Junior launches styling business for women on a budget
Junior marketing major Elise Sanchez always loved fashion, but recently she realized that her passion within the industry was helping everyday women feel beautiful.
In September 2018, Sanchez started working on a personal styling business, P.S., centered around dressing women on a budget.
Sanchez launched the P.S., or personal stylist, website on Feb. 14, 2019. The business consists of style consulting, and outfit purchasing—all done by Sanchez.
Sanchez said customers take a quiz on her website where they can identify their body size, budget, type of clothes they want, and any additional details. The overall budget options range from under $60 to $140 and up. After receiving the request, Sanchez searches for the best outfits wherever she sees fit, and stays in contact with customers throughout the process.
“In the box, you’ll get your clothes and then you’ll get this letter from me with tips on how to wear the clothes and a little encouragement,” Sanchez said. “Like if someone’s going on a date I’ll say something like ‘Oh my God girl have so much fun on your date, you’re gonna look amazing.’”
P.S. boxes are delivered per request of the customers their needs, and the timing of delivery varies because of the customization process.
Sanchez said she aims to show young women that clothing can help build confidence and that learning how to dress for one’s specific body type is a fashion game changer.
“I’m a huge believer that [fashion] can change your whole mood,” Sanchez said. “The reason why I get ready is not for other people, it’s for myself. If I’m ready and if I’m presentable, I’m going to have a good day and I just know I’m going to be more productive.”
Sanchez found that she wanted to combine her love for fashion with her desire to inspire women to be themselves after she added an entrepreneurial study minor to her transcript.
“For a while, I wanted to be a celebrity stylist but then I realized I love the interaction I get with girls doing amazing things, and that was what inspired me,” Sanchez said. “I want to use clothes to empower women and show my customers the amazing things that they can do.”
Sanchez said she wants people to look at her customers and see confident women in the real world who achieve their goals in amazing clothes. Sanchez currently hopes to focus on a younger demographic of women, around 18-21 years old.
“I want to create a community where people can look at it and be like, ‘Wow these girls are doing amazing things,’ and ‘Hey, I’m actually like her,’” Sanchez said. “Different than when you look at a blogger and go ‘Wow she’s beautiful and those are awesome clothes, but I can’t afford that and I look nothing like her.’”
Sanchez also works as an employee at Injeanius, a clothing boutique in the North End. Sanchez said she witnesses many girls who enter the store without confidence because they don’t know how to dress for their body types. She said she wants to help people like them realize their potential.
“I remember I pulled these pants for a girl once and she goes ‘These are skinny girl pants,’ and I go ‘No, girl. These are the opposite, these are for curvy girls,’” Sanchez said. “People like us wear these pants and we look even better. The customer tried them on, bought them, and looked so confident and had a huge smile on her face. It’s just little moments like that, that make clothes so much more than materials.”
Sophomore Dominic Chambers-Salce takes photographs and films Sanchez’s daily looks and the fashion events she attends, to create visual content for Sanchez’s blog and future YouTube channel.
“She has always been such a determined person but seeing her actually launching a business like this before the age of 25 is incredible,” Chambers-Salce said in a phone interview. “I’d love to keep working with her in the future as well. We always joke about working together after college and I’d really love to.”
Sanchez said she won’t start putting together the boxes until the end of spring, because she wants to perfect the details, and better understand what her customers want from the service.
Sophomore Laura Frometa, Sanchez’s first and only client so far, helped Sanchez start to gauge what customers want in their styling.
“I think the process is really good because she had the one-on-one consultation with me, which I think i
t’s very helpful to the whole styling,” Frometa said in a phone interview. “Then she went out and did the shopping, and kept in contact with me during it. And it worked out very well.”
Sanchez sends customers options and updates them, either through text or email, to confirm that they want the product before she makes a purchase. Sanchez is still deciding on a tip amount, which will be added to the clothing price and shipping fee.
Frometa said she decided to try personal styling because it felt like the perfect opportunity to try something new and let someone else give her tips on how to wear a certain piece of clothing.
Sanchez will host a promotional event at 4th Wall Restaurant & Bar in the Theater District on March 24. The event—a shop, swap, and style brunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.— will be open to the public. Attendees can bring in old clothes and receive tickets in return to swap for other clothing. Entering will be free, but the restaurant will be open for purchases.
Sanchez said she hopes to use this event as an opportunity to meet potential customers and connect with the young women there.
“At the end of it, I want to be [their] friend,” Sanchez said. “I don’t want it to be like a robotic box. I want to be able to create a relationship with my customers.”
In the future, Sanchez said she would like to expand her business nationwide and graduate self-employed to work on P.S. full-time.
“I think it would be awesome to have a P.S. store one day, where you can walk in and say ‘I need help,’ and you’ll have stylists there instead of stores now where you walk in and the workers are like ‘Hi, do you need help with anything?’ but don’t mean it,” Sanchez said. “I want it to have an accepting and fun atmosphere, and I want to truly help these girls.”