This week, I’m joined by one of my favorite people, Elsa Isaac. Elsa is my long-time stylist, so if you’ve been loving my outfits and fashion sense, you already love what Elsa Isaac does. Elsa is sharing how she got started in her industry, some of her styling secrets, and how she turned her love of style into a successful business.
Like so many people from marginalized identities who don’t fit into generically-sized clothing, Elsa never felt truly represented in the fashion industry. So, what did she do? She made a name for herself as the anti-fashion stylist, helping her clients shop for their body type, forget about the runway, and understand the nuances of their body so they can feel sexy inside while they slay on the outside.
Tune in this week to hear from my stylist Elsa Isaac. Elsa is sharing how your style has the ability to attract your ideal client without you even saying a word, how to eliminate distractions in your closet, and her tips for building an authentic wardrobe that makes you hyped to get dressed every day.
ROI: The Millionaire Summit is our first big, annual conference where over 1000 diverse entrepreneurs head to San Juan, Puerto Rico. It’s happening January 24th through 26th 2023 and it’s three days of amazing speakers teaching you how they made their first million, and how to make your next million. So, if you want to learn from the best while also seeing yourself and your identity reflected on the stage, click here to get your ticket now!
Join us every Tuesday at 7pm ET for our Premier Watch Party over on YouTube!
Miss the LIVE Watch Party? Check out Rachel's interview with Elsa below!
What You'll Learn from this Episode:
- How Elsa accidentally got into styling and fashion as a career.
- Why so many of us underestimate our skills, experience, and qualifications.
- The reality that our bodies are not generic, but most fashion is.
- How I used to hate shopping, until Elsa taught me how to shop for my body type.
- The opportunities you talk yourself out of when you don’t feel confident in your appearance.
- Elsa’s process for styling her clients so they can look and feel amazing.
- Why not investing in your outward appearance is one of the biggest mistakes an entrepreneur can make.
Listen to the Full Episode:
Featured on the Show:
- Check out our game-changing program, We Should All Be Millionaires: The Club, and learn how to make that cash today!
- Follow me on Instagram – and ask me your million-dollar questions!
- We Should All Be Millionaires: A Woman’s Guide to Earning More, Building Wealth, and Gaining Economic Power by Rachel Rodgers
- Learn how to make money faster, more efficiently, and on-demand … no matter what is happening in the economy. Click here to join the Make Money Moves challenge waitlist.
- Click here to learn more about The Hello Seven Mastermind.
- Elsa Isaac: Website | Instagram
- Lights. Camera. Luxe!
*** Some of the links shared here are affiliate links – we only serve as affiliates for products we believe in.
Elsa: My whole philosophy is authenticity.
Elsa: I never felt represented in the fashion industry, and so I kind of call myself the anti-fashion stylist as a result. I was like how can I be different from this? Because I loved clothes. And so for me it was about empowering my clients, and the only way to do that is to look within.
Elsa: So like forget the magazines, forget the runways, start with you.
You want to make more money? You are in the right place. Welcome to the Hello Seven Podcast, that’s seven as in seven figures. I'm your host, Rachel Rodgers. On this show, it’s all about you and your money. We talk about how to maximize your earning potential, how to make better financial decisions, and how to find your million-dollar idea, that genius business idea that’s going to make you a whole lot more money. I’m here to show you how to expand your income and expand your confidence, power, and joy.
If you are a woman, a person of color, a queer person, if you’re a person living with a disability, or you don’t fit the stereotypical image of what a millionaire is “supposed” to look like, this show is for you. No matter who you are or what you do for a living, you could be earning a lot more than you currently do. Your journey to wealth starts right here.
Rachel: Hello, hello, welcome back to the Hello Seven Podcast. I am so delighted to be here today with one of my favorite people, Elsa Isaac, who is my long-time stylist. So if you’ve been enjoying watching my outfits and fashion sense, understand that it has almost nothing to do with me, and everything to do with this talented woman.
So today Elsa is going to share some of her styling secrets and we’re going to talk about how she got into this. And we’ll have a whole fun conversation about fashion, so yay!.
Elsa: I’m so excited!
Rachel: So tell us how did you get into this? How did you actually get into styling and fashion? Because I think it’s the kind of career that a lot of people love and almost aspire to, but they don’t know how to get started.
Elsa: Yeah, by accident. I don’t know if we’ve ever talked about this, but I always thought I was going to be a designer.
Elsa: And so I was kind of prepping myself for that world, although I didn’t want to sew. I knew how to sew, but I knew I didn’t want to do that part.
Elsa: So I went to, I am from Edmonton, Alberta, which is like a really kind of small town in Canada. And I was like Toronto or Vancouver, those were the fashion schools in Canada. So I was like Toronto it is. And I was probably in my second year working at a bank to support myself through school.
