400: How Germanee G Went From GAP Inc. to Celebrity Stylist

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400: How Germanee G Went From GAP Inc. to Celebrity Stylist

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This week in the guest chair we have Germanee Gerald, founder of GG&Co Styling Firm, a brand and image styling company. Getting her start in the fashion corporate world, Germanee realized she thrived in offering her talents as a personal stylist and started side hustling. 

In this episode she shares:

  • How she went from living with family and driving DoorDash to make end’s meet to hiring a team for her styling firm
  • How to leverage opportunities like internships and a personal brand for business growth
  • How diversifying her services, hiring a team, and seasonal planning led to scaling her business 

Highlights include:

  • 00:00 Introduction
  • 4:08 From biochem to fashion
  • 6:22 The world of corporate fashion 
  • 11:35 Transitioning into personal styling
  • 17:49 Strategizing finances to go full time 
  • 22:36 Nomad life and gigs to meet ends meet
  • 29:14 Working with a celebrity stylist
  • 36:58 Launching GG Styling Firm
  • 39:53 Maximizing cash flow
  • 42:34 Tips for entrepreneurs

Check out episode 400 of Side Hustle Pro podcast out now on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and YouTube

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Nicaila Matthews Okome 0:02

You're listening to side hustle Pro, the podcast that teaches you to build and grow your side hustle from passion project to profitable business. And I'm your host Nicaila Matthews Okome. So let's get started

Hey friends welcome back to another episode of side hustle Pro. Today in the guest chair I have Germanee Gerald, Germanee is a brand and image styling professional who's been in the fashion industry for over 10 years. Having previously worked for gap inks, accessible luxury brand Banana Republic, she was well on her way to climbing the corporate ladder. And it wasn't until Germany styled her roommate for a speaking engagement that she realized she was meant for more. So in today's episode, she's going to share how she went from corporate to launching her own styling business GG&Co. She launched in 2015. As a side hustle to support the growing demand for her fashion forward I. After working 10 years at Gap Inc. Germany stepped off the corporate ladder in faith. She created her own career path going full time with Gigi and CO in 2018 servicing clients in tech entrepreneurship and entertainment. But you will hear the monkey wrench that life through her after she went full time and how she hustled to make ends meet during that time, as she worked to get back on her feet. Germany's fresh approach to styling adds personality and authenticity to fashion. She embraces a feel good, timeless theme to her looks by using clothing to reflect character and values. And each wardrobe solution is tailored to the person allowing them to proclaim their essence from the inside out. Through the years she and her team have stopped marketing Maven puzzolana St. John, she styled CNN CORRESPONDENT Abby Phillip Harlem actress Jerry Johnson comedian Kev on stage and wife Melissa Frederick's and the largest black owned vinters Robyn and Andrea McBride of McBride sisters wines just to name a few. So today we will get into Germany's journey and so much more. Let's jump into the interview.

Welcome Germany to the guest chair. Thank you for having me. Of course, pre show chat you guys we were talking about the fact that I have actually been following Germany's career for a while. And I do that sometimes you guys so if you reach out and I don't, you know, respond right away. So Trump's I just want to lay low and kind of stalk you a little bit, and then see how you evolve. So I've been following her since she was styling some of my friends who are in tech or entrepreneurs and then seeing her grow, as she has an CO out full time on her own in her own business has been just wonderful and inspiring to watch. And I know it will inspire so many other people. So let's get into it now. Always a stylish person, I have a feeling you are one of those best dressed in high school in college.

