Mom Entrepreneur: Michelle Rodriguez
Business: Well Styled
Well Styled is a wardrobe consulting company that provides friendly, private, non-judgmental “makeovers,” including a review of each client’s current wardrobe; guided/pre-shopped shopping trips to build a new wardrobe; implementation session; follow-up excursions to enhance learning; and a web-based client portal to assist with future shopping trips.
What inspired you to start your business?
In 2006, I left Corporate America and ventured into the amazing world of being a stay at home mom. In those first months I quickly realized that I “had nothing to wear.” Gone were the suits and heels, as they had been replaced with comfortable ‘work out clothes.’ Unfortunately, those clothes, while incredibly comfortable, lacked the style and panache that I craved and made me feel “with it” as a woman. I put my style instincts to use and created a new look for myself that was both stylish and comfortable; mommy basics that were perfect for my new life as a stay at home mom. And because I went from a hefty salary and bonus structure to none at all overnight, it was vital that my looks were cost conscious while able to hold up to playgrounds, play dates, and two-year-old tantrums at Target. After completing my own style makeover, I began helping other SAHMs that were in the same dilemma and, from that, Well Styled, was born.
How long have you been in business?
What did you do in your past work life?
I was in corporate sales for Quest Diagnostics.
Describe your ideal workday.
That’s a loaded question. Ideally, all pending emails sent by 5:30 am, drop off kidos at school by 7:20 am, run for an hour and cool down by 9:30am, write in blog and do some online networking with mommies like “BizzieMommy.com” by 12:30pm, go to grocery store by 2 pm. By 2:30 my work day ends, and my mommy day begins.
What have been some of your major successes?
Every single one of my clients is a major success, because I know it took a ton of courage to call me and ask for help with their image. After three years of helping women with their wardrobe, I still get chills when a woman tries on an outfit she would’ve never chosen for herself, looks in the mirror, and says, “Wow, that’s me? I look fabulous!!” Those success moments never get old.
What have been some of your major challenges?
My biggest struggles have been finding the right systems and people that mesh and understand the Well Styled business model. For example: Which Quick Books to use? Do I really need a CPA? Do I use iContact or Constant Contact? Do I write all my web copy or should I hire someone? All of that takes time, and because one’s business essentially becomes “your baby” you want to make sure that everything and everyone involved is on the same page as you. I’ve learned that if it doesn’t feel right from the beginning…move on… immediately.
On those impossible days, what motivates you to keep going?
A 20-30 minute nap!
Do you have a motivational quote?
Never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever give up!
What is your balancing secret in managing a business and family?
I am an early bird, so most of my administrative tasks are done between 3:30 – 6:30 am. Sounds crazy, but I get so much accomplished while everyone is sleeping and the house is at a perfect stillness. .
If there was one piece of advice you could give to your children about running a successful business, what would it be?
I tell the boys this all of the time, “You can do ANYTHING you want to do, as long as it makes you the happiest person alive!”
Do you have a favorite business tool and/or resource?
Hands down, my Black Berry. It has allowed me to do so many mini-tasks during the day, so that I am physically and mentally “there” for my family in the evenings.
What is next for your business?
Franchising Well Styled. In the past year we’ve developed an amazing kit for business savvy/style conscious mamas.
Your two cents sales pitch
“You’re perfect the way you are. Lets get you dressed.”
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