Rachel: I did the same thing.
Elsa: Did you?
Rachel: Yes, I was a bank teller multiple times in my life.
Elsa: I was not a teller. I think I would have hated being a teller. And I hated the job.
Rachel: Yes, we’ve all had jobs we hate.
Elsa: It was collections, it was awful.
Rachel: Oh, you had to do collections.
Rachel: Oh, you were that person.
Elsa: Like I was the worst collector ever because people would cry on the phone and I’d be like, “Don’t worry about it, go take care…” I’m sure they wanted to fire me several times. And I met a friend there who was in the music industry.
Elsa: So he came into work one day, he was like, hey Elsa, we’re doing a music video for so and so, we want you to do the wardrobe. And I had no idea what a stylist was. I was like, thanks for thinking of me, but I don’t do that and I’m in school. I’m not done yet.
Rachel: When opportunity knocks what do you do? You say no thank you, I’m not qualified.
Elsa: Several times. I said no several times and he would not take no for an answer. I was like, listen, I don’t know how to do this and this is a real project, I don’t want to ruin your project.
Elsa: And he was like, we’ll walk you through it, it’ll be fine. And I was like, okay, fine. Like he wouldn’t leave me alone. So they handed me a credit card and they were like, okay, go shop for him, the artist, his band and the extras.
Elsa: So like 12 people.
Elsa: Yeah. I told you, he was like pushing me into this corner that I was like I don’t know how I’m going to do this.
Rachel: But I love it because sometimes people see our talent and what we’re capable of before we do. I think actually that happens often.
Rachel: Where we underestimate our skills, we’re like but I’m not qualified, I haven’t done it enough, I don’t have enough experience. But there are certain things that we are just naturally born with.
Elsa: I don’t know how he saw that though because I don’t think that I was at that point, like I don’t think I dressed all that stylish either. I don’t think I had come into myself.
Elsa: So I don’t know what he saw, and one day I’ll have to ask him. But I did it.
Rachel: Yes, you shopped for 12 people.
Elsa: I shopped for 12 people.
Rachel: Wait, did you get paid for this?
Elsa: Not a lot.
Rachel: Not enough, not for 12 people.
Elsa: But I also was a complete amateur, like green, green, green.
Rachel: Working at a bank.
Elsa: Exactly, in school. So I remember after every look I put together someone else would come up to me and be like, so and so looks so dope, you did great. And I’m like, he paid them or told them to come tell me this. Like I didn’t believe it.
Rachel: Wow, imposter syndrome.
Elsa: Because like literally who am I? I’m not a stylist. And so at the end of the day he handed me a check and he’s like, I knew you could do it. And that was it, that was like the seed.
Elsa: And they ended up hiring me for several music projects after that. And quite literally that’s how I became a stylist, I had no idea that this was even a possibility.
Rachel: Wow. It was just thrust upon you.
Rachel: You’re like, wait a minute, people will pay me to shop?
Elsa: That’s exactly what I said.
Rachel: And it’s so funny because I actually don’t enjoy shopping as a general, I do now because you’ve taught me, right? Like you’ve basically taught me how to dress myself and now it’s like I look for things that are like V neck, or things that have a singed waist. I know how to look for the things that –
Elsa: Because it’s not overwhelming anymore.
Rachel: Yes, exactly. Like I know how to shop for my body type. And then just like matching what looks good and what I’m drawn to. And there’s certain things that I completely avoid because I know that’s going to look terrible. I don’t even waste my time in the dressing room because I already know because I’ve been trained.
But I used to actually hate shopping because I used to stay in the dressing room and just have a good cry. Because sometimes it’s like, I think what we do is we say it’s my body, right? Like oh, my body doesn’t fit. No, that’s not the case, it’s this doesn’t fit. Throw those pants away and get a different size or just screw those pants, right? We can get different pants, right? We can get a different dress.
And so what do you say to people who are in that space of like crying in their closet or crying in the dressing room? Which I used to do on a regular basis, y’all.
Elsa: I remember when we first started working together, and I knew it was very much like you thought it was you that couldn't connect in this clothing world of fashion, right? And I'm just like, that is such bullshit because these designers have never met us, have no idea.
Elsa: Their goal is not to make sure that it fits Rachel Rodger’s body to a tee.
Elsa: Their goal is to sell that garment to as many different body shapes as possible. And so when you look at it from that perspective, everything has to be as generic as possible.
Elsa: And our bodies are not generic. And so we have to kind of take the onus back on us and say, I need to know what works for my body. What are the nuances to my body? And then look for garments that will suit our body shapes at least 85% of the way there.
Elsa: And then the rest can be tailored.
Elsa: How many times have we had stuff tailored?
