Today we’d like to introduce you to Anna Neimark.
So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
If you had asked me four years ago what I’d always wanted to do with my life but never saw as possible, I would’ve told you “something in fashion.” I have an engineering background and was working at an engineering company. I’d consulted friends and family on their wardrobes and provided shopping guidance for as long as I could remember (I was that one friend who would take you shopping, bring you ten items, and you’d walk out with all ten, leaving behind whatever you had brought in), but it had never occurred to me that I could turn that into an actual—never mind lucrative—career. I also wasn’t raised in an environment that supported that kind of thinking; I came from a family of engineers and scientists and had followed in my stepbrother’s footsteps to receive an Engineering Physics degree from one of the top engineering schools in the country. (Problem was, it was never quite a fit for me; I was just pretending.)
Then, in December 2014, I read about a website called Keaton Row on one of my favorite blogs (Refinery29) and was intrigued by the idea of regular people signing up to virtually style women across the nation—and getting paid for it. I signed up, despite that voice in my head telling me, “What the hell are you doing? You’re an engineer!” I proceeded to style eight clients over the next six months until the site began to work with only NYC-based stylists. Defeated, I thought, “OK, guess that was too good to last. Back to reality, I go.”
Right after my tenure with Keaton Row ended, in May 2015, I had a tonsillectomy, which involved a much more difficult recovery process than expected, and left me depressed and resigned about my life. I was in a career I despised and a crap relationship, and I would cry myself out of bed in the morning and drink myself to sleep every night. I was a total victim of my circumstances, seeing no way out of the dark tunnel I had found myself in. And I could totally see my life continuing to go that way.
But I took an unreasonable action: on a friend’s recommendation, I took a personal and professional development course called the Landmark Forum in June, and over the span of its 3.5 days, my perspective shifted 180 degrees. I saw that I no longer had to be at the whim of my circumstances and could actually create the life that I wanted. I realized that I deserved to be happy and could do whatever I wanted with my life. I took myself through the style metamorphosis process that I now offer to clients, rediscovered my voice and self-expression, and started finally showing up as my authentic self. With my new-found confidence, I signed up for Thumbtack (an app that connects service providers with customers) and took on personal shopping clients. I took the Stylist and Personal Stylist certification courses at the School of Style in LA. I shared my passion with anyone and everyone, which landed me front row at the Nolcha Shows during New York Fashion Week in September.
Through continued personal development, I discovered my “why”: that around me, people are empowered, confident, and loving themselves. Through style, my goal is to empower people (and especially women) to accept and love the bodies they have, not the bodies they wish they had, so that we live in a world where every person can look at him or herself in the mirror and accept, love, and be proud of what they see.
I tried my hand at another corporate job, transitioning to an engineering sales role in March 2016, thinking that the skills that I learned would support building my business on the side. Who am I kidding? My heart wasn’t in it, and six months later, I was let go. I took that as a sign from the Universe that it’s time to stop f*cking around and take on my business full time. And so it was, no financial safety net, no prior business experience, and I was running my own personal fashion styling business. I’ve been delivering self-love through style to my clients full time for over two years now, and recently have been taking on more speaking opportunities to empower businesses and young women.
Has it been a smooth road?
It has not been a smooth road, by any means. After my mother’s death when I was 15, it seemed like a series of difficult situations, one after another, which I dubbed being “dealt a sh*tty hand in life.” This included: moving across the country halfway through high school; being diagnosed with thyroid cancer when I was 17; moving to San Diego for an engineering job, not knowing anyone here; loathing said engineering job after a few years and falling into a depression; destructive coping mechanisms; starting a business while in credit card debt and with no financial safety net.
Apart from the dark period following my mother’s death, these last 2+ years of running my own business have not been easy. I’ve had several recurring thoughts of “what the hell am I doing?” or “how the hell am I going to pay my rent this month?” but I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
When I have those moments of wanting to give up, I lean on my tribe, heavily. (Mine happens to be a tightly knit group of badass boss ladies who won’t listen to me as anything other than my greatest Self. I couldn’t show up small around them even if I tried.)
I meditate. (Transcendental Meditation seriously saved me from chronic panic attacks.)
I journal. (Quieting the emotional noise in my head so I can listen to my intuition.)
I call one of my coaches (people who hold me accountable to my greatness are an amazing sanity check).
I use tapping (EFT- look it up!), which has been tremendously helpful for releasing the stuck energy around my effusive emotions.
I get acupuncture, reiki, and theta healing (integrating energy work with the other personal development stuff).
I go for a long walk.
I lean into gratitude.
For the young women embarking on their own entrepreneurial journey, I’ll say, “when you’re going through hell, keep going.” That’s honestly the best advice because the worst thing you can do when you’re going through a hard time/suffering is, stay there and wallow in it. I know because I’ve totally been there. There have been days when I just cried and the greatest accomplishment for the day was getting out of bed or putting on clothes. Allow yourself to be human, just don’t let yourself stay there incessantly. It’s when you allow yourself to feel the depth of your pain, and move through it, with the help of all the tools I mentioned above (or whatever else helps you process), that you know your true power and come out on the other side stronger than you ever imagined yourself to be.
So, as you know, we’re impressed with your work– tell our readers more, for example, what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
I dress leaders to fully align the way they show up in the world with their next level of income, influence, and impact. I also teach people how to dress the bodies they have (not the bodies they once had or wish they had), delivering self-love through style so they can be unleashed in making their mark on the world. I offer women a full range of personal styling services, including Closet Clearings, Personal Shopping, Event and Photoshoot Styling, and Trip Packing. I recently partnered with an exciting new shopping and styling app called LUVVUL (available in the App Store or Google Play now), to provide styling for women on an outfit by outfit basis, no matter where they are in the country. I partner with J.Hilburn to offer beautifully made custom clothing for my male clients. I also do speaking engagements on all things self-love through style, empowerment, and dressing on-brand.
I get to do what I love for a living, and the difference I can see on a client’s face when she walks out of the fitting room in something she never would’ve tried but feeling more like herself than she has in years, that’s everything! I’m most proud of the transformations that I get to witness and facilitate. There is a tremendous amount of coaching involved with my work (due to my personal development training and transformational coaching experience), which I believe sets me apart from other stylists. Without even being conscious of what I’m doing, I’ll facilitate a client to get complete with her divorce in the process of a Closet Clearing or in the process of a Shopping Trip, take a client who hasn’t liked the way she looked in clothes since her child was born (who’s now 8!) to a confident badass, rocking a romper with swagger on social media!
Often it feels as if the media, by and large, is only focused on the obstacles faced by women, but we feel it’s important to also look for the opportunities. In your view, are there opportunities that you see that women are particularly well positioned for?
Women have more resources for self-love and healing than ever before. From women’s business groups to women’s support groups to retreats, I believe that feminine energy is on the rise. More and more women are taking seats of power, as evidenced by the recent election results.
It may be so tempting to compete with other women (and maybe we’re even wired to do it from back in the caveman days), to get ahead, to be chosen, but we are SO much stronger together. Feminine energy, when empowered and multiplied, grows exponentially. If we focus our energy on collaboration over competition, then we would truly be unstoppable!
- Website: www.annaneimark.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: www.instagram.com/annaneimarkstyle
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/annaneimark
- Twitter: www.twitter.com/annaneimark
- Other: www.pinterest.com/annaneimark
Marcy Browe Photography