Eowyn Levene 0:00
Welcome to the creatives do money. Each week we explore the topics of everyday money management, solo business ownership, and how we’re fueling our creative futures. I’m your host Eowyn Levene, money coach, longtime self employed massage therapist and watermelon enthusiast, and I’m on a mission to help you build the lasting financial stability that frees you up to do your creative work without hustling anxiously for the next dollar.
Eowyn Levene 0:31
My guest today is Felicia Bernards. She is a Guyanese born personal stylist and style blogger. That’s Guyana in South America. She equips women with the style tools to stand out and powerfully express who they are. The style ingenuity personal styling firm was birthed out of a deep passion for supporting inspiring and empowering women to do more, be more and design a life and wardrobe they love. She’s been featured in bustle named a 20 on the rise recipient, and styled women from many backgrounds and budgets at highly acclaimed fashion houses like Saks Fifth Avenue. Also, Felicia has a special offer for creatives do money listeners, so stay tuned for that at the end.
Eowyn Levene 1:19
Felicia, thank you so much for being here.
Phylicia Bernard 1:22
It’s my pleasure. My pleasure.
Eowyn Levene 1:24
Tell us about a moment in your life, a pivotal moment when your relationship with money and finances changed.
Phylicia Bernard 1:32
I guess I would start by saying I’m huge on mindset and diving into childhood ways to discover like why certain patterns are brought to adulthood and things like that. So I would say like the pivotal moment for me was like uncovering some of that. I definitely grew up where my parents definitely took care of me a lot. I had to want for nothing. It wasn’t that we were rich, but I was just really well taken care of. And I feel like after a certain time, it was as if like somebody came up where it’s like, I wasn’t able to take responsibility for taking care of myself. So when I uncovered that that was for me, a learning experience and new realizing that I am able to live life and not have someone take care of me for me to live a good life. I kind of felt stuck in that pattern for a long time. So me uncovering that really helped with me letting more money in, healing my financial relationship, and things like that.
Eowyn Levene 2:32
So what did that look like? Where you had an experience that you weren’t really I mean, in a certain sense, it’s a process of adulthood, right? So letting go of that foundational support of however we grew up, hopefully foundational support. So what did that look like? What was that moment where you were like, you know, you looked around and you said, this isn’t enough. I’m not I’m not really standing on my own two feet. What was that experience? Like?
Phylicia Bernard 2:56
I feel like it was a recurring event of people and things showing up in my life. And they were offering to help me. But at the same time, when that help kind of went away, I felt lost. I felt like I was then struggling like I was having a hard time. And then I actually went to therapy for a while, like, just for all different. I feel like everyone needs therapy at some point. But I went to therapy for a while. And then my therapist was the one who like pointed it out. And you know, asked me the question, and I had to agree with it. Because it was for sure. Like I felt like lost or like I didn’t know what to do. And at this point, I had already started my business too. But if I wasn’t letting go and allowing myself to take care of myself, essentially.
Eowyn Levene 3:41
And was some of that about self belief, of just knowing that you could?
Phylicia Bernard 3:45
exactly it definitely was. I don’t think because I always attribute it to being well taken care of that I then felt like on my own, I can’t even take care of myself that good. You know? So I had to then believe that yes, of course, you can take responsibility for this. You definitely know what to do. You are actually living in your purpose. You’re walking in it. So it’s like you can do this. I had to reassure myself in that.
Eowyn Levene 4:11
Yeah, I can relate to that, as I’m sure many can. I was also very well supported in childhood. And even to the extent that from my undergraduate degree, I got a lot of grants. And I worked three jobs. You know, one of them was, what do you call it, the one related to your student loans, like, Hey, we’re on what the name is, but it’s like $10 an hour you have to work on campus, and it’s part of your student aid package. So I had one of those jobs, but then I had two other jobs on top of that. So it’s not like I was sitting around, you know, having the education just fed to me. But, you know, I was contributing to what it took to do this education. But when I graduated, my dad sat me down and said, You know, I don’t think it’s fair that students in the States – so I went to college in the US I was born here grew up in England. – And so he sat me down and said, I think it’s wrong that kids in the state are saddled with debt for their undergrad. You know, it’s one thing when you go back to school, like for a graduate degree or something, he said. So there was $18,000 left in my student loans. And he said that I’m gonna take on that debt, I will pay off your 18 grand so that you’re free to live your life however you want without needing the pressure to make enough money to pay off the debt. And yeah, there’s part of me that says, I wish he hadn’t. None of that really matters. Yeah, it was my experience, it happened. There’s no changing that, you know, To me, it feels like an example of what you’re talking about when my parents really, again, like you, maybe we didn’t have a ton of money, but my personal experience was I always my needs were always met and absolutely included, like rich cultural experiences as well. Yeah. Yeah. I love that you’ve highlighted this idea of what does it take to step into your own power in your adulthood, and how that relates to how we grew up. And maybe that we didn’t have to fend for ourselves in a way that other people might have?
