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5 Fashion Tips Job Seekers Should Ignore

Your goal during the interview is to stand out from the competition – in a good way – so why follow outdated fashion tips designed to make you blend in with the crowd?

Landing that coveted in-person meeting is already pretty difficult. So, when you do, you’ll totally want to dress to impress.  And, it might help – at least, visually speaking – if you interview outfit doesn’t put people to sleep before you even open your mouth.

Of course, there will always be some careers – like law – were playing it safe when it comes to style is probably the right way to go. But consider ignoring these five old-school fashion tips if the company culture of job you’re seeking encourages a touch of fashion flair.   

5 Fashion Tips Jobs Seekers Should Ignore:

Wear A Suit

You should always up the style ante when you’re interviewing, but that doesn’t mean you have to wear a boring basic solid suit. You want to look polished and professionally and also comfortable and confident. If wearing a suit makes you feel uneasy or the company has more of business casual vibe (which you can find out by checking out its website and social media profiles) then opt for coordinated separates with a bit of personality.    Topshop Embellished Midi Pencil Dress – $180 and Zara Double Breasted Blazer – $99

Wear Neutral Colors

Black, navy, brown and gray are fine colors, but you might want to leave an impression that you are more than just a “fine” candidate. A strategic color pop can give off a feeling of friendliness and/or confidence, amplifying the profile of an interviewee who knows their stuff.   

Macy’s Calvin Klein Embellished Sheath Dress – $109 

Wear Pantyhose or Tights

Yes, you should totally wear pantyhose or tights if the company you’re interviewing with is conservative, if you feel more comfortable having your legs covered or if it is just cold outside. However, cramming your legs in nylon casings should be an optional interview outfit addition when you’re already wearing pants, a knee-length – or longer – skirt or dress. Do it if it makes you feel more ready to conquer the day. Skip it if it doesn’t.         

Wear a Black or Brown Handbag

Nothing completes an interview outfit better than a clean-lined, structured handbag, but black and brown shouldn’t be your only color choices. A smartly pattern purse or tote in a complimentary color to your outfit can hint to a personality that knows how to pull things together.

Amazon MMK Collection Fashion Padlock Satchel – $42.99

Wear High Heels

I love a pair of good heels. They literally make me taller and I find I stand up straight more when I wear them. But I also love my ballerina flats and that I can move faster than a New York minute in them. Opt for whichever polished pair of close-toe pumps, ballerina flats, loafers or boots make you feel more confident to complete your interview outfit. There’s no sense in wearing a killer looking pair of heels if you’re going to worry about tripping in the company’s reception area.

Aerosoles Spin Off Flats – $69 and Ann Taylor Skyler Patent Leather Pumps – $128


Boardroom Runway: Five Top Model Tyra Banks Tips To Transcended Your Business

A lot of people look at the modeling industry and say ‘oh, those girls are born that way and become supermodels’. But there’s a heck of a lot of models that looked way better than me… Supermodels are made, not born.” – Tyra Banks

Tyra Banks is a supermodel like no other.

Tyra Banks 3

Very few women in the world succeed in earning the title of Supermodel and even fewer transcend the word entirely. Tyra Lynne Banks is part of that unique class of women who climbed to the top of her industry and molded it to fit her goals.

She’s smart, articulate and gorgeous and leveraged those traits to become a model mogul with her own hit TV show, endorsement deals and makeup line. Not everything she has touched has been a runway hit (her makeup line is still a work in progress), but she’s obtained a level of success that many would be proud to emulate.

Banks’ has dropped tons of business knowledge throughout her career, but here are our favorite top model Tyra Banks tips to transcend your business:

Be Strategic

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“It really is about a strategy and looking at the white space and saying okay, what’s not there? How can I penetrate? How can I stand out?”

When it comes to what you do with yourself career-wise, it’s about being strategic; being conscious and thoughtful in taking what you have and making it work for you.

The best way to accomplish this is to look for places where your uniqueness and difference can be a positive. Instead of rushing to the place that everyone else is going, look for the underserved niches.

Build your personal brand

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Part of being strategic is working on your personal brand – what you become known for, what you stand for.

