Elsa Isaac is a professional fashion stylist and shares her incredible journey of how she gained success in her field and how she made a career by being a professional stylist.
How did you get into fashion? Were you passionate about it?
Elsa always wanted to do something related to clothes and felt like she should become a designer when she was young. Nevertheless, styling was not something she heard a lot about while growing up. She did however studied fashion marketing back in her school in Toronto. The program she was enrolled in either branched into fashion designing or marketing and Elsa chose marketing. While studying, she also worked part-time where she had a coworker who worked in music industry. One day, her co-worker who knew Elsa’s interest in styling asked her to style a video he was doing for an artist. She was reluctant at first and felt like she would ruin the project but her co-worker did not take no for an answer. She had to shop for 12 people for the video, putting together each outfit. Someone complemented her work and that is when Elsa realized how easy it came to her, and that she should give this profession a consideration.
At what point in her life did she start dreaming of becoming a stylist?
Probably when she was finishing her college in Toronto, she realized she loved working as a stylist. She thought it gave her independence but financially she was still worried what kind of life it could give her. She just knew she wanted to do more of it. However, Canada is a smaller market to do something like that and so after visiting New York she realized she could do expand and grow more in New York, so she moved to New York. She started by assisting other stylist in New York, made connections, and learnt more about city and the business. While working in New York Elsa realized that being a stylist is not only about creating visionary looks, it is a lot more than that especially if you intend to own or run such a business. She believes that if she had stayed in Toronto, it would have stunted her growth.
How did she get the assisting jobs in New York?
The same friend who helped Elsa earlier in her career by asking her to style a music video helped her in finding a stylist who was looking for an assistant. Elsa’s stylist thought she was crazy to come all the way from Canada to New York just to assist her on a job. Elsa ended up working for her for almost four years. She got in touch to other stylist through this particular stylist.
What is the general procedure she follows for her client?
Elsa always starts with the body shape of her client. She says many women are clueless about their body shape and the kind of clothes that would suit their body. She also has a body shape calculator, which helps you find the type of body you have. It is available on her website and the website’s URL is attached below in the show notes. Once body shape is discovered, then Elsa help her clients find the right clothes accordingly. She also asks her clients different questions like “three words they would want their clothes to say about them?” They come up with these three words through a process. The idea is to discover who the client are and how they want themselves to look.
How was it like working for Marie Forleo?
Elsa found her on Internet when she was in doubt as to what she was doing and why she was doing it. There was a brief period when contemplated her future, wondering if being a stylist was meant for her. She does not remember what she was searching online when she came across Marie (life coach); saw one of her yearlong program, which had a $2500 fee. Elsa thought it was an insane amount of money and why would someone even pay such amount of money. Back then, Elsa had no idea about marketing and life coaches. She did however sign up for the program and thought a life coach might help her to put her life in perspective and decide for herself if she was meant to be a stylist. A year later Marie ended up hiring Elsa for some promotional work and that was because they had interacted in the program. Elsa has been working with Marie from 2011 and considers Marie her mentor. Elsa says she was not sure if the program would benefit here even after spending such an amount of money and that is why she never told it to people close to her. However, Elsa believes joining that program was the best decision she ever made because it made her who she is today.
How do you put together a client’s look?
When a client comes to her, she shop for them. There is a lot of preparation, conversation with clients, asking them questions, in terms of what they are looking for and Elsa uses that information to shop for her clients. She says it helps if the client is not there in the shopping process because they seem to talk themselves out of wearing a particular dress based on their experience or a general opinion. Elsa think clients always have a weird perception of their body so it good to have an outside opinion in the form of a stylist. Elsa thinks that this process takes away the pressure for client in finding the right clothes. It is the job of the stylist to help them find what suits their body.
What is the best advice you have ever been given?
She got her best advice from Marie. “You can have it all, you cannot just do it all” was what Marie once said to Elsa. Elsa thinks it was a revelation for her. This has helped Elsa to give herself a break from the daily grind of running her own business, enabled her to give herself some time, which is very important for all of us. Elsa believes no matter how committed and determined you are to your work, you just cannot work all the time. It is physically not possible.
How we can connect with her?
Her website’s URL is
You can find a bunch of resources on her website including the body shape calculator.
Nikki Costello is an Iyengar Yoga and Meditation teacher. She has built an incredible business around yoga. She has been a yoga teacher for past 23 years and we talk about yoga and about her business in this podcast.
Can you tell us a little about Iyengar yoga and difference between it and other styles of yoga?
Iyengar yoga started because of BKS Iyengar who developed a method/system to go deep inside oneself to where the source of the teachings arise. Iyengar yoga is named after BKS Iyengar. Nikki thinks that when you have someone like BKS as a guru then students can learn in an accelerated manner. BKS created a method for people to understand how body works and how it performs simple functions like creating strength and flexibility. However, BKS also enabled us to go in the depth of ourselves that we do not necessarily get to see. He developed a method by which through practice you start with your physical body and through the practice of your body, you penetrate through layers until you reach your own heart, spirit and your own creativity.