Phylicia Bernard 6:05
For sure, for sure. And I feel like sometimes people can look at it, like as a negative, but like, I’m grateful for the experience, like in its entirety, you know.
Eowyn Levene 6:13
Phylicia Bernard 6:13
But it’s like, I think of, you know, the cons that could have played a role in terms of like, how I, what kind of thinking patterns I had later on and things like that. But the experience as a whole was, you know, it was ideal.
Eowyn Levene 6:27
Yeah, yeah. I know, for myself, one area that came up really poignantly maybe is I had been supporting myself through my massage therapy practice when I left massage school, no, that was ticking along. And then I got really sick, and I was very reliant on my spouse to take care of my everyday needs. And that brought up a ton of stuff that I feel like I hadn’t really worked through from childhood.
Phylicia Bernard 6:52
Eowyn Levene 6:52
Really? No way! Tell me about it!
Phylicia Bernard 6:54
I had a very similar experience. Because when I started my business, it was right after I had my son. So we initially just like move in together and basically start our lives together as a small family. And I wasn’t making a lot in the beginning at all, there wasn’t much for me, they were clients were few and far between and all of that stuff. So he essentially he has his own business as well. But it’s, it always did better than mine. So he essentially had to, like take care of all the responses, and it brought up so much for me, I would be so tight in terms of asking, and I felt super triggered around the whole thing, like, Oh, my God, like I can’t even more percentage presented itself to me that I wasn’t able to take care of myself somehow, you know, and I really, really rattled with that I have to do like journaling, again, the therapy helped and all of that stuff like it was brought up a lot.
Eowyn Levene 7:47
Yeah, it’s complex, because you know, money and self worth are so bound together in our culture, which is such a mistake, but we just breathe that in as we go about life that somehow I mean, especially in the States, right, independence is just deified, really like it’s like, the be all end all of human expression is to be able to take care of yourself and to be independent and do what the heck you want to do. And yet, it’s like there’s this threat to our identity and our sense of self worth, if we’re “not able to take care of ourselves.” As if money was the only aspect of taking care of people. It’s, it’s complex. Exactly. And difficult.
Phylicia Bernard 8:26
Yeah. When you do realize it, though, it’s like a huge like, Whoa, like a weight off of your shoulders in terms of just knowing that you can actually do that and that you just had these like things that you’re holding on to all along, you know,
Eowyn Levene 8:39
yeah, yeah. Did you go through a specific process to shift your mindset or to uncover certain unconscious thoughts? Like were there journaling prompts? Did you work with someone in addition to your therapist, or was it therapy that really was the guiding light for you around that?
Phylicia Bernard 8:52
So it was a mix of things therapy, I definitely journal journaled quite a lot. And I always follow a ton of mine to teachers online. And someone I always say that is my favorite is Amanda Francis. I don’t know if you’ve heard of her online, but I follow all her. Yeah, and I love her stuff. Even I haven’t taken an actual paid course. But her free content is just amazing in itself. And it’s like everywhere, that you can actually dive into it. So that helped me a lot to in just in terms of like reframing thoughts in my mind and reframing what it actually has to mean and things like that, you know? So it was a mix of those things pile together that really helped. Hmm.
Eowyn Levene 9:30
And do you have a sense of something I’ve been getting curious about lately is what it means to like be a visual processor versus a verbal or, clearly You’re a very visual person. So you put together these amazing looks and you work with people on color and form and all of these visual aspects. Did you pull any of that into your mindset shifting work? was it written Did you have dialogue with friends did you draw Did you diagram What did you do?
Phylicia Bernard 9:58
So I feel like most of my dialogue happens with self. I feel like that’s how I best process it. So I have no shame in saying that I fully talk to myself all the time. No need to unload so much like and then once I’m done unloading that I’m able to then replenish myself with positive talk and like affirmations and things like that as well. I don’t get a lot from I don’t know, be like, I have to process it myself before I talk to someone else, you know it. Does that make sense?
Eowyn Levene 10:29
Totally. And I saw on your website, that you’re an introvert as well. So that definitely goes with it, that you’ve, you’ve sort of got your own internal world that’s really rich, and you process things. I’m similar. And it’s been an interesting thing to start podcasting and have so much verbal exchange with people in a public content way, you know, as opposed to working everything out and writing it and presenting it in written form. So it’s been a wild ride.
Phylicia Bernard 10:54
Eowyn Levene 10:56
Let’s pivot a little and have you tell people a bit about what you do and how you work with people.
