing smartly, constantly and creating content based material around what I offer. In addition, the many different ways to get my message out to the public on a larger scale.
What are your goals for the next few months and how are you striving to achieve them?
My goal is to grow The Style Gunn into a show that I’m hoping will really help a single mom like me sitting at home feel better about themselves. Being a mom period – your life is about your kids and your family, it’s so easy to forget about taking care of yourself from day to day. I’m a walking testament to that, but there was a moment in my life when I stopped feeling sorry for myself and my situation and decided that I wanted better for my children and better for myself.