With over 15 years of experience in the Fashion Industry and an undergraduate business degree from USC, Ustyled CEO Catherine Cassidy has unique blend of business, operations, sales, merchandising and personal styling experience. Her corporate experience is with Nordstrom, Robinsons May and BCBG. In 2008, she launched Ustyled, a style company focused on serving professional women. She was recently featured in the Washington Post, on Today.com and is a sought after speaker on empowering women in business through what she calls ‘Style Power™.’ Catherine resides in Washington, D.C. and Ustyled serves clients all over the US and abroad.
I remember the first day of school. But it wasn’t just any first day. It was a new school in a new town. I’d left all my friends behind.
I also remember what I wore. What I painstakingly picked out so I would feel confident instead of shy. I was 10 and I intuitively knew that what I wore would impact how I felt.
Fast-forward a few years, I was a freshman at the University of Southern California and I didn’t know a soul. It hit me that my parents were going to be 2,000 miles away in the Chicago suburb that had become my home — I was an emotional mess that first week.
To find my way that first semester, my style was my armor. I went to class, rushed my sorority, and navigated the social scene. I discovered designer jeans, branched out from polos and my style began to evolve. Sweats weren’t an option to wear to class — I understood even then that what I wore affected how I felt and how I performed.
It’s only in the last couple of years that studies have come out that supported my initial intuitions.
When I entered the workforce as an Advertising Analyst for Robinsons May, I didn’t ‘dress like an Analyst.’ I dressed for myself, which meant I was often mistaken for a Buyer.
How I showed up helped me land my dream job at BCBG as a founding member of their merchandising team. I LOVED it – creative, analytic, strategic – everything I loved.
To give you context, I had zero merchandising experience and these are highly coveted and competitive jobs to get which also typically require having merchandising experience.
But eventually I started to wonder about WHY I was doing what I was doing.
What was the point of merchandising a line that I knew, based on our selling numbers, was likely sitting in someone’s closet, unworn and unloved?
I knew I needed to use my business degree and creative mind to do something more than simply climb the ranks from merchandiser to CEO of a Fashion Company. Also, the industry was already showing signs of being broken and I couldn’t climb fast enough to make the difference I wanted to make at that time.
So, in 2008 I quit to launch Ustyled. It started small, working as a freelance personal stylist and building my community via blogs and speaking. Always, my intention reached beyond simply launching another Fashion company or being another personal stylist in Los Angeles. My intention is to build a company—one that happens to be a Fashion company—that empowers women to collaborate, speak up, lead, and be the change they want to see in this world.
Starting my business so young, I didn’t realize how much of the work in those first few years would be simply me getting out of my own way and believing in myself. The challenges that I endured while making my way to having a successful business has informed a lot of the work we do with our clients.
Because my story is just as likely your story. You don’t see your full potential. You see things you love to do and they come naturally. You’re not realizing the impact you have on those around you.
Whether you’re just starting out your career, midway through and looking for your next steps or already at the top, our work is in SEEING you as you are and giving you permission to show up as authentically YOU and as a leader (whether you actually have a team or not, you’re still showing up as a leader).
It’s time for you to get out of your own way!
I was fortunate to have people SEE me and believe in me and that is why certain doors opened to create the next level of success over time. You can count on Ustyled to be that for you.
How you show up matters, to YOU.
With Leadership Style Power, my intention is to empower you to discover your style yourself. I do this via workshops, corporate trainings and supporting a few VIP clients 1-1 each month. I am lucky to LOVE what I do … and it’s because of YOU.
I’d love to invite you to join our community by signing up below to receive our newsletter and following Ustyled on social media (see below). You’ll be in the know for when a new blog post goes live, when we’re launching something exciting, or when we want to share something inspiring.
To your Style Power Success!
PS. I’ve always been an avid reader – fiction, non-fiction, biographies, and everything in between. These are some of the books that transformed the way I looked at things and helped me find my purpose:
– The Giver by Lois Lowry
– The Power of Intention by Wayne Dyer
– Good to Great by Jim Collins
– Return to Love by Marianne Williamson
– Built to Last by Jim Collins
– Sacred Success by Barbara Stanny
– The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein