Tannya Bernadette makes fashion accessible and easy, no matter how busy, what body type, or what budget her clients are faced with. She is Seattle’s premier closet planner and personal shopper – known to create a look unique to her clients.
Her approach starts with an in-home or online consultation where she can quickly identify what a client needs in order to bring together their look. Helping clients’ transition into their best most confident selves through discovering their personal style has been her biggest accomplishment.
What motivated and inspired you to start your own business?
I wanted to create a business to help empower women and help them feel their best, to help them find their identity and find confidence in themselves. Clothing is more than trends and runway shows, wearing the right outfit when you enter a board meeting, go on a first date, or attend an event can impact how you feel about yourself.
Tell us about your business.
My business is a mix of online and in person styling options to help busy ladies shop for just the right pieces for their wardrobe. After taking note on what my clients are missing from their wardrobe, I create a plan of action to shop for the right pieces to bring together their look.
In the end, they get a virtual closet and online lookbook with 35 different outfits head to toe. They not only make purchases they love, they also receive ideas on 2-3 different ways to wear their new items. No more pieces just sitting in the closet and money being wasted!
Are you currently running any promos/contests/giveaways that you would like our readers to know about?
I’m offering a one month FREE Online Style Catalog, all you have to do is create a style profile here: bit.ly/HUESTRIPE.
Style Treat is a monthly online style catalog made just for you with client and stylist approved apparel, shoes, and accessories. Choose from 6 different catalogs and receive 7 outfit ideas a month. Catalogs include: Biz Casual Must Haves, Professional Powerful Looks, The Luxe List, Plus Size Edition, Men’s Fashion, Everyday Style Essentials.
- 2015 – Present Style Editor for Ville Magazine
- 2009-2016 Stylist for Match Date Love
- 2012 Stylist for It’s Just Lunch
- Q13 News
- Komo 4 News
- Seattle Magazine
- Seattle Met
- NW Source
- NW Mom
Where is your business based?
Seattle, WA but I also work with styling clients over Skype all around the nation and a few clients out of the country. Style Treat, my new online style catalog, has also allowed me to connect with people from all over to help them shop. With the internet and social media, there are no more barriers on how far you can go.
What were the first few steps you took to get your business up and running?
I really just had an idea and went with it. My intuition and feelings were much greater than my fear for risking everything. Right after graduating college I had the business plan done and found an office space where I signed the lease without having any money in savings or even a job at the time.
Doing that was probably the biggest risk to date I’ve taken because at the time I had no clients, it was the beginning of the recession and I took a leap of faith. There was something about walking into that space that took my breath away and I could imagine creating something big and innovative.
After that, it was 24/7 getting the business set up. I found someone to work with me to create the website, I found an intern from a local college to help me set up social media accounts, and I sent out various press releases to local magazines and news stations to share my expertise.
What has been the most effective way of raising awareness of your business and getting new customers?
I would have to say networking has been the best way to raise awareness. You meet so many people and at the time there may not be anything there to work on, but somehow you find each other again.
I’ve come to realize the importance of being kind to everyone and staying in contact for check-ups or finding how to help or collaborate together. I can’t tell you how many times I find myself working with people I’d met a couple years ago, or even more! Photographers, business executives, bloggers, you name it.
I’ve gotten most of my customers from people that came by my office and saw the sign with information about my services. In Seattle, it still is not a well-known industry and when people read that there are personal shopping services, their curiosity used to bring them in to get more information or sign up for a complimentary 30 minute consultation.
My website is now my storefront and attracting people to it is most important. I have worked with SEO, applying my website and tagging it on as many sources as I can to bring in potential clients. Working on guest blogging and on projects in the community all help bring in new clients.
People have to see you often, get to know you, see your logo multiple times, before recognizing your brand immediately. It takes vulnerability, kindness, and openness to let others in to feel comfortable with you and ready to communicate that they need help finding their style identity.
What have been your biggest challenges so far?
My biggest challenge was to overcome public speaking. I avoided it like the plague for 4 years and turned down potential opportunities. A few years ago, the first day of January, I made it my mission that year to have my voice heard, and to be seen. I knew I had great advice to offer, and that I was holding myself back.
How did you overcome these challenges?
I went right into that place of fear. I set up speaking engagements for myself, started doing video blogs, sent out press releases to give advice on local channels and get out there. I had decided I wasn’t going to let my fear keep me from fulfilling my full potential.
Funny thing, the very first gig I got that year was in front of 150 lawyers, all women, in a beautiful building in Downtown Seattle overlooking the waterfront. I had my own stage, a screen behind me and the whole dream situation. They had interviewed other stylists in the area and had chosen me.
I can’t tell you how in awe I was, how thankful I felt to be there. I was just looking for a foot in the door and got the biggest opportunity right from the beginning of my journey to overcome my fear. I overcame it by booking it, not cancelling, and getting to work. At that moment, I had to believe in myself like crazy and get out of my head, into my heart to feel connected to my subject and audience.