Germanee Gerald 3:16

I was probably best dressed. I've always been stylistically inclined The thing is, like, it's kind of crazy, because I don't think it finally blossomed until I moved to California. I went to school, a lot of my elementary school years I was in private school. And so we had to wear uniforms, and my dad's a pastor and so everything had to be buttoned up. I couldn't wear skirts above my knees. I'm from the south. It was really like no. And then when I would try to experiment with my style, especially in high school, my mom who is in finance would be like you're not going outside with that I absolutely night. What exactly that. So in college, I was experimenting a little bit. I actually went to college as a biochem major, I left as a fashion majors want to get into that we can but yeah, I thought I was gonna be a dentist. That was not God's plan for me. And I moved to California took a gap Porphyry and it was less Southern and less buttoned up, more casual. So I had to understand what my casual looks like. And then from that point, my style really blossom and I kind of started playing with things and understanding what I really liked. So yes, I was always the Southern belle buttoned up the prettiest dress when I was living in this house. And then once I became an adult and could do things on my own, that's when I really started to get into things that made me feel good and showing up and then somehow became a stylist. I don't really know how it all happened, but it's that

Nicaila Matthews Okome 4:59

way Add on pack today. And why did you make the switch from like bio Chem or, you know, did choose

Germanee Gerald 5:06

Elaine and office for about 15 minutes staring at him. And he said, I'm just gonna drop out your biochemistry classes. So you made the decision.

Nicaila Matthews Okome 5:17

When it was

Germanee Gerald 5:21

made for me I, it was a he put I was at the ledge, he pushed me off to that. Yeah,

Nicaila Matthews Okome 5:26

sometimes you need that permission to because especially I know when it comes to something like fashion, right? Just like you assume this easy, you probably also felt like this is a real major when people respect this right? And like you have those things that you're wrestling with because of what is traditionally held up with this theme. So I'm glad that you went after it and pursued it from an academic standpoint, too, right? Because talk to us about what that was like actually studying fashion and not just picking up one day and saying, Oh, I like fashion. So I'm gonna do it.

Germanee Gerald 5:59

For sure. So studying fashion was very interesting, especially at the school that I went to. And so I majored not in design, but I majored in brand marketing and management because I wanted to be very smart about it. Okay, oh, because at the end of the day, even if this doesn't work out, it is a more specialized version of a business degree, if you will. So I went in doing brand marketing and management. And so you learn about the fashion industry learn about the retail industry, and specifically, so a lot of case studies about how Macy's became Macy's, how coach became coaching, trying to figure out how to find whitespace opportunities in businesses. And so I was like, oh, like, I really enjoy this, I really enjoyed the strategy of making a business work, and specifically for a fashion until EA or for a corporate retail space. And so that really intrigued me. And I said, Well, I want to be a buyer, I want to be a merchant, I want to be the one who puts the clothes into the stores for the customer. And I have my mind set on that. And so you of course you learn about fashion. And you learn about how these entities became to be and you also learn about garments and fabrics and fabrication and how these work together. But I was so far away from the design element. And I was very much so focused on the business of it all. And I love fashion. Yeah. And so that's why I went to gap to gap to become a merchant.

Nicaila Matthews Okome 7:40

Yeah, so you were at gap for 10 years. What roles were you in while you were there? Right. Nowadays, people don't say anywhere right for two years even. So. What What was your trajectory while you were at Gap? Yeah, of course.

Germanee Gerald 7:57

So I started working. Yeah. Because I was getting into trouble as a teenager. Yeah, I believe my junior year of high school. And my mom was like you want to work? Like I'm trying to try to talk to you. So I applied to a few places. And I had a couple of friends in high school work in that gap. And so I started working at Gap outlet in North Carolina, and stayed working through there through college, they loved me so much. And so they would let me come on the weekends and work and then I yeah, I spent most of my time in retail. I mean, like in the retail stores at the store associate. And after graduation. I was in between working I was interviewing for Kohl's corporate, and then simultaneously interviewing for gap for their retail management trainee program. And Kohl's went on a hiring freeze. So close actually presented me opportunity prior to gap closing on a hiring freeze. And during that I was finishing up my interview process with Gap Inc, where you go through this rigorous program where you spend nine months in merchandising, production and sourcing, and they call it like the Harvard of retail and so it was very much to the Hunger Games going through that interview process away. It was I was like, this isn't too intense. But I made it through and they usually only pull candidates from Yale and Harvard Ivy's and I'm like I go to NC State but I'm somehow making it through each and every round. I'm gonna make me and so I ended up being accepted into that program. And ironically, right after I got accepted into the program closes like yeah, we're so great. We were so excited. I'm moving to California. I was a retail management trainee for nine months and then at the end you get to decide what forms You know, the business you want to be in, whether it's merchandising, whether it's buying or whether it's production. And I decided I wanted to be a merchandiser, of course, when I put my mind to something like I'm doing this,