What should someone expect if they take their first class?
Iyengar yoga studios have a particular reputation of being very clean and simple. Yoga studios are clean in terms of the environment of the studio. When you start from level 1 Iyengar yoga, you will move your body in a way that is with alignment to your body. Nikki says a new student should always approach their teacher and let them know if it is their first class and let them know if they are suffering from some sort of injury.
Can you talk a little bit about inner being and its relation with yoga?
Nikki says we are in contact with our inner being in one way or another. She believes the environment that surrounds relationships, our workspace, how others treat us, all of this affects us in ways we cannot even imagine. Sometimes, in our lives, due to the misfortunes or undesirable events, we start losing connection with our inner self. Yoga is used to dissolve any impediment, obstruction or darkness that is between our inner self and us. When Nikki shared the meaning of guru earlier in the podcast, she said a guru is someone who removes darkness/ignorance and that is why the practice of yoga returns you to that state of being connected with yourself and at peace.
What her practice looks like on a daily basis?
Nikki says that as a yoga teacher getting proper sleep at night is very important for her. She initially started her practice from Ashtanga yoga and had to be at the studios 6 days a week. Nikki says whenever she stayed up late or ate something heavier the night before her practice, she felt like she could not do her yoga practice properly. Nikki wakes up between 5am and 6am. Her first part is pranayama practice, which is sometimes combined with chanting, and recitation of mantras that she believes connect her to her heart and it helps establish her an inner posture. Nikki almost spends three hours of her day in active practice in which she reads something inspiring, sometimes something as small as a quote, contemplating on what she reads, letting that contemplation guide her actions during the day
What is pranayama practice?
It is a deeper, more subtle connection to the Prana, which means ‘the life force’. Yoga practitioners believe that Prana is the supreme life force; something that moves our heart, draws the breath in and out. Pranayama is about exploring the source of Prana. Therefore, we use breath as a tool to travel inward toward that pulsation. Meditation is when we are absorbed in that state of connection.
Can you give an example of pranayama exercise?
Nikki guides listeners and readers to become still (physically), if the listeners are moving, they should start to slow down. She then asks them to inhale and exhale slowly feeling their own breath coming in and going out. First stage is to become aware of the breath, to feel the presence of your own breath moving throughout your body so it essentially begins with greeting and acknowledging that your breath sustains you all the time when you are awake or when sleeping. Once we become aware of our own breath, only then we can begin to look at its qualities. Only then, we can start to feel if the inhalation and the exhalation are of the same duration.
How can someone build a business and a career by being a yoga teacher?
Nikki says that the subject of yoga is vast and there is more than enough of what one can study. There is plenty of room for growing in this subject. She says the profession may look enticing to young people and that there is a lot of room to cultivate yourself in the field of yoga and it requires living a life for it. Nikki believes one of the good things about this profession is that she is able to make choices for herself like holding yoga courses, travel around the world with reference to her work and earn money out of it. She says when she started the practice 23 years ago; she never thought she would end up becoming a proper and full time yoga teacher. She also says that the practice of yoga is at the very foundation of yoga and if you want to become a proper yoga teacher and keep getting good at it, you have to keep working hard on yourself as well and practice it every day.
How we can connect with her?
Her website’s URL is
Susie Romans is a successful business owner, an online business and marketing strategist and a mother of two kids. She shares her story of how she quit her job and started her own business from scratch, increased her revenues and embarked on the journey of entrepreneurship.
When did she start her business and what did it look like?
Susie says her interest in marketing and sales started right after college, she job hopped and ended up working in a digital marketing agency. Susie says she has always loved digital marketing. During this time, she also worked with some small local businesses, helping these businesses to advertise on social media platforms like Facebook. It was during this time she also started her own blog and that eventually led her towards the transition from working in a firm to starting her own business. Her second son was born in 2013 and Susie says by the year 2014, she was so busy in her life because she had to be a good mother, be there for her husband as a wife, do her job in the firm and give time to her blog as well. It was during this time Susie realized she had to choose between her job and the blog. She decided to quit her job and focused on earning from her blog. Susie says she had the confidence of knowing what she was doing when she quit the job.
How did she gain visibility for her blog?
Susie says she never wrote every day on her blog. Susie believed that if you want to get large traffic on your blog, you need to have that element of surprise on your blog so you can get the audience’s attention and keep them curious. Susie also used Pinterest to increase traffic on her blog.
How did she make her transition from a blog to a business owner?
As more people started visiting Susie’s blog, Susie she thought of becoming a business development manager. She started working from home and would only go out for her work when she had to meet her bosses; the business owners with whom she was working. Many people were surprised on how she could sit at home and work in her comfort zone. This propelled Susie to write an eBook titled “How to be a social media manager?” hoping she could help other people work from home as well. Susie says that although the traffic on her blog increased every day and the fact that she sold eBook on her blog to a handful amount of people, she was not earning a reasonable amount of money. A particular friend of Susie advised her to sell something, which is pricier. Susie realized she was good in marketing and thought of offering her marketing strategies to women who are struggling in their businesses.
