Meet Mikara Reid and discover her new podcast and her passion for fashion.
K. Nicole: When did you discover you had an eye for fashion?
Mikara Reid: It took me a while to pick up that I had an eye for fashion because I lived in a lot of different states and countries and I was use to being the odd one out. But after a while, I slowed down on the modeling gigs and took on some styling gigs and that took off for me more than expected. In 2011 I was very hesitant to enter the fashion industry because at the time it was not glamorized and there weren’t many schools (or open internships) for fashion styling like there are today. As I eased into the fashion industry, slowly but surely, I immediately gravitated to accessories and it showed in my work. Over time I began to be the go-to person for fashion accessories. From then on I started sharpening myself to become better.
K. Nicole: When did you decide to turn this passion into a business?
Mikara Reid: In 2012, after taking a couple of courses at Fashion Institute of Technology NY for fashion styling and image consulting, I completely fell in love with dressing people and said this is what I want to do! What people don’t know is there are so many sectors of styling besides celebrity styling there is personal styling, prop styling, editorial styling, wardrobe (works in TV/movies), catalog, fashion show, product styling and image consulting. I decided to try all and see what fits me while still maintaining a few personal clients. After trying all of the sectors of styling, I truly enjoyed the process of getting to know the person and creating an overall image that fits and compliments their lifestyle instead of throwing on a “trendy look” that will be irrelevant in a matter of weeks. In 2015 I spoke with one of my professors at FIT about starting a business in styling (which she was super happy for me to start) and she walked me through it and connected me to some people to get the ball rolling in styling people professionally.
K. Nicole: What has been the hardest part of starting and sustaining this business?
Mikara Reid: The hardest part about starting a business is marketing! I am an introvert……I constantly live in my head and thinking of new ideas for projects and talking to people in a boastful way is not my thing. A lot of people at events think I’m full of myself or stuck up because I’m not really a talker with new people but my wardrobe or accessories are the conversation starter and that usually draws people in to start a conversation with me. I have been improving my conversational skills with my business mentor and reading books these last two years.
I feel like the traditional way of marketing is more beneficial than digital marketing when it comes to advertising to business women/CEO and entrepreneurs over the age of 34 and up (primarily). So cutting back on social media leaves my younger audience questioning my business presence. I will have to say the hardest part about sustaining the business currently is balancing the new and old audience and reprogramming to go in the new direction.
K. Nicole: Why are you starting a podcast and what do you want your listeners to get from your podcast?
Mikara Reid: I had a podcast in 2015 but I wasn’t putting much effort into it, and it stopped abruptly. I did like the idea of podcasting so I kept it in my journal of ideas. As time went by and I was changing the direction of my brand, I went back to my journal and felt it was going to fit well with the overall brand image. We are in a time where everything is in the palm of our hands and not everyone has access to the luxury of a professional personal stylist so I thought the concept of my podcast would be perfect! Women (or men) will let me know what style dilemma they are having over the phone; if they need help on what to wear on a date, job interview, new mom trying to get flyness back, etc. Listeners will be able to hear styling tips/tricks, independent/emerging fashion brands, and real life issues/insecurities that people go through (because everyone is not alone with their issues).
K. Nicole: Do you feel like you have found your purpose in life and if so what specifically?
Mikara Reid: I do feel like I am firmly walking in my purpose and gift – helping women communicate and translate their personal style through image. Giving someone a new look while their confidence goes up 100% is a reward that can not be replaced. I have befriended a lot of clients, because they feel like I’m their fashion wingman or style confidant. Style has always been my strong suit in communication and I want to be able to use it in every capacity I can.
K. Nicole: Share an oh Hell no fashion moment.
Mikara Reid: An Oh Hell No fashion moment, I have PLENTY of them but one in particular I would say, never underestimate your talent when there’s integrity involved. I was a few years in the industry and felt it was time to step out of stylist’s shadows. One of the photographers from a shoot we did together reached out to me and asked if I wanted to work on a shoot on my own. After doing a successful shoot and getting it published, he showed interested in being my agent to get me started in the industry. Within 2 weeks, he sent me to go in to meet with a client in NYC but come to find out the job was paying pennies to style 14 people (and not my travel from DC to NYC would not be paid for either). After doing the math, it was going to take a HUGE chunk out due to the fittings of everyone and my response was “Oh Hell Na!!!!” The photographer/ “agent” and I exchanged words via phone after that meeting with the client and he was pretty much in it for the money, as long as he got his “extra” coins, and he got me a gig in NYC, nothing else mattered. I discussed the offer to my FIT professor and someone else in the industry and they informed me I did the right thing! Nancy, (the professor at FIT) said to me “ You’ve built a striking resume and portfolio within 3 years while still working in the health field and now it’s time for you to build integrity for your brand and name.” Ever since then, I never allowed anyone to downplay my talent from that point on…..