Stylist Profile: Laura Tully
Hi Laura! Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I was born on the lovely island of Jamaica and came to America when I was 11 years old. It changed my life! I now live in beautiful Boise, Idaho where I launched my career and company as a wardrobe stylist, blogger, and co-founder of Next Level Women Leaders. I strive to use my platform to uplift, educate, and positively affect the narrative of how we view style and fashion. I get the blessed opportunity to travel and make the style goodness happen wherever it is needed. My expertise in fashion goes beyond putting on a great outfit. When I work with my clients, I recognize their individual beauty. Through style, I’m able to show them ways to celebrate all of their strengths and personality in a modern refined way. As a Personal Shopper, I work to bridge the gap between high fashion imagery in magazines and accessible everyday wear. I’m not here to copy what we see in magazines. I’m here to show you that beauty is self-love wrapped in confidence and it can be delivered in a fabulous outfit that is *all* you.
What is your background (i.e. education, previous jobs, experiences that led you to create)?
I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Montclair State University in NJ. Soon after doing very little with that degree I decided (aka as prodding from my parents) to go back to school for nursing. I went through the motions of school. Getting A’s because anything other made me feel less. I waited for that moment where I would feel fully committed to the idea of being a nurse. I met my James at the hospital I worked at NJ. Six months later my car was packed and I was leaving NJ to move to Boise ID to be with the man I would soon become my husband.
I stopped in my second year of nursing school.
I meandered for a few years not really knowing my place. I saw that there was a new JCrew opening in Boise and jumped on the opportunity. I started out as a training manager and soon my enthusiasm for style, fashion and people was reignited. I switched into personal styling and did so happily for 5 years at JCrew. I saw this need that my clients had outside of what I provided for them at JCrew. It was simple. They wanted to feel and look great in what they wear. I wanted to show them all the wonderful ways to celebrate themselves through style. The push for me to start my own styling business came from a restructuring of JCrew. The personal styling position was removed from stores. I could go back into management, stay in sales or leave. I chose to leave. It was a difficult decision made possible by the incredible support of my hubby and friends. The fear of diving into the uncertainties of building a business was real. I decided to jump off the cliff and found that I had an endless supply of parachutes, supplied by my determination, relentless effort, and by the amazing people in my life who supported and encouraged me.
What drew you to wanting to be a wardrobe stylist?
I’ve always recognized and loved how style had the ability to transform how someone feels in the skin they are in. I've had first-hand experience. Style can be this catalyst that ignites the bigger picture of what we are choosing to show up for. I love putting together these never ending puzzles of looks and seeing the possibilities of what could be.
When did you begin your styling work and what steps did you take to make that happen?
My clients began asking me for more than what was available at JCrew. I saw that the need was there and I wanted to meet it. They were traveling for pleasure or business and weren’t sure what to bring or wear. I was able to easily take care of these needs for them. All they had to do was focus on and enjoy their event, business trip or vacation. When I left JCrew I reached out to every single contact I had. I had a few clients who saw the value in my service and didn't hesitate to support my new endeavor. It took time, rejection and listening to people I admired. I also had to learn to push through the "no's" to make room for the "yes." Most of my clients are from referrals and our relationships are built on trust, honesty and a whole lot of fun. Every step of how my process works are fueled by continuing education about fashion, business, listening to my clients and recognizing what I can do better.
What services do you offer?
These are my main services -
Closet Redefine Service - I edit, streamline and show clients what styles work on their bodies. My process is simple: show you the styles that work best for you and the why behind it; create a wardrobe that is versatile; solve the "what to wear" dilemma. The end result is a modern wardrobe that's fun, polished and most of all reflects you and your lifestyle.
Packing/ travel service - I create outfits and pack for clients to alleviate the “what to wear” dilemma. Whether it’s a vacation or business trip, it allows them the freedom to focus on what’s most important.
Personal shopping service - I provide online shopping and in-person shopping service. E-shopping works beautifully for my out of state clients. My method is all about intentional shopping. Every piece that comes into your space must serve a purpose, make you feel fantastic and work with several other styles in your closet.
How does living in Boise affect the work you do?
Boise has given me the space to create and build a service that didn't really exist here. Boise loves fashion and wants more of it. I’ve met some of the most stylish women and men here in Idaho. If anything I find myself being asked: “can I wear this?” “is this too dressy for Boise?” It’s granting ourselves the permission to know that YES, you can wear what makes you look and feel good and this is what works.
We certainly need more variety in our mid to high-end clothing boutiques. Styles that will last and be loved 5 years from now. Boise will get there. It’s driven, eager and is developing its own barometer of identity. It is pretty exciting to be apart of that.
How would you describe your style?
It’s a mesh of classic minimalist with a dose of homegirl swag :) Comfort and style must happily play with each other in my world. It’s the continuous thread in how I style my clients and how I choose to style myself.
What makes you passionate about the work that you do?
