NYC-Based On-Air Fashion/Lifestyle host, Patrice J. Williams, is Making a Name for Herself
1. Tell me about reinventing yourself? Most surprising aspects and the most challenging aspects. I never really thought about "reinventing" myself. I just realized I was finally putting all the pieces together. Everything I learned in my fashion magazine days prepared me for life as an entrepreneur, but at the time I didn't know it. Sometimes when you're shifting, the most difficult part can be getting people to understand your vision. Friends and family can think you're crazy or have unattainable goals but that's usually their own insecurity showing, so I had to learn to quiet those voices.
2. Tips for style? Style is all about whatever makes you feel great. A five inch pair of heels may look beautiful but if they're uncomfortable, they don't make you feel great and you're simply wearing them because for whatever reason you feel you should be wearing them. Style should be something that's fun and constantly evolving, so I always suggest that people try something new. If you don't like it, then take it off and try something else.
3. Shopping on a budget? Everyone has a different definition and amount allotted for a shopping budget, so first I suggest determining what that budget is, either an overall budget or what you're willing to spend on a particular garment. Then it's about creating a list of priorities. If a good suit or blazer is at the top of your list and that's all you can afford for the season, find a great one and anchor the rest of your existing wardrobe around that new piece. You can create the look of a new wardrobe with the addition of a few statement making pieces vs. buying a totally new wardrobe.
4. Being a black woman business owner? I constantly face microaggressions, especially working in fashion. Most of the editors and producers I encounter are white and many clearly have a bias. I see it in the people they constantly choose to work with and the people (of color!) they constantly choose to ignore. It's frustrating and at times it's made me want to quit, but I know that when people see me winning, it makes it just a tad bit easier for another black woman to succeed. That's what keeps me motivated.
5. Advice for black women who want to wear their hair natural, but worry about looking "professional." No matter how "professional" and perfectly coiffed your natural hair is, it will still be seen as unkept by some. That's a fact. Instead of focusing on what other people think, just look your best. Have a few go-to hairstyles and keep it moving. I first went natural about a month before I started working at a fashion magazine. I was clueless about how to style my TWA after doing the big chop. But I focused on keeping my hair moisturized, cute headbands and accessories and went from there.
6. Thoughts on spending with black-owned businesses. I'll always support a small business, and especially a black-owned businesses, before patronizing another mega company. I love seeing people who look like me or who look like they could be in my family, running their own businesses and if I can spend my dollars there or bring attention to a great biz, I will
7. Hope for the future? For a while I took a break from doing television full time, but in the next year I hope to return with a fashion contributor role at a NYC or national station. Also, I would love to write another book, but this time with a major publisher versus self published.My overall hope for the future is to have more inclusion in the fashion and beauty space. Not just one or two token models on the runway or natural hair brands that only showcase loose curls versus tightly coiled kinks, but true inclusion.
8. Having the courage to go out on your own. Sometimes you don't have the courage, you just go for it.
9. Advice for women who want to become entrepreneurs. Do you really understand the entrepreneurial life or do you fully comprehend the insane amount of work and sacrifice it requires? If you really want it, have a plan. But know that things will never be perfect but you have to start somewhere. Also, take a break. There's no gold medal for running yourself into the ground.
10. What are your 5 go-to style pieces? Skinny jeans: find a brand that fits your body perfectly and buy them in a few colors, especially dark washesBlazer: great for any workplace and a good layering piece in the spring or fallNude pumps: instant way to make your legs look longeLeopard print: a belt or scarf is a great accent piece and the print is fun without being over the topStatement necklace: perfect way to turn any boring or neutral top or neckline into a fun moment.
Link to blog: https://www.instagram.com/patricejwill/