For many entrepreneurs and small businesses, social media can be an absolute game-changer! All it takes is one viral post and a business can suddenly take off.
At Like A Voss Social Media, we’re highlighting local businesses and entrepreneurs who are killing the online game. This week’s spotlight is on Jesse Louise of ClosettCandyy!
ClosettCandyy is a personal styling, shopping, and consulting service offering the services you need to reach your style goals and feel confident in your skin.
These style services are available individually or can be combined in a package to suit your personal needs. Services include but are not limited to: Personal Style Analysis, Closet Audits, Wardrobe Shopping, Outfit Styling, Suitcase Packing, Style Parties, Workshops—and more!
Our girl Sabrina C. interviewed Jesse Louise of ClosettCandyy about their secret to success in business and in life. We also got some awesome insights into what she thinks makes social media such an effective tool in business.
A Little Bit About Being a Female Entrepreneur
First off, I wanted to say how much I admire how genuine you are about your mission and how many women you’ve empowered thus far in feeling amazing in their clothing. How long have you been in business?
Thank you so much! I appreciate that. I just had my two-year business anniversary in September. However, I do feel it’s important to mention I took a 5-month break from ClosettCandyy to work for Chris James during the months of September 2018 to January 2019. I was feeling very burnt out for a variety of reasons and needed to step back and take care of my mental health.
What advice would you give to other businesses and entrepreneurs who want to use social media as a way to connect with customers?
We need to stop caring about the numbers and use the platforms as the tools they are. Instagram and Facebook are businesses too. They want to make money, which is why they keep changing the algorithms and making us pay for our content to be seen. It’s a game I frankly don’t want to play.
Customers these days want to know who they’re buying from. I recommend using social media to communicate who you are, why you do what you do, and the people you help. They want to make a connection with you and your brand. Use your social media platform to educate, showcase, celebrate others and build community. Changing your strategy is also a way to enjoy the content you create and release too. When it’s a numbers game, there’s no real heart behind what you’re putting out into the world and people can tell.
What advice would you give to your younger self who was just starting out on this adventure?
The greatest advice I could ever give myself or anybody is to understand and live your life by the four agreements, which is another life-changing book I often come back to:
- Be impeccable with your word
- Don’t take anything personally
- Don’t make assumptions
- Always do your best
And if I had to add to that, spend time learning about yourself and what makes you tick—in the lightness and the dark. Always stick up for yourself and what you believe in, but keep an open mind. Learn how to respond mindfully to the things life throws at you. Embrace what makes you unapologetically you instead of trying to change things. One day you’ll realize you’re exactly what you needed all along.
Owning a small business is no small feat but completely worth it. What is one obstacle you faced and how did you overcome it?
I think the biggest obstacle I faced in the last two years was the war with myself and self-doubt. It’s human nature to overthink, self-doubt, and even self-sabotage —but all of that is heightened when you’re an entrepreneur and you’re building an entire business off your own ideas and the change you want to make. The biggest difference between this year and last year is my relationship with myself and that nasty inner voice (her name is Sally) that constantly told me my ideas weren’t needed or that people didn’t like me. Once you can learn how to quiet that inner voice, your life (and business) will change drastically.
I didn’t get here alone or easily. I did the hard work and continue to. I go to therapy monthly, have a daily journaling practice, and I keep coming back to reading two life-changing books; The War on Art and The Icarus Deception. I tell myself one thing I love about myself every day and go into detail about why. I’m rewiring my brain to be a champion for positivity and problem solving because for 28 years the narrative was the opposite.
We know you are all about empowering women and we absolutely LOVE that! Sometimes we’re really hard on ourselves and get into a funk. What is your go-to mantra and one that you would share with others to help you get out of that funk?
I’ve found that when I get into a funk, it’s because I’m not feeling connected to myself and my values. It’s as if too much outside noise has crept in and I don’t know where I stand. I don’t really have a go-to mantra, but I have a couple of practices that help me get back to that centred place of inner peace and love.
- DANCE BABY DANCE. This is the first thing I try to do. I have a couple of go-to playlists on Spotify. One is called ‘favourites’ and another is called ‘feel-good music’. I’ll search for a song I’m feeling and then I’ll sing and dance to it in my kitchen. Dance has always been a big part of my life and my identity, so that’s why I start here. Sometimes though, the vibes are so low that this doesn’t even help.
- Stretching/Laying + Music. If dancing doesn’t work, it might be because I’m in a more intense place and dancing just sounds ridiculous. Instead, I’ll put on my ‘keep calm’ or ‘feels’ playlist (or put headphones on so the music really sinks in) and just lay down, or stretch in my body. I love stretching because it helps me feel more connected to my body, which in turn helps me feel more connected to my soul. I’ll listen to songs that make me cry and release anything that needs to be. This is a great way I cleanse my spirit and I often feel renewed afterwards.