Nicaila Matthews Okome 10:09

and what about merchandising Did you like, I

Germanee Gerald 10:13

like being able to talk to the designers about the garment, being able to have the customer hat on, and figure out what works best for the customer analyzing the business, being able to talk to the retail arm of the business, because of course, like I used to work in store, so tell me how businesses doing how's the money, but also, I liked seeing how the customers connected with the product. I really always enjoyed that. And so I knew I wanted to be a merchant. So I graduated the program, I was a merchant at Old Navy, baby, I had the most amazing boss. And I told her I don't want to get pigeonholed in the baby department. Because yeah, yeah. So kind of after, like how retail corporate space works, is you just kind of go up the chain within that division. Or you can try to take the risk early in your career, because then people only know you as a men's merchant, or a women's merchant. And when it became time for me to get promoted from assistant merchant to merchant, my boss, she was very much so a champion of what I wanted to do. And so she said, Hey, there's a role at Banana Republic women's in the women's division. Do you want to interview for that? And so I said, Yes. And so I ended my career as a merchandiser within a gap at Banana

Nicaila Matthews Okome 11:29

Republic. In hindsight, thinking about what you were doing in merchandising? Is that kind of what started to sow the seeds of being a stylist, because as your merchandising, you are kind of styling? The floor, right? You're throttling the whole store? Correct.

Germanee Gerald 11:45

Exactly that and so they kind of play into each other, so to speak. And so the merchant is the one who guides how the aesthetic of the clothes is gonna look. They're talking to the designers, they're making sure that this makes sense. But the stylist is the one who helps it sell, right? How does this look on the array, because a lot of people, they go to stores, and they're like, I'm just gonna buy this off the mannequin, because I don't want to think about it, right. And I need this to make sense, because I don't know how to make it make sense. And so I think in the beginning, I was like, Oh, these two really, they work together very seamlessly. And I hadn't actually thought about being a stylist until I realized that they had a leg of that business within gap, Inc. and so I had pushed GAAP for a long time, even when I was a retail management trainee. I said, Oh, I'm very interested in like, the styling portion of the business, are there any opportunities and they had just filled a role. And I think on my way out, I was actually like very interested in they didn't have any bandwidth financially at the time. And so I felt like the doors kept closing within gaps specifically, and they were opening up outside of the corporate space for me and so I do believe that they do work together because I'm putting together pieces that help make my clients look good, that help they help them show up. And so I'm just thinking about this a little more analytically, and more personally versus as a whole for a company that is using their analysis and data to make money for their business. Very

Nicaila Matthews Okome 13:27

smart. You know, I just want to pause and highlight for a bit so as you are side hustling or figuring out what you might want to do as you're exploring interest. See what you can do internally to it might not always work out but I liked that you explored like okay, how can I start to leverage what I'm doing or interested in what can I do internally to grow here? And you know, there might not always be that opportunity but at least try and see what all exists inside of your company. Like it or not first Right? Right. Right. See if you like huge Yep, still get paid. See if you like it or not like part of the site has pro ethos, right.

