We had the good fortune of connecting with Emily Smith and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Emily, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
I’ve never really had to think twice when it came to taking risks. When I commit to anything in life and when I decided to commit to pursuing a career in fashion, I truly committed 100% of myself. So, every step of the way I wanted to present my absolute best self of the moment. Sometimes you take a risk and immediately after, you start to doubt yourself and think it was not worth it. That’s because you do not always see an immediate growth or benefit from the risk. You have to look at it like an investment portfolio, overtime there will be growth, you will become wiser, you will become more confident in yourself and your abilities, and you will move closer to your goals! That is exactly what it has been for me. I really believe that if you are not willing to take a risk, is this something that you really want? Do you really want that career or are you really just interested in the idea of having that career? You must be honest with yourself because if not, you’ll be running in a circle and wondering why you are getting nowhere. I am always hesitant to talk about the risks that I have taken because in my experience, most people are not willing to take the risk and their response is criticism. It can be heavy enough to deal with my own doubts about the risks that I have taken. I do not need the added layer of criticism from someone who has not even found something that they are so passionate about to the point of even understanding why I would consider the risk. I know that I would not be where I am today, in my life and career without taking risks.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
While working as a fashion stylist and thinking about my 5-10 year plan. I was thinking about how I could continue to increase my income and grow as a business woman. That’s when the idea of starting a boutique came to mind. A way to invest my money and make my money work for me. Simone and I proudly launched MonaLyn Boutique on 11/02/2020. I have been a business owner for years, but opening a boutique was much different! There were so many components and sooo many decisions that had to be made before we launched. Thankfully, we were able to pull knowledge from experienced individuals that we trusted, that were able to guide us through the process even up to now. I have learned that finding someone that is experienced, knowledgeable, and one that you can most importantly trust is crucial. I would also like to add, when you are looking for a mentor, make sure that you are very serious and ready to put in the work. In my experience, a mentor is more excited to help when they see that you are working and putting actions behind their guidance. In growing MonaLyn Boutique, we have also learned to delegate. The engine moves a lot faster and stronger with a team. As a startup, the initial thought was to try and do everything ourselves to cut costs. Well, that is not realistic. You will burn yourself out really quick. When we first had the idea to start MonaLyn Boutique, we were searching for that element that would set us apart. We decided it would be to offer sizing small to 3X. We want to be able to provide every woman with an exciting shopping experience and the opportunity to look amazing in what they are wearing. We also stand by quality in our clothing. Our customers will feel confident in knowing every time they shop with us, they will receive quality clothing and fabrics.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
My best friend and I love to travel together and sightsee! We also love learning about history and visiting historical landmarks. I would take her downtown to see the x where President Kennedy was shot. I would also take her to the restaurant in The Joule or for brunch at The Henry. Both have such gorgeous ambience. When we travel together, visiting really nice or famous restaurants is important to us! My best friend is vegan so another favorite option is Vegan Food House. They make becoming a vegan very tempting and they have a ton of vegan options. A girls weekend would not be complete without a shopping trip and pampering. I’ve heard so much about Luxxy Brow & Skin, so I would definitely schedule a weekend treatment for my girlfriend and I. We would finish the weekend off with a shopping trip downtown to Guns & Roses Boutique, to see what’s new on the racks.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
There are two people that I would like to recognize. My sister, Sara Smith! She was the first person to encourage me to pursue a career as a fashion stylist. At the time, it was something completely off my radar. Today, I cannot imagine living life any other way. Secondly, my business partner; the Mona to my Lyn! Simone Paulwell is an incredible woman. I wholeheartedly believe I would not have been able to accomplish alone, what we have been able to accomplish together with MonaLyn Boutique!

Website: www.MonaLynBoutique.com

Instagram: @MonaLynBoutique

Other: www.KeyofStyle.com @keyofstyle

Image Credits
Pablo Barajas Andrea Garland Art Auré shot by Thomas Kirk Stephanie Matthews Michael J Photography

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