Rachel: Oh my gosh, so Elsa comes and then she finds a tailor. So like, there's this cute little, is he like a little Greek man?
Elsa: I don’t know.
Rachel: I don't remember exactly. But he is the cutest, he comes, he has his espresso. He's like always, first of all, he always looks chic. Like he always has his tailored pants on, he looks so cute. And he comes with his measuring tape and, you know, just adjusts everything. So like stop trying to be, you know, find the perfect fit from, like you say generically sized clothing, right?
Because I have stuff in my closets that’s all the way from like size eight to size 16, you know what I mean? And it depends on how it was cut, who made it, the material, like there's so many different things. Like the size is really irrelevant, right? So stop getting so connected to that, and then just find you a good tailor who can hook you up, okay, so that you feel confident and good in your clothes.
I think also, so you've taught me that about sizing and like what fits your body, but also you have to think about what you're actually doing in the clothes as well, right?
Elsa: Oh yeah, the function of it. And I also think like when you spoke earlier about being in a dressing room.
Elsa: So when we, think about it, we go to one store, we pick up maybe four pieces of clothing and go into a fitting room, and then feel like shit because those four things didn't fit us.
Rachel: Exactly, and then we like go cry or go, you know, do whatever a comfort thing is for us, right, to make ourselves feel better. And then also decide that we're going to stay home and not go to the party or not do the thing.
Elsa: The amount of opportunities you talk yourself out of when you don't feel like you are yourself or you don’t feel confident in your body is endless.
Rachel: That’s so true.
Elsa: I can't tell you how many clients have told me, I just don't go. I don't even consider it because I don't feel, like impostor syndrome, right?
Elsa: I don't feel like I am that person. And how do we shop? We buy a shit ton of clothes.
Rachel: Literally like, what are we doing 40, 50 pieces minimum.
Rachel: At one time. So you just, you know, you get out your credit card and this is how it works, y'all. So you got to, it's an investment, okay? Because that used to be, you used to have to talk me off the ledge with that too, because I'm like, wait a minute, so I'm charging $10,000 worth of clothing to my Amex? Why am I doing this?
Elsa: But the majority of it goes back.
Rachel: The majority of it does go back, right. And so we just find, you find 40 to 50 or whatever, however many pieces and like a ton of stuff arrives at my home. And then we do a fitting session and we try everything on and see how it all looks. And probably three quarters of it goes back every time.
Elsa: Yes. You will say no more than you will say yes.
Elsa: But it's an efficiency kind of perspective and strategy. So like if I have 40 garments I'm trying on my body, you have to see it on your body. You cannot guess. You may think it works, you may think it doesn't work. But the point is, you don't know until it’s on your body.
Elsa: So once you have it on your body, you need that many garments to determine which has the best tailoring, which designers use the best fabric at that time, because designers also change.
Elsa: Which patterns, colors, all these nuances that you need to consider specifically for you. You need to look at 40 to 50 pieces.
Rachel: Yes. And you really don't know how you feel in a piece of clothing until you put it on. And it is a feeling, it's an emotional thing. Like you put it on and you're like, “Okay, I look good,” right? Or you put it on and you're like, “I feel like a frump, get this away from me immediately.”
Elsa: I can always tell. She’ll put on something and I’ll be like, “Okay, take it off. You hate it, you hate it.”
Rachel: Exactly. And even if other people love it, if you don't love it and you don't feel confident in it, then take it off, toss it, like send it back. Make it go far, far away from your closet. Because I think that's a mistake that people make, is just having all these things in their closet that they don't feel good in.
Rachel: And then of course you're crying in the closet every day. That's exactly what I used to do because I had all this stuff that didn't fit. And, you know, I would shop, I would get clothes, and then I'd have a baby. And then my body would change, you know? And also my style has changed, right? Like as I get older, also bodies change constantly.
That's the other thing, and that's the other benefit of tailoring too, is like there are times where I've gained weight, there's times where I've lost weight, and you can adjust your clothing to that as well. I think we just get so caught up in size, like oh, the answer is that I need to lose weight and then I'll feel good. I think the reason why you don't feel good is because you put no effort in, right?
Rachel: Because what we do is we say, oh, I've gained weight, therefore I'm not worthy to look fabulous, and so therefore I treat myself like crap, I don't take care of myself. I don't feel good in my body. I'm not eating well for myself. And I don't mean like never having cake. I love cake, I eat cake, okay? Probably every week. So this is not about eating, you know, restricting yourself or dieting, but like eating in a way that makes you feel good.
Like I don't have sweet potatoes for lunch because I know I'm going to be falling asleep in the second half of the day, that kind of thing. But eating in a way that makes you feel good, moving your body in the way that makes you feel good, getting sleep. That alone, okay? We undervalue sleep and don't prioritize it enough.
