Are you a woman and never know what to wear? Enter Style Salute. This expert-driven and editorially led media company is turning heads by creating interactive and original fashion and lifestyle content aimed at millennials. Keemia Ferasat, a fashion designer in the heart of LA, launched Style Salute in 2016. We're here to hear more from her and her journey to CEO.
What motivated you to start your business?
I have been in love with fashion magazines since I was a little girl—in fact, when I was in middle school and even younger, I used to sit on the front steps of my home waiting for the mailman to deliver the newest issue of my favorite magazine (ELLE and Vogue at the time)—so I think the desire to build a magazine that speaks to the modern woman has been there for ages. That passion coupled with my background in fashion and commerce is what prompted me to want to build a company that toes the line between commerce and content.
I knew I wanted to build a brand with a strong ethos—a brand that stands for empowerment, authenticity and personal style. I have always been a champion for woman and it was important for me to make sure that we create a platform that that will empower all women and bring them together. When we launched Style Salute earlier this year, we were driven by the notion that we could inspire women by creating an online platform designed to provoke conversation around personal beauty, style and empowerment.
What is the number one thing preventing women from taking the plunge into entrepreneurship?
I think the hardest thing for female entrepreneurs today is proving themselves. In a male dominated environment, it’s often difficult to build credibility, but if you are smart and know your business inside and out, nobody can argue with that. My drive to build an incredible of-the-moment brand that delivers the biggest moments, the hottest trends and the tips for the modern woman in all facets of her life is a mission I stand behind.
If I were to start my own business today, what is the first thing I should do to take action? - Where do you start?
Be passionate about your business and love everything you it. If you cannot put your heart and soul into a business, you should not be doing it. You need passion to succeed.
Who has always been your mentor?
I have had several mentors throughout my career. That said, my parents—who are both successful entrepreneurs in their own right—have been my champions and supporters from the start. They are my forever mentors in life, work and beyond.
Do you think the entrepreneurial spirit is innate or can it be learned over time?
I believe that to be a successful entrepreneur you have to be born with a certain drive to want to want to build and you have to be uniquely wired to want make change. One thing that’s certain in any business and for every entrepreneur is that you will have setbacks—everyone around you will have mistakes. Do not be embarrassed by your mistakes, learn from them and start over.
What keeps you motivated when everything seems to be going wrong?
My family is my backbone and their support is what keeps me motivated always. I cannot remember a time in my life when my life has not been there for me. They are my everything and they are what keeps me focused and motived through the failures and triumphs.
Everyone has their two-cents, how do you decide whose advice to listen to?
If there is one way to describe me, it’s curious. I’m curious about everything and I’m always seeking advice from my advisors and trusted partners. In the end, what I learn from listening is what shapes my decision moving forward.
What is your favorite gadget or app that you cannot live without?
iCal. I really don’t know what I’d do without it.
What is the key to building your own voice and brand?
I believe the key to building your own voice and brand is to know your audience. Our woman is self-made, works really hard, loves her friends and entertains on the weekend. She is curious, smart, loves fashion and uses her personal style as a way to transmit to the world who she is and who she wants to be.
What are you most proud of?
I’m incredibly proud of that a community of passionate users is identifying with Style Salute’s message of empowerment and personal style and constantly engaging with one another.