was when did you start styling people on the side outside of work? Yeah. So

Germanee Gerald 14:19

of course, San Francisco is Silicon Valley up and down, right? Not being there is one retail company in a sea of tech spaces. And so I I had a roommate who was going to a conference, she worked at Apple, and of course, she had no idea she's like, I don't know where to start. Can you help me? And she was like, you I think gap can you help me um, you can help with something. And so I took it to the store. We found some outfits. She went to the conference. And of course everyone's like, Oh my god, I love your outfit. And she said, put it together with me. I can't get the credit. And so for there, I had this eureka moment where I'm also living in California, right below wine in California. So I would have women come to my house, probably five or six, once a quarter, and we would talk about their body type, we would talk about style. And we would talk about, hey, if you're a rectangular shape, or if you are a pair, this will look best on you. And this is why this outfit may not look the best on you. But these are things that you can do to make this work for you. So I would talk to them about Yeah, I would talk to them about stock color, sip and style, right. And so we did them once a quarter. And that took a turning point where everyone was like, Well, I love what you're doing from a cohort standpoint, but how can we work together personally. Then all of my weekends were filled up with me going to people's houses and shopping for them. And there became a moment where I had worked with Bose and with St. John's minty. And she said, I really think you should work with Bose. And I want to introduce you to and there was a she was speaking at an engagement. And so I went to the speaking engagement. But as per Bose, right? She really came for the speaking engagement. And she left and I was like, Oh no, I miss my opportunity. But she shared her email with me and I sent a cold pitch to Bose. And you know, she's in marketing. So I said, I had to make this really great. So I made a video, and it popped up with outfits of how I thought like if she was going on the news if she had a speaking engagement, how it would look. And then I ended it with do you want to roll with a G? And the next day? She said, Yeah, I'm from LA, I gotta tell.

Nicaila Matthews Okome 16:51

Love. is so so good. Like, I've never heard that before. That is so good. You're so right, you gotta know who your clientele is. How are you gonna pitch the Chief Marketing Officer extraordinaire of so many major brands, and come with a you know, a bland, bland email, like, that's not gonna do it. It was not gonna

Germanee Gerald 17:14

do it. And so I've been styling. I've been working with her for almost 10 years now. I think we're about two years shy of 10 years. Yeah, it's crazy. And so I was doing this. Yeah, I was doing it on the weekends. And after working with Bose, it became like, are you going to be doing this on the weekends? Or are you going to start taking this seriously, and this be a full time situation? And so I had to decide. And of course, we see what happened. And I'm now that went from my side hustle to my main my main squeeze? Yes.

Nicaila Matthews Okome 17:48

How did you prepare for that? Right? Like, on the financial side? You know, you have some big decisions to make, right? Like, yes, you have a big client, but you could always lose that client. Right? So how do you plan to cover your bills once you quit

Germanee Gerald 18:02

100 person so there was a it was a long time before I quit. So I knew about two years, I probably was styling for three years. And while I was working at gap I knew about at the two year mark, that I needed to start making some changes. So I was having conversations with my mother, who I said earlier is in finance, right? And she's like, You got to save X amount of money. You live in California, you got to start saving, start saving now. And so she gave me a target that I need to march towards. And that's so good. But there's a quote that's out there that says you can save like 50,000 and lose it or you can say 5000 and sore and so there's never really like the absolute ring time. Right? But it feels more comfortable if you have money. Did you

Nicaila Matthews Okome 18:51

meet that target? Or did you feel comfortable? Like okay, you did

Germanee Gerald 18:54

doors into Sharon girl does not play Okay. Lady. And so I could not leave until I hit that mark. And it was very, very beautiful because that Mark was around my 10 year anniversary gap, which is wild because I was 16 when I started gabbing and I left when I was 26. And so every time I say 10 years, everyone's like, wait, what you look so young. How

Nicaila Matthews Okome 19:20

Yeah, wondering that too. Okay, so that makes sense. But yes, so 10 years? Yeah, yes,

Germanee Gerald 19:25

it's still 10 years. I got my pin and everything on my way out. And so yeah, we hit that mark, we hit that target in the most beautiful thing about hitting that target and taking that time was that I was able to leave on my 10 year anniversary. Oh,

Nicaila Matthews Okome 19:39

wow. How poetic. I've also never heard that like how poetic like it's your anniversary. Everyone's there to celebrate you're like all right. was great.

Germanee Gerald 19:56

A lot of my teammates. If you leave you leave now not burning a bridge, right? Because always take a turn towards again, as much

Nicaila Matthews Okome 20:06

as possible. Now, what else did you have in place as far as your business? So formalized business structure?