I can’t tell you the excitement and rush I felt once I was on stage. When it was done, I was ready for the next! Since then, I have done countless public speaking appearances and absolutely love being on stage and in front of the camera – it just takes practice.
How do you keep motivated through difficult times?
Difficult times are actually the most empowering. The important piece of advice to remember is that you must find a solution. Dwelling on the problem and going in circles, won’t make it any better. If you need to find someone to talk to in order to bounce ideas back and forth or just to put a voice to your thoughts, do it.
I try to remember that life is not a perfect line and even in our relationships, friendships, family life, health, there are times where we are at a high and times we are at a low. Look at it as part of life and a learning experience.
It’s best to stay as positive as possible and I like to watch YouTube videos that are inspirational and read books to keep me going. If there are negative people in your life, this is the time you’ll find how important it is to stop communication and take them out, they’ll only drag you down.
How do you distinguish yourself from your competitors?
Working with me is a more personal experience. I want to be honest and kind, I want to get to know you and your needs, I want to make sure that everything I help you purchase fits you perfectly and is within your budget.
I want fashion to be accessible for all women and for you to feel important and beautiful in your own skin. I am a stylist but I am also driven to see the beauty in everyone and helping them shine. I can’t help but work to make fashion and dressing a less stressful and negative process.
We are so hard on ourselves and have a lot on our daily to-do list, feeling good about our body and selves should start off positive from the moment we wake up. That includes having a wardrobe that fits our identity today, not yesterday, not the future, but where we are now.
What is the best advice you have received recently?
While I was working out the other day, I was listening to a video by Tony Robbins and he said something that really got to me. As an entrepreneur my to-do list never ends, I have never checked everything off because there’s always a task undone, an errand to run, or a project deadline to meet.
When I look at the list, it can be a little overwhelming at times, especially when it’s just me. I don’t always know where to start. Tony Robbins said to change the way you work, change the way you look at the list. You can do this with your day or your week whatever works best for you, but look at what your end goal is and what you are trying to accomplish.
Find the purpose in your to-do pieces and group them together. Wow, when I heard this it really made me change the way I think about what really needs to be done. It gives me focus and helps me prioritize my list with the things that will be more impactful.
If 20% of my to-do will be more impactful to reach my purpose, then the other 80% can wait. My mornings have been a whole new experience since then and delegating has been more of, let’s accomplish this one goal and how are we going to do that today.
What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs?
Follow your fear. What’s behind that fear? Why are you avoiding certain tasks, events, or people? Sometimes we wait so long to execute a product, a service or answer to an opportunity because we want to have everything perfectly in place. That’s not the way to go about it, waiting robs you from getting in and experiencing what you desire.
Start from where you are right now. Work your way up, make changes, as you go, just don’t let fear keep you in place. Don’t continue finding reasons why you aren’t good enough. If I would’ve waited to be a little older, have more experience, have more money; I wouldn’t be where I am. I had to go against my own doubts and the doubts people had about what I was doing.
What are your favorite business tools/resources and why?
My favorite business tools are Mailchimp, WordPress, and Wix.com. In Mailchimp I have my mailing list organized and can send out weekly newsletters to followers and clients.
It’s also easy to create a newsletter and schedule it to go out at a later date and time. I use WordPress for my blog: www.tannyabstyle.com, and Wix for my website www.tannyab.com.
I’m not a very tech savvy person and it’s wonderful to have resources to make clean, beautiful content for clients without the hassle of trying so hard to figure it out.
What is a good article or book you have read recently?
There are so many books to pick from that I’ve read! I must say one that I’ve found is really impactful is “The Fire Starter Sessions: A Soulful + Practical Guide to Creating Success on Your Own Terms” By Danielle LaPorte.
You feel like the author is speaking to you in a conversation and at the end of each chapter. There are also exercises to help you put your feelings into action. I love how she talks about following your own vision and not getting caught up in what others say you should do.
I try to read a book a month like that because it gets me to sit and really think life through, it’s a good eye opener and will help you get the next level. Good read for sure!
What are you currently learning about for your business or looking for help with?
I’m currently learning about how to grow my Instagram following. It’s interesting that after 8 years in business how little I had relied on social media, but there is a whole other set of clients out there with technology.
My current clients had stayed more private and in contact with me through email, text, and my blog but I’m seeing the importance of getting to a new audience through Instagram as well.
I’m also working learning how to create videos where I can start teaching the whole styling process to clients and future stylists. The ideas are endless!
What are your goals for the next few months and how are you striving to achieve them?
I’m working on writing a book and creating an online style club to help guide women through finding their identity through fashion. I want to help make sense of style, loving yourself, and finding how to get there.
This has been a long time goal and it’s come through having my business 8 years, getting to know my clients, getting to know myself, and doing a lot of research to make it happen.
What social media outlets do you use? List them below.
Hashtags #fabfinds #mystyletreat