It would be easy to think, “of course, Tyra Banks has a brand – she had the modeling agencies creating a brand around her”. But that’s about the brand of the products she was modeling for.

Personal branding is about the strengths that give you your competitive advantage and distinctiveness relative to everyone else. It includes elements such as your ethos, work-ethic, creativity and resourcefulness.

Banks’ personal brand includes being a risk taker, a fearless innovator, highly exacting about excellence, and confident to stand up for who she is and what she wants.

An important aspect of personal branding is about making it visible to others. If you know what your brand is but no one else does, you don’t really have a brand.

It’s impressive how Tyra Banks put herself out there, leveraged her brand and kept it on point through so many different iterations of her career, from modeling to acting to talk shows to her own cosmetics line. And she’s not done yet!

To what extent are your key stakeholders aware of your personal brand? And how could you keep extending your personal brand to that next stage you aspire to?

Be determined, yet adapt

Tyra Banks 4

 “I always had it in me to fight and find a way.”

“Fight” and “find a way” simply means to be determined and to adapt when the going gets tough.

Determination is about the “why” or our purpose. Alongside determination is the ability to adapt the “what” and the “how” as the situation changes.

What’s your bigger “why” and how does your determination (“to fight”) and ability to adapt (“and find a way”) serve it?

Confidence is key

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Tyra is a strong proponent of cultivating confidence and self-esteem and encourages others to do the same. Much of this comes from her personal experiences and struggles as a child.

When she was 11, she grew 3 inches taller and lost 30 pounds in 3 months, and her classmates taunted her for looking different. This made her feel insecure and alone and led her to think that being different was bad.

Thankfully, she had mentors and role models who helped her overcome this, which contributed strongly to her subsequent success.

Confidence is a fundamental mindset that we need if we are to feel comfortable to take calculated risk and spot opportunities, and then reach out and grab hold of them.

You need to be cultivating your confidence and spending time with those who help you believe in yourself.

Make the most of what you have going for you

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“While it’s crucial to know what your assets are in this life, it’s simply not enough. What truly matters is knowing what to do with them.”

Whatever your set of assets and strong suits, it is important to go forth and make the most of them.

And while you’re doing that, remember to be strategic, build your personal brand, be determined yet adapt when you need to, be confident, and keep investing in yourself.


Most Influential: 5 Oprah Winfrey Lessons to Achieve Business Success

Oprah Winfrey is one the most influential woman in the world. The media boss runs her own TV network, publishes a magazine, hosts inspirational shows, executive produces films, and still finds the time to conduct major philanthropic works around the world.

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Winfrey’s list of accomplishments is so long it can be difficult not to be in awe and admire her ability to continuously realize her goals despite the challenges – you know she’s had her haters along the way.

It’s hard to imagine what her world and ours would be like if she’d simply settled with being just another talk show host. Instead of resting on the success of her 1984 hosting gig. “AM Chicago – which later became nationally syndicated as “The Oprah Winfrey Show” – she kept challenging perceived limits and the realm of possibilities.

From entertainer to entrepreneur, Oprah leveraged her driven personality to grow her brand – and her businesses – into the household name we know today. There may not be another mogul like Oprah in our lifetimes, but we’d be crazy to not use her roadmap to achieve our own personal business success.

Here are 5 lessons from Oprah to help you achieve your own business success today:

Be True to Yourself

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I cannot stress the importance of this enough. From the tender age of three Oprah was captivating her local church with her ability to recite bible verses. She would even ask her dolls and the crows in her yard detailed questions.

You could say that she was born to host her own talk show so if you’re currently working a job that isn’t resonating with your innate passion, consider making a change to see where it takes you.

You Can’t Learn to Walk without Falling

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No one is an overnight success… not even Oprah. It took hard work, dedication, and massive strings of failures to achieve what he has today.

Think of failure as a new perspective, a new lesson, another stepping stone to your ultimate destination and never be afraid to fail. Here’s a tip: Try doing something that you’re sure you can’t do – rock climbing, running a race, making dinner from scratch.

Fail at it. And, then try it again. Only this time do it better and see how you feel about it after.

There’s No Such Thing as Luck

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“I feel that luck is preparation meeting opportunity.” – Oprah Winfrey

In business, you make your own luck. Period. You don’t earn 2.7 billion dollars by thinking that every decision you make is going to be lucky.