Germanee Gerald 20:15

No. No, no, I had a bank, I literally had a bank account. And I had a bank account in a dream. And I was living in Oakland at the time. And I had my sights set on Los Angeles. And so I quit my job and immediately moved to LA and the only client I had in LA was Bose. I was like, what is it? Even though? I'm like, Okay, what am I going to do now. And so at that time, I had to do a lot of praying a lot of fasting. And so every day I will wake up as if I was going to work and I will go to a Starbucks, I would set up my computer. And for 30 days, I did the 30 day free trial LinkedIn premium. And so I would send out emails to all these executive women who were in C suite that an array of companies, and I will send them my pitch. And I will say, Hey, I've worked with Bose and worked with countless other women in the bay area who are in your space, and I would love to work with you. And so did I was knocking on doors. I use that I use that 30 days up.

Nicaila Matthews Okome 21:27

Okay, great tip, y'all. I hope you wrote that, get that premium. At least do the 30 day trial. If they still have it. I can't guarantee it. Will there? I gotta check

Germanee Gerald 21:34

off there. But

Nicaila Matthews Okome 21:38

yes, what do you pay for it, you know, it worth it like 30 days to maximize that for sure.

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Germanee Gerald 23:01

back, so I got a couple of clients. And then of course, Bose has always put my name out and so I was able to get clients but it took about six months. And so I believe I started working with after Bose Felicia Butterfield Jones. I started working with Latasha Gillespie, who is at Amazon Studios, and then things kind of took off and blossom from there and then the pandemic, right. Yes, yes. Yes, we're doing great. And then boom, I was like, Oh, okay.

Nicaila Matthews Okome 23:36

Yeah. So how did you survive during the pandemic?

Germanee Gerald 23:38

I did not survive. I left Los Angeles. And so yeah, I left without the intention of actually leaving. And so I usually my god sister and our parents, our mothers we do Mother's Day together. And at that time, you know, we all thought that by made Coronavirus. I left Los Angeles and march 2020 thinking that I would go back and I was still home and like well after May no vacation and say and my mom was like you're spending a lot of money just in rent and you're not there and there are no events happening. You're not making money. What are you going to do? Are you gonna go back to corporate what's happening and so I was door dashing, listen, I'm going to be the most resourceful person and so I was door dashing and praying like God gave me this dream what's happening? And I left my apartment. I actually paid to get my roommate out of the lease. Whew, that was a lot of money, but you know, bleep bleeding money. And so I helped her get out of the lease and left Los Angeles and became a nomad for three years and right after George Floyd happened, unfortunately, George Floyd did happen, but all of my clients who are who were in the diversity space had to show up in BRK Camera. And they're like, Well, how do I do that? Because I've been in the house looking crazy for the past couple years. And so our virtual styling service after that, it kind of took off from there. And so business had been like really great, unfortunately, after George Floyd and so we were able to start back and pick back up after that. Okay.

Nicaila Matthews Okome 25:21

Yeah, wow, that is some hustle. Like, I wasn't expecting that. And I thank you for your transparency. So you know, you moved back home. So you were with your parents at that point? Yeah, I was with my parents at that point. And you were doing DoorDash to, you know, make ends meet. Oh, yeah. I respect it, I respect it. And then so as things started picking up at that point, where you just like, I'm just gonna stack as much as I can to recoup what I lost. And I had to pay. Yeah, yeah.

Germanee Gerald 25:49

And my mom was like, she said, to me, we had a conversation, there are a lot of people who don't have the fortunate ability to move back in with their parents. And you do so you should take advantage of this time as you will. And so I stayed with her for about three years. And by stayed probably after 2021, business was skyrocketing. And I was spending two days if you will, at home, actually my bags to go to my next load. And I believe it was probably around this time last year, I sat down and I was like, Okay, God, like this has been fun. But like, somewhere, I'm tired. My friends would be like, Hey, you left a sweatshirt at my home. My dad was so like, you have some shoes here. And I'm like, things are everywhere. Like, I need to be somewhere where most of my stuff is, oh, I moved to Atlanta in June of last year. And so now I just kind of travel when I need to. But I have two assistants in Los Angeles who pretty much hold down before and so I'm really only in LA when I need me there. And I kind of

Nicaila Matthews Okome 27:03

Yeah, and you have a home base. That's, that's Oh my God. You know, I was thinking like, wow, that sounds pretty sweet. Like, you know, you're just flying in and out, you know, you got to stay in the parents house tech stack stack like that. That might not be a bad idea.