Phylicia Bernard 11:02
So I’m a personal stylist who empowers women with unforgettable style and unstoppable confidence. And I usually do this through a series of one on one experiences transformational experiences, I like to describe it as that really helped women to love 100% of their wardrobe and absolutely feel like their authentic self.
Eowyn Levene 11:21
What’s an example of a couple of those experiences you take people through.
Phylicia Bernard 11:25
So the I would say the best one, or the best selling one so far is what I like to call the Triple Threat personal style system. So that is a mix of basically understanding where where her wardrobe is currently at. So it’s called a closet cleanse, we dive deep into what she has in there ready find new ways to wear it, we get rid of some stuff if it’s necessary. And breaking the energy attachment to that is usually the hardest part. But we do that and then we help to create new looks with the gems that she already owns, then we transition into shopping with intention. So intentional shopping, or guided shopping is what I usually like to describe as not as a time saver as not only a time saver, but a money saver Energy Saver, because a lot of times we are buying things, putting it into a closet, we have no idea how to wear it, we have a new event to go to. And we have a ton of things in our wardrobe, but no idea how to wear them. So instead of doing that we before we go shopping, we know exactly how these pieces are going to play a role in our wardrobe because we just cleansed and understood the basics and the foundation of building a wardrobe. And then after that we move into a segment of restyling the old and new pieces. So it’s a full on 30 day experience and transformation and of a makeover in a sense, but it’s very, it stems from the internal and then it shows up outward. Hmm.
Eowyn Levene 12:47
Yeah, that sounds amazing. Thank you. So that’s your one on one work with people. But you also do a membership, what does that look like?
Phylicia Bernard 12:54
So the membership is called Stylist in Your Pocket membership. And it’s really a way for it’s an introductory kind of experience where people are able to get very small frustrations and struggles, figure it out, find solutions to them, you’re able to ask me any and all questions within the membership, you get some level of closet organization like beginner levels, we don’t do a full on closet cleanse in it or anything like that. But we definitely, I definitely show you new ways to wear and style your pieces. If that’s something that you struggle with. If you feel like you’re always shopping and you still have nothing to wear, it’s really something for you. But I feel like the biggest portion is biggest help is the ability to be able to figure out have solutions and answers to your style struggles or problems or wardrobe issues. Hmm.
Eowyn Levene 13:43
And how does that membership dovetail with your one on one work? Like do you have sometimes members that become one on one clients? And then also one on one clients that stay in the membership after?
Phylicia Bernard 13:53
Yes. So it’s basically a mix of those two things that can go either way. A lot of people have jumped from the membership straight into the one on one work. And something that is a perk of being in the membership is that you do get a discounted rate of one on one experiences. And then most women, I feel like pretty much every woman once we have worked one on one, she jumps into the membership to be sweet. Keep me in her back pocket.
Eowyn Levene 14:19
Yeah, yeah, that makes so much sense. Because I mean, with everything in life, getting perspective can be a challenge. And having help is is huge. And especially with what we were because it can be so loaded.
Phylicia Bernard 14:31
Eowyn Levene 14:32
And there was so many options, right? Like, yeah, we only ever had 10 things to pick from like what we wear would be so easy.
Phylicia Bernard 14:38
Eowyn Levene 14:39
But there’s this unlimited variety,
Phylicia Bernard 14:41
for sure. And it’s the overwhelm that gets people a lot of times that you’re just staring at all these different things, but you’re just like, I’m not sure like a lot of times people are not sure how they’re not sure of themselves and they’re not trusting themselves with the clothing that they have already. So the foundational process, I really feel like it’s a mix of that and it’s learning your body. It’s like What colors work best for you? What silhouettes and all of that stuff?
Eowyn Levene 15:05
What about personal identity? Is that something you talk through with people as well as the part of the beginning of the one on one process of just some clarity on like, all right, who am I? And how, how do I want to show up in the world?
Phylicia Bernard 15:16
Yes. So initially, we have kind of a pre shop, or what I like to call a clarity session, where we dive deep on what that looks like for you. We talked about what it would take what it would take for you to get to your ultimate level of confidence, I often ask the question on a scale of one to 10. How confident do you feel right now? And if someone is saying a five, what would it take to get you to attend? What do you feel like the internal struggle is right now? And what do you feel when you look in the mirror and we go, we really dive deep in terms of how she’s feeling currently, and how we can take her to the next level.