And then also just like not adorning yourself, right? Because you just decide like when I lose weight, then I will adorn myself. When I lose weight, then I'll be worthy of fabulous style. No, please not in the age of Lizzo, please, let's stop doing that.
Elsa: But also, you know, I have clients who will be like, well, I'm on this journey to release some weight. You know, what do you say? Should I be investing now? And I'm like, why is your body in a smaller size more worthy of looking and adorning how you are aligned and how you feel?
Elsa: Why isn't this body worth that?
Rachel: Exactly, correct.
Elsa: So I feel like if you don't appreciate and don't honor the body and skin that you're in now, it's not just going to show up at a different size.
Rachel: Right. Exactly.
Elsa: And I feel like as entrepreneurs and professionals, we do so much work on the inside. We have all this self-development that comes up because you can't get away from it as an entrepreneur, I’ve realized.
Rachel: Absolutely. Entrepreneurship is a journey of personal development, because like basically you the market is very unforgiving. They don't care that you worked really hard on that launch, right? Like you have to connect to what am I getting out of it as a potential client, and that's the only way they're going to give you their money, right?
And so you have to get accustomed to getting rejected on a regular basis as an entrepreneur, and like working on yourself, working on your limiting beliefs, overcoming impostor syndrome, all of those things. Like that's such a big part of it. And we invest so much in that, right?
We invest in coaching, we invest in therapy, we invest in all of the books, and all of the events, and the conferences and everything that we can. Even the time, right? Listening to podcasts and things like that. We invest so much time working on the inside.
Elsa: And then when it comes to clothing or styling, it's the most frivolous thing ever.
Rachel: Oh yes.
Elsa: It's like but I have to pay for a copywriter, I have to pay for my web designer, whatever.
Elsa: And I'm like, most of the time when my clients come to me, it's because they're being kind of catapulted into the limelight in some way. Whether it's a photo shoot, speaking gig, whatever the case is. But that's when they're forced to be like, oh, but something is misaligned.
Elsa: I've done all this work and I feel really good inside, but like how I'm showing up is nowhere near the woman I feel on the inside. And so it's like you can't disregard that because eventually that's also how imposter syndrome creeps up. It's like I've done all this work, but I don't feel like that person on the outside.
Rachel: Yes, exactly.
Elsa: And it's so interesting because every celebrity we see, that's just embedded into their business plan. Like that's just what they do.
Elsa: Because they understand that, hey, if I have to reach this level, this is something that needs to change and evolve with me, but also needs to reflect, hey, I am this kind of artist. Lizzo is a perfect example.
Elsa: So I can attract my people.
Elsa: It speaks volumes. It speaks for you, and it speaks for your brand.
Elsa: So if you ignore it, you're literally, like the most visceral way that you can attract people to you, you're ignoring.
Elsa: Which is to me, I'm like we judge and we almost like make decisions based on what we feel when we see somebody, right? Like meeting you or meeting anyone else in this room for the first time, instantly, for better or for worse, we have made a judgment. So why not take control of that and say exactly what you want to say?
Rachel: It's so true. I just came back from Paris, and one of the things I thought about was how the people who built this city really prioritized aesthetics, many, many, many years ago, right? And look at how that continues. Like it's one of the most visited cities in the world. Why? Because it's beautiful. Like it's absolutely stunning.
I did a photo shoot with my daughter, we did a mother daughter photo shoot that Elsa styled me for and styled Riley, my daughter, for. And like all the different spots we were going to take photos, there were like 50 people there, right? Like we had to wait our turn to get our spot in front of the Eiffel Tower to take that shot. Why? Because everybody wants to be photographed in this beautiful city, right? Everybody wants to visit this beautiful city.
It makes you feel a certain way just being in such an aesthetically beautiful city. I think we so underestimate aesthetics and we sort of discount it. But we love being out in nature. Why? It's beautiful, right? It makes us feel good looking at the sky, looking at the trees, right? And it's like, why do you think that you are not beautiful, right? Like why do you discount your own beauty that you are expressing in the world? And it's irrelevant what you look like, right?
Like humans are beautiful in general, right? And so I agree with you that style is almost like a brand, right? It is part of your brand. And you are expressing it whether you're like, oh, I don't have a sense of style. Of course you do. Like if your style is I wear a grungy t-shirt and jeans, that's your vibe, right? Like that's a style, right? Grungy t-shirt and jeans is a style.
My son only wants to ever wear sweatpants. I just had an argument with him that Elsa witnessed about like he just wants to wear sweatpants every day. I'm like, could we put some jeans on? How about those beautiful button up shirts in there? Nope. He just wants sweatpants. Okay, kid, you win. That's his style, right?
