Katie Schuppler has been a Personal Style Consultant and Style Blogger for her business, KS Style Consulting in Chicago for over five years. She worked in retail for seven years prior to starting her business, three years at Victoria’s Secret and four as a Style Director at Fred Boutique in Milwaukee. Katie attended Mount Mary University and obtained a degree in Fashion Merchandise Management and Business Administration. She is also a Style and Beauty writer for Chicago Woman Magazine.
What motivated and inspired you to start your own business?
I always wanted to be my own boss and grew up in an entrepreneurial family with my Dad owning his own insurance business. Seeing my dad be so successful for years and provide all that he did for our family really had a major part in inspiring me.
Tell us about your business.
KS Style Consulting is a Personal Style Consulting business for men and women in the Chicagoland and Southeastern Wisconsin areas. We offer personal shopping (at the store or in-home), group shopping, closet clean outs, e-styling, and personalized look books.
Are you currently running any promos/contests/giveaways that you would like our readers to know about?
I am offering LadyBossBlogger readers $50 off any Styling Package from KS Style Consulting now through March 2017. It’s a great time to shop for the holidays or after to catch all the sales!
KS Style Consulting was named one of the Best Stylists in Chicago by CBS Chicago. We have also been featured in several Chicago newspapers and magazines inspiring others with style advice and showcasing our services.
Where is your business based?
Chicago, IL & Southeastern, WI.
What were the first few steps you took to get your business up and running?
I literally sat down at midnight one night to write a blog post and decided at that moment that the post was going to be about the style consulting business I was starting. I then stayed up for the next several hours and made my own website and hit the ground running with it! I think back to that night a lot and remember how scary and thrilling that was all at the same time.
What has been the most effective way of raising awareness of your business and getting new customers?
My blog played a huge part in showing my personal style and knowledge and getting my name out there. I also advertised in Chicago magazines and attended endless fashion shows and events to network and make great connections.
What have been your biggest challenges so far?
I would have to say the biggest challenges I have faced would be getting my name and my business name out there. After 6 years of being in business, the last two years I have really felt like all the hard work, marketing, networking, and word of mouth has really paid off to make my dreams come true.
How did you overcome these challenges?
It sounds cliche but I always vowed to not fall victim to what many small businesses face which is failure. I don’t accept failure in my life and wasn’t going to accept it for my baby (my business!) that I had put so much of my heart, soul, and tears into. I truly believe that when you work hard you can create anything you dream of.
How do you keep motivated through difficult times?
I usually start my day by running which is where I have come up with some of my best ideas and I really get to let go. It’s my therapy so I usually turn to that during the harder times and look back to all I have accomplished thus far to keep me motivated to achieve even more.
How do you distinguish yourself from your competitors?
I think I cater to a wide range of clients age wise, style wise, and price point wise. I hear a lot from my clients that they chose me because I seemed the most personable and shop how they would want to shop for themselves.
What is the best advice you have received recently?
I think really just a reminder that anything is possible and there is always a way to do what you want to do. It may not be easy or fast, but I truly believe all great things do not come easy.
What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs?
First, I think really think about what you are willing to commit to in terms of starting a business. If you aren’t willing to not be paid for hundreds of hours of hard work and do whatever it takes (even when it is hard to stay positive and it may not be fun) then being an entrepreneur is not for you. If you are willing to do anything in your power not to fail at business and to say YES to many unpaid opportunities then go out there and make your dreams happen!
What is your favorite business tool or resource?
Probably all social media, especially Instagram. I cannot tell you how many amazing connections I have made from it, it can be a blessing and a curse but it’s perfect for a fashion based business.
What social media outlets do you use? List them below.
What is a good article or book you have read recently?
Cant think of any? Does InStyle count?? 🙂
What are you currently learning about for your business or looking for help with?
I am currently looking into potentially hiring a PR person to help amp up my social media and to get KS Style Consulting even more out there! Thus far I have been a one woman show an it has been stressful but very fulfilling all at once.