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Inspiring Conversations with Courtney Smith of Sur(real) Style with Courtney

Today we’d like to introduce you to Courtney Smith.  

Hi Courtney, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
I first started my business journey in 2016 while I was still working in retail management full-time. I never really thought my business would turn into what it is today. I guess you could say I started small because I wasn’t quite sure where to start. I decided to jump in headfirst once my second child was born. My desire to work from home increased and with the encouragement of my supportive husband, we decided to take a leap of faith and have me stay home and give entrepreneurship a chance. I landed a part-time recruiting job that allowed me to work from home while I worked on strategies for running my business. 

A series of events occurred during this time as my husband received a job promotion which had us move to the Columbus, Ohio area the weekend everything shut down due to COVID-19. In turn, I ended up losing my part-time job. I took my personal styling business to the virtual side of things which I really was skeptical of but to my surprise, it is what made my business take off! I continued to grow my virtual styling business working with women all over the Midwest. Fast forward to current day my credentials continue to grow as I have an MFA in fashion merchandising, BS in psychology, and a personal styling certification. 

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle-free, but so far would you say the journey has been a fairly smooth road?
I like to be pretty transparent when it comes to being a business owner. It is not always easy and there are definite struggles along the way. It can be feast or famine when you choose this road. At least it can be for me as I continue to balance work, family, and everyday life. My biggest struggles were and still can be around overthinking things. Once I learn to let go of perfection my business seems to blossom more and more. Other struggles can be thinking small. I believe as a business owner it’s important to be your own cheerleader. I have a wonderful support system, but the moment I stop cheering for myself the lower my productivity can be. 

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your business?
My mission as a personal stylist is to empower people to find themselves through their style. I start by teaching them to utilize what they already have in their closet. I help define what their personal style truly is by bringing out their personality through their wardrobe. Each stage in life tends to affect our confidence and how we outwardly express ourselves through style. I like to keep the concept of “playing dress-up” alive and well in people’s lives. I help identify any key missing pieces to add to their wardrobe to ensure they have their own unique boutique experience when they open their own closet doors. I also love supporting small business retailers by introducing clients to other local businesses. Watching someone’s confidence boost in front of your eyes is the best feeling for not only them but also myself. Newfound confidence helps not only body image, but also personal relationships, professional growth, and just a whole new outlook on life. 

I’m most proud of the fact that I can work with people virtually and in person! Personal styling is no longer just a service celebrities use. It’s everyday people just like myself. I believe what sets me apart from other stylists is that I work with where you are and help you evolve at your pace. I don’t view my clients as a paycheck. I believe in developing a friendly relationship with my clients so that they always feel comfortable around me. Personal styling can be a very vulnerable experience for clients and I recognize that. It’s important to me to create a non-judgmental, safe, and fun environment. 

How do you define success?
Success is a state of mind. I believe success is personal and different for everyone. Me being able to get paid to do what I love and making someone’s confidence blossom is true success in my eyes. 

Contact Info:

  • Instagram: @surrealstylewithcourtney
  • Facebook: @surrealstylewithcourtney

Image Credits

Lorena Opris

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