Today we’d like to introduce you to Loren North.
So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
My personal journey to becoming a personal stylist started with shopping at thrift stores and consignment stores. I used to work in an area that had a lot of big box stores that were convenient to run to over lunch or after work. I kept returning to these stores due to their proximity to my workplace and price point. Nothing in these stores was inspiring, but it was easy. I was in a style and shopping rut.
During this time, I wandered into Goodwill. This started innocently enough as affordable and guilt-free retail therapy and became more of a mission. I realized that the clothing available at these stores was current, some new with tags, and could form a professional wardrobe. The thrift stores included the typical labels you are used to seeing in traditional retail stores. These clothes were for sale at a fraction of the price. What was even better were the consignment stores- locally owned establishments with even higher quality selections.
Fast forward to 2015…I began looking for a career with meaning, and I needed to combine my environmental and sustainability background (I am a former geologist) with my passion for art, clothing and helping people. I realized as a personal stylist I could use many of my talents and interests. It became a moral imperative for me to show others what I discovered and help people who want to update their style, find their look and do it while being conscious of their choices. The movie The True Cost was released, and it cemented the idea that fashion has a tremendous negative impact on this planet and on the people who make our clothes. Most clothing available to the average consumer is in effect trash (it’s made to be disposable) and it’s time we break this cycle together.
So it became my mission to change how and where we shop for our clothes.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Not at all! I worked in corporate America for 14+ years and was used to the hustle of working as a consultant. Making the decision to leave my corporate job was the easy part. Transitioning to a business owner was hard. The styling part comes naturally to me so my actual “work” – the styling and shopping was and is great. I have had to learn how to be a business owner.
Struggles included identifying and working with my ideal clients, getting out of my own way, realizing the value of mastermind groups and coaching. Understanding that being a business owner can be very lonely and you need to be around other business owners to celebrate your wins, get over the losses and learn from them.
I have had to learn that not everyone can be nor should they be my client. My ideal client understands my mission, understands the importance of high quality clothes and shopping strategically – they just don’t want the latest trends. As I enter my third full year, I understand better my weaknesses and strengths and where I want to be. It is a never ending journey!
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Through the Closet Door – what should we know?
My business is a personal styling and personal shopping business. What I do differently is work with my clients to reuse and restyle their existing clothes. If they opt for personal shopping – I do that in two ways. Either I shop for them at local (Phoenix area) consignment stores or I will create a list for them to purchase online from ethical, sustainable, online stores.
I bring the three pillars of sustainability to my work – people, planet, profit. I am a firm believer that we need to start owning our clothing rather than consuming our clothing. This means treating our clothes as investments and buying clothes that are meant to last. I am not the type of stylist/shopper that just encourages shopping for shopping’s sake. Buying more clothes to create style does not solve the problem.
Where we spend our money matters and supporting local businesses is crucial to a sustainable economy.
We need to change the way we think about our clothes, where we buy them, and make more conscious shopping decisions.
I am most proud of the fact that over the past few years in business I have worked with clients who combined have spent thousands of dollars at locally owned consignment stores. Because of their work with me, I have been able to make monetary and physical donations to thrift stores and local charities that I support. Lastly, I have shifted my clients’ mindset. All of them are on board with shopping consignment but for some it’s the first time they have ever done it. When they see the clothes I find and how fabulous they look, they are converted! They love consignment after that. I am saving the planet one client at a time.
Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
Yes, I have worked with a number of business coaches including Karen’s Edge (Karen Lawrence), Erin Garcia (Coach Erin), and Therese Skelly (Happy in Business). Mastermind groups I have participated in or currently participate in are Gals Inspiration Hub, Sparks and Therese Skelly’s inner circle mastermind.
My mastermind groups have been extremely beneficial as being a business owner can be quite isolating. So it’s so important to have other business owners to brainstorm with or have them vet ideas with you.
I received a grant in 2017 from Tisha Marie Enterprises which was so appreciated. I also am a proud and active member of Local First AZ which promotes local businesses in Arizona. I love their mission and the support and camaraderie of local business owners is fantastic.
- All clients start with Design Your Signature Style which starts at $250.
- Website: www.lorenenorth.com
- Phone: 602-753-8908
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ttcdlorennorth/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/throughtheclosetdoor/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/LorenNorthTTCD
- Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/through-the-closet-door-phoenix
- Other: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lorennorth/