Germanee Gerald 27:18

It isn't until it is.

Nicaila Matthews Okome 27:24

Right? I know what it is. Sacrifice of that though, like moving back home. And as trite as you might like, they're just still thinking like they can have input in your life. You're like, no, no.

Germanee Gerald 27:37

I'm 30. You don't pay? No, no, I pay what I need to pay here. And like this insight. I don't need it. Yeah.

Nicaila Matthews Okome 27:44

Yes. So I love that business pick back up. And at what point were you able to start hiring these assistants?

Germanee Gerald 27:51

Yeah, I'm probably in 2021. So early 2021. That's how good business was in 2020, which is wild, right. And so in 2021, I was able to hire my executive assistant who still has been working with me, he's virtual. So that's great. He kind of holds down the fort. I don't really need anybody in person right now. And then shortly after that, my best friend who would see the chaos that I had going on, at the creative, the logistical, I don't have it. That's not how my brain I can get you from A to Z, but the steps in between A to Z. I can't like the 24 letters in between A to Z. I don't know. Okay, but she's really good at that. And so I was able to bring her on, and then Nyan George I met NIH, in the pandemic as well. And so when I would go out to the bay for photoshoots with a McBride sister, she would help with that, because that's where she was from. And then, George, we actually interned together when we were in Los Angeles, interning with celebrity stylists. And so we still work together. But just in a different dynamic, which is really odd. Because we intern together now he works for me.

Nicaila Matthews Okome 29:13

Wow, wait, so when did you intern for the celebrity stylist was this?

Germanee Gerald 29:18

This was during that six yeses after gap during that six month period where I was emailing, cold emailing people wanting to LinkedIn premium and then also, I was like, okay, when I'm not doing that, then how am I getting experience? And so I got the opportunity to work with a pouget Kullu who has an amazing celebrity stylist. Name. Yeah, we work with Yvonne orgy because that's what I've seen has afforded me Jay Ellis. So he pushed me into the pond and I was like, okay, cool. But also celebrity styling is so very much different than the styling that I did. You or did at the time, because now we also stopped celebrities, which is why I kind of shoot myself in the foot of the things that I say I won't do and

Nicaila Matthews Okome 30:09

then calling you is calling you, you know,

Germanee Gerald 30:11

yeah, your gifts make room for you. And so what? I was working with him for about two or three months, and I was like, I do not want to sell celebrities like thank you for this opportunity.

Nicaila Matthews Okome 30:23

But why did you feel that way at first?

Germanee Gerald 30:25

So I started working with him during award season and award season. Right crazy time. And so we would have six times on the roster, and you're going to showrooms, you're picking up things from the dry cleaners, you're tailoring things, you're taking things to the tailor, you're meeting with these clients is very fun. And so we've had like six times we're like, oh, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, we get the kind of number six. And he texts us like, oh, so and so just flew when we need you to go do a fitting right now. I was going to bed and it would be like our days and you're like oh, but no, I'm not going to be okay, cool. So you gotta go to the tailor and then go to the dragon and and do this and that. And I was like, this is just too much. I like knowing my calendar. Yeah. I am a very anxious person. And so like, thrown at me. Yeah, just doesn't sit well

Nicaila Matthews Okome 31:19

with relating to this so so much right now. Like I did a stint in the celebrity world when I first graduated. And, you know, you just articulated part of what was the issue for me, I was like, when do I get to breathe? Like I'm always holding my breath waiting for like, some emergency, some fire to put out a fire. It's always a fire, always a fire. So you didn't know. You needed something where if you would need shoes, you thought you could go barefoot Oh, okay.

