Insight from a Chicago Wardrobe Stylist

From my first encounter with Katie Schuppler, I could tell she was a go-getter, businesswoman. It’s the quality I see in many Chicago female entrepreneurs. And that quality is not just connecting with people, but what I like to call “power networking.” In a few minutes, she understands your business and brand and finds a way for us to work together. No small talk, just a friendly, purposeful note, followed-up with an action plan.

This is refreshing; this is productive. This is what differentiates the successful businesswoman from the hobbyists. I’d like you to meet Chicago stylist consultant, Katie Schuppler.

*What’s your name and business name? 

Katie Schuppler, Owner of KS Style Consulting and Style/Beauty Blogger for Fashion Speak

*Did you start a blog that turned into a business or a business that has a blog? 

Kind of both? I started my blog at my last job before I started my business and used that to launch my business when I moved to Chicago but started my business as a separate entity.

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*Can you tell me more about your business and the services you offer? 

I am a Personal Style Consultant and Fashion Blogger/Writer who loves to help others create their own personal style in this fast paced world of fashion and just life in general. Having a Bachelors of Arts degree in Fashion Merchandise Management and Business from Mount Mary College in Milwaukee, WI I had then gone on to become a Stylist/Style Director at the #1 women’s boutique in Milwaukee, Fred Boutique.

Now living in the city of Chicago, I have been dedicated to helping my clients find their own personal style through advice, Styling Sessions, Closet Clean-outs, Consignment, and Look Books throughout the Chicagoland and Southeastern Wisconsin areas for over 6 years. I also worked as the former Wardrobe Stylist for The Whitney Reynolds Show in Chicago and am currently a Style Contributor for Chicago Woman Magazine.

*Where’s your favorite place to shop for business clothes? 

I actually love taking my clients to LOFT and Nordstrom Rack, they both a have a great variety and selection at an affordable price.

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*What’s the hardest part of owning your own business? 

The hardest part is balancing and finding the time to do it all. I struggle with the life/work balance, and I am sure many other working women would agree with me on that! I wear many hats, and it is important to me to put my all into ever hat I wear and do the best I can. 

*How do you distinguish yourself from competitors? 

I think that just being real and honest, but not harsh with my clients helps them to open up to me as if I were a friend coming in to help them out. I also have business and fashion background knowledge to let them know what is worth spending money on and what is worth investing a little less in.

*Do you use any apps to manage your business? If so, what are your favorites? 

I use HootSuite on and off, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Yelp for Business, and Google for Business. I would say that Google for my business and Instagram are my favorites. They both give great analytics, and Instagram has given me endless business/blog opportunities and connections 

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Katie Schuppler, Owner of KS Style Consulting in Chicago.

What, do you find, is the hardest part of developing your own style? 

I think the hardest part is taking everything you see every day in magazines or on TV that you really like and trying to work that into your life, body type, and functionality on a day-to-day basis in your world. My job is always to help my clients find their own personal style within their comfort zone, but to also slightly push the limits to where they would have never picked the outfit and love it nonetheless!

For more information about Katie Schuppler and her styling business, please visit her website here or follow her on Instagram (@KSStyleConsulting) and Windy City Cosmo (@WindyCityCosmo).

For more stories about Chicago entrepreneurs, see past interviews with Windy City Cosmo here:

Read about how to say “no” to brunch and Uber to meet your financial goals from styling and financial guru, Grace Keller.

Read about advice from a Chicago entrepreneur about the clients, the stress, and the PR behind a startup from Lakesha Rose, Founder of Rose Phillips Online.

Read about how to get dresses that fit, no bullshit from the Founder of MeasureMake, Krista Goral.

 

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Nick’s Socks: Chicago Fashion Entrepreneur

Fashion is in the details. And that’s how fashion stylist and now Chicago entrepreneur felt when he started his own line of men’s luxury socks, Nick’s Socks.