Eowyn Levene 15:50
That’s so interesting. So you know Damaly as well, the photographer, so she and I just did a photo shoot yesterday, and I had three basic looks, well four. I usually don’t pay so much attention to what I’m wearing, or how it makes me feel it was just all heightened in that context. And I noticed how much more comfortable I was in one outfit compared to the other two, and it was a jeans and top combo. And it was one like there were two tops that I tried. It was one top and there’s pair of jeans. And suddenly I was like, wow, I feel like I’m two feet taller and waist stronger. And like I don’t care that anyone’s looking at me. Like I just I felt so much more in possession of myself, I felt that I truly It was like a first I was like, well, this is interesting. And I just kept focusing on trying to pose my body in the right way or whatever I was trying to do. So it’s really cool to have had an experience that really echoes what you’re saying right now I sort of get it in a way that I wouldn’t have a week ago. And I really appreciate that you offer that for people because there’s a ton of power that comes through from that, which you definitely tease out in your social media, you really bring that to the fore and help people see what’s on the other side of learning their right relationship to outfits and looks.
Phylicia Bernard 17:07
Eowyn Levene 17:08
Yeah, I know that life before styling for you was being a nurse. And I’m curious, what process you took yourself through teaching yourself styling like and how did you build that confidence in your own ability to get to the point where you would help others?
Phylicia Bernard 17:27
Yeah, that was a long journey in itself. Like I don’t when I talk about that journey, I don’t even know where to start honestly. I don’t know. I don’t know to this day, how I basically reinvented myself, you know, because nursing was I’ve always been kind of a bookworm. And in very into academia and things like that. That’s how I grew up. And that was my nature. So leaving nursing and leaving that world taught me so much about myself, you know, the good parts, the bad parts, all of this stuff, being my own boss, and all of that. But before I even became my own boss, it was mainly me doing a ton of internships. I had no connection. So it was me networking, it was me really teaching myself how to even do those things as a whole, because networking did not come easy. And it was finding an easy way to do it a way that felt easy enough for me to do it, you know. So whether or not that was online networking instead of events, but I did actually show up to a lot of fashion events and things like that, too. But it was really figuring out that part until I decided there’s nothing out there like I want to offer, you know, so I started my business as a means to find my niche in a sense of what I wanted to offer to women.
Eowyn Levene 18:43
So good. So what is your business structure look like right now? Did you create an LLC for yourself? Are you a sole proprietorship?
Phylicia Bernard 18:52
So I’m an LLC, at the moment, I was always an LLC. I wouldn’t say I knew a lot about the difference of the two when I first did it. But now I’ve learned more in terms of what that even means.
Eowyn Levene 19:04
Yeah. And what about like administration and financial management? Do you do it all yourself? What systems or programs do you use?
Phylicia Bernard 19:11
So I do it myself, I currently use PayPal or stripe for all of my incoming payments and things like that. So I feel like that helps me to manage the invoices, the amount of money coming in, and different things like that. for personal finances, I use an app called capital. And I feel like that really helps me to save like I have my other accounts like regular bank accounts like Chase and things like that. But I feel like what capital does is really helped me helps me to like put things into perspective. So like, I want to save here, or I want to attribute a little bit more money to this area or different things like that.
Eowyn Levene 19:45
So do you set goals through capital and move money around using it or is it more tracking? What does it look like?
Phylicia Bernard 19:51
Yeah, so it’s basically setting goals. It’s a lot of goal setting. So I guess it’s tracking in a sense because it does have your main bank account on hand and helps you to track your spending at the same time. But mainly I use it for the goals and to prioritize certain goals over others.
Eowyn Levene 20:10
Could you say a little bit about how you decide what your financial goals are what you want to save towards?
Phylicia Bernard 20:16
I think that just goes hand in hand with the plans that I have coming up. For instance, in 2020, to my partner, I finally getting married. So that’s a big goal. Yeah, that’s a big goal right now that we are putting money to words. I guess that’s what I would say about that, that it really goes hand in hand with what my ultimate overall picture looks like, what is the big picture look like? And where I feel like money needs to go to?
Eowyn Levene 20:42
That makes so much sense. Yeah. And that’s, that’s my version of the process that I take clients through at the very beginning for money coaching is just inviting them to sort of assess a variety of different areas of their life and say, Okay, what do I want here? And what what are the financial implications of that? Because money touches every area of life?
Phylicia Bernard 21:02
Yeah, for sure.
Eowyn Levene 21:03
So saving for a wedding, what else is some big goals that you’re saving towards?
Phylicia Bernard 21:08
So also the honeymoon, So saving for the wedding saving for the honeymoon? Is there anything else? I believe there was a? No, I actually did that already. So recently, I made a financial investment with a marketing team. So that was on my goal list for a very long time. And I was finally able to do that. So that what I was actually about to say that one is on there, so but it’s not. Yeah, it’s really good. I think those two are the biggest for right now. Oh, and paying off the home, so the finances for the home.
