Gigi McMillan is a fabulous and fierce go-getter entrepreneur who decided to bet on herself 4 years ago after a life-changing experience. She has now taken charge of her future and is moving up the ladder of success. If you ask her, she will say “winning is in my crosshairs” and nothing less will do. As a personal style strategist, she believes we all have a brand and how we communicate it to the world begins within. Her inside-out approach serves as the secret sauce on how she plans to give back to the marketplace to help other individuals find their fire within unapologetically. Learn more about her gift and how she plans to support others in so many ways.
What motivated and inspired you to start your own business?
My motivation was inspired by my interest, will and vision to create something of value outside of my corporate accomplishments. It was a fire in me to simply want more than the daily grind gave me. Although, I served in leadership positions and was responsible for overseeing teams to build departmental structures from the ground up, I knew if I wanted to feel truly accomplished I had to step out in faith and build my destiny brick-by-brick. The idea of having the ability to build a culture of inclusiveness and diversity in the way I imagined, was something I had to at least go for or I would regret it.
Tell us about your business.
I work with small business professionals who want to bring their personal style into alignment with a powerful brand presence. We enjoy helping business owners shape an identifiable personal style into a dynamic public glow that will set them apart from the competition.
When I started, I knew there would be a growing need for personal stylist and imaging consulting services dedicated to small business owners. With the rapid growth of entrepreneurs over the past several years, the market would demand a need to help these individuals curate a style presence that speaks to their lifestyle, audience and goals from the inside-out.
We are now an all around visual branding and management company. We provide foundational structuring, professional video development, strategic marketing, and coaching support while remaining true to the importance of the personal style element that will add to opportunities and the bottomline.
Are you currently running any promos/contests/giveaways that you would like our readers to know about?
Yes! We are excited about our FREE 30-minute phone consultations for our upcoming virtual style classes in preparation for the fall. Participants will learn how to plan, upgrade, rebuild and overhaul their own wardrobes to reach their style goals and temperature on any budget.
No matter if you are a student, professional, stay-at-home mom or someone who has lost a significant amount of weight, this class is for you! Learning how to increase our confidence every day on a budget with ease and according to our lifestyle can be done effortlessly season after season with proper guidance and a plan just like anything else.
Likewise, we are offering access to our free e-book by signing up on our website called the “ABC’s to Chic” – please get yours at www.kamisol.net.
- Received various corporate leadership awards
- Graduated cum-laude in fashion merchandising
- Certified mentor
- Domestic violence advocate
- Member of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women of Northern Virginia (NCBW)
Where is your business based?
In Northern Virginia – minutes away from the District of Columbia and Maryland.
What were the first few steps you took to get your business up and running?
One year prior to leaving corporate, I purchased and sold various accessories and handbags from around the world. With merchandise in hand, I participated and sponsored multiple events to get my products and business name out to the local public. I spoke and organized Girls Nights in the evenings which was shopping excursions for ladies and their friends. It was a great way to have fun with women who loved to shop and opened doors for me to talk about how to identify and incorporate a remarkable style into their daily lives.
What has been the most effective way of raising awareness of your business and getting new customers?
Word of mouth, our Purple Runway event, and editorial spreads in global bridal magazines have been our greatest source of business.
What have been your biggest challenges so far?
I have had more than one for sure and the few that come to mind are;
- Getting out of my own way and just jumping into business.
- Understanding that it’s okay to be patient yet fiercely focused at the same time. The goal is to find balance and allow the mind to rest.
- In the beginning and over the course of a couple of years it was simply saying “no” without feeling bad about it.
How did you overcome these challenges?
As a solopreneur for most of my journey, I have learned how to better manage my time and expectations. I do not allow myself to be moved because of what is happening around me. Learning to feel whole in my own space, speed and time. I have learned that not every open door is my door. I also hired a coach which was one of the best things I could have done for myself and my business – every coach needs a coach.
How do you keep motivated through difficult times?
I catch myself beginning to spin then I stop, step back, breathe, take time to listen to music, connect with nature by taking a walk or doing nothing. Depending on the challenge I’m facing at the time, I reach out for help sooner than before by connecting with my spiritual advisor or my accountability crew and many times I simply take time out and remember “why” I started.
How do you distinguish yourself from your competitors?
Simply by my edgy personality, my life experiences and vision. I truly believe my range of view is not going to mirror anyone else. Creativity is subjective and my audience will be attracted to my work for the unique experience I bring and the great energy the brand is known for.
What is the best advice you have received recently?
A few months ago someone said to me, “Gigi you are a young, energetic and focused business woman who has achieved much in a short period of time. Just think about this – you have not met the person who will recognize your talents in such a way that will help change the trajectory of your life forever.”
What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs?
When things go wrong – don’t go wrong with them.
Stick to the vision, never give up, and understand challenges come to make us stronger, better and more focused for the long run. As your business grows, do not allow just anyone to have a say in its direction. God gave you the vision – so walk in it with authority.
What is your favorite business tool or resource?
Nielsen’s – for trends, consumer spending, and so much more. I also enjoy Vogue, Marie Claire, Harper’s Bazaar, Entrepreneur and INC. magazines as some of my favorite resources. They provide a well-rounded assessment on fashion, style and the best practices on the business of running a business.
What is a good article or book you have read recently?
I am reading two great books simultaneously at the moment.
- “You are a Badass” by Jen Sincero who has penned a great one here on how to create a life we totally love.
- The other is the “Intentional Entrepreneur” by Jen Dalton, which provides incredible insight on how to stand out in our selected industries. I think Jen Dalton described my goal best when she noted, “be a noisebreaker not a noisemaker.”
What are you currently learning about for your business or looking for help with?
I am learning more and more everyday how to make my business better and grow it. I am always looking for great photographers, videographers, personal stylists for editorial shoots and contributing writers for our For the Love of Style magazine as well.
What are your goals for the next few months and how are you striving to achieve them?
With my experience as a human resource director, I am interested in expanding our services to government and corporations by offering trainings via workshops on appropriate business casual communication, what it means and how companies can help their employees achieve it.
In order to reach this goal I plan to continue to build great relationships and find amazing networks to connect to while increasing various speaking opportunities to share insight concerning the psychology of style and how it begins within.
What social media outlets do you use? List them below.