Most new entrepreneurs hope for a sudden spike in sales or a rush of traffic to their website, but if you put all of your efforts into hoping instead of doing; you’ll be left discouraged and unprepared to capitalize on the small wins.

Slow It Down

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Running a business is like a marathon with a few brief commercial-like breaks of calm thrown in. There’s always something left to check off on some list or something hanging over you that should have been done last week.

The Queen of Media doesn’t just tell her followers to appreciate the slow moments; she does it herself.  She takes time each day to recognize all the things she is grateful for and to just celebrate her being. It doesn’t take long and those type of short moments can make all the different for you in your business.

You’re In Charge

Oprah 2

There are plenty of people out there who are content to allow life to just happen to them. Don’t be one of those people! You need to take charge and make things happen for yourself.

“I don’t think of myself as a poor deprived ghetto girl who made good. I think of myself as somebody who from an early age knew I was responsible for myself, and I had to make good.”

Oprah knew it wasn’t going to be easy, but went for it anyway. The only person in control of your destiny/business/life is you. There is power in the fact that you get to choose how you run your business and brand. That fact should drive you and inspire you to leverage that power to achieve your own version of success.


How To Keep Your Company Secrets, Secret – Beyoncé Lemonade Style

She’s back! Although it feels like a misnomer to suggest that someone’s whose singular name and every minute act is so ingrained in daily conversations, ever really left.


Beyoncé – the Queen of R&B – just released her sixth studio album, Lemonade, a visually and vocally stunning exploration of the emotional journey of the pain, power, disappointment and love Black women experience in our most defining relationships – those with our communities, friends, significant others and ourselves.


It is a bold and honest complete body of work and  – in my humble opinion – Beyoncé’s best album to date. I could write sonnets and epitaphs highlighting why this is a historic fact, but others have summed up that point way more fabulously and humorously than I could.


Instead, I want to highlight – and pay my respects – to Queen B’s ability to keep this project (among many others) safely wrapped in her shroud of secrecy until she was ready to share it with the world. Time and time again, Beyoncé has proven that she and her team can keep a secret, such as when she:

  • Married Jay-Z and kept the world guessing for two years
  • Announced her pregnancy as part of an MTV performance
  • Took a surprise vacation with her hubby to off-limits Cuba
  • Released her namesake album, Beyoncé in the dead of the night with no pre-promotion
  • Performed at a fundraising event for her daughter’s school
  • Released the video Formation one day before her Super Bowl performance

Even as The World tuned in to watch the premiere of the highly publicized Lemonade on HBO, we weren’t really sure of what we’d see. It could have easily been an hour-long special of Beyoncé’s favorite lemon-flavored cocktail recipes and yet we tuned in eagerly and completely unknowing.


It’s astounding to think of the hundreds of people who were involved with the creation and release of Lemonade – musical artists, backup singers, songwriters, dancers, lawyers, stylists, makeup artists, lawyers, managers, graphic designers, assistants, photographers, caterers, babysitters, editors and drivers who didn’t breathe a word or sigh of its coming.


And, that ability to keep important secrets is a strong part of Beyoncé brand success. The ability to determine how and when a brand’s message is shared is a form of power and no one wields it as effectively as Team Beyoncé.


Over the years, she and her team have nearly perfected their ability to keep projects close to their vest and out of the public eye, until the right time. And, with the release of Lemonade they used that power of secrecy expertise to deliver on of the best surprise album (and must-watch event) of the year.

Here are three ways to keep your company secrets, secret – Beyoncé Lemonade Style.


Work With People Who Share Your Vision

Lemonade (the visual album) included appearances from 13 surprise guests – Serena Williams, Jay Z, Blue Ivy, Ibeyi, Chloe, Amandla Stenberg, Zendaya, Winnie Harlow, Halle Bailey, Gwen Carr, mother of Eric Garner, Lesley McSpadden, mother of Michael Brown, Sybrina Fulton, mother of Trayvon Martin and Quvenzhane Wallis – and all kept their participation in the project a secret.

This isn’t by accident.

