Entrepreneur Of The Month:
1. We would love to get to know you more. Tell us a little bit about yourself. When did you first become interested in fashion?
My journey in the fashion industry began when I attended FIDM back in 2008. I went to FIDM with the intent of becoming a visual merchandiser and window dresser. My major was broad and while I studied my major for 2 years, I learned so many traits and different skills in the fashion industry.
After graduating from FIDM in 2010, I went on a solo Euro trip. While visiting family in Austria, one of my cousins began capturing photos of every city we visited. By the end of my Euro trip I had hundreds of photos of beautiful scenery and outfits.
When I arrived back home in the states after being in Europe for 2 months, my sister introduced me to blogging. She followed two bloggers in Los Angeles named Natalie and Dylana Suarez. It so happened that Natalie was hosting a fashion event in Santa Monica, so my sister and I went and supported her.
After attending the event, my sister and I quickly befriended Natalie and Dylana since we had so much in common as sisters. It wasn’t until 2011 that I began blogging all of my outfits and photos from my Euro trip.
All while I began blogging I began pursuing my dream job as a fashion stylist. I began as an intern. I have done 6 of them, each lasting a minimum of 3 months. Since blogging at the time was not providing income, I kept pursuing styling and in 2015 I officially became an assistant for 4 stylists. It wasn’t until 2016 that I was given an opportunity and became my own fashion stylist all while pursuing blogging.
I had a dream and would not give it up to me. It took me 6 years to become a stylist but it was worth the learning experiences I had along the way. I love everything about both industries, and am so blessed to wake up and do what I love.
2. What is your must have accessory?
Necklaces!! Layers of them! You can wear ANY basic outfit and if you pair your outfit with the perfect necklace, it looks so chic and more fashionable.
3. What is your favorite season and why?
My absolutely favorite season is summer. It used to be fall, but I am obsessed with two-piece sets and in fall it’s too cold to wear crop tops and bayous as tops.
4. Who is your main fashion inspiration?
My main fashion inspiration is Anna Dello Russo. Celebrities have fashion stylists and influencers follow trends, but as the editor-at-large, Anna Dello Russo always dresses to impress and wears the most beautiful fashion pieces and accessories. Did I mention necklaces?
5. What are your future goals, in general?
My goals are to become an A-List celebrity fashion stylist and continue to partner with brands I love as a beauty & fashion blogger. One being Gucci- my favorite brand. I would love to collaborate with Gucci in the future.
6. What makes you feel beautiful?
Makeup. Jk, lol.
My boyfriend (he is AMAZING), getting my nails & hair done, buying a new outfit, my flaws, etc.
When I have my moments I have to remind myself that no one is perfect, and that I was wonderfully and beautifully made and as a woman with former body dysmorphia, working out and trying new skincare routines make me feel beautiful. If I see results with my face or body I feel greater about myself. I do not believe in a scale and sometimes go months without weighing myself. If I see results in my shape, then I am happy with my progress and it makes me feel more beautiful because I am trying my best.
You can read my blog article about overcoming body dysmorphia here: http://beatricebalaj.com/2017/06/14/how-i-overcame-body-dysmorphia/
7. What makes your heart beat? What do you believe in, stand for, and want to tell others about?
I was in past relationships with narcissists and I even dated a sociopath and dating toxic men made me think that all men were all jerks. It wasn’t until I began to focus on myself and love myself that I began to see my self-worth and how awesome I am.
I was not looking to date but then I met my boyfriend, Vanand. His support, kindness, love, gentleness, generous soul, and funny character makes me realize that there are amazing, awesome, super rad men out there. He is the man that I thought I would never find and prayed for.
I wanted to share this because we all date and sometimes we find ourselves with the wrong partner and it is important to not settle due to loneliness, validation or self-worth. A person cannot give you those things.
That brings me to my spirituality… I grew up in the Christian home & church and chose to follow Christ when I was 19 years old. Through so much trials and loss (4 relatives passed this year) that life can bring, I found that the TRUEST peace and joy one can seek is from Jesus Christ.
We live in a world with so many different believes and cultures but no matter where someone is from, we need to spread more love and kindness in the world. We cannot lose anything doing that. Only gain.
Being such a strong believer in love. I also believe in actions over words. I am a board member for a non-profit called Foster Nation. Foster Nation has a program called Young Leaders Collective, a diverse group of LA-based entrepreneurs, movers & shakers, young leaders. We meet each month to plan fundraisers and awesome events to help foster youth aging out of the system.
I became involved with Young Leaders Collective last summer when I was freelancing and wanted to do more with my freetime and serve. I then found out about Foster Nation through my cousin and after having a conference call about the foster care system, I was broken. I was shocked on the statistics that were shared with me and how much help and moral support the foster care system needs. Through Foster Nation, we prepare, support and empower the foster youth.
I began volunteering in 2016 with the intent of changing the lives of foster youth aging out of the system but they changed mine.