Eowyn Levene 21:38
Amazing. Tell me a bit more about working with the marketing team.
Phylicia Bernard 21:42
So I just started working with them to create a funnel for myself. So I’ve constantly been hearing the goodness of a marketing funnel. And I’ve also been asking myself the question of what else like how else do you market I’m not a marketer, I’m the creative. And I struggle with knowing how to market myself, like all the different platforms and things like that. And I feel like my biggest one has always been Instagram, and just word of mouth as well. But I wanted to know, other ways to really market myself and to get new clients in the door. And I feel like lead generation was also a big thing for me wanting more of that available to myself. So they’re creating a funnel for me, and we’ll be running some Facebook ads soon. So it’s a whole marketing campaign that we’ll be launching soon.
Eowyn Levene 22:27
That’s really exciting. And is it a project based relationship with them? Or will you be continuing to work with them through time?
Phylicia Bernard 22:35
So it’s a project based but I’m still basically I guess, like in talks with them as I go along. If I have questions, I’m always able to jump in and be in the group and be in the know they also run webinars at all the all the time so I’m able to listen in on that to learn more if I need to and but axing questions part I know I’ll take advantage of that, for sure. Because just the the tech side of things always gets crazy for me. So once the funnel is built out, asking questions will be huge.
Eowyn Levene 23:03
Yeah, and having that option of an expert on hand to just be like, Hey, what about this? And what about this? And should I do this or that? I feel like one of the challenges of online business life is a little bit like what I was saying about clothing before there’s just unlimited decisions. And a lot of time and energy can go into researching one option versus the other and trying to figure out what’s the most effective?
Eowyn Levene 23:27
Tell me what is the best tool that you’re using in your business?
Phylicia Bernard 23:31
I guess hands down, I would definitely say the tool that I use to intake my clients and create the workbooks for them. So it’s called You in Stripes. So it’s a completely different company. And I’m able to use them to basically manage all of the styling and of my business, which is pretty much everything. So I onboard my clients in there, they’re able to upload the items in their wardrobe that they need help styling, for instance, if it’s a membership, and when I work one on one with clients, it helps me to shop for them. And they have the links there directly that they can click on with the size they need. And just all the tools they really have every single thing I need for the styling portion.
Eowyn Levene 24:10
Wow, that’s really cool. I have never heard of that before too. I really love it.
Phylicia Bernard 24:15
And I recently invested it only in this year. So it was a time saver and a lifesaver.
Eowyn Levene 24:23
Eowyn Levene 24:25
What do you feel is the biggest obstacle that you faced financially?
Phylicia Bernard 24:31
I guess I would say I would go back to saying it’s that lead generation portion. Not having consistent flow of leads flowing in or people to who are interested or inquiring, I feel like was always a big cap to how much I can gain financially. Yeah, so I feel like it was just opening myself up to more people coming in.
Eowyn Levene 24:59
Did that question get more pressing for you, when you started the membership community when the scalability was more top of mind.
Phylicia Bernard 25:08
Not necessarily, I think what the membership came about from was me wanting to have different ranges for people who might not be necessarily ready to invest in a one on one experience, but they still needed help. And it was a way for me to give them an introductory help without being, you know, something that’s just free of charge, and not that very valuable, you know, so it was a way for me to do that at a low cost for them.
Eowyn Levene 25:35
Yeah, that’s great to have that more accessible place. Tell me a bit about who or what helps you the most with your money. And of course, it might be Qapital, but I’m curious if there’s anything else that comes up for you?
Phylicia Bernard 25:49
I wouldn’t say so. I pretty much do it all on my own right now. Definitely decided to just manage my books myself. And that was definitely an intentional decision until I feel like I’m I get to my goal income. And that’s where I think I would move into having someone else manage it for me and take care of taxes and things like that.
Eowyn Levene 26:10
Yeah. What about budgeting? Do you take yourself through a budgeting process?
Phylicia Bernard 26:15
I haven’t really and that I don’t know how that sounds? It might sound crazy, but I do not necessarily. It’s mainly, I don’t know, I guess I kind of I kind of look at the budgeting as the goal setting in a sense, I know where to allocate money in certain areas. And that helps a lot so that I am not spending everything over here and not leaving anything for the groceries or the personal life kind of expenses. So that helps. I guess that’s my kind of budgeting. Yeah,
Eowyn Levene 26:44
yeah. Your planning process takes care of that for you. Yes. And what about investing in yourself? So you talked about the marketing firm that you’re working with? Is there any other investment in yourself that you feel has been really impactful in the last year?