With the exception of maybe Blue Ivy – who is currently too young to comprehend the effect of her appearance – all the participants knew the significance of the role they played in being part of such a reaffirming body of work. They were committed and fully aligned to the vision and didn’t want to undermine its impact.

People who share your vision are more likely to protect your secrets.

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Put Your Expectations in Writing

There is no doubt in my mind that the confidentiality/non-disclosure agreement used by Team Beyoncé is a document crafted by the best legal minds to have ever lived. Brand secrets are trade secrets and you (like the Queen B) should be clear in your expectation of people to keep them and the penalties of failing to do so.

Contracts and confidentiality agreements are a none negotiable if you want to ensure that your projects, announcements and all the work that you have invested time and money in are shared with the world at the time and in the manner that best befits your brand. Require everyone that works on your business/brand to adhere to your expectations, sign a confidentiality agreement and ensure they understand the legal ramifications if they run afoul of that agreement.

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Don’t Entertain Weak Links

Months ago, I had the pleasure of connecting with one of Beyoncé’s former assistants. They – the secrecy runs so deep, I won’t even reveal if it was a girl on guy;) – shared that the Bow Down songstress demands excellence and integrity of every team member regardless of if you are grabbing her tea or helping her plot her next move. Those that aren’t able to handle that level of responsibility and trust are not kept around. End sentence.

People who are not fully invested in being the best at what they do are not the type of people you should entrust with your brand’s confidential information. Slipups and leaks (unintentional or not) are more likely to come from those who do not take their role in your organization seriously.

Only hire and work with those who share your belief in integrity and commitment to doing the best job humanly possible. And. quickly separate yourself from all others if you want to ensure that your brand secrets stay secret. After all, it’s what the Queen would do.


Just Business: Is It Ever Ok to Go Back On Your Word?

By now, we’ve all accepted that Kayne West lives in a different reality than us regular two-feet-on-the-ground folks, but we’ve just learned his alternate realm also has its own measure of time too. Just two short months after publically declaring that his newest album The Life of Pablo, would “never, never” be on sale anywhere except on Tidal, we gleefully find the album available for download on competing services like Spotify.   The life of Pablo.jpg-large Before you start serving up shade-tastic doses of humble pie to the self-proclaimed “king of pop,” you should know that despite this “unconventional” roll out – and being illegally downloaded more than a half-million times – his album is expected to hit number one on the Billboard charts the week of April 23.  So, it might be a little difficult for Kayne to hear critics over the collective sound of millions of people playing his album and the loud ring of the ATM as he deposits his multi-million-dollar check.     Kanye Jay Z Beyonce Tidal Launch 2015 That being said, is it ever ok for someone to go back on their word? 2016-04-11_20-30-41 Kayne’s declaration that “you can only get it on Tidal” wasn’t just boasting to the public, it was also a promise to Tidal’s CEO – and his long-time friend – Jay-Z. And, aren’t promises to friends the most sacred pacts that people can make? I know if my bestie ever broke a promise to me, I’d be hurt for decades – and not just hurt – I’d also be questioning the trustworthiness of everyone that has been or ever will be.  

So, at what point is it acceptable to break a promise or violate an agreement Kanye-style?

After looking more closely at Kayne’s situation, I’ve come up with a few examples of when it may be ok to go back on your word:  2016-04-11_20-29-39 When the person or business you’ve made an agreement with doesn’t have the proper infrastructure in place. There are so many issues with Tidal, but I’ll only focus on the ones that directly impact Kayne’s The Life of Pablo. Tidal doesn’t report download numbers making it impossible to independently assess if an album is doing well outside of its platform. So, there was no way to officially rank the success of Kanye’s album in relation to albums not on Tidal. 2016-04-11_20-28-40 Also, the fact that Tidal lacked the resources, will or know-how to stem the tide of more than 500,000 illegal downloads of the album through other platforms represented (1) a ton of lost revenue for Kayne and (2) – the large percentage of his fans that were never going to convert to the platform.   2016-04-11_20-29-05When the reason you made the agreement is no longer true.     Tidal’s entire claim to fame (besides being run by one of the most famous people in the world) was that it was going to treat artist fairly and ensure they got a better share of the financial pie. Turns out that was just a lofty mission statement shared at an A-list filled press conference. Tidal has been accused left and right of no properly compensating artist within its platform and is fielding dozens of lawsuits from artists in relation to these allegations.    


