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From Food Stamps To Successful Fashion Stylist Entrepreneur

Updated: Dec 4, 2023

Today we're learning from entrepreneur and fashion stylist, Jessica Pappineau. While she's a successful business owner now, her journey to success included working retail and collecting food stamps for a while when her family was going through a hard time. Too often we see the end result for business owners and think it was an easy journey but Jessica shares her journey to living her dream. Plus she shares fashion tips with us so we can find confidence through clothes even though it's "so much bigger than clothes".


Ep. 218: From Food Stamps To Successful Fashion Stylist Entrepreneur with Jessica Pappineau

**This was also a podcast episode (episode #218). If you'd like to listen to this conversation, use the link below.


Jessica's Dream For Entrepreneurship Started At 4 Years Old

We all know that feeling when we put on an outfit that makes us feel like a million bucks - it's like we can conquer the world! Jessica understood this power of fashion from an early age and knew that it could be a pathway to success.

As she grew up and embarked on her journey to help women embrace their true authentic selves, she discovered that when a woman feels beautiful, her confidence soars, allowing her to show up powerfully for herself and others.

While it's easy to dismiss the odd jobs we've had over the years or how we help our friends and family, this is what led to Jessica to knowing her passion. She styled herself in clothes from the thrift store and later worked retail. All the signs pointed in the direction of fashion for her but in the end, it was really about helping others.

"I never felt like I was selling anything but confidence" - Jessica Pappineau

Being An Entrepreneurs Is Tough But Worth It

Like many entrepreneurs, Jessica had to humble herself and take a retail job that paid only $10 per hour (while they paid the babysitter $12 an hour). But with a clear vision in her mind, she saw an opportunity to recreate what she had done before in helping women uncover their confidence.

Jessica's side hustle quickly blossomed, and after 8 years of juggling her sales manager job and styling clients, she finally took the leap to focus on her business full-time. On February 14, 2019, her dream venture officially started, and she hasn't looked back since.

"I really had to humble myself because I went and got a retail job for $10 an hour. And then once my husband got a job, we were paying the babysitter $12 an hour, and I was making $10 an hour. And this was because I knew that I could recreate In this boutique that I was working at, what I had done before. So I would go in every day and meet new people in this high-end boutique. And I started building it was almost as if I was building my personal brand in the arena of someone else's boutique. So as I started helping these women, and these are, like, high-level women, they were feeling so great about me dressing them in clothes that were very purposeful to their lifestyle." — Jessica Pappineau

Image of someone typing on a computer and sitting at a table

Always Stay Focused On Your True Why For Entrepreneurship

One of Jessica's most memorable experiences involved working with a woman over the span of 6 years. This lady was going through a transitional phase after losing her baby weight and was uncertain about her wardrobe choices. Jessica's approach involves understanding each client's uniqueness and long-term goals to guide them towards the wardrobe changes they need. By strategically adding and eliminating pieces, Jessica helps clients align with their desired lifestyles, closing the gap between where they are and where they want to be.

By knowing that she always wanted to help women feel confident and empowered through their wardrobe, Jessica has always been able to continue.

"I'm truly helping women to step into that gift and into that power so that they can go out into the world and be their true authentic self, but also serve other people in the deepest way because they're allowing that authenticity and that gift to shine through." — Jessica Pappineau

Jessica's Fashion Tips For Women Entrepreneurs (3 F's)

3 F's To Keep You Fashionable

Fit: Does it fit right now, will it fit soon?

If it doesn't fit but it has sentimental value, put it somewhere else so you're not looking at it.

Fabric: Is it still in tact? Is it faded?

Over time the lycra in fabric breaks down so you need to make sure it's still in good condition.

Fashion: Is it still in fashion?

If it's a classic style, it's likely still in fashion. You can also look at Pinterest for current fashion trends.

Be sure to visit Jessica's website to get her free fashion blueprint so you can go even deeper into this wardrobe edit process!

Take Away Message / Action

The story of Jessica Pappineau, the fashion entrepreneur who turned her passion for fashion into a successful business, is an inspiring tale of following one's calling, seizing opportunities, and investing in oneself. Her journey from a humble retail job to becoming a wardrobe expert showcases the power of fashion in transforming lives. So, whether you're savoring coffee in your yoga pants or strutting confidently in a power suit, always remember that your style reflects your journey.

About Jessica:

The founder of CSJ, a leading styling company for high-performing female entrepreneurs - and other women who simply want to look and feel their best - Jessica Papineau has spent over 25 years in the fashion industry, teaching women how to use fashion to serve their purpose, boost their confidence, and elevate their image. Jessica has styled hundreds of woman, from moms struggling to dress their postpartum bodies, to business women seeking to level up their careers, to seven figure entrepreneurs, and professionals in the entertainment, sports, and music industries. With a goal of helping women imagine more for themselves, break free from what's holding them back, and show the world who they truly are, Jessica is committed to empowering women to elevate their style and transform their careers, relationships and lives.

Jessica's Resources:

Let's Work Together:

Ep. 218: From Food Stamps To Successful Fashion Stylist Entrepreneur with Jessica Pappineau

"I never felt like I was selling anything but confidence"

Jessica Pappineau


Let's Work Together!

Image of Program: Proffitt Podcasting

I help women who stumbled into entrepreneurship, get out of the weeds and create a sustainable, organized business they are proud of and provides the flexibility they desire.

If that's you, let's work together!


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