We had the good fortune of connecting with Elyse Johnson and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Elyse, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
Now or Never, baby. This was my motto that pushed me to start my own business. I had been styling for a couple years without pay. I had done my time as they say, perfecting my craft. Time served, meant it was time to leave the nest. Of course, in this case it didn’t actually involve leaving my parents home, it meant leaving my salaried 9-5 job to start as a 1099er. It meant no guaranteed paycheck every week, no health insurance, no paid time off, no sick pay…it meant becoming a full time hustler. It also meant betting on myself with ALL the chips. It was scary as sh*t, like watching a roller coaster ride just before you get on, but just like at the Amusement Parks, you close your eyes, pray, and go for it! Though it hasn’t always been rainbows and butterflies, I’m so glad I made the decision and stuck to it. I’ll never look back and say what if, instead I’ll look back and be proud of my courageous leap.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I love my job. Styling is my gift and sharing it doesn’t feel like work, it’s just fun and brings me so much joy. Don’t get me wrong though, there are aspects of the job that make it work, returns and billing off the top, but for the most part it is very fulfilling. The most rewarding aspect of my job is when someone loves how they look. When an outfit makes someone smile bigger, stand taller, and makes them the best version of themselves, that is when I feel successful. A lot of stylists make it about changing someones look to what they believe will look best, but I like to collaborate. I think it’s important that the person you’re dressing not only looks good, but they feel good …. when those two marry (looks and feels) you can visibly see the person glowing.
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?
There are so many good restaurants … I hate cooking and love eating out so we would definitely hit the Food Shop in Venice, Nobu in Malibu, Mr. Chow in Bev Hills, Forma in Santa Monica, Giorgio Baldi in the Palisades, and of course the new Gucci Osteria! In terms of things to check out, I would love a day to explore each area of the city. In Venice, I’d take guests biking on the boardwalk, shopping on Abbot Kinney, and I would end the day in Italy … psych at the California Canals :-). In Malibu, I’d start with the Wine Safari, (Hello Stanley) hike down to El Matador beach, (so many movies filmed there) and then cap it off with some shopping at the Country Mart. Downtown, I’d visit the Jewelry Markets, the Last Bookstore, Dover Street Market, and then finish the day with the slide 70 floors up at OUE Sky Space. In between, I’d take guests to the swing on top of Elysian Park, the Stahl house, and the secret(ish) hike to the back of the Hollywood Sign.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
There are two shoutouts. First of all my mother. She taught me to follow my dreams and is always my biggest supporter. No matter how crazy the goal (and trust me there have been many silly adventures in my life) she is always there to encourage me and help me succeed. Everyone needs a cheerleader like my mom in their life, I am so lucky she is in mine. Next, Tracy Mazuer. She gave me my shot. Without her, no way no how, would I be where I am. She, not only believed in me, but she fought to give me the opportunity. It’s one thing for someone to hire you, but it is quite another for someone to go to bat for you, and that’s what she did for me. She went into unchartered territory and gave me a path. I am forever in debt and so grateful for her courage and vision.