Phylicia Bernard 26:59
now currently, if, if anything at all it is that platform that I just mentioned the platform for all of my styling, that was kind of something that I had to think a little bit deeper on if I needed it all. And now I know for sure I needed it. But it was $85 a month, and I wasn’t sure I was interested in doing $85 a month. Yeah, and all of that stuff. So but when I finally took the plunge, and I did it, it was just like now there’s no going back. The $85 a month is well worth it.
Eowyn Levene 27:27
Yeah. And it it makes sense that you were testing that decision, because online business life can be death by many cuts of small subscriptions every month, just
Phylicia Bernard 27:39
and I have a few already. So I was just like, I don’t know if I need it, is it gonna be super beneficial, but it sounded good enough that I was willing to at least do the trial period. And then once I saw it, I was just like, okay, yes. $85 a month!
Eowyn Levene 27:54
Good. Yeah. And I’m sure it’s been freeing up so much more time for content creation, which is huge. Your content’s amazing.
Phylicia Bernard 28:00
Phylicia Bernard 28:02
Tell me about a big money goal that you have right now.
Phylicia Bernard 28:04
So my biggest money goal right now is 10 k a month, the coveted 10 k a month that everyone online was okay. But I haven’t gotten there yet. And that is one of my biggest goals, because it will really I feel like shift things a lot in terms of, again, changing how much money I allocate in certain places, or just helping me to feel a little bit more freer. And ultimately, I do know that I can feel freer around any kind of money thing right now. It’s not going to take more money for me to then feel free around it. But that is the goal for me right now.
Eowyn Levene 28:39
That’s an interesting. Yeah. So say a little more more about the experience of feeling free around money.
Phylicia Bernard 28:44
Yeah. So again, like I mentioned, I feel like my mind has a role in everything. And not just from what I hear, but that I actually practice it in my life and it makes such a difference. And I noticed when I just if I do have a goal, and I really release it, and I let the goal just be the goal, that it can be the case right now, like I don’t have to wait for something else to come in before the other thing to get done or get to a place that it needs to get to. Does that make sense?
Eowyn Levene 29:15
And yeah, it does make sense. So it’s, it’s like you’re inviting the experience of whatever you imagine the goal will offer you right now.
Phylicia Bernard 29:23
Yes exactly, and feeling the feelings of having it all and knowing that it is already here and that I’m able to, I’m already able to feel secure, in a sense, before I hit that next goal. And it doesn’t matter what that goal is, it could be a money goal. It could be some other goal, but feeling safe and secure in terms of where I am right now and knowing that the next thing is coming.
Eowyn Levene 29:45
Hmm. And do you take yourself through a daily process to build those thoughts and feelings?
Phylicia Bernard 29:50
So right now my daily process is really affirmations just like solidifying things in my mind. I feel like when I wake up, I really have to get into that spirit right away or else things can really rattle me. So I start with that, at times I do do like spiritual readings and things like that like Bible or something else that feels good to my heart. It could be listening to music, it could be journaling, it’s just something to really get me in a space of feeling good. And then from there do do affirmations.
Eowyn Levene 30:20
Hmm. What’s it been like to maintain that space for yourself during the shutdown on COVID?
Phylicia Bernard 30:26
It’s been quite hard, just simply because I’m always indoors and busy doing things. So whether or not it’s me take care of my son, whether or not it’s me getting up and knowing that I have to go right away or have a client soon. But still saying, I have to take that time for myself, I have to think this way. This is how I would like to think this experience I would like to have today, before I step into doing all of those things.
Eowyn Levene 30:51
Do you have to set an alarm for yourself? I’m curious, I’ve been, I’ve been going through this process of letting go of my idealistic picture of a morning routine. But nonetheless, like recognizing that what we do in the morning sets the tone for the rest of our day. Yeah. And I struggle with sleep. And so I have allowed myself to not set an alarm clock for a long time now, because sometimes that half an hour in the morning makes the difference between me showing up as a semi functional human being and not. So I’m curious what you structure for yourself in the morning, if anything,
Phylicia Bernard 31:23
So it’s by no means balanced. So I have to make that clear that it’s never the same every morning, you know, so but it always results. In me taking that time whether or not I do have to address something else, before I do that, or whatever they are gets tossed around, it still always gets done. Because I too, don’t have like this thing where it’s like, oh, I have to get up six o’clock every morning to be successful. Or I guess when I first started my business, I had some of that those kind of crazy talks about it. But I definitely created a space for myself where it’s just like, those things are not true for me. And I don’t need to so I don’t get up at a desk, I don’t think I set an alarm unless like my son has school in the morning. That’s really my alarm clock him having school and me having to get up to then help him get started and all that stuff.
Eowyn Levene 32:12
So it’s kind of like having these non-negotiable landscape or non negotiable landmarks in your day where you’re like, I will do this, whatever time of the day it happens.
