Posted on May 04 2020
#MayForMoms : Aliya Thomas, On What Her Kids Teach Her
In honor of Mother's Day we have dedicated May to #MayForMoms. Joining us in an interview is Aliya Thomas from Elevated Style By Aliya.
ALLY: Tell us about yourself, how did you get started in the personal styling space?
Aliya: I’ve always had a passion for dressing up and styling. I made clothes for dolls and as I got older I obsessed over my grandmother’s vintage wardrobe. I started modeling at 19 years old and stayed in the fashion industry for over 15 years. Everything I know is from on the job experience and in front of and behind the camera. I loved everything about styling and fashion but didn’t love how it was an industry that didn’t embrace all types of women. I left the industry to try different things, but I missed fashion and what it meant to me. I wanted to use my love and skills for styling to help empower other women. So I decided to create Elevated Style By Aliya.
ALLY: As an entrepreneur and a mother and currently in quarantine- what's your secret to balancing it all?
Aliya: I actually don’t believe there’s a secret to balancing it all. As a working mother, you always struggle with finding balance. There’s always different levels of “mothers guilt “with how you show up for your family and for your business. It’s a constant seesaw. But I will say scheduling that time daily and at least one full day out of the week to completely disconnect from work and focus on having fun with my kids really helps. I schedule time blocks, at least 30 minutes a day, where I am one on one with my kids, no excuses.” I commit to that time, with no technology. Everything else I need to schedule work around non-negotiable family time blocks.
ALLY: For anyone that is a new mother out there and adjusting to motherhood/ to a changing body - any go-to recommendations for wardrobe?
Aliya: As women get older our bodies bodies shift more and more. It’s starts when you enter your 30s, then after kids there’s usually a big shift, then again after turning 40, then there’s menopause. It’s just a natural part of life. I work with women of various ages, professional industries, and sizes. I find 9 out of 10 are challenged with body image. My work always begins with helping clients embrace their current body and making it work for them.
I suggest clients “meet yourself where you are.” A lot of times it just starts with a mindset shift. You can’t dress for the future. You can look and feel good NOW. Helping clients learn how to dress for transitional weight shifts and embracing more items that make them feel 100% awesome (and not just OK) is also a start. We identify those pieces together and create authentic, feel-good wardrobes from there.
ALLY: What have your children taught you?
Aliya: What haven’t my kids taught me!?! It’s so much. Kids are amazing. They are like mirrors looking back at you. Personally, mine teach me how to have more patience every day, resilience, and how to be more present. On a daily basis, the better I am at those three things the better experiences I have with my kids. Those 3 things also help me within my marriage, other relationships and within my business in general. Again, all of it is always a work in progress.
ALLY: Style advice, if you could recommend one piece of style advice for current mothers or mothers-to-be?
Aliya: Elevated Style means different things to different people. In the end, it’s more than a close, it’s a feeling. Again, just meet yourself where you are. Being stylish means different things to different people. Simply because you’ve just had a baby doesn’t mean you have to completely let yourself go and are destined for a life of just yoga pants and T-shirts. Being stylish and truly feeling amazing in your clothes isn’t about emulating someone else’s style. Authentic style is about figuring out what YOU like, what looks good on you, and what message you want to say to the world with how you present yourself. I help clients find and discover for the first time what works best for them.
Learning how to build a wardrobe based on that, while also keeping it simple is a game changer. Often times women don’t even think about who they are and what they want to say when it comes to image. Once you start with creating that foundation, that’s your playbook and it all elevates from there!