By: Lucie Freeman, GWWIB Ambassador
Before I met Catherine Cassidy, I thought of clothing as a way to outwardly express your style but never as a powerful tool to help you achieve both personal and professional goals. As a busy student, I often throw on an outfit at the beginning of the day that consists of leggings and running shoes so that I can be out the door in under half an hour. However, talking with Catherine about her company changed my perspective and the way I now look at my wardrobe.
As founder and CEO of U>Styled, Catherine graduated from USC with an undergraduate degree in business. After college, she went on to work in the fashion industry first at Robinsons May and then at BCBG. However, as time went on and by working full time in fashion, Catherine began to identify a problem that ultimately became the basis for founding U>Styled. The problem was that, despite a plethora of knowledge about the industry, Catherine found it challenging to work full time and find the time to update her wardrobe to reflect evolving trends yet retain her personal style. With a love for creative problem solving, a purpose driven work ethic, and the desire to make it easier for women to update their wardrobe and stay in the workforce, U>Styled was born. The company’s mission is to connect brands with their target market so that they can design products that fit their customers and to help clients gain confidence through their own wardrobe and Style Power.
Specifically, Style Power is a term coined by Catherine that is all about “owning one’s presence and how you are showing up and being confident in yourself.” Working on cultivating style that is a true outward expression of your inner self and not hiding any part of yourself because you are simply trying to fit in and get by, that’s what Style Power is. Being comfortable and confident in what you wear will impact your presence and how you carry yourself through both your professional and personal life. When you are not fidgeting or consistently readjusting clothing, you can redirect your focus to being present in the moment. This concept is one of the core principles of U>Styled and is an overarching theme that consistently shapes what the company strives to accomplish.
With a great idea and strong mission for the company, being an entrepreneur and CEO of U>Styled might seems like a simple and straightforward job. However, talking with Catherine gave me insight to how challenging it can be at times to keep track of everything that needs to get done. From providing clients with the best experience to combining business development, next level operations, and communicating with independent contractors the list goes on and on. However, through these responsibilities and interacting with clients daily, Catherine says that one of her “favorite parts of having her own business is constantly getting feedback.” By listening to what people have to say, it is possible to make meaningful improvements that will help the company grow. When talking about what she looks for when hiring and mentoring people, Catherine said that a willingness to learn and try new things, be resourceful, and have a strong work ethic is essential. Whether you are looking for a job or an entrepreneur working on opening your own business, the ability to have a positive attitude and embrace the challenges when you face adversity is the ultimate key to success.
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