Feature Interview Inspiration Minding Her Business SPECIAL FEATURES

Morgan Wider Talks Wardrobe Essentials, Business Challenges and Being Fierce

The St. Paul, Minnesota native is strategically carving her footprint in the Atlanta fashion scene. And she’s not just your average stylist either. Sure, she’s had the pleasure of making over some of the country’s most elite women from head to toe, but when it comes right down to it, she’s an educator at heart. The Georgetown University alumnus studied the quantitative world of supply and demand and is a formally trained personal stylist from the Image Resource Center of New York. Her extensive background has enabled her to work with some of the world’s most recognized brands like Banana Republic, Aeropostale and Carter’s. Since stepping down from corporate merchandising in 2016, she now spends her days enlightening her client base on the “science” behind wardrobe styling – hence the birth of Styled by Stats.

Where is Styled by Stats based?

I’m based in Buckhead (Atlanta), but travel to clients throughout the U.S.

How long have you been in business?

I conceptualized Styled by Stats (SBS) in 2015, but became a full time entrepreneur in September of 2016.

What inspired SBS?

I actually started SBS coming out of an awful breakup.  I had moved to Atlanta a few years prior from NYC and my life at the time had revolved around this guy and a job I hated.  I knew I needed to build myself a new life – a life that included my passion for shopping and helping other women prepare for functions.  So I went back to NYC to get formally trained in the fundamentals of image consulting, studied body shapes, colors, fabrics, etc. and then built my first website.  It wasn’t until I worked with more women that I began to see how transformative this work is and how helping women feel good about their wardrobe choices is my service to the world.

What are some of the services you offer with SBS?

I offer closet assessments, personal shopping trips and photoshoot styling.  All of my services are focused on helping my clients look and feel like the best version of themselves at all times. Whether we are purging stuff that no longer fits properly or buying items for a new job, it’s always about creating looks for real life.

What makes your business unique?

I am a teacher before I am a stylist.  My ultimate job is to teach my clients the tools for how to dress themselves.  I explain in detail the “whys” behind a garment working or not working for a client so that they are then educated and empowered to continue shopping for themselves.  I also take a holistic approach to styling – exploring all the aspects of my clients’ lives, personalities, goals and dreams.  The better I know them, and the better a client knows herself, the better we can find clothes that represent all of her magnificence.

When should a woman seek a professional wardrobe consultant?

A woman should seek out professional wardrobe help if getting dressed each morning is a frustrating and overwhelming experience.  If she walks into her closest and doesn’t immediately feel good about who she is, what her body looks like, and how she’s going to present herself to the world each day, then it’s time to get an expert involved.

Is there a difference between “style” and “fashion”?

Absolutely!  Fashion is what is presented to you as a consumer each season. These are the “big trends” and concepts that the retail industry has decided to sell to you.  Style is the image you create from the fashions that have been presented to you.  Fashion is the item, style is how (or if) you make it yours.

Share some different ways a woman can make a “statement” with her wardrobe.

Jewelry, shoes and accessories are all statements.  It’s a cliché, but it’s a cliché because it’s true.  Accessories are where you can add an unexpected flair that make a simple outfit memorable and make it YOURS. But the accessories have to feel like you. If you don’t like a ton of jewelry, then pick simple hoop earrings and stand out with an amazing pair of shoes or scarves.  If you don’t love high heels, invest in bold, bedazzled statement flats.  The only rule is to have fun with it!

Do you feel that every woman, no matter how fashion savvy she is, should seek out the services of a professional wardrobe consultant?

Definitely.  Everyone needs a second set of eyes to help them consider trying new things or letting go of old items.  Most of your favorite stylists and wardrobe consultants have their own stylist or trusted advisor, myself included!  Working with a wardrobe consultant is about the exchange of ideas and getting exposed to things you don’t normally see or envision yourself wearing.  And that’s what makes wardrobe building fun: evolving with new items while still staying true to who you are.

What do you love most about what you do?

Changing a woman’s life.  When a woman is able to finally see how beautiful she is, that her body is perfect just the way it is, that the whole retail world isn’t out to get her, then her confidence and self-love increases dramatically.  And when you feel amazing about yourself, you are then able to go out and do amazing things.

As a business owner, what are some of the challenges you’ve faced and how have you overcome them?