Germanee Gerald 31:56

Now I got five hours to make something happen. Okay. And so I just knew I didn't want to work on immediacy, or because my anxiety, I just knew it wouldn't bode well. And so I said, Thank you for the opportunity. Great. And then he introduced me to my first so I've been kind of styling celebrity since then. So. Yes.

Nicaila Matthews Okome 32:25

And you know what else is interesting? It's like you are working with people who are pseudo celebrities to like some of these major execs like xoma. Like, you know, at any point, they could be at the Oscars at any point, they could be at the Emmys. Right. So it's like, the line is kind of blurred. But yeah,

Germanee Gerald 32:41

very blurred, especially with the space that a lot of my executives are in. And like you said they are pseudo celebrities in the sense that Bose she is one of the biggest marketers out there. So if you're in the realm of marketing, people love Oh, that's right. And then of course, she's going to the Billboard Awards, she's going to the Oscars the Grammys with me. So I was loving the fact that my executives were still going to these red carpet events. And I didn't miss a red carpet moment. I just didn't stop celebrities at the time. And so that would be like, Oh, I'm getting my feel of having red carpet moments while still not having our exact like celebrity quote unquote. Yeah,

Nicaila Matthews Okome 33:18

you know what I love about your story and the experiences you've shared with us. It's you are not afraid to humble yourself or do something different in the meantime, like, how did you feel about that when you're you are you quit your job, you're like, I'm a stylist now. But then you're interning, or you quit your job and you think you're about to you know, you have this major client, and then boom, you're working DoorDash? Like, how do you mentally handle those shifts?

Germanee Gerald 33:45

I think I mentally handle those shifts through my faith. I think that my faith is so very much so important to me, in a sense that I know that if he brought me this far, it was not for any reason to leave me. So there got to be at some point, there's going to be a door right? There's going to be a way made. And the funny thing is that when I went to gap corporate my first day, I was like, oh my god, I finally got to my dream job. And I heard something whisper in my ear, like you're not going to be here long. And I was like, what does that mean, right?

Nicaila Matthews Okome 34:29

There to quote unquote, prepare you but really just

Germanee Gerald 34:32

by what does that mean? Like, I also kind of take like, yes, hey, in a sense that like, am I telling myself that like, I don't deserve this Or is God like, this is a precursor from God saying like, okay, like, this is cute now, but I got something bigger for you on my way. So I'm like, okay, it kind of made sense in the end that I was not there long. I think I only spent four years in the corporate space and six of them were in The retail stores, and I thought that I was at my dream job. And then I stopped it. I had made my way in LA and then that was over. And then I thought that I would be a nomad forever. And I'm kinda like, rooted now. And I thought that I would never style celebrities. And so I always joke and say that, you know, I tried to make plans, God laughs every single word and I never tried to make it. So now I don't make plans when people are like, so what's next and next five years? I'm not saying it because God has. No, he's gonna shift it up. He's gonna shake it up. It's, I don't have a plan. I'm just going day by day I have my face has like grounded me in, you know, you go up, and then you gotta go pray again. You gotta go. get intimate with God again. And like, I think that's the only thing that has kept me and it keeps me humble, that's for sure.

Nicaila Matthews Okome 35:50

It's humbling to know that we're not in control. Like, you could get on a good spree and feel like Yeah, yeah, you know, because it's because I did this and that and that. And then like, life circumstance, show you that you truly are not in control. Like, even when you're in a good career swing. So you know, having that I'm a woman of faith to like, you know, having that guiding source to go back to and it's like, I don't know why I always you know, distance myself a little like, I get so happy. I'm like, then like, you get the reality check. You're like, Oh, I gotta go back to I gotta

Germanee Gerald 36:25

we got some stuff that you can enjoy this too much. Are you reading? Are you?

