With a degree in Fashion Merchandising and over ten years of experience in the fashion industry, Shayla Courtney gets it honest. As a young style maven, Shayla Courtney was being groomed by her mother who was studying in school to become a Fashion Designer – in this case, it’s safe to say she was cut from the same cloth.
As her love for fashion evolved so did her dreams of owning her own fashion company, and in 2013, Shayla Courtney launched Prim Heiress Styling, LLC, a Styling Agency dedicated to “Making everyday EXTRAORDINARY, taking style NEXT LEVEL” and created to help every woman in transition embrace her personal style.
Now you know the RowASeat1 Team couldn’t pass this interview up, especially when one of our main goals is to highlight extraordinary Style Mavens & Mavericks of Color within the Fashion Industry… That said, sit back and enjoy the full interview below.
RowASeat1: When did you fall in love with fashion?
Shayla Courtney: I realized I had fallen in love with fashion around the 9th grade. I was born into it with my mom teaching Design & my grandmother being a natural shopaholic, I really began to love to watch the runway shows on STYLE, look at what the celebrities were wearing and at that point I wanted to model. I developed an eye at a very young age for what I thought was the best way to express ME. In my household, fashion was that outlet.
SC: I think the appropriate answer here is to run off facts like I have a degree in Fashion Merchandising; I’ve worked in the industry over ten years doing various trades in fashion, etc. I think I’m more than that though. I’m a writer. I’m a believer. I’m organized. I’m driven. I’m carefree. I’m outspoken. I’m learning. I’m evolving. I Am Fashion.
RowASeat1: How did you break into the styling industry?
SC: I actually started styling before I really knew what “styling” was. I helped out a lot with fashion shows, putting looks together, even as a model. I dressed a lot of my friends and then one day I retained a client while still in college who I’ve been working with for years. She actually picked me up and said “Hey you really know your stuff. I need you to dress me. You should do this for a living.” And a light bulb went off!
RowASeat1: Tell us about your company Prim Heiress Styling, LLC and your first styling task.
SC: I started Prim Heiress Styling because I began to feel the need of the every day woman. After working in corporate America, women would constantly come up to me and say things like “Gosh I wish I could put clothes together like you” or “where do you even find that?,” and “How do you know what to wear?” Then, that’s how my inspiration was born.
I actually really enjoy teaching women about style and that is what my first few styling task were. (They’re packages I offer) I taught women about their body type, what trends would work for them, and what was coming up the following season. They loved it!
RowASeat1: Describe your personal style.
SC: Edgy. Feminine. Classic. On any given day I will be one of those three if not all.
RowASeat1: Name 5 items in your ‘Style Kit’ you can’t go without.
SC: Tape measure, mirror, my ‘Style Rolodex’ (of MUAs, hairstylist & industry contacts), fresh ideas, & lots of confidence to share
RowASeat1: Which celebs do you think have amazing style?
SC: June Ambrose, but she’s my personal style inspiration. She’s impeccable to me. Kris Jenner–no one can argue that she isn’t always put together.
RowASeat1: Share 3 things on your wish list. Why?
SC: I want to be happy because in life that’s really all that matters. I want to be healthy so that chasing my dreams is never an issue because of it. I want my nonprofit, 365Girl Foundation to have a house for our girls so that our After School Program can be run there.
RowASeat1: Explain your thoughts on the importance of mixing/shopping hi and low brands for your clients.
SC: This is so major to me! I explain to my clients that quality is far better than just having something because it’s cheap. Staple pieces are always worth the investment. It’s the trends that one should shop low for so that you’re not spending too much on something you’ll only wear twice.
RowASeat1: Any advice to potential stylists trying to form a career in fashion?
SC: My advice is to find your niche. Who do you want to serve: models, housewives, working women or celebrities? Know your clientele before you try to dress them. I would also say, try everything. That’s how you’ll discover what you’re passionate about.