Phylicia Bernard 32:22
Eowyn Levene 32:22
That’s kind of like it’s a combination of not rigidity, but like form, you’re like, this is the structure I need in my day. But then there’s that added flexibility because life is life.
Phylicia Bernard 32:32
Yeah, for sure.
Eowyn Levene 32:34
What do you envision for your business over the next two to five years?
Phylicia Bernard 32:39
Well, I am in the midst of basically launching a new facet to my business. So rentals, a fashion rental service. So I envision that being launched and getting out there, I really feel like it’s something it’s a valuable platform, other than it being able to provide unique, affordable rentals to women. It’ll also just be a platform to help emerging designers to really cap catapult themselves out there and build brand awareness and things like that. So I feel that I look at it as a platform for reshaping the fashion industry in a sense. So I’ll be launching a crowdfunding campaign with that and eventually get it actually launched. So within the next two years, that’s the biggest goal, as well as growing my clientele a lot and hitting that money goal. Yeah, yeah. Yeah.
Eowyn Levene 33:28
And for launching this new part of your business, emerging designer rental service, I have two questions that are quite different. One is just about crowdfunding and your plans there. And the other is something that I appreciate and notice about your social media presence is your awareness of body positivity, and how in general, the more fashion forward areas of the clothing industry don’t cater for anyone over the size of, you know, size 10 or 12 in the States. Yeah. So I want to talk a bit about body positivity and sort of expanding the accessibility of clothing. But then also, I’m curious about the crowdfunding. So start on whichever side of that you’d prefer.
Phylicia Bernard 34:11
So I definitely have clients who come to me and they are plus size and they need help for sure finding items that are stylish, are still super trendy and looks luxurious and things like that, but they’re not able to find it like it’s not out there. Usually, when you need a size oversized 12 you’re not able to find pieces that match a certain aesthetic. You’re only able to find kind of dated clothes or sometimes they are unflattering there for an older woman and these kinds of things, these kind of problems women run into and I myself when I’m shopping for them, of course I help them along a little bit better because I have a great understanding of all the plus size brands that are out there. But definitely more is needed and new perspectives on fashion are definitely needed. So the design, the emerging designers that I’ll be working with, will be creating one of a kind collections specifically for Style Ingenewity. And it will be a mix of things from straight sizes to plus sizes and everything in between. So different designers will obviously cater to different women, but they’ll be able to choose via knowing that basically what their sizes and things like that. So I definitely think it will help a lot.
Eowyn Levene 35:25
It’s really exciting that you’re going to be involved in the design process, as well as the other aspects of what you do. How did you decide to take that step of getting more involved in the clothing itself?
Phylicia Bernard 35:37
So I’ve worked with emerging designers to just help style my clients, I’ve done quite a few photo shoots with them. And I think the vision started with wanting to help emerging designers to get out there a little bit more, because just like my You’re so talented, you’re so these things are amazing. Why isn’t it in a store somewhere, whatever the case might be. And I it started with wanting fat, but then I looked at all the holes and missing pieces in the fashion industry that also needed help, too. So I felt like this was a way to do that. And not do it, where I’m just like, okay, I’ll start wholesaling from this company and that company and that company, but that I want to have like one of a kind, unique collect unique collections with a certain aesthetic that I feel like is for the bold woman, because I really, I really feel like as a whole, I speak to the bold woman, the woman who really wants to come into herself. And really, and bold means different things for every woman, you know, but a woman who wants to feel secure in herself, but also feel bold. So after it being a platform for the emerging designers, it led me into addressing the holes in the fashion industry as well. So combining those two things, platform for emerging designer, as well as helping women in a way that they really do need help in was where that collaboration came in.
Eowyn Levene 37:02
Is this going to be a branch of your existing company? Or are you starting a new one.
Phylicia Bernard 37:07
So it’s basically me starting a new one. But it’s still under the moniker Style IngeNewity, so it’s called Style IngeNewity Rentals. But it’s definitely a different business aspect as a whole. Ultimately, I would like to take Style IngeNewity into a styling firm kind of system where we’ll definitely have multiple stylists to be able to help multiple even more women. But for right now, as it’s one on one with just me, the rentals is a definitely an entirely different aspect to just styling one on one.
Eowyn Levene 37:38
So that makes me think of the crowdfunding again. What made you think of that avenue for funding the new initiative?
Phylicia Bernard 37:49
So initially, I came upon iFundWomen, I’m not sure you heard of, yes, but they are absolutely amazing in terms of what they do for women and the audience that they have. Their platform really not only helps you to raise the funds, but also helps you to validate the idea and get people listening and hearing about what it’s about. So I felt like that was a good way to not just like step into it all willy nilly. But have a plan. Have a plan in mind of how people are going to learn about this? How am I going to share about it to really build the brand from now versus waiting until like I just launch it into the world?