A photo posted by Kim Kardashian West (@kimkardashian) on

It’s hard to fault someone – even Kanye “I compare myself to Jesus” West – for walking back on a promise when the other party isn’t holding up their end of the bargain. 2016-04-11_20-35-38 When your life circumstances change so drastically that your agreement will do more harm than good for you and your family.

Being $53 million in debt is no laughing matter – although using twitter to ask the founder of Facebook for a billion dollars kinda is.


A photo posted by The Shade Room (@theshaderoominc) on

Setting aside the fact that Kayne’s better half is the biggest reality star in the world; Yeezy has mouths to feed and adorable babies to clothe.


  A photo posted by Kim Kardashian West (@kimkardashian) on

To choose to not re-evaluate an agreement that limits earning potential while experiencing an extreme change in financial circumstances would be absolutely crazy, especially when others depend on you.

2016-04-11_20-36-29Sometimes life gets really real and you have to make tough decisions to get back on track.

When you’ve discussed it with the person you’ve made an agreement with.
It would be hard to imagine that Kayne West did not have a heart-to-heart with Jay-Z before putting his album on Spotify. For one thing, it would have made for some awkward playdates for Blue Ivy and North West and their moms. For another, the media would have had a field day playing up the latest Kayne feud.

It only makes sense that Jay-Z was ok with – although I bet not absolutely ecstatic about – The Life of Pablo being made available on other platforms.
In an ideal world, you should only be making promises and agreements with people and businesses that have your best interest at heart. In the event that the agreement no longer works for you, you should be able to be honest with them about that fact and have no fear that they mean you ill.

Things don’t always work out as planned, but a good friend and business partner will always be flexible with you when they can.


Why Beyonce is the Queen of Marketing & How You Can Be Too

Is there anything that Beyonce can’t do?

Drop a new surprise single that hits number one and causes America to lose its collective mind and debate the meaning of the rallying cry of “Formation.” Check.


A video posted by Beyoncé (@beyonce) on

  Save the Superbowl halftime show and use it as a platform to sell out your 2016 tour within hours.  Check.  


A photo posted by Beyoncé (@beyonce) on

Break the internet with the release images/video of your new athleisure line, Ivy Park. Check.


A video posted by Beyoncé (@beyonce) on

Keep your fans awake till midnight based on a rumor that your album is dropping when the clock strikes 12. Check.  

Have your sleep-deprived fans still love you when that album doesn’t drop and keep them enthusiastically guessing on when you’ll share your musical genius. Check.

We’re only four months into the year, but 2016 is already shaping up to be one of the biggest for Queen Bey. After spending nearly two decades climbing to the top of the music, fashion and business world; the Irreplaceable songstress continues to prove that her marketing prowess is second to none.

Part of the reason Beyonce is so great at marketing is she knows that in business sometimes less is more and everyone loves a good surprise.

She keeps tight control over every aspect of her business – from album release dates to press photos – and only allows a few media interviews a year. Overkill? Maybe, but this type of control works because we (her fans) know – that when she does make an announcement/release a song/drop an album – it will be good.

Beyonce’s ability to upend traditional marketing tactics works because she has built a reputation as an artist that only delivers the best to her fans. And, she continues to build on that reputation with each new project she releases.  Beyonce doesn’t phone it in and is reliable. And, it means that we tune in when she has something to say.

Of course, not everyone can inspire legions of fans to lose sleep based on the rumblings of a new release, but every entrepreneur and professional can aim to build a reputation based on quality and reliability.

When people know you consistently deliver substance they are more likely to turn in when you have something to say.

Beyonce may be the queen of marketing and by following her strategy of building a stellar reputation and managing it closely, you can be too.

-XOXO Charell Star | Not Just A Girl In A Dress

Career, Celebrity News,

Steve Harvey, Miss Universe and Why How You Handle A Mistake Matters

The jury is still out for me on Steve Harvey’s ability to help women find lasting love, but he just proved to me (and the world) that he knows how to be true Boss when it really counts.

