May 18, 2012

Inside the world of @Simone_Vivian

A year ago I blogged about personal stylist and published author Julia Miles-Davis of Simone Vivian LLC. Recently Ayanna Cobham, a student at American University, was able to sit down with Julia and pick her brain on all things fashion and how she got her start.

By way of North Carolina Julia Miles-Davis, owner of Simone Vivian LLC, is the district’s best-kept secret in the world of fashion and image consulting. We recently sat down to discuss her dynamic personality and intriguing life story, but by the end it was her effortlessly chic style that made me apply for an internship.

 Personal shopper, closet editor, wife and super glam mom to a 15-month old, it's safe to say Miles-Davis is wearing many hats. When the door first opened, there stood a beautiful 5’9” woman in cut off shorts, a plaid shirt around her waist, a loose t-shirt and draped in jewelry.  “I just came from a play group with my son” she says as she welcomed me into her home.  If you were to see her closet, you would see her clothing coordinated by category; all blouses together, all pants, skirts…then by color.  All hangers are hung properly with matching hangers, “which makes everything look neat and easy to see.”

Julia Miles-Davis

When I asked her to explain her style she described it as “on trend.”  Julia is both feminine and edgy and she has her style down to a science.  Not only is she fashionable (I love the Christian Louboutin platform sandals she wore for the interview) she also has the brains to back it up.   Julia attended Howard University, studied at the London College of Fashion and founded her own image-consulting agency by the time she turned 25.

Last year, Julia published her first book, “Mani Pedi (Success is Defined By You),” which is currently available at Barnes and Noble books stores.  “It’s been quite a whirlwind,” she said, “I can hardly believe I’ve done it all.  I’m very familiar with humble beginnings and also a firm believer that nobody starts as the CEO.  I started working retail at Neiman Marcus on the sales floor, folding tees and hanging dresses.  Between starting fitting rooms for customers and my internships is where I found my passion as an image consultant.”  Only time can tell you what is next for this fashionista who can conquer all that life throws at her.  One cannot help but admire this chick’s drive and goal to expand and conquer.  The best part of my job she says is that I’m never bored.  My clients and I have great relationships; after all I am conducting my business in their bedrooms.

In addition to Ayanna's interview, I was able to pick Julia's brain about a few more things:

Q. What has the last year been like for you since publishing your book? Have you seen a growth in your business?
Since publishing my book "Mani Pedi: Success is Defined by You", I've had a book signings, my most recent last month at Grambling State University. I have definitely seen growth in my business since it's inception. I went from a one person business in AZ to a business with several employees and interns. My clientele has also increased from AZ only to now including clients in AZ, CA, FL, and NY. 

Q. Are you still living in Arizona or have you permanently relocated to DC? How do the two markets differ in terms of fashion?
Simone Vivian has permanently relocated to DC. AZ and DC differ a lot since the fashion in DC is more conservative than in AZ. This is because DC is a work first place rather than AZ, which is a vacation/retirement place. 

Q. What are your 5 essential items for Summer?
The five essential items for this summer are floral print, neon colors, denim, platform sandals, and a great pair of shades. 

Q. How do you balance being a new mom and business woman?
Balancing motherhood and being a business woman is a mission for sure. Technology has played a key role in staying connected and accessible to my clients. Without my Ipad3 or blackberry I would be lost. Since relocating my office hours are much earlier in the morning and much later into the night. I try my best to make it work because it's my goal to be both a great mom and a great business woman. 

Q. What does Simone Vivian have in store for the rest of 2012? Any plans to write a follow-up book?
Simone Vivian wants to make a huge splash in the DMV and expand it's services. Since our event at Tory Burch in Scottsdale, we've started a new service and that's hosting and styling fashion shows. Our next event we are planning this fall will be with Bloomingdales. As far as another book, I will have to wait for the right time. My top priority is to make a fashion footprint in the here. 

For more information on Simone Vivian LLC: Twitter and Website or check out their YouTube channel.

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