Good news, Style Mavens, there’s another fashionista ready to take her vision to the next level. Meet Chicago native Ciera Brock who followed her dreams of owning an online boutique after 10 years of retail experience as a denim brand ambassador, and a stylist at Saks Fifth Ave., then she became a store manager for AKIRA Chicago. Now, let’s rewind to October 2, 2020, the official date CB Style House become the entrepreneurial reality for Ciera! The Magna Cum Laude alumna received a degree in Mass Communications and Public Relations from Jackson State University, and now Ciera is ready to take her skills with her to the top. I had the pleasure of speaking with her for this week’s Style Maven Sunday!
So, let’s get into it.
Lexii: So congratulations on your new endeavor! How do you feel?
Ciera: I am really grateful and excited to be walking in my purpose. I feel like God wanted me to do this so long ago, but I was running from it. I wouldn’t say I was afraid, but more so concerned about how people would perceive it. I know I am good at what I do, but sometimes you don’t know how people feel about you. I have been doing this for ten years! I worked at Saks Fifth Avenue in Mississippi, moved back to Chicago, worked at the store as a denim brand ambassador, a stylist, etc. Then, I took a break and began working at Akira as a store manager, and I was like you know what? Maybe it is time for me to do my own thing. It was confirmation for me that if I could run someone else’s store, I could run my own. *laughs*
Lexii: Absolutely. Being more of a supervisor, you can see what people gravitate to. That’s dope!
Ciera: Yes. As a store manager, I was able to see the ins and outs of how to run a business. I did my research because I knew I had the styling part down. My clients would tell me how much they loved my style and the way I styled others. It was more so studying how to run the business. Those things led me to this point in my life and I’m excited. Now hopefully when I get to a physical store, we can talk about something different!
Lexii: I see your Instagram has connoisseur in the title, what categorizes someone as a fashion connoisseur, and what makes someone else one as well?
Ciera: That is a term I began looking into last year, while I was working at another job. It reminds me of when someone is an expert and knows a lot about fashion. So this year, I just put it on my profile because of the gift that I have. I can easily put things together and see what looks good on body types.
I want people to know that I am going to have your style in mind and to make clients feel their best selves.Ciera Brock
Lexii: So, what sparked your interest in fashion?
Ciera: My mom told me when I was two years old, I’d always dress up and style myself in stars and stripes. I guess you can say I was ahead of my time. My mom raised me to be such a girly girl, purses, etc. When you’re little, you don’t remember these things, but you know they are in you. As I got older, I just knew I loved to feel good. When I got dressed I felt empowered! That’s why I knew this was a gift that I had. I would style my family, but no one outside of that. So, I had to push through and say “you know what?” I am not going to worry about what I got my degree in. I felt like Mass Communications and PR weren’t for me and that’s when I had to pursue fashion. Personal shopping it’s better for someone who doesn’t have kids, so I had to figure out something different.
Lexii: Why did you decide to be a boutique owner?
Ciera: I have two sons! One that’s 2 and one that’s 8. Personal styling takes a lot of time. I actually took a class with Shun Melson and she does a lot of work. I loved the fact that I did it, but it wasn’t for me even working at Saks previously. That’s why I was so happy about my experience at Akira because it proved that I could still style people in a different way.
Lexii: I had the same feeling even being a fashion student myself. People would ask me to style them and it was so hard to try to fit the image you have for them while keeping your client in their comfort zone. Even for me, I was like this is really hard!
Ciera: Mentally, women are very critical of themselves. I like to sit down with them before and ask what their personal style is and what do you feel comfortable with? I like to critique their favorite colors and their body types to add elements of what will look good on them! At the end of it, my clients would be like, “wow I never thought of that.” It was easy and natural for me, it was just hectic!
I’m for the people! I just want them to love it. I don’t have a celebrity or anyone in mind. I just would love to see people from Chicago and all over to love what I bring to the table.Ciera Brock
Lexii: Do you have any advice for women who are hesitant to start their business during this time?
Ciera: My advice would be to go for it. If you don’t fail, you don’t know if you can succeed. I knew it was something I was good at, but I wanted to make sure the people liked it. My mentality was that if they love it, then that means I’m doing what I’m supposed to do. I put all my money into it and hard work. I didn’t half step it. So, I say don’t be afraid to fail!
Lexii: Who would you love to see in your clothes?
Ciera: I’m for the people! I just want them to love it. I don’t have a celebrity or anyone in mind. I would love to see people from Chicago and all over to love what I bring to the table. I love me some BeBe, so I definitely would love to see her in one of my pieces.
And there you have it! I hope you Style Mavens have your wallets locked and loaded! Ever since CB Style House launched, she’s been selling out quickly! Ciera’s eye for style and confidence is proof that the door is always open for a path you are meant to take, as long as you have faith in your own capabilities. She is such a delightful person, I am sure you’ll love her just as much as the Row A Seat 1 family does. Be sure to follow her business page on Instagram @shopcbstylehouse for discount codes, restocks, and more! You certainly can’t forget to follow us on Instagram @rowaseat1. Ciao, Bellas!