We had the good fortune of connecting with Danielle Calcara and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Danielle, what do you want your legacy to be?
I want my legacy to be that I was able to change numerous lives for the better with Aesthetically Obsessed. If my clients feel empowered and confident after they’ve worked with me and can take that confidence out to take on the world, then I’ll have been successful.
Sharing the gift of style can change how someone sees themselves. The ability to connect and build confidence in others is my purpose on this Earth. Everyone deserves to feel worthy of style and confidence.
I’d like people to remember my creativity, empathy, resilience through adversity, and my never ending love for the pursuit of utter happiness. I hope one day the story of my life will inspire at least one girl to never give up on figuring out how to love herself and then she too can pass that on to another.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Personal styling for me means so much more than the external look created, but the positive mental impact that happens within the client after working with them. I love using my creativity and passion for beautiful aesthetics to help guide my clients into the most confident and stylish version of themselves. I believe giving the gift of confidence to someone is life changing, and they then can go out into the world with a new outlook and a strength they never knew they had before. I’m most proud of the impact I will be able to make on other’s lives with my company Aesthetically Obsessed. It’s been a crazy and definitely not easy path to where I am today with my company. Senior year of high school, I was a young woman who always loved fashion and beauty, but was not very confident. I’ve always used fashion and beauty as a way to put on a metaphorical “body of armor’. Still at 18, I never thought I was smart enough for college, but wanted to pursue a career in beauty. Once I graduated high school, I immediately started cosmetology school. I graduated at the top of my class and have been professionally licensed in hair, skin, and nails for the last 13 years. I worked behind the chair in salons, on-location for weddings, and even traveled to New York City to style hair for two New York Fashion Week shows for over a decade before I decided to change my career path.
That trip to New York in 2013 was so impactful and opened my eyes further to a life of exciting possibilities. I had a spark light up inside me that told me I was meant for more. Fast forward to 2017, I decided I was going to pursue my college degree in fashion. I’m not going to lie though, the self-doubt crept in ALL THE TIME. I kept questioning if I was doing the right thing or if I was even good enough to get into college. But, I knew I had to take a chance on myself and my dreams otherwise I would regret it. October 2020 at the age of 31, I graduated with my Bachelor of Arts degree in Retail Management and Fashion Merchandising. That girl who never thought she was good enough to go to college graduated Summa Cum Laude on the President’s List and as a 4.o college student, all the while becoming a 1st time Mom during it all. I’ve never been prouder than the day I had my graduation ceremony while holding my 2 year old on my hip.
I’ve learned in life that you can literally accomplish anything you set your mind to, as long has you lead with authenticity, never give up, always believe in yourself, and to always get back up and try again if something doesn’t go the way you had planned. The grit and determination it takes to be who we want, and to live our dreams can be scary sometimes, but there’s such magic that happens when you start believing in yourself.
I want the world to know that even through adversity, we all have the strength deep within us to become anyone we want to be. Aesthetically Obsessed is the ethos of who I am. Blending my love for beautiful aesthetics, with the passion I have for building confidence in others, that they may go out and take on the world with a whole new mindset and belief within themselves. That is magic to me!
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?
I live in St. Louis, Missouri. I would definitely take my best friend to Broadway Oyster Bar downtown, they have the best live music, seafood, and all around good time vibe! The St. Louis Zoo is always a must see as well. One of the best in the country.
We would definitely go to the Soulard Farmer’s Market on a Saturday morning, enjoying a fresh made Bloody Mary. There are so many fun and cool roof tops in St. Louis, so we would definitely go to 360 rooftop restaurant and bar, where we would take in the views of the city.
Depending the time of year, I’d love to go the pool at the Four Seasons downtown. It has amazing views of the city as well.
Forest Park is beautiful, so we would definitely walk around the park and then over a few blocks to Delmar Ave. A street with culture, shopping, food, music venues, and more. A great place to check out on a beautiful day!
If my friend were into musicals I would take them to the Muny in Forest Park as well. It’s open every summer and they have a new line up every year.
I would definitely also take them to a Cardinals baseball game and hang out at Ballpark Village across the street from Busch Stadium.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My Momma has always been my biggest supporter and believer in anything that I’ve wanted to pursue. She is the kindest, most selfless and loving parent, and I wouldn’t be who I am or where I am today with out her. Her life and love gives me strength to never stop pushing to be my best.
Another woman who deserves a shout out is author and life coach Cara Alwill. I initially found her Instagram account in 2016/2017 and it changed the trajectory of my life. She has always been an advocate for women living authentically, with out apology, and to chase your dreams, no matter how big. I then read her book, Girl Code, and again- life changing literature for me. Once my eyes were opened to the possibilities that I trusted were within me, my life and where it was going, changed forever. That type of mindset shift is priceless!
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Photography by Maddi Manheimer. Logo/Graphics by Emma Seiz at Green Bean Graphics