“So many people will say not to mess with a good thing. I say do what lights you up and feels like your deepest personal offering. That’s what will keep you in business. Here I am, 10+ years later!”
Name: Lillian Charles (she/her/hers)
Business Name: Lillian Charles, style therapy
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Describe your business:
Style Therapy combines traditional Personal Styling with Energy Healing, Intuitive Consulting and scientifically backed life coaching methods to help women uncover layers of themselves that hold them back from expressing their true Self.
Founded in Atlanta, GA by Lillian Gray Charles in 2011, Style Therapy is now an online-only service that supports women across the globe.
Tell us about your self-employment journey.
I completed undergrad with a BA in Women Studies and French with hopes of becoming a midwife. As I worked through nursing pre-reqs and put in loads of volunteer hours post-college, I felt like something was missing.
I knew I wanted to work with and support women but healthcare felt less and less like the right fit. I started selling jewelry in a trunk show style setting and realized a few things:
- Just how badly women need other women
- How afraid women were of being judged
- How lost so many women felt when it came to picking out something as simple as jewelry
- I had the solutions for all of these issues – naturally and intuitively.
I began offering to help women in their homes and carried a notebook of services around to trunk shows! Very soon after I was asked to speak for a variety of clubs, businesses, organizations about what it meant to dress based on how you desire to feel.
From that point I was featured in several local magazines, many, many podcasts and the word about my business just kept (and continues) to spread.
What area of your business are you most passionate about?
I work with a lot of type-A, super productive, “heavy hitting” women. So many of them have been trained to grab life by the horns and go super hard out in the real world.
They’re hustlers. And. They are lacking gentleness in the way that they speak to and view themselves.
My passion is definitely turning that internal dialogue around to be positive and supportive vs. competitive and aggressive. That gentleness-for-self work is the most rewarding aspect of my business.
What’s the most valuable thing you learned early in your career that has contributed to your success?
Even if it’s really popular to do business or show up on social media a certain way, if it costs you your peace or authenticity, it isn’t worth it.
Somehow I always understood that if I were to deviate from my sweet spot: self-inquiry and how it lends itself to Style – I’d be screwed! If I stay with what actually lights me up and resonates, I’ll do just fine.
There were seasons and years where I was doing “doing the same thing” as years prior. And doing it well. But I was bored. So I changed things up.
So many people will say “don’t mess with a good thing.” I say do what lights you up and feels like your deepest personal offering. That’s what will keep you in business. Here I am, 10+ years later!
What’s a recent project that you’ve worked on that you’re really excited about?
I’m so, so excited to have just launched The Energetics of Stye – a combination of all of the courses I’ve created to date. The courses in this academy lead people through the exact steps that I used in closets for the first eight years of my business.
In guiding women through a holistic process of how to get dressed well and authentically, women begin to understand that they are so much more than a brand, size or trend.
How has forming an S Corp helped you level up your business?
This is my first year as an S Corp. I will say working with Collective has felt like an immense sigh of relief!