Chicago Launches Simply Stylist

Posted June 11, 2013 by Katherine Toll in Building Your Brand


On Saturday, I attended the first Simply Stylist held in Chicago.  The luxe Dana Hotel and Spa played host to some of the country’s top stylists, make-up artists, and fashion bloggers. Historically, Simply Stylist sticks to the east and west coasts, but this year they expanded to Chicago and Dallas.

It was a full day affair that began at 10:00 a.m. with a VIP brunch and wrapped-up at 5:00 p.m., but only after a full day of information, networking, and a tiny bit of shopping.  By far, the standout portion of the day was a two and a half hour panel discussion moderated by Catt Sadler and comprised of Tia Dantzler, Stacey Roney, Jacey Duprie, Cori McFadden and Trish Townsend.

Rather than holding information close to the vest, each panelist shared their successes, failures and advice so openly and generously with the audience that you felt like you were part of an intimate conversation.


While each of the women brought a unique perspective to their entrepreneurial story, four consistent themes emerged:

  1. Make your own opportunities: None of the women credited their success to dumb luck. Each woman described how she strategically positioned herself to get in front of the right people, and then to ASK those people for help.
  2. Never get comfortable: By most people’s standards, these women have ‘arrived’ in their careers, however each of them realizes the business and fashion world progresses at light speed. All of them work diligently to nurture their existing relationships expending energy on hand written thank you notes, gifts, and other small courtesies that most people overlook
  3. Be careful what you wish for: Initially, Stacey Roney (Glossed and Found, Beauty Scout) wanted her first start-up to grow nationally, but she realized managing that beast day-to-day was more complicated than she initially thought, so she looked for an organization with whom to partner. This allowed Stacey the ability to start her second company…and now, her third!
  4. Keep an eye on the future: Because something worked last week, or month, or year does not guarantee success tomorrow. The business of beauty and fashion is a fickle creatures and subject to change without notice. Set the next trend; find the next technology before your competitors do.

The women on this panel brought life to the phrase, ‘Girls compete with one another, women empower one another.’ Thank you, ladies!

About the Author

Katherine Toll

Katherine (Kathi) Toll possesses more than 20 years of management and consulting experience within the retail and beauty industry. Her industry experience combined with her special brand of irreverence fuels her mission to find the ‘must-have’ beauty products for Career Girls of all ages. She aspires to remind women the airbrushed perfection of the beauty industry must be tempered with a healthy dose of humor. Kathi holds a general management certification from Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management, along with an undergraduate degree from Northwestern’s School of Communications.