So like even your fitness wear or lounge wear or whatever it is that you're putting on your body, it is a style. You are expressing it, so why not do it intentionally instead of just happenstance, you know?
Elsa: Tell your story.
Elsa: Tell your story.
Rachel: I agree. It's such a way to tell your story. And most importantly, I think it's really about how it makes you feel because I have, you know, and that's exactly what happened to me. So like the book came out, book covers, doing a lot of press, and now we're doing this on YouTube every week, right? Like there's all these different things that I am being seen. And so I'm like, well, how do I want to show up for that?
And sometimes it's like I'll style myself occasionally because I just asked Elsa too late or forgot to talk to her about it. And then I see it on camera and I'm like, ugh, I hate the way this looks or whatever because I wasn't thinking about oh, I was going to be sitting for that, or am I standing? Or like how is this cut? Or how is the fabric draping, right? Like this is all the stuff that you think about.
And it's the same thing with interior design. Like this beautiful room that we're in, I said yes I love this wallpaper, right? I had nothing to do with it. I had an interior designer who thought about the fabrics and thought about what are we going to be doing in this room? Who's going to be in this room, right?
And that's how you decide, like, what is already there? What architecture are we dealing with? And how do we adjust for that? And so I think it's very similar working with a stylist.
Elsa: I love that you brought that up because what it comes down to is also like, you know, interior design is kind of like, oh, I don't necessarily need to go all out from my apartment, or home or whatever.
Elsa: But we get dressed every day.
Elsa: And I think there's a certain level of like, I should know how to do this.
Rachel: Yes, it's so true.
Elsa: But I'm like, but who taught you?
Rachel: Right, how would you know?
Elsa: Yes, it’s actually a skill.
Rachel: Like you've been putting on clothes every day for your whole life, but like, first of all, half your life your parents probably were telling you what to put on, or they at least bought what was in your closet. Some of which you may not have had any opinion on or didn't get to say yes or no to whatever it was, right?
So there's that and then also it’s like were you necessarily doing it intentionally. Were you dressing for just pure function or were you just not thinking about it because you just put on these pants, this shirt and called it a day?
Elsa: Yeah, because it's a tool.
Elsa: And it's a skill. And it's like, okay, how do I, obviously, from a utilitarian perspective we all need clothes for the most part, right? And that’s awesome, like we just do it without even thinking. And what if we changed our perspective and said this is a tool that I can use, to not only tell my story and share who I am with the world from an outside perspective. But also, like you said, your own energy.
Elsa: It really does, I see a difference every time when you are trying on something that you really feel good in, right?
Elsa: And that then carries into the interview you have to conduct or the copy you have to deliver to the camera, or the speaking gig that you have. And I think that's the part we discount. It's like how we feel matters, especially as professionals and entrepreneurs. So why wouldn't you invest in that other aspect or additional aspect that can add and fuel what you're doing? It's really just an added like, I don't want to say bonus because I think it's an integral part of who you are.
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Rachel: I completely agree. And you mentioned copywriters earlier, right? Like we sometimes hire a copywriter to write an About page for us or write content for us, right? And we want them to use our voice and be on brand for our company. And it's very similar with style, right? Like I don't, first of all, it's a time thing too. Like I don't have the time to shop that much, right, especially for as much as I need to be seen.
And then also even like choosing the right things because then if I buy stuff I realize, like I one time was packing for a trip to Italy. This was years ago before I started working with Elsa. And this is probably actually maybe one of the things that prompted me to work with you. But I was going to Italy and I was packing and I noticed I had a pile of black clothes, navy blue clothes and gray clothes.
Every single thing was gray, navy blue and black. I had no color in my wardrobe. And I was like, oh. I didn't even realize I just buy the same thing over and over again.
Elsa: Bandwidth because it’s easy.
Elsa: Let me just go with, and then fast forward to this summer in Italy in Lake Como, Rachel brought the outfits. You guys, every look I was like, who is this person? And I did not shop for those pieces. That was all her. And I think that was just because you're like, you know what? I know what to look for now.
Elsa: And I know when to say no.
Elsa: I don't have to keep – Return the thing that you don't love.
Elsa: Just because you purchased it online, hire a TaskRabbit person to do the returns for you.
Elsa: The more you accumulate those pieces that you don't even like, that never come off the hanger, that have the tags on, you're just creating distraction for yourself in your closet.
Elsa: And it's also an energy suck
Elsa: Like make room for the pieces. Build it slowly. One of the things I feel like people expect out of either working with a stylist or going shopping is like I just want a uniform. I just want like these 10 pieces, 15 pieces, and that's it. I just want my life to be easy. And that's possible, but that usually takes six to 12 months of experimentation.
Rachel: Yes, to figure out what is the uniform that you actually even like.
