In high school I became hooked on fashion magazines, which led to my interest in the possibility of being a department store buyer. I remember when my school was about to close down and the sewing teacher asked me to help her clean the sewing room and in exchange she would let me have the magazines. It may have been the year that Beverly Johnson was on the cover of Glamour, which was the first time that any African-American woman was given that opportunity.
Little did I know that years later I would go on to create my own magazine that lasted for over 20 years.
Now back to my retail career. I spent a couple of years going to business school for retail merchandising before heading off to college, where I earned a bachelor of science degree and majored in marketing. During those years I spent some time working in department stores, where I held various positions from sales clerk, merchandise display person and fashion stylist. I also learned a lot about fabrics, fashion coordinating and working with the appropriate silhouettes for certain body types.
A few years later I began modeling petite fashions for just about every department store in downtown Pittsburgh, including Saks Fifth Avenue. I recall my interview at Kaufmann’s Department Store with the Fashion Director for the fashion stylist position. In the middle of the interview, she asked if I would model. My naïve mind led me to believe that was a condition in order to get the fashion stylist job. I accepted both positions and modeled for about 8 years.
The combination of my education and work experience helped me develop my own personal sense of style, as well as acquire the experience to help others to define theirs.
I love educating others about creating a stylish wardrobe on a budget. I spent a few years teaching courses at job training centers and colleges about workplace transitions, the importance of dressing appropriately and the role appearance plays in a person’s success.
When I started shopping consignment stores and thrift shops, I could not believe the high-quality fashion items I purchased for so little. I later added décor items to my consignment shopping list.
I was so excited that I wanted to share that information with others, which is why I created the column in my magazine, called Your Stylish Ways (YSW). YSW was the column I started writing over 20 years ago, which has led to a video series of the same name.
After starting this blog, that was to focus only on fashion and style, I realized that I wanted to address topics on a stylish living which was more than about fashion. I incorporated cooking, entertainment, decor, travel and wellness infused with fashion and the stylish ways you can make it all happen.
Sure there are many blogs out there, and a savvy business person would ask, so what makes this any different? This is not your granddaughter’s blog. This is a blog for women who are evolving and desiring to enhance their life by exploring ways to experience a more enriching stylish lifestyle; with a particular emphasis on women of a certain age.
For women like myself, who have reached a certain milestone with the realization that we no longer wish to simply live life, we want to explore adventurous lifestyle choices and we want to do it in a stylish way.
Because my business always had an interest in teaching women about saving money, this information fits right in with our mission. Saving money, looking good and feeling well, while evolving into our own…what a great combination!
Along the way, as this site has evolved, I had another epiphany. As I reviewed many of my post on my Twitter account and Instagram, I noticed that most of my messages were about self-care. As I spoke with other women about their life and life’s challenges, they conveyed that finding ways to engage in self-care practices was a never ending battle.
My revelation gave me the true mission of this blog, and that is to bring you information on stylish ways to live your life and infuse it with the message of self-care for women of, “a certain stage” This is the place for the mid-life woman who is asking the questions, “What about me?”
Related story: About Ola Jackson – http://yourstylishways.com/about/about-ola/#