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Priya Virmani

Priya Virmani

Introduce yourself to our audience. Tell us who you are and what you are currently focused on.

Bonjour! I am a personal stylist and founder of Privee by Priya based in the Greater NY area. I founded my company 3 years ago after spending over ten years in corporate America and then dabbling in a few start-ups in NYC. As luck would have it, I landed in Paris for 5 years… the mecca of all things trendy, chic and gorgeous! Lets just say I learned a thing or two (or hundred!) about styling while living in Paris. I now live in New Jersey where I pride myself in helping time-starved Mompreneurs, Corporate Professionals and Busy Parents feel confident and styled. My love for fashion never strayed, whether it was while I was getting my MBA, getting married, or becoming a mom to 2 precious daughters. I love to travel, read main stream fiction novels, cook, drink wine, and recently have a new found love for mindfulness. I am addicted to group fitness classes!

Tell us about your favorite Ellevate Network memory or success story. Why are you a member?

I attended a networking event in Montclair, NJ in 2019 with a few friends. It was hosted at a co-working space, En Masse. I usually get very nervous about these kinds of events but the group of women at the event were warm and inviting. I made some great connections. One of the attendees invited me to speak to her MBA class at Rutgers about the importance of Executive Presence. I wish to continue meeting bright and driven ladies.

How would you define your professional mission?

I believe in the power of style. What you wear is a manifestation of you, of how you want the world to view you on any given day. If I can help fellow working men and women stop second guessing their outfits, and nailing their outfit selection for every occasion, I will consider myself successful. My aim with my clients is to help them be their most confident self at work, at night and even on the weekends. By working with me, my clients define their style, create 5-mins head to toe outfits that gives them plenty of time to spend with their kids in the am before they head to work.

What qualities does it take for someone to be successful in your line of work?

I start in my client's closet. This is a very intimidating task for both me and the client. I have understood how to make my clients feel comfortable enough to welcome me into their private space. I have compassion for all body shapes. I have to listen and understand how to match style with lifestyle. I also spend a lot of time on merchandise in stores, I research trends. In short, compassion, care, active listening skills, respect for budgets, great personal style all help me.

What are some career challenges on your radar?

I would say there are 3. My line of work (my services) is not very unique. There are several personal stylists just in my area. Though it is my own personal style and personality that make me unique. My challenge is showcasing these via my marketing channels Customer acquisition. I have grown so much in the past 3 years. Though it is not enough. I want a waiting list of clients and I hope 2020 will get me there. Networking. I have so much to learn and I want to challenge myself to get out there more

We’d love to hear more about your career path. What led you to where you are today?

I worked for Citibank straight after getting my MBA. I headed a large team in their credit cards business. Our move to Paris and new babies, forced me to quit. A few years of searching for banking jobs in Paris lead to nothing. I did not have the correct working visa. I worked for start-ups that failed. Till one day I truly woke up to the realization that I am not pursuing my dream! It is not easy to start a new business at 40 but I did! I went to a styling school and used my work experience and MBA for the business side of things.

What is it about your job that makes you feel it’s the right fit for you?

I dream style. I come up with style solutions for myself and my clients at 3am. I am approachable and I understand the value of money. I also have good personal style. When I style a client I basically put myself in their shoes (ha!). Having worked in a large corporation for a decade also helps me understand corporate style requirements.

What is your morning ritual?

I am trying to wake up by 6am. This has not been easy for me! I am also trying not to look at my phone till 7am. I use Headspace to meditate. I set my intention for the day and I think of something I am grateful for .. Then I wake my kids

What is your favorite social media site? Why?

I would say for my line of work. Instagram is perfect. I learn a lot from fellow stylist, fashion influencers and retail brands .

I also like to follow female leaders and motivational speakers.

What is the best career advice you ever received?

"Success does not come from what you do occasionally. It comes from what you do consistently." - Marie Forleo

Being a solopreneur is tough. I am hard on myself when I don't book enough clients or market my services or network. But I set my intention every day and I count my success in little things. Even sending a potential client an introductory email! Be consistent. Be true to who you are. And keep trying!

Have more questions? Follow up with the expert herself.

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