Nick’s Socks started in Chicago in November 2015. But, the socks are made with Egyptian Cotton in Italy right behind the Spanish Steps in Rome. The CEO of Nick’s Socks,Nick Bruce chose Egyptian Cotton because “it is a lot thinner and more breathable,” one of the main differentiates Nick’s Socks brings to dress socks. As a bonus, their machine washable.

The CEO of Nick’s Socks,Nick Bruce chose Egyptian Cotton because “it is a lot thinner and more breathable,” one of the main differentiates Nick’s Socks brings to dress socks. As a bonus, their machine washable.

Nick’s Socks has become a luxury icon for men as mentioned in Modern Luxury Men’s Book 10 Year Anniversary, he presented his collection after a fall fashion preview from Nicholas Joseph, a men’s line of  custom clothing (ladies, you can get custom clothes here).

Buce has made his rounds to several fashion shows including one of the world’s most important platform for men’s clothing and accessory collections and for launching new projects in men’s fashion, Pitti Uomo.

 

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Nick’s Socks are modern luxury socks made from Egyptian Cotton. Photo: Nick’s Socks

I sat down with Bruce, fashion entrepreneur at a Chicago fashion event, Style Chicago’s FashionChicago, at Revel Fulton Market in the West Loop, where Nick’s Socks was one of 40 of Chicago’s top apparel, jewelry, and accessory designers.

We talked about breaking into the fashion industry in Chicago, finding high-quality fabric, and  of course being an entrepreneur.

Windy City Cosmo: What is the most challenging part of being an entrepreneur? 

Nick Bruce: Doing everything myself – all of the designs, all of the networking and at the same time I love it.

Windy City Cosmo: What is the one piece of advice you have for starting a clothing company?

Nick Bruce: Meet a lot of people.

Windy City Cosmo: Describe some of the design inspiration behind your socks.

Nick Bruce: I didn’t like how guys stripes have a bunch of stripes I make them gradual (like these).

Windy City Cosmo: How do you market to men? 

Nick Bruce: It’s interesting and unusual—60 percent of people who buy socks are women, and they buy for opposite sex.

Nick’s Socks luxury men’s socks are available online. 

Nick Bruce from Nick’s Socks and Amanda Elliott from Windy City Cosmo at Style Chicago in the West Loop of Chicago. Photo: Windy City Cosmo

Amanda Elliott is a writer and speaker and a relationship builder. She believes that meeting people in person is important. After attending numerous fashion, startup, and creative events, she founded Windy City Cosmo is 2015 to help people make connections in the city as they build their businesses, start and end relationships and see and be seen. Over the past three years, the entrepreneurs she’s interviewed have become the most successful in Chicago and Windy City Cosmo won an award in 2017 for her work for female entrepreneurs.

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Bonjour Paris Fashion Week: Windy City Cosmo Goes to Paris

It was like flipping a coin.

Last night at 1 am, after ending an evening that started with good intentions, my friend’s Lyft Driver told me two important things.

The first was that I seem fun and I should go out with guys like my friend. (PS I already dated him).

The second was that I should go to Paris.

Paris Fashion Week:

And so here I am, less than 24 hours after booking a flight to Paris, that I am sitting in seat D29- a middle seat-on my way to arguably the most fashionable city in the world.

This week is Paris Fashion Week. And when special invitations are sent to you, you order a few cosmos and debate its authenticity.

It’s that coin toss thing.

I am taking a bet on myself and fashion and am going to Paris Fashion Week as one of the select Chicago bloggers who was presented the opportunity.

Emerging Chicago Fashion:

Chicago is starting its own initiative to become a fashion icon. Prominent Chicago female entrepreneurs like Andrea Ulrich, CEO of Techweek and Chicago Fashion bloggers, like my past coworker at Ann Taylor Water Tower, Sarah Pridgen from What Sarah Wears, have  recently been featured on The Limited’s new empowering campaign.

Chicago also has incorporated fashion events and runway shows of it’s own. Look for more Chicago fashion events throughout March to be apart of the Chicago fashion scene.