- Have a Conversation with Yourself/Close Friend. You know when you feel bad for the thoughts your having and you feel like you wouldn’t dare tell anyone? Trust me, you can. You can tell yourself or you can tell your closest friend and I swear you’ll feel better. We’ve all had negative, gossipy thoughts about other people before and they’re just that—a thought. Have a venting conversation with a friend or even yourself in the mirror to really let out whatever you’re feeling. We can’t keep our feelings inside and expect to feel better. Take it a step further and ask yourself WHY you might feel the way you do. That will help you get to the root and might bring up a big sigh of relief.
- Connect to Your Values. Write down what you want from your life and ask yourself, what can I do to get closer to that today? Sometimes all we need is to ask ourselves that question.
- Go For A Drive + Car Jam Session. Going for a drive always clears my head and allows me to release the tension I’ve been feeling. If I’m angry, I’ll scream in the car or I’ll just vent about what’s bothering me. And then I’ll sing along to some of my favourite songs and start to feel the joy bubble up inside of me and then all will be right in my world again!
I also often come back to this quote because it reminds me that life is about so much more than what we often worry about:
Note To Self: “What is my purpose in life?” I asked the void. “What if I told you that you fulfilled it when you took an extra hour to talk to that kid about his life?” Said the voice. “Or when you paid for that young couple in that restaurant? Or when you saved that dog in traffic? Or when you tied your father’s shoes for him? Your problem is that you equate purpose with goal-based achievement. God or the universe or morality isn’t interested in your achievements…just your heart. When you choose to act out of kindness, compassion, and love, you are already aligned with your true purpose. No need to look any further.”
You know I follow you religiously on social media and I’m so proud of how far you’ve come. What has been your favourite project that you’ve worked on thus far?
That’s a tough question because this year has been one I’m proud of! It’s the first year where I haven’t had a significant cloud of self-doubt over my head and was able to cross two major goals off my bucket list: styling a lookbook for a local company, and bringing a creative vision to life through styling and creative direction. If I had to choose, I would say the Fancy That Lookbook was my favourite project to work on because it required me to use a variety of my skills, pushed me out of my comfort zone, and connected me to the most incredible group of people. My goal was to curate a realistic lookbook of models and outfits that customers would resonate with. I didn’t want to promote an unattainable image and style—I wanted those who looked at the photos to see themselves. I was in charge of coordinating 10 models, styling two outfits each with corresponding locations. I loved every single stage of this project and can’t wait to do it again so I can apply what I learned from last time.
And Now Onto The Social Media Questions!
What made you decide to start using Instagram & Facebook as a way to promote your company?
It was a no brainer because that’s where everyone was hanging out! I’ve been using Facebook since ClosettCandyy launched as a blog back in 2010 and I’ve always been a big fan of it. I can remember how excited I was to have a page on the internet where I was not only able to share my thoughts and feelings about clothes and personal style but have people share in that excitement with me. Instagram was a bit of a different story. I avoided it for a while because I knew I would become addicted to it. I’m such a visual person, having a place to look at photos all day was not something I wanted to introduce to my life. But eventually, I caved and it’s been a very complicated relationship since, which I talk about a lot on my platform. Instagram can be an incredible tool to communicate your message and connect with like-minded people if you treat it that way and avoid using it as a means to fill an insecure void, which I did at the beginning.
Do you have a favourite social media platform?
Hmmm… I don’t think I do! They each provide value. I reach a different audience on Facebook than Instagram and I really enjoy the conversations that happen on both platforms. I love Instagram Stories for the ability to have real talk in real-time with my community. I enjoy using all of the engagement features to collect feedback, like polls and questions. I’m also a big fan of Pinterest simply because of the work that I do. A big part of my client onboarding process is developing a Style Board that aligns with my client’s personal style. This is a collaborative, back and forth process that I don’t think would be as seamless without Pinterest.
How has social media impacted your business? Would you say that it’s an effective marketing tool?
Oh man, social media has been a major roller coaster! Piggybacking on my answer to question two, I think social media is an effective marketing tool if you use it as one. This means, looking at things like numbers and engagement objectively and not personally. This is something I still work on constantly because the humanity of my business is very important to me. I want to let people know what I’m up to and the services I offer, but I never want to shame someone into booking with me through a marketing campaign. I speak to what I know and believe in, and social media has been the greatest tool to showcase the work that I do and reach the people who might need me.
You have been on such an incredible journey with ClosettCandyy and we’ve watched your evolution, thus far! Where do you see this journey headed? What is in store for ClosettCandyy in the next 5 years?
Thank you! My focus for the next 5 years is to really hone in on the business side of ClosettCandyy and work on refining my processes to not only improve the client experience but to create more efficiencies in my workflow. I kind of just jumped into the business when I found myself out of work 2 years ago, and I never went through a true branding or business building process. I want to rebrand with new colours and fonts, build a new website with a focus on client style stories and helpful resources, create a series of workshops to host all over the world… and hopefully, acquire a few teammates during that time as well. IT’S ALL VERY EXCITING!
We wish you all the best in your upcoming adventures. We know you’ll be doing more amazing things and empowering everyone you meet!
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Do you know a female entrepreneur who loves social media as much as we do? Contact us today – we’d love to tell her story!