Did she use traffic from her blog to support in service?
Susie says the traffic from her blog helped her to get clients whom she could help in their businesses. However, there were some unambitious people as well who were not sure as to what they want to do with their careers and businesses. Susie says she likes working with ambitious people who are ready to put in the effort and energy for their business.
How did Susie know she had the desire to be an entrepreneur?
Both of Susie’s parents were immigrants and financially, Susie had a tough childhood. Her parents worked very hard to make sure there was bread on the table. From a very young age, she started doing small jobs to earn money so that she could buy little things her parents could not afford. After completing college, Susie also thought she was excessively creative to be limited and tied down to sit in the cubicle for a typical 9 to 5 job.
Her Typical day in terms of schedule?
Her day starts with dropping her kids to grandma’s house (who is also the nanny). Her professional day starts at nine or ten am when she checks in with her assistant (online business manager). Mondays and Tuesdays are usually reserved for meetings with clients.
Does she feel like you are fulfilling your life purpose?
Susie says she loves what she does. Her best days are speaking to clients, doing live calls and connecting with people. Susie says there are days when she does not connect with people and that is when she feels like she is not as much on purpose as she should be. She believes helping people, reaching them through webinars and calls is what she is meant to do and it is not just about the money.
What is your biggest challenge?
For Susie, the biggest challenge is to surround herself with high achievers. She likes spending time with people who are living their life with purpose. Susie believes your thoughts and actions are very much based on whom you spend your time with.
“You can create anything out of thin air if you have the idea and work ethic” -Susie Romans
How can we connect with her?
You can also visit the following website for online training
Bre Kali is celebrity makeup artist and shares her incredible journey of transforming from a career in finance to a successful business owner. She shares her story of transformations, tells about the people who helped her find the right career including Anna Goldstein (host of the podcast). We ask her questions about her business in this podcast and she gives some tips on getting perfect eyebrows for yourself.
Bre felt like she needed a change in her career path. She was not passionate about her work. Her educational background was in health sciences and she was working in finance. Bre had to look for something she was passionate about and make good money out of it. Bre decided to work with a life coach for this purpose and that is when she meet Anna Goldstein. Anna asked Bre to list down things she was passionate about. That is when, for the first time, Bre talked about her love and interest for makeup. However, she was doubtful if she could make a career out of it. She felt like a career as a makeup artist was very shallow as a profession, thought that people do not respect you as a makeup artist and that prevented her to go in the direction she was meant to be on.
How she made the transition?
Anna suggested her the exercise of brainstorming. She asked her to write things on paper that Bre liked doing. Bre knew she was passionate about makeup but had this opinion that makeup artist are dumb girls, they make no money and even a “brain dead duck” could do makeup. She had this idea in her mind that she has education and should do something, which involves using her mind, which to her seemed impossible as a makeup artist. She felt that it was superficial to apply makeup on people who wanted to look ‘pretty’. She felt like she could not have an impact on people but her views changed drastically when people started appreciating her for her work and how it changed their personalities.
How did her business grow and what does her business look like now?
A friend of Bre saw Bre’s work on her Facebook page and asked if she would be interested in working for a photo-shoot. She worked and it was a huge success. The photos looked great and helped Bre get her first gig, her first gig after her career in finance was terminated. Within five weeks of letting go of her work in finance, she earned 1500 dollars from one day. One thing led to another and Bre was soon working for renowned makeup companies. Bre always wanted a billboard of her own work in Times Square and in 2016, her dream came true when a billboard, exclusively, with her work was displayed in Times Square. Bre says she worked very hard for it and it took her a lot of time and effort to get that kind of recognition. She says her business is ever growing and she has worked for so many people from different parts of the world that she does not even worry about her business from a financial point of view.
How to have amazing eyebrows?
She says many people ask the same question from her and it is actually very difficult to explain it verbally without giving a practical demonstration. A general rule is that arch should be on the two third or three quarter of the brow. If it is in the middle or at the end, you should ask the thread person/brow waxer to fix it for you. Buy yourself a brow pencil, which matches your brow color. She also recommends buying a brow brush. Bre says eyebrows shape your face and they draw a lot of attention if not done well.
MAC Eye Shadow Colors Mentioned:
What is the best advice she ever got?
As far as makeup is concerned, she is a big believer in the quote “the number one rule of makeup is that there is no rule for makeup”. The reason she feels that way is that when she started teaching herself the art of makeup, she felt she had to follow the rules of conventional makeup, that a certain type of makeup is suitable for a particular complexion but she realized none of that was true. She also made her own quote for beauty industry which goes on like this
“We should all try to be our best self. Who we are outwardly is a reflection of whoever inside. Letting go of some of the fears or the negative believes that we have is the first step in transforming ourselves into going down our path that we are meant to be on” –Bre Kali
How can we connect with her?
You can connect with her on instagram. Link is
You can also find her on Facebook. Her Facebook page is
You can find her on tumblr
Her website’s URL is