Elsa: And feel good in. Like from a practical, if you're going to be sitting down doing interviews, if you're going to be on the road doing speaking gigs, whatever that function, the different types of functions you have in your life are, you need to have practical data to know what works and what doesn't work before you can whittle it down to 15 garments.
Rachel: Right, these core things, exactly.
Rachel: Like for me I think it was a lot of experimenting that helped me figure out how I dress when I'm just coming to my office and teaching or doing things like that is I get cute stylish jeans that Elsa has picked out. I pick a button up shirt that Elsa has picked out. And either I belt it, put on some jewelry, I wear 50,000 rings every day, and some earrings. And that's probably my go-to that I put on if I don't want to be in workout clothes today.
I want to feel dressed, but I don't want to get dressed dressed, right? I don't want to put that much effort in that's sort of my, but it feels – That's the key. When you put that upfront effort in, and this is true in all things, right, you invest in the time and the energy and the money that it takes, then it feels effortless on the other side of that so that it's easy for me to just grab those jeans and grab those tops that I know look good. And I know exactly how to tuck them and like what jewelry to put on with it.
Even the jewelry, because I used to have zero jewelry, like that was an investment. And like Elsa had like 100 different pieces of jewelry come to my house. I was like, this woman is crazy. What is she doing? But now I have all this beautiful jewelry to choose from, right? So it feels finished. Because I think accessorizing is one of those things too, that we just like ignore and then it feels a little unfinished, like our outfit.
Elsa: And there's so many types of accessories. Like I think I've told you before, I think your hair is an accessory. You know, that's part of your look.
Elsa: And so you don't have to do every single type of accessory.
Elsa: It could be, I can't do bracelets because they fall off and they're annoying for me, you know? So it's like pick your thing that feels most aligned. You don't have to do it all, but yes, like complete that look with – I feel like my hair color is an accessory, right?
Elsa: So you don't have to do it all. But I think, I will say I think it took us about a year for you to have enough options in your closet where you would feel confident enough to be just like I have these X number of videos that Elsa is not here for, and I'm just going to put these looks together.
Elsa: And you just can't do that off jump. It's mathematical in some ways, but it's also creative.
Elsa: And I think for someone who's really logical, that's hard to kind of grasp.
Elsa: And doing it at a time when you don't have a time pressure situation. Give yourself the time to be creative.
Rachel: It's so true.
Elsa: Like two hours. I always say two hours on a weekend or whenever, two hours where you won't be interrupted. Make yourself a playlist, have a snack, have your favorite drink, and just play.
Elsa: And then you won't be, like often Rachel's like, you'll be like, what the hell? Why are you telling me to put these two patterns together? Have you lost your mind?
Rachel: I know. Even this, right? Like this was laid out in my closet this morning. And I was like brown with the yellow with the pink? But it looks great, right? And the purple and the mixing metals, right, with the jewelry. But it is fun. And then the color, it makes you feel brighter. And you're like, you just show up brighter because of it.
Elsa: You show up brighter, I love that.
Rachel: It's amazing. It really is, it's so worth the effort. And I agree with you on playing. Like one of the things that I'll do is like I'm packing and I pack, you know, Bethany is going to laugh, my assistant, she's over here. But I'm always practicing like five minutes before I need to be out the door. There's like car services literally sitting in my driveway and I'm like throwing shit in a bag.
And luckily I already have these outfits in my head because Elsa has styled me so many times and I'm like, “Oh, I know what Elsa would do, she would do this or she would do that.” And I grab things. And it usually works, but what works so much better is if I do the night before and I try things on and decide. And then I'm like, okay, what three shoes, or what two pairs of shoes can go with all of these outfits that I'm choosing, right?
And thinking through like, am I going to be standing? Am I standing up teaching? What's the vibe of the place that I'm going? Or I'm going from this to that, will it work for both, right? Will it be cold, right? Will I be hot? Like thinking through the whole experience and the environment so that you show up and feel super comfortable. Because when you show up and you don't feel comfortable in your clothes and you're like, oh my God, is my boob popping out? Or like, oh my God, are these jeans too tight?
Elsa: You’re constantly fidgeting.
Rachel: Yes, exactly.
Elsa: You’re like literally uncomfortable.
Rachel: Trying to adjust your clothes, it's the worst. You don't want to think about it so that you can focus on like your actual talent, right? What you're actually there to do. You want to like get dressed and not think about it again, you know?
Elsa: Exude that confidence. That's all part of the confidence.
Rachel: Totally, totally. Such a worthy investment of your time and energy completely.
So one question that I have for you is, how do people, like when they're choosing a stylist, right, like what do they think about? Do you have to match the exact aesthetic of your stylist? Or how does a stylist, because you dress Susan Hyatt, who's a friend of mine, Robert Hartwell, who's my friend, so all of these different entrepreneurs. And also like how do you wind up not having them all in the same outfits, right?