In case you been disconnected over the last day…let me catch you up. Comedienne Steve Harvey made (most likely) the biggest mistakes in beauty pageant history. The Family Feud host, announced the wrong winner (Miss Colombia) at the conclusion of the Miss Universe pageant AND allowed her to be crowned on stage and in front of millions of live TV viewers.

Miss Universe 1

He then had to admit that he was wrong, so that the actual winner (Miss Philippians) could be crowned.

It was a tough, tense and embarrassing situation, but Harvey handled it like a class act. He stood on stage and admitted the mistake was his – he misread the cue cards – and apologized to both Miss Colombia and Miss Philippians. He stood in front a packed and seemingly disgruntled audience, millions of viewers and the two women he wronged and said he was sorry. Following the abruptly ended telecast, he personally apologized to Miss Colombia and Miss Philippians again and placed a public apology on his Instagram page.

Miss Universe 3This is a rough situation for Harvey and won’t die down anytime soon (based on the hate-laced comments on his Instagram feed), but it should serve as an example to all the entrepreneurs and young professionals out here, striving to be bosses with a capital “B.” Everyone, including multi-million dollar TV hosts with years of experience, makes mistakes. It’s how you handle those mistakes that show your true character and your true value.

Miss Universe 2

I tip my hat to Steve Harvey and the positive example he set when he stood up and apologized for his mistake. A true leader knows there is power in being humble and being admitting when you’re wrong. Harvey showed the world that having the courage to say “I’m sorry” in life -as in love- will always set you above the fray.

Maybe his book on love is worth checking out after-all.

à bientôt

Charell Star | Not Just A Girl In A Dress

*Photo Credits – Instagram

Be Inspired, Career,

True beauty: 5 Business Lessons From the Women Helping Women Power Breakfast

With women starting more that 1,288 new companies each day, it is no wonder that they’re rewriting the rules on business and success. Dress For Success (DFS), the international organization that helps women gain economic independence through mentorship, job training, financial literacy and professional attire, is making sure that the women writing these new rules get to share their lessons with those outside the boardroom.

The revered, non-profit provided a lively and engaging atmosphere for these hard-won business tips to be passed on during its recent empowerment breakfast held at the Rainbow Room in New York City.

Crowd Shot 4- Women Helping Women 2015

The annual Women Helping Women fundraising event brought together some of the top female leaders (and a few amazing men) in business to network, encourage and celebrate key professional achievements.

Francine Royan, Marise Tenenbaum, Stephanie Hinton, Christina Cotterell (DFS Client), Gail van Brugge, Sue Kim + Moon Kim from Gail van Brugge - Women Helping Women 2015

Francine Royan, Marise Tenenbaum, Stephanie Hinton, Christina Cotterell (DFS Client), Gail van Brugge, Sue Kim + Moon Kim from Gail van Brugge – Women Helping Women 2015

The Power Breakfast included an amazingly informative empowerment panel hosted by NBC’s Erica Hill. The panelist – designer Norma Kamali, BaubleBar cofounder Daniella Yacobovsky and Equinox’s president Sarah Robb O’Hagan – discussed their journeys and ways women are advancing in the workplace.

Norma Kamali, Daniella Yacobovsky, Joi Gordon, Erica Hill + Sarah Robb O'Hagan - Women Helping Women 2015

Norma Kamali, Daniella Yacobovsky, Joi Gordon, Erica Hill + Sarah Robb O’Hagan – Women Helping Women 2015

This was not my first time attending the Women Helping Women breakfast, so I knew the room was in for a treat. The panelists, event honorees and DFS CEO Joi Gordon did not disappoint and left everyone feeling inspired, uplifted and ready to conquer the day.

Wasidah Francois, Joi Gordon and Charell Star

Wasidah Francois, Joi Gordon and Charell Star – Women Helping Women 2015

There were a ton of juicy business tidbits and knowledge dropped in the room, but I narrowed the mornings’ tips down to the top five success lessons that would apply to professionals everywhere seeking to get ahead.

