Jessica Zimmerman is the owner of The Style Project, a personal styling company that offers a range of services for weddings, events and your home. She strives to make each project a custom fit to your own unique style and personality. She is passionate about creating a memorable and personable experience for her clients to ensure a one of a kind design. Read our interview with the lovely Jessica below…
What motivated and inspired you to start your own business?
After college, I worked in the corporate world for about 4 years. While I learned a lot and grew within the company, I always felt like something was missing. After some self-reflection I realized the thing that was missing in my professional life was my ability to express myself creatively. Utilizing this reflection, I let my entrepreneurial spirit run free. I took the leap of faith that I had always dreamt about and opened The Style Project.
Tell us about your business.
The Style Project offers a vast range of wedding and design options, from tablescaping to full wedding planning. I work closely with engaged couples to plan their wedding day with ease and excitement. The Style Project also offers interior decorating services for your home. I primarily focus on intentional design and the execution of personalized touches that make something uniquely you. I strive to make each project a custom fit to your own unique style and personality.
Are you currently running any promos/contests/giveaways that you would like our readers to know about?
I am offering LadyBossBlogger readers an exclusive promo to receive $100 off any wedding package or a waived consultation fee for interior decorating. You can contact us to learn more about our package offerings.
Where is your business based?
The Style Project is based in Milwaukee, WI and is available for travel.
What were the first few steps you took to get your business up and running?
My first step to starting my business included a ton of research. I had to educate myself on things like incorporating a business, financial and legal obligations, services that would be provided, effective marketing strategies and the list goes on. Once all the research was done I wrote my business plan which helped solidify all my goals, ideas and what I wanted my brand to be. After all of the business “stuff,” the first creative thing I got to do was getting my website up and running, it was a huge project to take on as I built and designed it myself.
What has been the most effective way of raising awareness of your business and getting new customers?
Thus far my business has been all word of mouth. The biggest form of flattery for me is a client telling others about my business and their experience. I also think, as a new business, that this is the best way to raise awareness because people will be truthful in telling how their experience was and even better, its free!
What have been your biggest challenges so far?
My biggest challenge is trying to get everything done. I am a one women show so trying to find time to accomplish everything proves to be a challenge at times. Luckily, I have a very supportive husband who helps me with many tasks: room installs, financials, legal and just a constant cheerleader when I feel overwhelmed. Although I like to focus on all the fun and pretty things that correspond with The Style Project, the legal, financial, accounting, networking, client obligations, marketing and social media upkeep that is needed to run a business such as this has proven to be challenging.
How did you overcome these challenges?
I’m a huge list maker and I don’t think my business would run as smooth without them. I make daily, weekly and monthly to do’s and prioritize what’s most important to make sure I stay on track. I also set goals for myself to be sure that I am always working towards bettering my business.
How do you keep motivated through difficult times?
My biggest motivation is my “why?” My why is the freedom to have my own business and be my own boss. Having all of this freedom has allowed me to finally feel like I can dive head first into everything I have ever wanted to do creatively. By launching The Style Project, I have created an opportunity to express myself through my work. I hope that within this creativity I am able to help others live their life, styled.
How do you distinguish yourself from your competitors?
I really don’t like to think of having “competitors.” I feel a sense of community with other small business owners and feel that we should encourage and build each other up by helping one another. With that being said, one of my goals is to make my clients feel that they are being taken care of by being personable and making their experience customized to what they want it to be.
What is the best advice you have received recently?
My dad is an entrepreneur and has always given the best advice. He said recently, “work hard, be nice and you’ll reach your dreams.” So simple, but true.
What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs?
Go for it! Because you don’t ever want to wonder “what if?” It’s a lot of work, tears, and sweat but at the end of the day it’s one of my biggest accomplishments and one I don’t ever regret doing. Anything is possible and there is always a way to go after your dreams. It’s never easy and it takes time to get where you want to be but in the end I truly believe it all pays off.
What is your favorite business tool or resource?
Social media has had a huge impact on my business, especially Instagram. I have made so many amazing connections with other girl bosses and creatives. Many other small business owners that I have met online have been a huge support system and have been my go to for business related questions. I really feel a sense of community with other creatives. Sometimes being a small business owner can be lonely so it’s nice to have a sense of a work family and makes you feel good to have others cheering you on.
What social media outlets do you use? List them below.
Hashtags #mkestyleproject #thestyleproject
What is a good article or book you have read recently?
The book #Girl Boss by Sophia Amoruso, who started Nasty Gal, is one of my favorites. She is an all-around total kick butt Girl boss. I read this book close to two years ago before I started my business but have reread it now that I started my business and there is something totally inspiring hearing about other empowering girl bosses. The advice that she gives is spot on for anyone that is starting their own business: work hard, think positive and stay humble. I also really enjoy listening to motivational or business related podcasts during the day. Some of my favorites include: “The Lively Show” with Jess Lively, “Goal Digger” with Jenna Kutcher and “She Did it Her Way” with Amanda Boleyn.
What are you currently learning about for your business or looking for help with?
I am constantly learning new things about owning a business and about myself as a business owner. I think that’s what keeps it interesting and fun. I am currently learning more about how to effectively plan my outreach to people in the community to help drive my business. Also, I’m looking to maximize my social media communication.
What are your goals for the next few months and how are you striving to achieve them?
My main goal for the next upcoming months is to drive new business for 2017. This will be my first full year in business and I want to start it strong… and end strong too! I am currently undergoing a website redesign and trying to find new forms of reaching out and getting my business name out. I am planning to reach out to other local businesses, and organizations for collaborations or ways to get involved in the community. I’m very ready to see where this year will take me!