But while Chicago fashion develops into the status of New York or LA, I’m going to learn from the best in the fashion industry, party with all of the models and take a selfie with Kim K. (or her sister).

Preparing for Paris Fashion Week:

Windy City Cosmo is so honored to be selected for this once in a lifetime opportunity.

To prepare, I went to Water Tower Place and tried on every black garment that I could in an hour. I can’t wait to show you the look tomorrow when I am at my very first Paris Fashion Show for Bernard Chandran’s Ready to Wear Fall 2016 collection.

Packing wasn’t complete without shoes. I chose three pairs of non-black shoes to pack.

In total, my Jessica Simpson, bright pink luggage weighed less than 30 lbs. The stewardist advised me to go shopping in Paris because people always compliment her on bags and clothes she bought in Europe and Asia, but never America.

I smiled because I only packed clothes and shoes that people have complimented me on, and they were all bought in America.

Behind the Scenes at Paris Fashion Week:

Follow Windy City Cosmo on Instagram (username: WindyCityCosmo) and Snapchat (username: Rationalization) for behind the scenes adventures of your favorite Chicago city girl’s adventures at my first Paris Fashion Week.

Miricales really do happen! My first business trip was in Januray to tour Rosemont and my second business trip is in Paris, France.

I booked my flight with Kiss & Fly and for once I really did kiss someone goodbye and fly. Pro tip: it is always better to do things when you can tell your parents (which I almost didn’t do) and when you have people supporting you.

Keep dreaming and working on your goals. I’m rooting for you and so is this group of Chicago creatives and these Chicago women in tech. I owe a lot of my success with Windy City Cosmo to SheSays Chicago. They offer free career events, mentorship programs, and the opportunity to lead an accountability groups.

Get it girl.

Bonjour Paris!

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Empire’s Serayah Gets Cozy to Help Chicago Public School Children

Can I take your coats?

The coat room became the party room last night, Saturday March 5, 2016, at the Virgin Hotel in downtown Chicago.

The Red Parka Party, a private charity event took Chicago style to a new level.

Fox Empire’s Tiana in Chicago:

At the Virgin Hotel Rooftop, while we waited for Fox Empire’s “Keep it Movin'” star, Serayah McNeil (who plays Hakeem Lyon’s girlfriend and hip hop artist, Tiana Brown) to party with us, we started our own party in the coat room.

The charity event hosted by Fox Empire’s singer got started with special fizz cocktails and champagne after we checked in our coats at the Virgin Hotel. Empire show fans and Chicago bloggers brought extra coats with them to donate to Chicago Public School children through the national charity, One Warm Coat.

We traded our coats for red parkas made by Woolrich, an outdoor clothing company.

Guests tried on the parkas and took selfless selfies not only because the red Woolrich parkas are so cozy and comfortable, but because we were all in competition to take one of the select parkas home with us. Follow the hashtag: #redparkaparty on Instagram to see all of the pics from last night.

 

Windy City Cosmo and Chicagoings bloggers at the Red Parka Party Charity Event. Photo: Amanda Elliott

Halfway through the night, Fox Empire’s Serayah McNeil joined us on the rooftop at the Virgin Hotel in a light pink pant suit.

Serayah McNeil brought the Empire’s hip hop vibes as she joined Chicago bloggers and guests on the dance floor. In true Empire hip hop star fashion, we danced to Beyonce’s new song, “Formation” and Rihanna’s new songs “Sex with Me” and “Work.”

Find out how you can help this cause by donating a gently used coat to One Warm Coat.

Serayah McNeil who plays Tiana Brown on Fox Empire TV show and Windy City Cosmo at the Virgin Hotel Chicago. Photo: Amanda Elliott

Bloggers for Once Upon a Dollhouse trying the specialty cocktails. Photo: Amanda Elliott

 

Woolrich coats for the Red Parka Party. Photo: Amanda Elliott

Windy City Cosmo won one of the twenty something coats! You know I will be flaunting it on Chicago’s streets soon or maybe at Paris Fashion Week this week!

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