We had the good fortune of connecting with Ana Duperval and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ana, what’s the most important lesson your business/career has taught you?
As with any business, the idea and goal is to make money. And lots of it, right?! Because a successful business is one that brings in the big bucks. But I’ve learned that the road to financial freedom, especially from starting your own business, can be a long one. And honestly after a while, it can be discouraging, particularly when you front the costs and are wondering or waiting on payment. Up until last year (because F*** 2020), I paid for inventory and other expenses with my debit or personal credit card [which affects your personal credit score – ugh]. So with the help of an accountability partner I started researching even more on how to properly allocate limited funds yet keep my small business afloat. What I’ve learned has been super pivotal, and it’s called “Business Credit”. Because I had properly set up my business already (ie registered with the state, opened a bank account, etc) I had access to capital that I could leverage! So I applied for a business credit card, got close to a $10k limit (which none of my personal credit cards went that high) with perks of reward points and no interest. What I want to point out is that as a stylist, you often make purchases for your client or project in advance, and so having a credit card is necessary. While obviously you want to be mindful on purchases with any credit card, the great thing is now I’m separating my business and personal credit profile. I feel so much better swiping at stores or with vendors. There’s still work to be done within my business but that’s the most important thing so far that it’s taught me, the power of leverage.
Please tell us more about your work. We’d love to hear what sets you apart from others, what you are most proud of or excited about. How did you get to where you are today professionally. Was it easy? If not, how did you overcome the challenges? What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way. What do you want the world to know about you or your brand and story?
I am a wardrobe stylist who specializes in thrifted vintage and retro fashion and modernizes them. I think that sets me apart because most of the fashion styling you see is of super high end designer fashion. Nothing wrong with that of course, as I would gladly take the opportunity to style someone like a celebrity or supermodel in that. I am proud of the fact that I’ve had my work published editorially in several magazines, which I guess makes me look like a professional *wink wink*. Those took a few collaborations and risk taking (gotta get that shot!). I like that my funky concoctions actually look good on and are visually satisfying to others as well. I like that when it comes to productions whether fashion-related or not, that I’m a valued resource since I’m creative. A big challenge for me has been my introverted personality, as I may not create opportunities for myself as easily as more outgoing individuals. But I’ve learned that I’m genuine in my approach so I’m not as bothered about it now. Even though the service I provide is behind-the-scenes, I do want the world to know that I find great joy and fulfillment when putting atypical looks together and it ends up being fly.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Whenever I’m in another city I make sure to visit at least 1 thrift store there, so if I had a friend in town I’d definitely take them to one here. Orlando is a popular tourist destination so I think many locals leave certain activities to tourists. but I believe our International Drive has a lot of fun things, like niche restaurants, mini golf, the comedy club, hookah lounges, ice bars, the outlet malls, and more. I’m really a homebody but I’ve enjoyed myself there as well as in the Milk District and Ivanhoe Village which has little urban hipster vibes to it with old movie-esque pool halls, food truck parks, breweries and murals, which are great photo ops for those visiting.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I have a few friends who are small business owners. Their success and expertise is something I truly admire about them and their willingness to share information. I want to dedicate my shoutout to both RJ at ‘The Royal Jeweler’ and Khalil at ‘SBC Startups, Resourcing & Enterprises’ respectfully for their mentorship and encouragement.
Derek Watford, Phelipe Mestre, Christopher Caba, Brittany Borders, Jordan Johnson, Jamara Forbes