Tamika Martell, founder of A-Line Style Services and fellow fashionista Latina, is one dope chick! Not only is she driven to succeed, but she is by far one of the most down to earth females you will find in the Chicago fashion industry. I was able to have a sit down with her about her up and coming fashion show Dangerous Curves. The show is all about the culmination of women of all cultures and all sizes coming together to show off their dangerous curves for a great charity cause. The show is a dream come true for this half Puerto Rican, half African-American young woman who is now styling Chicago locals.
ChiЯemezcla.com: Tamika, what inspired you to begin your own fashion styling business?
Tamika Martell: Well, to be honest, it really just came to me one day. I recently found religion again and with that I found a clarity in my life and I realized that I was not pursuing my dreams and goals or leading my life the way I wanted! I left a very corporate job and followed my gut. I was always being complimented on how I put together outfits and was always being asked for help on outfitting friends and family so I figured why not just go ahead and pursue styling for a living? It just came naturally!
ЯE: There are a lot of people out there who dub themselves stylists, what makes you different?
TM: I started A-Line Style Services with an idea in mind of the kind of woman I was set out to help. I myself, have a hard body type to dress and I know there are many other women out there who are just like me. I saw a niche market in the industry that needed some attention and I set out to give it to them. I am not exactly a plus size, but I am also no skinny minny and I know women like me who don’t understand clothing will often times just give up on shopping or creating wardrobes that make them look incredible. I figured it would be a great thing if I could offer my services and fashion background to the women like me, but give them better direction and a reason to look good again!
ЯE:What are you currently working on to help jump start your business?
TM: Over the last few months, I have just hit the ground running! I am currently focusing on PR, promoting, styling in photo shoots and building up clientele with both general customers and retailers. It’s just me and I have to wear many hats in my company in order to become successful.
ЯE: I know you have a fashion show coming up, can you tell me a bit more about it?
TM: Yes I do! I like to think of it as my coming out party! The show is called Dangerous Curves Ahead Spring Charity Fashion Expo. This event will truly help land me as a strong professional with great goals in mind for showcasing Chicago fashion and retailers. It’s all about incorporating great looks for women of all sizes and of all cultures. I have a great Latino designer that I am showcasing! Her name is Angelica Santoyo of Angel Eyes Fashions. I am from a mix background, I am Puerto Rican and Black and I really feel that the mix in cultures will really add something special to my show! It’s about fashion for everyone and really just allowing people to gain a better understanding of the looks that work best for them. It is also an event for a good cause. A portion of the proceeds will be going to 2nd Chance Chicago, an organization that provides biblically-based programs and social outreach services to women and their children that address homelessness.
ЯE: Do you have any trend or styling tips for our readers?
TM: I think it is incredibly important for women to realize that not every trend is right for them! I enjoy working with classics and adding a twist with a funkier trend. I think it is very important to know what your best assets are and playing them up while masking the parts of you that you may not like the most. Also keep your comfort level in mind because if you are not comfortable in what you are wearing then you won’t look good! Definitely check out my blog for more great style tips: http://blog.a-linestyleservices.com/
ЯE: So, when people think of styling, they often see it as an extravagant expense they can’t afford in such hard economic times, what are your rates like?
TM: I work with every budget! I make it a point to make my services available to any woman. I make sure to look at sales when doing my shopping trips as well as quality pieces that will last for years. Check out my website for more information on rates. With our economic issues it is also important to get items that will last you and that you won’t waste money on and never wear again. With a stylists help you really can bypass the buyer’s remorse that many women often get after a shopping trip. I help you get what you need and that’s it.
Catch Martell’s Dangerous Curves Show