Jessica Coppola - Women Helping Women 2015

Jessica Coppola – Women Helping Women 2015

Here are 5 lessons on success from the Women Helping Women Breakfast that you should apply to your professional life right now:

You Have to Do More Than Want It

Panelist Daniella Yacobosky of BaubleBar shared, “my mind is 24/7 thinking about BaubleBar. It is not uncommon for me to wake up at 4 o’clock in the morning and say, ‘Oh my God, I have an idea.’” Her co-CEO even texted her while she was in labor, “that she had a new idea.” While I am not co-signing on being so work driven that you can’t sleep or check-out during child-birth, I recognize that lesson of needing to commit on a deeper level to your goals. Wanting to be successful is one thing. Dedicating yourself to it (within reason) is another.

Time to Unwind and Recharge is Required

The burnout struggle is real. As driven and dedicated to reaching your goals as you are; you need to be equally committed to allowing yourself time to decompress and recharge. The bosses of BaubleBar impose a required week-long company shutdown the last week of December to allow their employees to unwind. “We want people to take a break, to power down, be with family, friends and loved ones, to lie on the beach, to go skiing, to just sit in your room and stare at a wall and not be bothered,” said Yacobosky. You cannot be stellar at your job over the long-term, if you do not take time away from it.

There’s a Difference Between Donating and Investing

Dress For Success CEO, Joi Gordon reminded everyone that there is a difference between making a donation and making an investment. Supporters don’t just give time and money to DFS; they make investments in the women that the organization serves; knowing that their will be a positive return on their investments. The same should be true of your professional expenditures. The time and energy that you spend in your career should be an investment in not only you but in the lives of others.

It’s Ok to be Competitive

Equinox’s president Sarah Robb O’Hagan reminded the room that being competitive is ok. “I used to be in denial but I finally realized I’m in a competition with myself. It doesn’t occur to me that there are other people around me that I’m competing with. It’s all about what I want to do and how I’m going to get there.” Being unafraid to challenge yourself is a requirement, if you want to break barriers and create an impact. You can learn a lot by pushing yourself and reflecting on really matters to you.

We’re More Powerful Together

One of the events highlights, was the speech from Columbia University graduate Jessica Coppola. A DFS success story, Coppploa shared her personal challenges and how her she has moved her life forward since walking through the doors of Dress For Success. She is now part of DFS’ Professional Women’s Group and is helping other women like her, gain financial independence. Copploa reminded the room that with success comes the responsibility to help others get to where you are. The more people that do that, the easier the journey becomes.

à bientôt

Charell Star | Not Just A Girl In A Dress

*Photo Credits – Ilya Savenok

Be Inspired, Career,

The End of Tipping & 3 Reasons Entrepreneurs Shouldn’t Fear Trying Something New

Danny MeyerDanny Meyer, CEO of the Union Square Hospitality Group (USHG) just announced that he is eliminating the practice of tipping at his 13 popular restaurants starting next year. The move would affect more than 1800 workers by raising their wages for both front of house staff like servers as well as for kitchen staff like cooks. To accomplish this Meyer will increase the prices of his menu offerings in all his restaurants leaving diners to pay one inclusive price when they eat Grammercy Tavern, Union Square Café and his other 11 popular spots.

Risky? Perhaps, but Meyer is working to stay competitive in a marketplace that will see minimum wages rise to $15 per hour for fast food workers over the next three years. He can’t afford to lose quality kitchen and wait staff to fast food chains. Meyer has also been a living wage advocate for years, calling for the end of tipping in a company newsletter back in 1994.

Time will tell if fine diners accept this more European style of paying for their dining out experience, but bravo to Meyer for stepping up and trying something new rather than waiting until change was upon him. Going against the tide of tradition can be a scary act, but you can’t let yourself be paralyzed by fear when your livelihood is on the line.

Here are 3 reasons why entrepreneurs should never fear trying something new when it comes to their business:

Change Leaders Have Power

People who decide early to get ahead of policy changes have the power to help determine how those changes get implemented. You can become an leader for your team, employees and or industry by being willing to step out in front and be an advocate for a new way of doing things.

Being Forced to Change is Awful

No one wants new policies to be forced on their company and upend their mission and values. If you let this happen to you; you will feel awful. Instead of fighting the changes, get in front them and work to determine the best way to implement them in your company and industry. Changes can feel like positive advancements if you are out in front of them.