Eowyn Levene 38:29
That’s great. Yeah. They’re really fabulous group of people. I know their director of marketing and met some others and have a friend who did a campaign with them. And yeah, such good people to be working with. That’s awesome.
Phylicia Bernard 38:43
Eowyn Levene 38:43
So are you setting a date for yourself to begin the campaign? Are you building resources or developing relationships? Where are you at with the new the new work?
Phylicia Bernard 38:52
So it’s a mix of those things I am I’m slowly building out the campaign page and things like that, as well as I’m going to be getting coaching as well from iFundWomen.
Eowyn Levene 39:01
What are the next steps in preparing for your crowdfunding campaign?
Phylicia Bernard 39:05
So definitely, I am getting other than getting the page ready, I am getting the mission and message fine tuned. So I know exactly what the company is going to be about what I wanted to say what I want it to mean. But I really want people to connect with the message and the movement behind it. So I want people to really be involved in the process as a whole. So whether or not that’s me, choosing who the designers will be or what the sounds we will the collections and things like that we will launch with how that’s going to look what they are needing and wanting. So I feel like this part of it is me preparing for all of that.
Eowyn Levene 39:43
And so there’s going to be a campaign video and things like that, that will talk a lot more about this as a whole and what it’s going to mean for the fashion industry in a sense, but for now, I guess that’s what I can say.
Eowyn Levene 39:58
I want to just know No that we met through quote, which was an organization that brought people together in each other’s homes. Yes. And when you came over to my place for a chat, that was the first time I heard you talk about this dream of yours of creating what you’re talking about right now. Yeah. I want to acknowledge the time and dedication and tenacity that it takes to bring new things to life. Because it was a fantastic idea with a huge potential for success, whatever that was, was it maybe two years ago when we met?
Phylicia Bernard 40:40
Yes, either a year and a half? Almost two. Yeah. almost two years for three. Yeah.
Eowyn Levene 40:43
So it’s been incubating and you’ve been exploring and testing. And the reason I bring it up is not because the length of time is no worthy. It’s that it’s so common that these things take time to incubate and grow and find the right Avenue out. And I’m excited for you. And I feel like the time the time that it has spent with you incubating as an idea is part of its power. And part of its potential.
Phylicia Bernard 41:13
For sure. I agree with that. Because I think I initially, when the idea came to me, it was like, Yes, run with it, and do it quickly and get it out there. But it was like, there’s so many parts to this, that are unseen, and that will constantly be unseen. Just even the conversations and the research with designers and how much it costs to create a collection and things like that is a lot. I really have to take a step back and really understand what exactly I was getting myself into and how I can do it in the best way possible.
Eowyn Levene 41:46
I love that. Well, I’m wishing you all success with it. And I’m really looking forward to watching it grow and seeing what you do. And I appreciate you from the other side of the interweb The Other Side of New York City.
Phylicia Bernard 42:02
I appreciate that so much.
Eowyn Levene 42:03
Is there anything else that you’d like to share about money or managing your business with folks before we wrap things up?
Phylicia Bernard 42:11
No, not in particular. Do you have any money?
Eowyn Levene 42:14
I don’t think so. Well, actually, I take that back. I do. What is your favorite fruit?
Phylicia Bernard 42:19
My favorite fruit right now I want to say right now because it changes. But right now it is mangoes or mango. I love a good mango. Very sweet. Mango is my favorite.
Eowyn Levene 42:30
And you eat it just as is
Phylicia Bernard 42:32
just as is Yep, peeled. And just as sometimes I know smoothie, but that’s the only difference that I that I ever get.
Eowyn Levene 42:40
Yeah, can you tell me how you know right mango? Do you just give it a squeeze and aim for the field?
Phylicia Bernard 42:45
Yes, definitely. I feel like mangoes are pretty easy to determine. There’s some other ones that I have no idea how do I know it’s ripe but mangoes are super easy. Just Just a softer mangoes is probably the one I would go for. Yeah.
Eowyn Levene 43:02
Let’s finish with Phylicia’s special offer, which is 25% off your first month of membership of her Stylist in Your Pocket service. So to take advantage of that 25% off your first month. Visit the show notes for a special link that will get you that discount.
Eowyn Levene 43:23
Special thanks to Michael P. Atkinson for help with producing this episode and for composing its beautiful music. If you enjoyed listening today, I hope you’ll return until your creative friends and colleagues about it and also to take a moment to leave a review wherever it is that you listen. positive reviews make a huge difference in getting the word out about creatives do money. And in the meantime, wishing you all money, business and life success whatever that means to you.