Dina Scherer always wanted to work in fashion. Despite jobs in trend forecasting and merchandising, Scherer never felt like she was fulfilling her dream creatively. After switching gears to work in advertising—only to get laid off in 2008—she used that time to rethink and refocus. “I knew I wanted to continue to work in the world of style and fashion but on my own terms,” she explains. Her business, Modnitsa Styling, opened eight years ago and has been a full-time job ever since. Scherer’s main goal is to help women—whether they’re starting a new job or just ready for a new look—feel like a better version of themselves. Here’s how:
Why are you so passionate about image consulting?
Understanding why you're making certain styling choices when you get dressed was really fascinating to me. It goes way beyond putting pretty clothes together. It’s about understanding how the world sees you, why certain people may think of you as approachable or authoritative or shy and then knowing how to manipulate that through different style tricks so that you can really be aligned with how you want to be seen. I think that gives women a lot of power.
How do you see other parts of your clients' lives come together beyond their style after they use your services?
It allows them to jump start other life changes. Every once in a while, I'll have a client who actually understands that they don't necessarily need to lose all the weight before they come to me. We create looks for their current weight and that actually takes the pressure off. It helps them lose weight and it feels more like an afterthought because they can stress out less knowing they have clothes that fit. It allows their mind to relax because they already know they look good.
What is your best advice to others out there who want to start a business of their own?
Looking forward is most important. I think a lot of us have ideas and some of them feel too hard to bring into fruition—but it’s really just about taking that first step. Write out a schedule for yourself. When I launched my first jewelry line, I was all over the place. A friend sat me down and had me put a date on the calendar for when I was going to launch and then worked backwards from there, I put all the things that I needed to do on that calendar so that I could have a visual picture.
Also, stay true to what you really want to do. I've fallen into this trap so many times and taken on projects that are distracting and I end up off my course. But, also be open to what the universe has in store. Sometimes we have no idea where inspiration and opportunities may come from, so while it's important to have a plan, it's just as important to be flexible and leave room for amazing surprises!
The work we do should contribute something to our lives—but what? When we sit back and fantasize about the life we want to live, we all have different definitions of success. Some of us want to pay off our student loans. Some of us want to increase our vocational velocity.