Before I introduce Chi@Glance March Spotlight feature I want to remind you why I started blogging. Although I work for a great company, I began to realize my chosen field (Finance) wasn’t fulfilling my creative side. I have friends in marketing, PR, HR….that have all sorts of “fun” careers and I wanted to tap into the creative mind I know I too have. I constantly go out a lot and I’m usually the “go to” person for things to do around Chicago. In steps my lifestyle blog site creation Chi@Glance. (Chi-At-A-Glance)
Being a lifestyle blogger has changed my life in so many ways. I’ve had the opportunity to interview celebrities, preview places before they open, make extra income, and most importantly connect with people I may not have otherwise met.
I use my blog to not only showcase new restaurants, events, etc….but I like to shine the spotlight on Chicagoans that make our city a better place to live in. Now for those that don’t know, I am not a full time blogger, although I know it comes off that way. 🙂 I’m working to hopefully one day be in a full time creative field position, but for now blogging is my side hustle and passion. I love this quote from Mark Zuckerberg:
“Having a side project is one of the most important things young professionals can do. Often that’s one of the best ways people can show passion and leadership.”
Mark Zuckerberg said he’s learned more from his side project (Facebook) than he did from Harvard. Although not everyone’s extracurricular pursuits become there full time careers…..with determination and dedication, some people’s do.
Our March Spotlight feature is shining the light on a determined woman that took her side hustle and made it into her full time career. Chi@Glance is shining the Spotlight on Tamika M. Price. Tamika is the owner of Standout Style Boutique, Author of the book Standout Style, Career Coach, and Wardrobe stylist. Tamika’s entrepreneurial story is one of persistence, determination, and believing in oneself. I was so motivated to keep going in my own pursuits after I interviewed her and I hope you feel the same way after hearing her story.
Tamika success is a true rag to riches story. She was homeless during much of her youth from the age of 10 to 16. Her family either stayed with other family members or shelters. During that time she still managed to graduate high school with a 3.9 GPA and graduate NIU with honors with a degree in Corporate Communications. As a young girl Tamika always envisioned herself as a business woman. When she graduated college in 2007 she joined the corporate world, but still fulfilled her love of fashion on the side. After her 9 to 5 corporate job, she moonlighted as a wardrobe stylist/personal shopper. She loves helping women find the perfect fit for their body, budget, and lifestyle. Six months into her corporate job in November 2008 the heart of the economic downturn hit close to home and she was laid off.
Instead of panicking she decided to go full throttle into her side business. Now Tamika will be the first one to tell you the quote “If you build it they will come” is total BS. She did her research in order to make sure her short and long term plans were feasible.
Tamika said “You have to ask yourself what kind of business are you trying to start? Don’t try to grow before you have the market. I didn’t open my storefront until several years after I had my clientele and made a name for myself in Chicago. Even then it was still hard.”
Tamika built her clientele by hitting the pavement, donating her time for free, and building her portfolio. She doesn’t believe everything you do in the beginning should be for free, but it’s a reality if you have no experience you have to pay your dues first. Tamika would do photoshoots for free and created a Charity Fashion show called “Dangerous Curves Ahead.” Dangerous Curves Ahead gives makeovers to moms in need. The makeovers include wardrobe and hair/makeup styling. Afterwards the women walk the runway. Although she does this to help women, it also helped to get her name out and uplift the community at the same time. Tamika believes you have to serve before you can lead and you must set yourself up to succeed.
Tamika’s career has taken off after that one major decision to go into business for herself. She’s been sharing her inspirational story and also works as a motivational coach to help other women to succeed in their business. Tamika has been featured on WGN, NBC Channel 5, Windy City Live, Rachel Ray, Black Enterprise, Jet, WVON, etc…just to name a few.
Why is Tamika M. Price of Standout Style Boutique a Chicagoan we should know?
“I feel like I represent the grind of Chicago. Going from roach motels to sleeping in cars to now I have my own store and I’m growing, helping other women grow. That’s the spirit of Chicago. Get up, get out, and get yours. Outside of Chicago people give Chicago a bad name. Everybody either says how much they love Chicago or they talk about the violence, but I’ll check them on that. Lol. We aren’t as dangerous as the media makes us appear. Chicago has an unmistakable energy. When I travel and come back I love the energy of Chicago and I match that energy.”