It’s seeing how it can transform or ignite the people I have the opportunity to work with. Style can be this catalyst that has the ability to fuel the bigger picture of what you are trying to create. Through style, we are able to celebrate those beautiful assets. Nothing melts my heart more than witnessing the moments that transpire when my client begins to see for themselves all that makes them fantastic.
What is your relationship with social media?
I’ve met some of the most incredible humans through social media. It’s given me space to visually voice what I love to do, connect with my own community and beyond where I live. The challenge with social media is realizing that you get to choose the manner in which it feeds or fuels you. It’s a platform that can skew your perception of reality and worth. So I’ve made the decision to treat it no differently than how I actually choose the people I bring into my life. I follow platforms or people that are creating with purpose-driven intention. They inspire, teach me something new and expose me to so many big ideas.
What are some of the setbacks or challenges you face in your work?
The biggest challenge I face is also what inspires me to do what I love. I have the opportunity to meet and work with incredible women. Some of whom have yet experience and see how fantastic they are "as is." Our challenge, especially as women is to recognize that the battle that comes with how we define our worth is not our own doing. It’s a cultural plague that we all must work on dismantling piece by piece until it collapses.
At The Glossary, we believe in women working together and helping one another. Why do you think it is important for women to support each other?
The cost to do otherwise is much too great. What we bring to the table when we work together and support each other is the permission to move beyond where we stand. To know that we are not alone, ever, in our endeavors to create change, to define our worth and act upon them.
What creative women do you find inspiring?
Wow, this list is long and beautiful. To name just a few I would have to start my naming my 3 partners who've co-founded Next Level Women Leaders. Stacy Ennis, Creative consultant + content strategist; Nancy Buffington, Public speaking trainer + coach and Abbey Louie, Leadership coach + talent management strategist. They are each incredibly talented and have pushed me to see beyond what I thought I was capable of doing. Jenna Kutcher, marketing entrepreneur and photographer. Her honesty and passion are infectious. Kennesha Buycks, creative and storyteller. She is a burst of truth, faith, love and fabulous designs. Natalie Franke, Founder of @risingtidesociety, Entrepreneur, and Photographer. Her All-in energy and passion to create communities over competition have allowed me to see ways that I can collaborate and serve others.
What have you learned from creating your own business that you think can apply to any creative endeavor?
Show up and try. I've learned that fear will always be there to remind us that what we’re about to experience is an opportunity outside our comfort zone. So take a deep breath, prepare yourself also know as work and get comfy with being uncomfortable. Fear will always creep up when you dare to move beyond where you stand. Recognize it and stifle its powers with your BIG vision, die-hard action, and passion-driven LOVE!
Do you have any resources that have been helpful to you that we should know of?
Rising Tide Community, Darren Daily, Better Human are just a few of the resources I’ve used to motivate myself. It’s a reminder that you are not alone.
How do you manage your time?
It’s so funny that you’re asking me this because I just did a blog post providing “tips to feeding your mental meter.” Most of which had to do with how I managed my time. I stopped trying to “find balance” and developed a system of writing things down into 3 categories: High priority (this includes my work, project deadlines, bill pay, Maddie cakes- my stepdaughter, hubby, family and friends); Create- these are upcoming projects that are further out, networking, reading, learning; This and that stuff- these are everyday life things that we have to get done- grocery shop, dry cleaning, clean house, laundry, etc. I then schedule each category item on my phone and paper calendar. It's not about trying to get everything done. It's about clearing your mental space so that you can focus on the meat and potatoes of your day.
How do you deal with moments of self-doubt?
I acknowledge it, which was something I've had to work on and continue to do. I found the more I fought the doubt or the fear, the more it stifled my ability to move through it. Some moments are easier than others. The point wasn’t to figure out how to avoid having fear or doubt. For me, that isn’t real. I had to realize that my self-talk on what I needed to do to move beyond the doubt was crucial. I ask myself why I felt this way, honestly answer it (not always easy) and gave myself solutions to get beyond it. Most of the time it’s really a matter of believing that you deserve this space you’re about to take up. To believe that you belong. It’s ok to sit in the fear and doubt but I don’t linger in it.
What are you trying to learn right now?
The life of Harriet Tubman. I’m just fascinated by her bravery and will. What can this world become if we teach our girls to be brave no matter what forces are stacked against them?
How to improve my memory by not writing everything in my phone app (I’ll keep you posted)?
What are some of your favorite places in Boise?
Wow! So many! I love Boise. A few of my favorite spots revolve around food. I love Juniper, The Mode - fantastic cocktails, The Modern, Form and Function and Slow by Slow.
The Record Exchange- I grew up on vinyl records from my Dad and being inside this hip record store is truly a music lovers dream.
We have the Greenbelt which holds a special place in the hearts of Boiseans. This 25 miles of tree-lined beauty along the Boise River makes bicycling, jogging, jogging, strolling and lazy Summer days’ pure bliss.