Like I know several podcasters and friends of mine that you style, and they never are in the same looks that I'm in. So like how do you style different people with different stuff?
Elsa: I love that question. I think for me, my whole philosophy is authenticity.
Elsa: I never felt represented in the fashion industry. And so I kind of call myself an anti-fashion stylist as a result. I was like, how can I be different from this? Because I loved clothes.
Elsa: And so for me, it was about empowering my clients. And the only way to do that is to look within.
Elsa: So like forget the magazines, forget the runways. Start with you. What's your body shape, intimately? Like know the nuances of your body. And then how do you want to show up? Like it could be a mission statement for your style. How do you want to show up? What message do you want to send out to the world? And then also, who are you right now in this phase of your life?
Elsa: I think we have a tendency to hold on to, you know, kind of the last time we felt cool or sexy or stylish, and that's usually in our 20s, before children, usually. And that's what we hang onto.
Rachel: Oh my God, first of all, I'm way cooler and dress so much better than I did when I was in my 20s now.
Elsa: I mean, me too. Me too. But that’s when we knew that body.
Elsa: We spent time with that body, we gave her time. And now we have businesses, we have partners, we have children. And literally the last thing we think about is ourselves.
Rachel: I know.
Elsa: So get to know who you are. What do you like? What do you like doing? Again, this comes into functionality, and create a Pinterest board of like taking out the filter of like, will this look good on me. Take that out and just play. Like what instantly are you drawn to? That's what I do with my clients, and focus on them. And then it's not even an issue of what I like.
Elsa: It's like how can I choose pieces that are in alignment with everything they've told me about who they are and how they want to show up? And then we play.
Elsa: But I think the biggest thing to look out for is the stylist, it's really my pet peeve, who dresses others like themselves. So mini versions of themselves. It's my biggest pet peeve. I’m like, so you're just copying.
Elsa: It's formulaic, and you can't be formulaic in style.
Rachel: Yes, I think it’s a very creative thing. And I agree, because then you have just like an army of people that look exactly like you. That's weird.
Elsa: That's also not style. Then that's like a template of like, you know.
Elsa: So I think it's just important to see their body of work, look for who they’ve worked with, look for reviews, and how they dress themselves just to see. And also like the questions they ask you, is it all about the system and formula they use or are they asking you about you?
Elsa: Because it's so personal. And that's, I think Rachel, Rachel is always like, you need to do something that's applicable to more than your one to one service. And I’m like, why? Because I'm so comfortable in getting to know individual clients.
Elsa: But it's so hard for me to do the opposite of that. I'm sure there's a way but I know that that's, I think, what makes me really good at what I do.
Rachel: Yeah, I think you, like there's a lot of empathy in what you do, right? Like and saying like I'm seeing a drop in your energy, how is that making you feel, right? Like just really connecting with the person so that you really know them and then you know what, like you can see something and be like, oh, I should get this for Rachel Rodgers, right? Or this is a Susan Hyatt piece or whatever it is, right?
And like Susan has such a different aesthetic. Like Susan is all about being sexy. She wants to be sexy, she's like, you know, just she wants to be like she's on a movie set basically every day.
Elsa: That’s so true.
Rachel: Yes, it's like celebrity vibes, right? For sure. And also, it's such a fun part of her brand. Like if you go to a Susan Hyatt event, you're excited to see what is she going to be wearing, you know?
Rachel: Because she is going to wow you with those looks, okay? And I'm similar, but it's not sexiness for me. It's like comfort, I want to be comfortable. What else would you say?
Elsa: I think there's such a big part of you that I feel like you've grown into the last two years, is creative.
Elsa: I just feel like there's been this, even with your home. Like that's been really dope to see too, is just I feel like I've seen the alignment in both you surround yourself with, so just artistic, creative energy and color.
Rachel: Yes. I'm all about the color.
Rachel: Vibrancy for sure.
Rachel: And like mixing of patterns is super fun. I just like, I like the unexpected. It's the Aquarius in me.
Elsa: I mean, and it suits you so well. I love it so much.
Rachel: Yes, it's like I want to do something that people, that I don't even expect, let alone everyone. And put things together that you wouldn’t expect to go together, it just makes it more fun and I think it makes it more playful, you know?
Elsa: And I think it speaks to your personality.
Rachel: Totally. And I want to feel like I'm at play at work, you know? And so if I have on something that feels like play, it sort of aligns with that, which I love it so much.
So tell us more about how do you work with clients and how can people hire you if they want to work with you?
Elsa: Yeah, well, I think I'm most consistent on my website, so elsaisaac.com. I'm trying on social, I really am. And we just, actually thanks to you, Rachel, launched last, no, it seems like last year. We just launched it this year, just a really dope way for entrepreneurs and professionals to get their photos done.