Tamika can’t believe it’s almost been 10 years in general since investing in herself and her business. Standout Style Boutique first opened in March of 2014 on the Northside of Chicago. She decided to expand the storefront and be closer to her client base, so she relocated Standout Style Boutique to Bridgeport in 2016. She is still in awe she owns a piece of the streets she used to live on. Tamika describes the boutique as a woman clothing store where classic meets modern, while infusing trends with must have style staples. The price point is moderate. Generally there is nothing over $150.00 and that’s usually something like a coat. Tamika is very big into spoiling her clients. When you come in the store it’s like shopping with your very own personal stylist. There’s water, wine, and coffee on hand. Tamika takes the time to figure out what it is her clients are looking for and it shows in her repeat customer base.
Everything can’t be found within the boutique. If Tamika doesn’t have what the client is looking for, she does her best to try to help them find it and reaches out to her connections. Tamika founded the membership group “Brown Boutique” earlier this year. It’s a membership group with women of color in the Chicagoland area with a focus on fashion, beauty, and lifestyle businesses. They focus on growing their businesses together, collaborating, and supporting one another. There’s about 35 members ranging from caters, graphic designers, massage therapist, and the list keeps growing). Tamika believes in collaborations and uses Stand Out Style Boutique to host various women focused events. Tamika said “I love collaborations. Even with other clothing boutiques. People are going to buy what they are going to buy, so it doesn’t matter, competition is nothing to focus on.” I love how Tamika is so straightforward and willing to share what help her to grow and strengthen her brand. Check out our one on one interview below where Tamika shares more career advice, style trends, and how to stay focused.
Tavi J. One on One Interview with Tamika M. Price
You had a hard time growing up, but still managed to graduate high school with a 3.9 GPA and you graduated college with honors. What advice would you give when choosing a major, networking, internships, etc?
I would say don’t take the easy route. If you have the mental capacity for a stem industry then do it, but not everybody enjoys math or understands it. It’s a language and I felt I didn’t speak that language. If you can get into that or some kind of entrepreneurial program. A lot of colleges are offering that now outside of the normal business school. Have a few options you want to do and build from.
Your fortunate your side hustle turned into a full time career. How many side hustles do you have going on now?
I offer women entrepreneurs coaching on their sales, marketing, and PR strategies. I like to work with new and emerging brands and I have to make sure it’s a good partnership. I can only do so much. I can show you what works and guide you, but you have to put in the work in order for it to be successful. I want my clients to succeed.
When did you know it was time to make the leap and get your own storefront?
I started to foreshadow my future and wanted to get away from the whole Macy’s and Nordstrom. Nothing against retail chains but they aren’t giving me anything for bringing in thousands of dollars to their store. I wanted to start something for a creative space and also to give my clients a walk in closet experience.
How do you pick the Merchandise?
It’s so hard!!! You think some things are not going to be received well, but those fly off the shelf and vice versus. I source items at trade shows. Once you get a nice vendor list of who you want to buy from you can really go from there. I also have a few locally sourced items.
How do you keep up with trends?
Tradeshows, looking online, trend forecasting. Im not a slave to trends. I much prefer to fit my clients in items with the right cut and color scheme. Also, nothing is really a trend. Everything comes back in style. For example when someone says “floral prints are in”….there always in. LOL. Just focus on the cut of the garment, how it fits and flows. It’s cool to know trends, but it’s even better to understand what your consumer wants.
What sizes does Standout Style Boutique carry?
Small to 3XL
What do you want your legacy to say about you?
Tamika was a great help and a blessing. My goal is to not only make a profit myself, but to help female Entrepreneurs launch and grow successful brands. I always tell clients to not just say they want to grow their business but scale it.
What plans do you see for yourself and Standout Style Boutique?
I definitely see myself in a millionaire status. Too many people feel bad about voicing that or think its not obtainable. If you focus on helping people instead of making more money…then the money will come. I want to help as many women as possible grow their businesses. I love hearing from someone that my advice helped them. I hosted a class on “How to get your business on TV.” A woman from the class called me so excited because she got on a radio show after taking the class. There is room in this industry for ALL of us. I want all of us to win and not compete.
Okay so how motivating was Tamika story for all of us out here hustling with our businesses/side businesses?!? Remember if there is a will there is way! Make sure to keep up with Tamika on social media and you definitely need to check out Standout Style Boutique in Bridgeport or online.
Tamika M. Price
Stand Out Style Boutique
3353 S. Morgan, Chicago, IL 60608
EVENT Alert: Stand Out Style Boutique is turning 4! Weekend Celebration March 17th and March 18th. (Sips, Bites, Sales, New Arrivals, and more!) For more details and to RSVP click HERE.
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