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

Hi Winnie, how has your background shaped the person you are today?

As a Nigerian American Woman, my background plays a major role in who I am today. I was born in Nigeria, moved to the United States at the age of seven and grew up in Prince George’s county a thriving predominantly black county in Maryland. My childhood was fun, my home loud, exuberant and filled with two parents, five siblings and never-ending laughter. My parents taught my siblings and I to be bold and unapologetic about who we are. We were taught to take up space and that although we were culturally different, foreign and at times naïve, we belonged. My mother and father instilled in me the ideals of integrity, tolerance, self-awareness, and having a strong work ethic.

I show up for my family, friends, and work because I know my word is my integrity. I believe in diversity of thought and the necessity of inclusion and representation because I’ve experienced not being seen and celebrated due to being considered different. I check myself often, ask hard questions and take accountability for who I am and who I am not. My parents’ entrepreneurial spirit runs through me and has led me to create businesses, initiatives, and passion projects outside of my full-time roles. I believe the lessons I’ve learned in and out of  my traditional corporate roles add value in all that I do. Ultimately, I’m grateful for the happy times that shape the hope I continue to have and the hard times that remind me that I still have a long way to go.

Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?

My personal value statement is “It starts with me. How I see myself ultimately affects the choices I make, the space I create, and how I show up in the world.” This statement is my guidepost when starting a new business or initiative.

In 2018, I launched Chic Street Shopping, a style consulting company that focuses on both wardrobe and home. It’s a passion that allows me to create from a collaborative space. I want our clients to have a voice and explore what seemingly “doesn’t work”. I want each client to feel empowered and unleashed; ready to take on anything. We take an “out of the box” approach that lovingly nudges you out of your comfort zone. Ultimately, our primary goal is to help you meet the best version of yourself and allow that outlook to translate into every area of your life. Whether it’s a wardrobe overhaul or full room redesign, we have in-depth discovery conversations and get down to the core of what we want to accomplish together. I am most proud of our ability to highlight the greatness in our clients and allow that greatness to radiate. Our process is not one and done and I believe that’s what sets us apart and has led to the success and client retention we have. We stay connected to each client, becoming partners in their long-term journey. We’ve also made it a duty to promote small businesses and shop with local boutiques in efforts to provide our favorite stores the support they need more than ever.

An additional initiative I’m extremely proud of is “How Are You Feeling, Sis?” a virtual sisterhood that’s over twenty-five hundred women strong on Instagram. HAYFS was started out of a single question, a question I believe we (Women all over the world) should be asking one another especially in this moment—How are you feeling? Really?. I decided to build a community that not only asks this question but allows us to answer authentically. This is a safe space to be transparent. A space to share the good, the bad and the ugly. I want Women to know as we navigate these often-wild times, we don’t have to really be alone. We can still connect— lovingly, virtually. Together, we can build a community based on genuine shared experiences. We can add value! Our shared space via Instagram and now our website is more than pictures or captions, it’s about sisterhood.

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 am obsessed with Pasadena; I’ve lived here for the past 8 years and I think it is hands down the best city in LA county. We have amazing restaurants stretched along Colorado Blvd but also those hidden in nooks that you just happen to stumble upon. When my best friends visit, our first mandatory stop is Lucky Boys on Arroyo Pkwy. Their famous gigantic breakfast burrito is a must have and for me a two-day commitment. We would then make our way to Old town where we’ll shop till we drop. However, my favorite hidden gem is Holly street; It’s removed from the hustle and bustle of Colorado Blvd but houses the best independently owned boutique shops for those “one-of-a-kind” souvenirs. I love to take visiting friends and clients to C’est LA Vie Clothing Co, a stylish boutique with unique clothes and accessories directly from France and Italy. The store owner Sylvia is a good friend and she’s known for her style, hospitality. This is a must visit! After all the shopping we’ll be hungry, I’d suggest we grab a lovely dinner on the rooftop balcony of Cafe Santorini. They have an incredible wine list to match the Mediterranean menu. We’ll need desert, so Salt and Straw is the go-to. I’d suggest a split scoop of Malted chocolate chip cookie dough and the Sea Salt with Caramel Ribbons in a cone but ask for a cup just in case it gets messy (That’s the best part!). Pasadena is meant for walking so to wrap up the day/night we would walk home taking the scenic route with a quick stop at City hall which is a sight to see. We’d take in all the clean air and architecture and be as present as possible. 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?
I would like to dedicate my shoutout to the incredible women that have poured into me. I am lucky to have a tribe of women that tell me the truth and call me to be better. All their love, support and wisdom empower the creativity I get to share with my clients, coworkers, and the beautiful girl gang/virtual Sisterhood that I’ve created on Instagram “@HowAreYouFeelingSis”. To my amazing momma, loving sisters, fierce friends, and dynamic mentors, Thank you!

Website: www.chicstreetshopping.com, www.hayfs.com

Instagram: Personal- @winnthemovement Business- @chictreetshopping, @howareyoufeelingsis

Facebook: @Chicstreetshopping, @howareyoufeelingsis

Other: Clubhouse @hayfs

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