I caught up with Celebrity Stylist and boutique owner Sonya Marie who is based out of Chicago. This southern belle originally from North Carolina has been one busy Superwoman over the past year and has experienced massive growth at a rate of speed she is just now getting a handle on…or so she thinks. As an ambitious married woman with big dreams, I thought it would be cool to catch a glimpse into the day in the life of a fashionista.
As someone who basically remains behind the scenes and makes it her job to see that everyone else shines with her fashions and keen sense of style, I wanted to see who the woman behind all the glitz and glamour REALLY is.
Vicki: Sonya, I have been watching you explode on the scene and gain this massive popularity in such a short period of time and truthfully I am in awe. How did all of this happen?
Sonya: Most people don’t know it but I have a Bachelors in criminal law and a Master’s degree in public policy. My dream was always to become a lawyer but I ended up working in fashion. However all of the accounting classes I took and the things I learned in college that I originally avoided, I now apply to my business.
I started out just doing jewelry that I was making myself and received such a great response that eight months later I decided to introduce clothing. So in total I have been in business about one and half years.
Vicki: I see lots of online boutiques what sets you apart from all the others?
Sonya: I think my long-time experience and love for fashion, I have 10 years working experience with a major fashion house and I styled people and I managed other stylists. So I have put in my dues and really learned the business from the inside out. In addition, I don’t think you have to wear all designer clothes or spend big money to look good, I work with everyday women and can make them look great at an affordable rate. My clients are always best dressed when they go out and usually for a fraction of the cost.
So in essence I have the boutique where you can order my clothes on line and then I have a separate service where if you want items not on line, I can shop for you and search for other things that are unique. I have many VIP clients who do not want to wear what others have on and so they pay for exclusivity.
I also work with other prominent stylists who come to me to wardrobe their clients, so I have established a great working relationship with them.
Vicki: Who are some of the celebs you have worked with?
Chante dressed by Sonya at Essence
Sonya: I have dressed Chante Moore and I actually designed the dress she wore to R&B Divas LA premiere party in LA. Claudia Jordan hired me to come on the set of the VH-1 TV Show Tiny Tonight and dress her, so I got to see my work on the big screen which was cool. Claudia is one of the hosts and I continue to provide her with clothes. I have dressed Lil Mo from R&B Divas, singer Tweet wore my jewelry on the cover of latest EP and I have dressed gospel singer Amber Bullock in addition to her wearing my jewelry.
I have also partnered with ORS to dress Ms. Latina US for LA Fashion Week and I dressed Miss University of Maryland Eastern Shore.
Vicki: Wow, that’s a lot of celebrity clientele for only a little over a year in business, congratulations! I see you are also dressing some prominent people, who else are you working for right now?
Claudia Jordan (left) named best dressed styled by Sonya
Sonya: Yes, I am happy to be dressing the first family of DuPage County’s NAACP. I am excited!
Vicki: What aspect of your business do you enjoy the most?
Sonya: Feeling fabric and looking at dresses, if it was up to me I would work with my clients one on one live in person more often. I love to be there and help them dress and get everything just right.
Vicki: Who is your biggest supporter in the lonely world of entrepreneurship?
Sonya: I definitely rely on a higher power! I have learned that a lot of people just don’t get it or the struggle that comes from running your own business. I am fortunate to have a core group of Sonya Marie supporters who count on me for fittings and clothes and they help to keep me motivated when it gets tough. It also helps for me to reflect on how far I have come and that gives me the strength to keep pushing. And then I have days I have to completely shut down and have what I call a much needed mental health break.
And of course my husband has my back no matter what, he has supported me in my business from day one!
Despite Personal Tragedy Sonya Marie Emerges Stronger
Vicki: I want to ask you about something that I can personally relate to, you recently lost your baby to a miscarriage, how are you coping and getting through?
Sonya: One day at a time. Normally I am very happy, but I have days when I see things that remind me and I just break down and cry. I remind myself that all things happen for a reason and that I am still healthy. I try not to force anything, I rely on God and my faith and dive into fashion to help me cope and escape, I like to stay busy.
Vicki: Where do you see yourself in 2-3 years?
Sonya: Nationally known and an image consultant. I see exclusive items designed by Sonya Marie and eventually my own men’s line as well. When I get there, my ideas and thoughts will come to life for every type of woman and man. I plan to have major exposure.
Vicki: How do you convince people to get out of their box and try something new? Seems like we all get stuck in a rut and need pushing to try a new look or new make up.
Sonya: I like to magnify what they feel their best asset is. If it’s the legs we showcase those. But if you don’t feel comfortable with a certain body part, I will never push you to show it because when you don’t feel good about yourself it shows. So I am huge on dressing for body type.
Vicki: Do you pay attention to trends?
Sonya: I do pay attention to trends and make it my business to keep up but I look more at the individual and their lifestyle. If a person is dressing for corporate America, I will keep it corporate and play with colors to make it fun. So it really depends on your personal style and what you have going on.
Vicki: Sonya thank you for taking the time to speak to Superwoman Lifestyle, can’t wait to see where you are in another year!
Sonya: Thank you Vicki, I appreciate the opportunity!
You Too Can Look Like A Star With Sonya Marie Fashions…
Check out Sonya’s fashions at www.BySonyaMarie.com