We had the good fortune of connecting with Sandra Veum and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Sandra, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
My thought process about starting my own business really started while I was in college. I knew I wanted to work in the fashion industry, but truly wanted to leave a mark by helping others and building confidence with people through clothing. That is why while getting a BS Degree in Textiles & Clothing; I also received a Minor in Business. I knew that at some point in my career, I wanted to own my own business. After working in both the retail industry and then in sales & marketing with the hotel industry, I knew it was time to really delve into what I always really wanted to do, which was styling. I knew my business had to remain true to myself, which is helping others be the best version of themselves and build confidence from within. I wanted to work with individuals, groups, and companies to have this happen. My schooling taught me a lot about the fashion world like history, construction, styles, designers, and textiles, which really set me apart from others. Since I know and love the fashion world, I like to be able to share this knowledge with my clients whether they are fashion junkies or not. I would say my process was to get as much business and work experience before I started my own business. That is why I am glad I took my time to get the knowledge of sales, marketing, PR, accounts receivable and so forth, so that now owning my own business is not as daunting. I am all about organization and cost effectiveness, yes even in fashion these are important factors. I love what I do and I especially love the end result working with my clients. What is that? A person who feels that much better about themselves while conquering whatever they are trying to achieve in their life!
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I would say my art is in knowing how to put pieces together with clothing and accessories for anyone, any size, and at any price. What sets me apart from others is that I believe style has no price. I would like to think that I am responsible for creating confidence in my client’s lives and being the best version of themselves. I am all about creating confidence while making their life easier with presenting themselves in the best manner. I like to take my own personal experiences, incorporate that into my styling, and make it enjoyable for everyone. I am also known for being strategic and efficient with everyone’s dollars. I am most proud though of being a Mom and having two successful careers. I have been able to merge all of my experiences into my styling business. I am also proud about hearing the feedback from my clients of how I might have helped changed their lives for the better. I treat all like I would want to be treated myself! Was this process easy to get too? Of course not, I never take any experience for granted. I also believe that all experiences have meaning, even the bad ones. Life has its difficulties, but we can learn from all of it. I like to think that this makes us strong individuals and hopefully more compassionate to others. I have learned to never give up if you truly love what you do. There will always be roadblocks, but you can find a different path to continue your success. I work hard, but since I love what I do, I never complain. I get the job done because my word is my word. I believe in my work ethics, integrity, trust, and fun!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Well, let us pretend it is not Covid time. I would start off by meeting early to take a walk along the bay while enjoying a fresh cup of coffee from Moniker General at Liberty Station. I would then take them to my some of my favorite shopping boutiques at Liberty Station, Mission Hills and Little Italy. We would then change and go eat lunch at Coasterra or C Level to enjoy the water view. I would then have them dress casual–urban–chic and take them to The Turf Club to grill our own steak and drink fabulous dirty martinis & lemon drops! We would end with karaoke at The Lamplighter in Mission Hills. The next day I would have rented us a private chartered sailboat to enjoy the bay and have on board wine, aperol spritz, a charcuterie board & chocolate covered strawberries. I would then take us on a nice drive around Point Loma, Coronado, and LaJolla stopping at various places along the way. We would then take a short nap and then dress for a fun night in either Little Italy or North Park. So many places to choose from but both locations are great to walk from place to place after dinner. Since we would be partaking in either beer flights, specialty drinks, or wine, we would be Ubering the whole way. We would end with either Sunday brunch at Lips or a relaxing picnic in Balboa Park!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I want to recognize my parents who always encouraged me to do what I wanted to do in life, even if I was told I was not able to accomplish something. I would also want to thank them for introducing me to the older glamourous movies of the 1930’s-1960’s. I also want to recognize my wonderful husband and daughter who have supported me and given me great advice along my style business journey. I cannot forget two of my bosses in the hotel industry, John Reyes and Nancy Rosolino, who promoted me early on in this industry. They knew that sales & marketing was in my DNA! I would also like to recognize a fabulous woman, Valerie Lee, who has built a fashion world within San Diego with two wonderful boutiques ChateauBelAge & LeBelAge. She has taught me so much, and our collaborations together have helped in the growth of my own business! I also recommend the following books which helped hone my skills of owning my business and believing in myself: “It’s Not How Good You Are, It’s How Good You Want To Be” by Paul Arden, “Waiting for Your Cat to Bark?”, by Bryan & Jeffrey Eisenberg, “I’ll Drink to That”, by Betty Halbreich, “The Woman I Wanted To Be” by Diane Furstenberg, and “Empress Of Fashion”, by Diana Vreeland. Lastly, a huge shoutout to my clients, who have truly made me feel so loved and encouraged! Without them, this business would mean nothing to me.