We had the good fortune of connecting with Chalyne Steer and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Chalyne, how do you think about risk?
Choosing to take a risk is scary; it’s the one thing you can do that will either make or break your career. In the beginning of my journey I was so scared to take risks. Every time I needed to make a purchase whether big or small, I was questioning myself; is this the right thing to spend money on right now? Is this item gonna sell? Am I gonna make this money back? Those were the type of questions I would ask myself and the answer would be the same every time because the outcome has never failed me. After celebrating SHOP CHALYNE STEER 1 year anniversary on Feb 2nd 2021, I reflected back & realized I learned early on in my career that risk taking is NECESSARY for growth. If you don’t take the risk how will you grow? How will you become better than you were yesterday? How will you know that it’s possible? How will you elevate & succeed? “Scared money don’t make no money!“ I live by that. It takes strength, courage, & discipline to reach new heights. If you’re scared, pack it up & try again when you believe in yourself a little more! You can’t expect other people to believe in you & support you if you don’t believe in yourself enough to just GO FOR IT! Be confident in yourself. Do it scared. Step out on faith. TAKE THE RISK!. I promise, the outcome WILL BE REWARDING!
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
SHOPCHALYNESTEER is a black owned luxury online boutique curated for women of all sizes. Our slogan is “Where luxury meets lifestyle.” We carry everything from luxe dresses that will make you feel like you’re the most elegant woman in the room to affordable loungewear that still makes you feel like luxury when lounging around your home. I always say I AM THE BLUEPRINT because I literally am. Not only am I the name & the face but I am the brand’s core values, & what the brand stands for. The versatility, the message, the story. I am my girl the brand is built off. I’ve always been a girl that exudes versatility. I am classy, elegant, sexy, edgy, all of the things and my brands speaks to that. I’ve always been the girl who’s weight was always fluctuating & it was so hard to find clothes to fit my body type that were flattering to me. I hated things that were too short, too tight, too ill fitting etc. When I would lose weight I always found some of the best clothing; patterns, styles but when I would gain weight honey the things I would see the brands selling for us curvy girls I mean they wanted us to wear sleeping clothes outside basically and I’m way too fly for that! I AM A FASHIONISTA HONEY. I just knew I wasn’t the only one going through this so I always knew since freshman year of high school sitting in fashion design class that I wanted to create something that will be inclusive. Whether you’re on your weight loss journey or weight gain journey you can still shop my brand. It clicked for me when my style content was consistently going viral on twitter. Simple videos of me just literally getting dressed and feeling myself enough to turn on my camera and give the girls confidence in my looks was making such an impact. Women all over that I’ve never even met were commenting & messaging me to tell me how much they loved my style, admired my confidence, and Ofcourse asking me where I shop, where I bought what I was wearing etc. I noticed I was sending them to these huge already established Companies when I had the resources and knowledge to start something of my own and put that money back into my own pocket. That was the birth of SHOP CHALYNE STEER. We just celebrated our 1 year anniversary on feb 2nd 2021 and whew, it was a year. I mean, A YEAR, in a pandemic. It wasn’t easy but giving up wasn’t an option. Once I set my mind to something, it’s getting done, period! As a small business, we separate ourselves by BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS. I make it my duty to know my customers. Some of them even have my personal phone number if they need anything! Others are comfortable just sliding in my DMs to ask simple questions because I’ve made myself accessible enough for them to do so. They trust me and my recommendations because I never steer them wrong. I remember names, sizes, etc. A lot of my regulars would text/ DM me and asked, “what size do you think I should get in this item?” & I would respond by saying “Well this item has a little more stretch than the last item you purchased so you can totally size down.” Or “this item has no stretch and is a little snug in certain areas so I recommend sizing up” and it’s usually a win! Everyone who’s purchased once ALWAYS COMES BACK FOR MORE. There’s 3 things we get complimented on the most, our QUALITY, amazing CUSTOMER SERVICE, & FAST SHIPPING. We did 6 figures in sales the first 6 months of our business by building relationships with our customers. No it wasn’t easy especially since the brand started right before the pandemic in 2020 however, like I said, giving up is never an option for me. I do not like to fail. I like winning! So while everyone was online panicking I was twirling in dresses outside on the sidewalk in Brickell City Centre because I needed to get my product shots for the site! When I would post my BTS people would be in my comment section telling me to “go inside” lol but I wasn’t harming anyone and if I’m being honest the shutdown was the peak of my business. When everyone was home with not much to do, the numbers were at its peak! I wasn’t gonna allow internet trolls to control the narrative because I knew what the girls wanted & I was on a mission! On this journey, I’ve learned it’s okay to rest & to be intentional about my self care and my days off because if not I will work 24/7 . I’m doing something I love but it can still cause burn out if I don’t rest. I’ve also learned that I need to be more present in my relationships, my friendships and my family. I was always so focused on working that when I was needed the most, I overlooked those situations and it caused a strain in a lot of areas of my life so this year I’m being intentional about taking time for myself, being present with my loved ones, and not feeling guilty about it! I never say this because I still don’t feel like I’m where I need to be but seeing that I’m not where I use to be, I can now say, I am very proud of myself. I’m proud of how resilient I am, how I just keep going no matter the circumstances. I may bend at times but I never break!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
There’s so many bomb spots! I’m more of a foodie than anything so we would literally go on a taste test around the city. Some of my favorite restaurants are Komodo, Zuma, Novikov, East Miami Sugar, Barton G’s, Yard Bird, Big Pink, Nikki Beach, omg there’s so many. The beach is a must when you’re in Miami but given the current circumstances, my friends and I have gravitated to a more relaxing, safer way to have fun and still get a nice tan while social distancing. Lately we’ve been booking hotel cabanas as our once a month Sunday funday thing to do. We’ve done SLS, the fountainbleau, the Mondrian and a few others. It’s nothing like just having your own cabana by the pool with drinks, food & good vibes!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Listen, I gotta give all the praises to my GOD himself. Without him, nothing is possible. I couldn’t move until God said move and once I started moving, things just took off running. Shoutout to God for never letting me down. For pulling me through all the tough times when I thought it was the end. He showed me that everything ALWAYS WORKS OUT in the end & if it doesn’t work out, it’s because it’s not the end. Another special shoutout to my CS babes (my customers, my support system, my tribe) I have made it my duty to not just be another business that sell to people but to form a community & build relationships with my girls. Without you all, SHOP CHALYNE STEER wouldn’t see growth. I’m thankful for every customer & every purchase. You babes have contributed to my growth in so many ways. I’ve cried with some of you, the encouragement, the sisterhood, the bond. I am here for it all. Daily I get told how much I’ve not only elevated their closets but I’ve helped them regain their confidence, find themselves, love themselves & so much more. I am forever grateful. Also shout out to my bestfriend Djinji, @styleon2u my sister. You have been the glue holding me together my entire first year in business. Every breakdown, every disappointment, you have helped lifted me back up. Thank you for being my unpaid therapist lol I love you dearly. Rocking with you for life sis!
Photo creds: Mariarosaphotograhy