Elsa: Professional photos, because as you know, it's a lot of work.
Elsa: It's logistically just too many moving pieces for entrepreneurs to do on their own. So we came up with an event called Lights Camera Luxe where I take care of every single detail and spoil the shit out of you along the way. So we do that, we're trying to stick to twice a year. And that website is Lights Camera Luxe, I still work with clients one on one as well, it's my jam. Yeah.
Rachel: So lightscameraluxe.com?
Rachel: Yes, yes. And so for that, like when I did my photo shoot for my book cover Elsa was there, and I had hair and makeup, and I had lighting people, and photographers, and like different sets, right? Like it was just such a production. That production, I want to say, cost me like 50 grand.
And it was out of my pocket, trust me, because the publisher, you know, they said they were, I'm still waiting for my reimbursement check, okay? And I have a pretty great publisher. But yeah, so it's an expensive ordeal, it costs a lot of money, it's a lot of coordination, there was a lot of planning leading up to it.
Elsa: It was during COVID too, so it was even more.
Rachel: It was even more complicated, exactly. Like so much to think about. And it was like two days and I was exhausted, even leading up to it. And then for sure after it. And I had all of this help, but it was because me and my team had to coordinate it all.
So I think the idea of like being able to just walk in and have your clothes laid out for you of exactly what you're going to wear, and have these different sets set up, and having the right – Because even it's like, it's not just having hair and makeup, it's choosing the right hair and makeup, right? Because who hasn't had their hair done or their makeup done and been like, I don't look like myself or I'm not feeling this? And then you're kind of like, okay, I guess I'm stuck getting photographed and now I hate these photos.
Elsa: Yeah. No, and I remember what you said to me during the shoot, you were just like, oh my gosh, I don't think I can go back after a shoot like this.
Elsa: Because it was your first big pro shoot and everybody took care of you.
Elsa: And that's hard to pull together if you don't know what type of photographer to look for, it needs to be a unified team. And oftentimes I come in, you know, clients are hiring me as a piecemeal. So they're, you know, they're figuring out the photographer who we've never met. And so I think there's something to be said about creating a cohesive production that knows without you having to tell them everything that you need. Because it's really hard to deliver to camera.
We are not used to being in camera for the most part, right? We're not models.
Elsa: Every client will tell me, oh my gosh, this is a tough job.
Rachel: This is work.
Elsa: It is work. You have to know your angles. Like it is uncomfortable, but the less you have to worry about the logistics, the more comfortable you can feel and be to the camera and get the results you want.
Elsa: Right? There's nothing worse than spending 15, 20k on a shoot and you hate the photos.
Elsa: And that has happened.
Rachel: Oh, it's happened to me. There are whole photo shoots that you will, they will never see the light of the day. They're sitting in my Dropbox folder and I told my team don't pull, don't pull from that. We're never using those.
Elsa: It’s so sad. And you didn't put in any less work.
Rachel: Exactly, it’s so true.
Elsa: You know, this is money that you unfortunately aren't going to get use of.
Elsa: And I was just tired of seeing clients have that. And I've been doing shoots since back in 2002 when I was forced into styling. And I feel like that has been an asset for me, is just knowing how to bring together a great team and the production side of it.
Rachel: Exactly. Yes, I think it's such a great investment. And it is the kind of thing that will, you know, those photos that I got from that very expensive photo shoot that I did for my book, not only did I get the book cover, but those photos are like what you're seeing all the time on all of our content.
Elsa: You still use them, yeah.
Rachel: I mean, we've used it for, and I did that in August 2020, so two years later we're still using those photos and probably will be using them for the next two or three years as well because I felt like myself.
Elsa: You really did. You showed up for that.
Rachel: Listen, we worked that one. It was so good. Thank you so much, Elsa, for coming.
Elsa: Thank you for having me.
Rachel: and being a part of the Hello Seven Podcast and the Hello Seven family. Now you know my secret, it's not that I'm so good at styling myself.
Elsa: You kind of are.
Rachel: It's that I have a secret weapon. Well, that's because I've been trained, like when you work with a stylist, you really will get an education on how to dress for yourself so you can have more fun and enjoy it even in your personal life.
So I highly recommend that you find yourself a stylist. Put more effort into your style so you can feel amazing because you are, right? And you are absolutely deserving and worthy. So Elsa, tell us again where we can find you elsaisaac.com.
Elsa: Elsaisaac.com and lightscameraluxe.com.
Rachel: Yes. And she's Elsa Isaac on Instagram, regularly tagged on my Instagram for all of my looks that she's styling for me. Thank you again for being here.
Elsa: Thank you. Love you. Thank you so much for having me.
Rachel: I love you back.
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