As a creative extrovert who loves to be out meeting people and skimming malls, handling the business side of owning a business has been my least favorite part of the journey.  Handling tax stuff, legal stuff, logistics that are all very important but not really my strong suit.  So thankfully the universe has provided me with an excellent team to help me with those things.

What items can you not leave home without?

Earrings!  Big or small, my ear lobe is never bare.  Also some kind of conversation starter like a bright colored shoe, a printed bag, or an interesting printed blouse – something to get the conversation going about wardrobe.

Describe a “productive” day for you?

Prayer and quiet time first thing in the morning is a must for me.  Content/strategy planning or meetings with potential clients and partners, and then a closet assessment or shopping trip with a client in the afternoon rounds out my day.

What do you do to disconnect from the world?

I light candles, get in my meditation chair in my bedroom, pray, journal and read uplifting materials.

Describe a “comfy” and “fierce” outfit for you.

Comfy and fierce happen to be the same thing to me.  When I’m dressed for exactly what I’m doing at that very moment, then I feel comfortable and therefore I feel fierce.  Most mornings I’m home checking email, working in grey sweatpants and long sleeve tee-shirts.  They are perfect for that task and I feel comfortable and ready to handle business.  If I’m on stage speaking, then my outfit usually consists of heels and a bold colored dress. While this isn’t as “comfortable” as my sweatpants per se, it’s appropriate for the occasion so I feel comfortable in the room, confident and fierce.

Tell us some of your favorites.

My boyfriend, Dom.  As in Domino’s pizza.  We see each other almost every Friday night. LOL I love pointed toe flats. They lengthen my leg like a heel would but allow me to stay grounded. My favorite jeans are Old Navy Rockstar. I was working at Old Navy’s corporate headquarters when we launched this jean and we knew we had made magic – they are literally flattering on everyone. Because of this I’ve learned that you should buy denim that fits you well, not just because it’s a designer.

What are some wardrobe staples a woman must own?

This truly varies by woman.  Because each woman has her own stats: her body shape, her lifestyle and her personality all determine what her staples are.  And those change over time.  For example, it might be surprising that I don’t own a pair of black slacks or a black blazer, which so many experts say every woman must own.  Black isn’t a flattering color for my skin tone and doesn’t compliment the colors that are in my closet.  So my staples are navy in color.  And I wear more skirts and dresses than pants.  A staple isn’t a staple if doesn’t get worn.  Nor does it have to be boring.  My personal staples are my leopard shoes.  Because they are neutral colors, they go with so much in my closet and add that element of fun.

When packing for a business or leisure trip, what are some essentials a woman should take with her?

Depends on so many factors: industry, activities, goals of the trip, etc.  The biggest suggestion I have when packing for any trip is to start with you shoes.  Pick two to three pairs that are in the same color family and are comfortable.  Then select clothing items that go with those shoes. For example, because brown is more flattering that black on me, I pack a tan suede pump, a leopard flat, a tan suede jacket and tan bag. All of the clothes I pack have to work with those options, to make sure I can easily mix and match everything, reducing the amount of items I have to pack.  Use jewelry and scarves to add pizzazz while making outfits look fresh without having to pack a bunch of different items.  When it comes to traveling and having to lug a suitcase, minimalism is sexy.

What is a quote or scripture you live by?

“This too shall pass.”  Good or bad, change is always coming, and change is always for my greater good.

Share with us your favorite pair of “power pumps” and how do they make you feel when you step into them?

Magenta Suede. Magenta is my favorite color and a color that’s a part of my brand.  I love magenta because it’s feminine like the color pink but still bold like red.  I instantly feel like a boss in these heels.

Where can we connect with you on social media?

@styledbystats on Instagram

Styled by Stats on Facebook

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Morgan will be presenting her topic “Overcoming the Invisible Wardrobe: How to Stop Hiding Behind Your Personal Brand” during Heels & Headshots Professional Mixer on Saturday, November 18th in Atlanta. Learn more at www.heelsandheadshots.com.

I am the Co-Founder and Director of Strategic Partnerships for Purpose In Pumps. Outside of working on creative projects, I enjoy beating my husband and son at Scrabble. We've played over 200 games, and I have won every single one of them! :-D But most of all, I love getting to know the hearts of people to help them live out their wildest dreams!

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