Work It Wednesday - Carla Criminisi
For this week's Work It Wednesday we're headed on the 401 to Hamilton to learn more about a fantastic entrepreneur, Carla Criminisi.
Owner and head stylist of Charles & Hunt, Carla has done a phenomenal job at tapping into a niche market for the men's fashion industry. Being able to assist men in styling their wardrobes and shop for them - what a win!
1. Where did your dream of being a personal stylist and business owner stem from?
The path to becoming a personal stylist and business owner stemmed from a series of fortunate events and opportunities where I said "yes" that led me to starting a business in men’s wardrobe styling. I was always interested in visual arts and fashion and knew I wanted to have creative freedom in my career but wasn’t sure what that position looked like. After graduating from university and college, I worked as a retail manager in menswear, a position I never imagined myself in but took so much from, developing the skills to run a successful menswear shop and managing a team. I then moved to Milan to do an internship in Fashion Business. When I returned to Canada, I went through a series of interviews with different companies but nothing felt right. I was always encouraged to go into wardrobe styling and personal shopping, so with nothing to lose and feeling inspired by my experience abroad, I started Charles & Hunt.
2. What has been the most exciting part about owning a small business?
No day is ever the same! You have to wear a lot of hats when you’re an entrepreneur and have your hands in everything, which can sometimes be the most stressful but also the most exciting part of running your own business.
3. Is there anything you’d change?
No. I feel extremely fortunate to be where I am today and I have to attribute that to the support I had from my parents and opportunities I was presented with and accepted along the way (both the good and the bad!)
4. Favourite memory?
My launch party in October of 2015. When I look back on it, I don’t know how I was able to pull it off having just started out six months earlier but the turn out and response was fantastic. I still have clients and friends reminiscing about it with me! I would love to relive that night.
5. Go-to apps?
Instagram. Uber. 8-Tracks.
6. Favourite book?
The Art of Stillness by Pico Iyer given to me by my dad when I was feeling overwhelmed. It helped me understand the importance of how stopping for a moment to take a breath, especially during your busiest times, can make you more mindful, productive, and creative.
7. Biggest piece of advice to anyone starting their own business?
FAIL! It is the best way to learn. As a business owner, you’re scared to take risks because you feel like you have everything to lose but you won’t move forward if you don’t try and learn from your mistakes.
8. How do you #workit every day?
I focus on staying positive and remind myself that things always have a way of working on. Listening to a Tribe Called Quest also helps me #workit!
We want to thank Carla for the amazing chat. It was truly lovely to learn how much you've grown as a business owner. We wish you nothing but the best!
If you want to learn more about Charles & Hunt we HIGHLY suggest you visit their site: www.charlesandhunt.com.
'Till next time lovelies!
- The Work It Social Team