We had the good fortune of connecting with Julie Kraus and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Julie, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
I had unique experience in different areas from special education to counseling to behavior to sales to marketing to leadership to fashion – and it was through the combination of those experiences that I was able to transform my own confidence to find a place where I knew I could help change women’s lives on the biggest scale by starting my own business. I saw a hole in the marketplace that it became my passion to fill.
What should our readers know about your business?
My program takes women through my signature CHIC process to help them create a strong sense of self to channel through their image – for confidence from the inside out. I’m so proud of this program because along with teaching women everything they need to know to find their unique style and feel comfortable in their own skin to create a wardrobe of their dreams, it also guides them to develop a strong brand. Regardless of whether or not you run a business, you are a brand, representing who you are and how you want to be perceived each day. When you call nail that, you start to find your voice, appreciate what makes you unique, and then attract opportunities and people into your life because you become magnetic. In my industry I see a lot of categorization when it comes to style and color palettes, and I don’t believe that allows women to feel fully expressed and fulfilled as we aren’t meant to be categorized. That forces you into a box and only captures a small part of who you are. That can lead to blending in and staying “safe” and unfulfilled. When you stand out, that’s when you start to shine. Another hole I see in my industry that I wanted to fill was the self-image piece of your overall image. You can work on your style, but if you don’t have the strategies to fall back on when you feel resistance and limiting beliefs around what you’re wearing, that can’t lead to long lasting results. You have to address the limiting beliefs and thought patterns around your style, your body, your ability – first – and once you have a strong foundation on the inside – that’s when you can move into implementing all the fun style knowledge! I’m proud that my program addresses your image from the inside out. It hasn’t been easy for me to get to where I am now because I’ve had to overcome massive limiting beliefs and shed old identities. When I left teaching to be a stay at home mom, I shifted to a direct sales company, selling accessories. That required me to put myself out there in a way I never had before. As a lost new mom who lacked confidence, I had crippling anxiety and imposter syndrome any time I posted a photo of myself. I would cut my head off in most of the photos. Fast forward 2 years later and I was at the top of the company, #1 in recruiting, leading a team of hundreds of women, earning every accolade, delivering a key note speech to an audience of a thousand women. I had completely shifted my identity, and my passion for helping women transform their lives through that avenue was intangible. That experience was the stepping stone to creating my own business – it built the evidence within myself that I was capable, after not feeling good enough my whole life. Shifting from a company surrounded by support, constant recognition, and stability to go off on my own to develop my own business was one of the most difficult and exhilarating shifts of my life. I put in the kind of work that entrepreneurs do – the kind no one sees. I learned every single thing I could, took courses, joined masterminds, hired coaches, and did more work on myself than ever before in my life. I had to shift my identity to rise to a new level – one that felt scary and uncomfortable – one that required me to break through my own upper limits. The funny thing is – I used my own process – the one I developed and I teach in my course – to create the new beliefs I needed about myself to support the entrepreneur I was growing into. That’s one of the things I love about my program. You can come back to it over and over again as you change and grow. And it works. I have hundreds of testimonials from women’s lives its changed and it keeps changing mine, too. The lessons I’ve learned from building my own business are some of the greatest of my life. You aren’t always going to have someone cheering for you so you have to learn to cheer for yourself. The most important work you do won’t make it to Instagram and won’t be seen up on a stage – it’s the work you do when no one is watching that will make the most impact in the world. Sometimes you’ll feel like you’re on an island by yourself. Especially when you’re bringing a different perspective to the marketplace. All great leaders challenged perspectives – remember that- and keep going. Investing in yourself isn’t about the time or the money. – it’s about the ripple effect of impact that commitment will have on the people in your life from your children to your relationships to your community. Lean on what makes you unique. That is and will always be – your greatest superpower.
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?
If my friend was visiting, we’d take the train into Manhattan, walk around Central Park and people watch, grab brunch in Soho, sip on some champagne, and stroll the streets shopping. Then we’d go to see a Broadway matinee (Hamilton or Dear Evan Hansen) before heading to dinner and then back home to be sleeping by 9. I’m an early riser – love having a day full of adventure, and there is no better place than Manhattan to remind you how different we all are and how beautiful that is. In NYC, you can be wearing anything you want and no one will turn their head (and I mean that in the best way!) because you get to just be who you are. I love that about New York.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My husband has been my biggest inspiration and the greatest supporter of my dreams, and the bigger they’ve gotten, the more he’s believed in me. He’s shown me an example of what authentic leadership looks like and I’ve been lucky enough to learn from my best friend.
Other: tik tok: @styletherapist