Tell us briefly about your personal and professional brand
My name is Joan Vincent-Otiono, the line between personal branding and professional branding is very blurry and I’m a living example of that. I come from a family of 8, being the second born child I’ve always felt fiercely independent as well as the need to take care of myself and prove something in such a huge family.
I have been in love with fashion from birth and as a confirmed shopaholic, I always bought all styles of clothes that spoke to me at the time. I spent lunch money on clothes and every birthday cash I received, I’d use on clothes, making sure I get the most clothes for the best deals. I loved dressing myself up as well as my siblings for different family functions. I’d do that, stand back and watch my masterpiece in sheer joy.
We basically had same body sizes, and even though I’d like to be selfish with my clothes, I also felt the need to use my stash to dress them up appropriately when we go out slaying as a team.
What inspired the creation of your brand?
I felt the need get people back in love with taking care of their looks and getting excited to dress up, whether it is to sell themselves for success, to re-brand themselves, start a new beginning, or just to showcase style.
‘Styled by Lady J’ is a result of my love for fashion and the need to reignite a fashionable society. To me, fashion is a distinctive and often constant trend in the style in which a person dresses. The fact that some people still do not understand how fashion is everything from how you to look in a job interview or how you look walking down the isle. Be it a social outing or just a casual get together, Fashion is life.
‘Styled by Lady’ was created to inspire fashion in the lives of every single person and these people are not just the celebrities, fashionistas, or supermodels but everyone. The creation of the Styled by Lady J brand is based on my personal philosophy that ‘All (people) are equal in the world of Fashion’. It’s not only the Presidents, Aristocrats or important personalities that should be styled; everybody deserves a stylist.
Creativity as a tool for business growth, what is your opinion?
Creativity is at the very core of my business and its growth. Any upcoming business in 2017 or the 21st century will need to have a creative side to it, especially one in the Fashion industry. I’ve always been someone who loved to get inspired by things. I get a thrill from just the mere thought of an item, a person or an experience creating ideas in my mind. To me, creativity is a phenomenon whereby something new and valuable is formed.
What is your business approach?
Everyday, I create a new style, unique yet essential and I share it to the world.I share my fashion trends, styles and inspirations through social media(Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter) thus creating an electronic online styling database for the world to see. I post trends and styles that are unique yet valuable.
We see more of Art in your products, what inspires you?
Inspirations come very easy to me but I think what inspires me the most are people. Every person has a different story and I always try to express feelings and emotions in my work. There is a different style for every person. Styling and fashion are art while people are my muses.
What is your present frustration or challenge in your field of business?
The main challenge I face is the Nigerian society’s ignorance towards the styling and fashion industry. People look at stylists like they are disposable and do not take them seriously. Although significant strides have been made towards removing this societal issue, it’s not yet sorted. Today, people go to make-up artists, hair stylists and photographers for specific events which is a progressive move but they have still not gotten to the point where styling is seen as a real occupation.
Another main challenge in my line of work especially as an upcoming stylist, is the constant job-seeking and marketing. I guess most jobs have their own fair share of this. As a stylist you always have to be on the ball. You have to aggressively search for bookings and appointments and you always have to advertise your brand.
It is a very tedious activity in the Nigerian society because you tend to have to educate the public first about what styling is and why it’s necessary before they even consider getting you to style them.
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