An interview with Mallory Sills, owner of Elburn-based Mallory Sills Ltd.
Q: Describe your business. What do you do?
Address: PO Box 865 Elburn, IL 60119
Owner: Mallory Sills
Year business started: 2011
Web address: www.mallorysills.com
A: I am a personal and fashion stylist. I help stay at home moms, business professionals or teens going to prom, look and feel their best. I help a client with any and all of their wardrobe needs. Bringing my clients an increased sense of confidence and feeling of empowerment is what I strive to help them accomplish. I work with all different clients with a wide range of budgets. Much of our time together is spent educating and discussing how to flatter your shape in the best way possible, developing your own unique sense of style, and helping you feel comfortable and happy getting dressed every day. The services I offer include: Closet Cleanse, Closet Shop, Personal Shopping, Special Event Styling, and more. Every appointment and service is customized to fit each individual's needs and style goals.
Q: What made you start your business?
A: Growing up I always knew I wanted to be a stylist, for as long as I can remember fashion and style have been my passion. When I discovered how rewarding and truly enjoyable it is to work with clients on a one-on-one basis to help them feel and look their best, I knew this is what I had to do. Throughout my time in college I gained as much formal education as well as hands-on experience I could so that I was able to have an enormous resource base.
I also know that there's a need for stylists in the suburban areas. There are a number of stylists located in downtown Chicago, but it's almost an unknown service to many suburban areas. From my experience working in retail, I know that there are a lot of individuals who want help learning what flatters their shape, how to dress for their lifestyle, and how to shop more efficiently. Often times retail stores can be overwhelming for a lot of people, and many feel pressured to make purchases from the sales associates wanting to make a sale. I wanted to start a company that offered people in the suburbs the service of helping them, honestly, with them being the main focus (not how many pieces they purchase).
Q: What has been the most difficult obstacle in running or starting a small business?
A: I would say, no matter what your business is, the beginning stages are the most difficult. Figuring out where your clients are, the expenses, and everything that goes along with getting a business started.
Q: What do you enjoy most about operating your business?
A: I absolutely love that I'm able to do what I love to do, it makes everything worth it when I work with my clients and see them feel amazing.
Q: Is this what you pictured yourself doing when you were young? When you were young, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A: Absolutely, when I first discovered the world of styling I instantly knew this was what I was meant to do. Before being introduced to styling, I wanted to be a fashion designer and a teacher. I always wanted to do something creative and work with other people to help them feel great about themselves.
Q: What keeps you up at night?
A: I would say my to-do lists. Also, sometimes I wake up with a creative idea for a client that I jot down so I don't forget.
Q: If you could give one tip to a new business owner, what would it be?
A: Have passion for what you do starting a business is not easy but if you're passionate about it, it makes all of the hard work with it.
• Every Monday we feature a small, suburban business. We want to hear about yours. Contact Business Writer Kim Mikus at firstname.lastname@example.org.