Failure Can Be an Invaluable Experience

Change rarely happens smoothly. There are stops and blowouts and plenty of lessons to be learned along the way. But with each hiccup or momentary failure you get to refine the steps on the road forward; giving you specialized expertise that those around you will value and seek out. People learn so much from failing and having to quickly adapt and you can use that knowledge to position yourself and company as an industry expert.

– à bientôt

Charell Star | Not Just A Girl In A Dress


5 Top Business Tips From #NYFW

New York Fashion Week was a jam packed collection of runway shows, clothing previews, celebration parties, makeovers, outfit changes and red carpet photos. Of course, there was lots of glitz and glamour at every turn, but there was also a lot of substance peeking out from behind all chiffon and selfie sticks this year. If you paid really close attention, there were endless business lessons being displayed that could help an entrepreneur in any field get a head. The best business tips usually come from the most unexpected situations and Fashion Week was no exception.

Here are top five lessons that I observed during my NYFW experience that you should apply to your business and life today.

Follow #RoleModelsNotRunwayModels

Chanel Cathey, Viacom Director of Corporate Communications

Chanel Cathey, Viacom Director of Corporate Communications

I picked this on up at the Carrie Hammer Role Models, Not Runway Models show that highlighted the fact that women with substance have the type of style we should idealize. The show included 27 business leaders and had them strut their highly-accomplished stuff down the runway in exclusive professional designs from Carrie Hammer. The Role Models included women like Tayla Colton of Keep A Child Alive, Tolu Olubunmi a Dream Act advocate, and Michelle Herrera Mulligan Editor in Chief of Latina Cosmo.

The Business Lesson: The people you choose to emulate should be leaders in the truest sense of the word.

With the Right #SquadGoals Anything is Possible

Essence Street Style 2015

Essence Street Style 2015

Pulling off a Fashion Week event is a major coup, but no one does it alone. Everywhere you look there are teams of people working to make magic happen. Combine that with the throngs of men and women who come out to support their friends and pitch in a helping hand when needed and you’ve got one unstoppable force.

The Business Lesson: Surround yourself with people who support your goals and mission if you want to get ahead.

There is No Such Thing As An Overnight Success

BlackPhumlelele Show

BlackPhumlelele Show

Many of the designers I spoke fell into two camps. Some had been designing for years and had a desire early in life to create clothing that showcased their creativity. Others became designers because a lack of clothing options in the marketplace that met a personal need. Neither group felt that their success was instantaneous. They all put in years of hard-work, sleepless nights, large personal financial investment and overcame countless challenges to get to this point in their careers.

The Business Lesson: There are no shortcuts to creating a successful business. You have to be willing to give it your all and work harder and longer than anyone else if you want to get to the top.

Shake off Losses Quickly And Focus on The Next Win

KIA STYLE360 Hosts Serena Williams Signature Collection By HSN Photo Credit - WireImage for STYLE360

KIA STYLE360 Hosts Serena Williams Signature Collection By HSN Photo Credit – WireImage for STYLE360

This is one that the pros live by. Everyone (Ok. Everyone I know) was disappointed with Serena Williams’ semi-final loss at the US Open. But no one was surprised when she flawlessly debuted her new collection at Fashion Week a few short day later. She is known for her ability to keep all her projects moving forward and execute her vision according to plan. That is an amazing skill to have in every field.

The Business Lesson: A good businessman or woman doesn’t let one defeat hamper their entire game.

Check Your Ego At the Door

Even with the all the fast-paced events, long lines and high stress moments, Fashion Week continues to be one of the best NY experiences because everyone is so down to earth. From the PR girls checking the lists at the doors and finding room for that person who did not RSVP, to the assistants running to grab extra bottles of water or clean a spill off the floor, to the security guard who becomes the de facto bathroom attendant/taxi concierge; everyone is working hard to make sure guests have a really good time and seem to go out of their way to make it happen.

The Business Lesson: To succeed you need to check your inner-diva at the door and be willing to do things outside your “job description” to get things done.


I’m looking forward to the next NYFW and all the awesome business lessons I’ll see in action there. Of course, I’ll share the best tips with you. 2015-09-22 00.09.23

– à bientôt

Charell Star | A Girl In A Dress