The Making of a Successful Latina Empowerment Style Entrepreneur

Mara Kolesas

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Refocusing my business

I focused my business on what I love doing the most with the people I bring the most value to and love working with(ideal clients).

Really, I applied the method that I use with my clients to myself. I realized that I had not been fully genuine, and I was casting too wide a net. I had downplayed my analytical, social, and psychological, expertise,  conforming, perhaps unconsciously, to the stereotype that style is superficial.

Consequently I presented myself as just another stylist. I had diluted my message and my value. I was not targeting the clients whose language I am fluent in - sophisticated, multicultural, engaged professionals and entrepreneurs, who may think styling is frivolous, but who understand that how they dress is crucial to feeling genuine and achieving their aspirations, and who want to invest in themselves with someone who really understands them, and who can do it deeply, comprehensively, and effectively.

Most importantly, I realized that what I was offering was much deeper than clothes, shopping and style advice. It was about being “put together” on multiple levels, and feeling true to oneself, confident, clear and glowing. (Some clients refer to me as the Ph.D. empowerment stylist).

Key business takeaways:

First, in business, as in life, be genuine.

Do not try to suppress dimensions of yourself. (It won’t work in any case). Bring all of who you are to light, and express it without apologies. When you are genuine, the effect is exponential. When you offer the best and true version of yourself, you attract people who you will want to work with, and who will want to work with you, because they trust you.   

Second: sometimes achieving clarity takes time.

You can’t fast-track clarity, and you have to go through the process. You have to treat it as an investment.

Third: Invest in yourself.

Coaches, massages, thinking time, style. You are the condition of possibility of your business and your life. When I did this, it was transformational. And this is what I provide my clients - an investment in themselves to achieve their aspirations.

In part two Mara will cover her business strategy, mentors and philosophy. Visit Mara's website.

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About the author

Mara Kolesas

Mara Kolesas, Ph.D., is a style with substance expert, based in Berkeley, CA, who provides intelligent styling for professionals. She grew up in Buenos Aires where she breathed style from an early age. She went on to a career in political science, studying for a doctorate in New York City, and later lived in Florence, Rome, Berlin and Beirut, where she pursued my two passions: she studied and promoted citizen empowerment, diversity and inclusion, and she explored small boutiques, helping friends find outfits that gave them joy and confidence. Along with her artistic eye and knowledge of fashion, she brings analytical and social expertise to a field with superficial associations. 

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