Seamless is back with Lisa Rosado, founder and creative director of The Style Theory.
Her site is a go-to destination for lifestyle, fashion and beauty inspiration. Burgundy Fox is a total fan of Rosado, who is championing the work-life balance with grace and confidence.
In this episode, we talk support systems, growing pains and summer style tips.
Hey! It’s Nicole and welcome to Seamless.
I’ve always struggled with the idea of personal style, especially because my own look has gone through so many phases, from trendy middle school mall queen to something that was apparently London grunge...I’m making air quotes.
Now that I’m a woman (air quotes again), it’s time to settle on an aesthetic. So, I talked with Lisa Rosado, founder and creative director of The Style Theory, a website for fashion, lifestyle, beauty and shopping. On top of that, she features super cool ladies on her site and knows a thing or two about supporting fellow entrepreneurs. Let’s catch up with Lisa as she shares her own fashion philosophy.
Lisa Rosado: I’ve always been interested in fashion and beauty and that whole world, but it’s interesting because I went to college for acting. While in college, I needed to make money. So I started working in retail because that was an interest of mine. I worked in corporate and realized that wasn’t an interest for me and started working at boutiques I did that for about ten years and started managing and buying and realized I loved buying and loved interacting with women on a one-on-one basis.
The stores I worked at were very neighborhood, so I became attached to these women and watched them evolve and transform through our conversations and through styling. I just became hooked, and I became really unhappy there because I had attained the highest position possible and it felt like there was nothing more to achieve. I was scared to leave at the same time. I felt like if left something miraculous was going to happen, so I decided to start a blog.
I had a website already and that was my outlet for all things fashion and beauty. About three years into it, I realized I want to start my own thing.
I’ve written it down in several places, but I hadn’t realized from the time of middle school I had been planning this as if it was in my subconscious. I started my site, and it was amazing escape for me.
I left that one job and started working at another place and told myself I wouldn’t do that. And then a year in, I thought, “You know what Lisa? You need to just leap in and start The Style Theory!”
The whole concept behind it is styling your life as a whole happy, so not just fashion and beauty. It evolved into a lifestyle category. I was so drawn to that because I was learning to style my life happy and what brought me unhappiness, because I was unhappy for quite some time. I was realizing I had total control in creating the happiness I had longed for and that we deserve. I feel like so many of us think we are undeserving of everything. So I leapt in, I literally leapt.
NF: What a journey! Especially how you’ve prioritized the mental and personal reaction that comes when you’re in a specific space in a store. You get that same feeling when you’re on your site when you’re in a store. You know you’re buying something for yourself and you’re taking the opportunity to search even for one item. That tone is very hard to emulate online, and I think it’s something a lot of online marketplaces struggle with.
Can you talk about creating an online marketplace because there are so many and it’s very difficult to establish a place that’s not a store, but feels like it?
LR: I had really high hopes because I thought an online marketplace was the place to be at the time. Then I learned that because it’s so saturated, it is incredibly important that you get super clear on your vision and what it is that sets you apart from the rest of the marketplace.
I was in a funk after I finally launched the site and I still felt unhappy. I realized one day that I preach empowering women and sisterhood, but I’m like, “How is this showcasing in my shop?”
It felt like there was a disconnect. If you didn’t know Lisa the business owner and follow me on Snapchat, you wouldn’t know how passionate I was about these things.
I realized that I needed to get more focused and build a bridge between the shop and what drives me. It’s going to take some time, but I’m going to be stocking the shop with pieces created by women moving forward. I’m excited because that’s my passion, but I really think that’s what’s going to set me apart from other online shops, and I think that is so key just to stay strong and tall in your message and I feel like that’s what's going to set you apart from the rest of the market.
NF: What does make a good online marketplace? Why do we buy things online and what makes that experience exciting and fun? Let’s talk with Leslie.
Leslie Wong: Speaking of online marketplaces, we all know we are living in a world where we are just bombarded with products. A great online marketplace is one that actually curates products for you, learns your preferences, shares brands and products that you love.
I think that one thing that’s emerging is an awareness of the person behind the brand. With Style Theory Collective, that what’s genius. She is building her brand around herself as a woman who empowers and supports other women. She’s curating brands that are also-women led.
On a macro-level, I see a lot of brands putting an emphasis on who the designers are, who the makers are, that’s one thing we do at Burgundy Fox as well, we look for emerging designers who are women or women-founded businesses, and we build a story around that.
You could pick something generic, or you can pick something where you understand the background of the person who is building it and creating the products as well.
NF: Now, back to Lisa
How’d you make sure the you’re inclusive for all women who find themselves on your marketplace?
The shop is a reflection of my personal style. I love super easy pieces, classic with a structural edge. Cuts and silhouettes, minimal. Some things are sweet and feminine. I envision women like myself who are constantly going from meetings to events to everything in-between. I like pieces that transition effortlessly between where I might find yourself through the idea. When you go clean, minimal and quality you just can’t go wrong.
One thing I also realize was that I was preaching to all women yet I wasn’t offering sizes 1x to 3x. We started implementing that. It’s still something I’m learning to navigate. It’s tricky to find something that’s on trend and reasonably price, yet well-made for plus sizes. It actually frustrates me
NF: I’m not a very good online shopper. I order too much, or I order one thing and find it’s not my size and like, write-off buying denim on line every again
What’s your advice when using a high-quality online marketplace like yours, when you want to purchase something stylish and meaningful?
LR: You need to know your measurements. I’m thinking of creating a pdf for this. I take the time to measure each size of each piece so that it helps women shop to the best of their ability
NF: What has been one of the biggest successes you've had?
LR: Birchbox. It blows my mind to have collaborated with them several times. This fall, they gave me the opportunity to take over their Snapchat a few times. I adore Birchbox. It’s one of my favorite companies. It’s women-owned and to be a part of their culture and their belief of me…they could have worked with huge bloggers with massive followings, but they believed in me enough to give me the opportunity to talk about myself and promote my business. That is where a lot of my customers came from.
NF: How do you keep yourself creative?
LR: I joined a year long mastermind group with women who are also entrepreneurs. Being able to bounce ideas and have support keeps me in line and creative. They’re like, “Wait a minute! There’s value in that! You should be doing that!”
It’s been cool to know that I’m a creative person and the whole theme is honoring your value and monetizing on it
NF: What’s it feel like to have a monetary return for your creative work?
LR: It’s something I have to get used to. I know that I’m capable and I know I believe in myself and then the subconscious gets in the way. I’ve been able to hide behind selling product for so long but that’s not where my happiness as a whole lies.
That in turn, in realizing what the next step is, it’s actually being more vulnerable and putting myself out there a lot more.
NF: What’s it feel like to put out your creative work, and then receive a monetary return?
LR: You don’t know whether or not people will accept your creative work, and I think that’s a big question for creative thinkers.
I’m through it right now but there’s something to be said about it being uncomfortable, its growing pains. I think what an injustice we would be doing by not sharing our stories and our gifts and our passions with the world. Some weeks are fantastic and then you have a couple days when you’re like "what am I thinking? can I do this?"
We all have something valuable to offer this world and I’m convinced of it. I try to remind myself of that when I freak out. It's like, people need you!
NF: Final question, what’s a summer style tip?
LR: Having a straw hat is such a necessity for me. It protects you from the sun and transforms your entire look. It totally makes me you look like a badass and who doesn’t want to look like a badass?
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