In the corporate world, many executives struggle to find their personal style when it comes to clothing, and often just go with the crowd to fit in. Nonkuthalo Thithi, founder of Styled to a T, has made it her mission to help just such people to find an image that works for their business and personal lifestyles.
LoA chatted to the stylish Nonkuthalo Thithi about her unique business and her personal style mission.
What does your company do?
At my company, Styled to a T, we specialize in personal styling and image consulting for private and corporate clients. We help people understand their personal style and equip them to feel their best, every day of the week. We work with anyone who feels the need to look at their wardrobe with a fresh perspective.
"We help people understand their personal style and equip them to feel their best, everyday of the week."
What inspired you to start your company?
While working at various magazines, I noticed that the most read pieces were those that gave readers tips on how to wear clothes in a fresh way. I always responded to queries about how to go from the office to drinks with friends, or what to wear on date night, or even still, how to incorporate new trends into an existing wardrobe. I found that we all have the same concerns when it comes to our style and that it’s difficult to make it all work and feel good in the process. I wanted to help men and women equip themselves so that they make more informed style decisions. It starts with how you want to look or be perceived by others, then you can start to build a wardrobe from there.
Why should anyone use your service or product?
If you find yourself staring into your wardrobe day after day, wondering what to wear, or rather how to wear what you already have, then this is the service for you. Styled to a T will take all the worry and anxiety away and help you feel more confident and at ease with the art of dressing. If you're a business owner or corporate organisation, our corporate talks can equip your staff to best represent themselves, in their various roles, in your company.
"After assisting many people over the years with finding their personal style, equipping others to dress appropriately for their various work environments and repeatedly hearing the same concerns, this business was the next organic step."
Share a little about your entrepreneurial journey. And, do you come from an entrepreneurial background?
My background is in media, with a degree in Business Science Marketing from UCT. I worked in the magazine industry for a number of years before moving to Grazia Magazine where I eventually became Fashion Director. I always wanted to merge my fashion experience with my business education as I wanted to develop both my creative and analytical senses. After assisting many people over the years with finding their personal style, equipping others to dress appropriately for their various work environments and repeatedly hearing the same concerns, this business was the next organic step. I do not come from an entrepreneurial background though my family comprises forward thinkers. This has enabled me to find a gap where I saw a need and to take the plunge.
What are your future plans and aspirations for your company?
I am expectant that there is still a lot of room for my business to grow and would like to see us become an authoritative voice in the styling industry, and among entrepreneurs. I would like to see a lot more people walking with their heads held high, with a change in confidence because they are able to feel self-assured in their skin. We have to change the narrative that we have to all look the same to feel good. We are all able to look our absolute best with the right tools and understanding of ourselves.
"We have to change the narrative that we have to all look the same to feel good. We are all able to look our absolute best with the right tools and understanding of oneself."
What gives you the most satisfaction being an entrepreneur?
Being a service entrepreneur - it is when a client looks at themselves in the mirror and sees someone they never thought they would ever see. Clothes have the power to do that in an instant. When a client smiles from ear to ear and cannot wait for the next day to wear an outfit or try something new, that is when I know what I am doing means something to people.
What's the biggest piece of advice you can give to other women looking to start-up?
Just start! There are so many reasons why you shouldn't but the important ones are why you should. The reason you have that idea is reason enough, and the world needs more women entrepreneurs. Every yes you get is a step forward and every no you get is a lesson for the next opportunity. Do not get caught up in the no's, just keep moving forward.
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Why LoA loves it….
So much of what it takes to build a successful business comes from finding your niche in the world, and often that niche comes from leveraging personal talents, expertise or a particular passion. Nonkuthalo Thithi is driven by a need to help people feel confident through the image they present to the world, and so much of that comes through the clothes they wear, and importantly, how they wear them. She is helping her clients to find a sense of personal style that will help them in so many aspects of their business and personal lives. --- Melanie Hawken, founder and ceo of Lionesses of Africa