Nicaila Matthews Okome 36:30

Are you brave? Are you trying to handle it yourself? Where are you guys? Exactly. Oh, my gosh, I just love that about, you know, your story, your testimony, I should say it's definitely definitely resonated with me today. And before we get into the lightning round, I'd love to know a little bit more about what is the structure of your business today. So if someone wants to work with Germany, right, and they're not a celebrity, how does that process begin,

Germanee Gerald 36:58

we have about three or four services that we offer. And so we offer event styling, both virtually and in person, we offer the in person event styling, and then oh, yes, I'm sorry, I'll start over. So we have about four services that we offer, we offer event styling, which is both in person and virtual, we also offer, I call them capsules, but I don't want people to get hung up on capsules, because I think they're very limiting. So we offer a versatile refresh of the wardrobe, where it's in person, because we can't do that virtually. But we provide the client with 12 versatile outfits, I always say 12. But the client walks away with a lot more than that, I would say like 20 Plus, head to toe outfits. And we take pictures of those so that you have them in your arsenal, even when I'm not there. Remember, my team is not there. And then we also have closet curations where we come and we look at what you have, we take out what you don't need. And then we roadmap you into the things that you actually need. So you can think methodically about your wardrobe versus just buying on impulse or continuing to make the wrong decisions when it comes to your wardrobe. Yes. So we try to educate you in a way that makes sense in a way that you can function when you don't have the stylists with you. Right. So those are core offerings to our clients. And so basically, you just fill out a form and you decide you decide, do you want to work with me being co you fill out the form, we always try to make sure that it's a good fit for both parties. So we have that discovery call. And you know, I'm the only one who does a discovery call, because I want to make sure that like you feel good about this as an investment. And then also like we got to invest time in you too. Yeah. And so I want to make sure that this feels good. And even if like now on the form, it says like, do you want to work with Germany specifically? Or are you open to working with a member of the team because I cannot be everywhere at one time. Although I curate pretty much 90% of everything that goes out. Or I am looking at it after my assistants have curated it to make sure that it looks good. And it feels formed for not only yet for not only the client, but also like Gigi like yeah, all the code and like the mixture. Right? And so yeah, so you can decide if you want to work with me, personally, or you want to work with a member of the team. And then you know, we just have really good fit. And then we go and we work together and a lot of our clients are repeat clients by a lot about 90% of them always come back. Yeah, that's pretty much how to engage with us. It's really easy. You don't have to be a celebrity I promise. Clients are still our executives are professionals and are entrepreneurs. Yeah. As

Nicaila Matthews Okome 39:51

a service based business. How do you plan for your financials each year like how do you predict how When was your financial model right, predicting how much you might make and estimations and all of that.

Germanee Gerald 40:06

So we kind of divvied up by quarter, I always know that q1 is going to be remarkable, not remarkably, this year remarkably, but q1 is always going to be strong due to award season. And then also, okay, you're always thinking about, so from our celebrities perspective, and our pseudo celebrities, they have award season, right. But then also, in the beginning of the year, everyone's like, Oh, I'm gonna think about my closet, I want to think about, you know, how to show up better in this new year. And so we always get a big boom in q1, right. And then we always know that q2, and q3 are pretty much going to drop off. And so our numbers are going to be a little bit more soft, because it's summer, spring break. A lot of our clients are on vacation. But then we also know that like essence fences during that time, too. So we're not going to plan like a big dip in our numbers. But we know that they're not going to be as big as q1, right? So then what are the other things that we can do outside of our in person or virtual and so we are actually this year, adding in like some educational aspects where if you want to engage with us and just learn about how to work on your style, and show up more effectively, just to add some more cash injection into the flow, but also like to help other people who we can't always touch. And then q4 is always strong, because we're back to events. And the award season is actually starts in September. And it doesn't end till like March of 2020 of the next year. And so q4 is always really strong, because there's award season picks back up. And so we know that financially, our bigger numbers are going to be in q1 and q4 and then q2 and q3, are the ones where we have to just be a little more lean in the business. Like I have to work a little more in my assistants work a little less. But yeah, but then also just be smart and deliberate about, you know, how can we impact the business and other ways so that we can make sure that we don't dip as much or, you know, try to meet the same numbers?

Nicaila Matthews Okome 42:12

Yeah, I like how you know, you're thinking about it, and you know, your seasons, you know, what's high and what's low, and what to expect. And then what to do to do that cash injection. So that's another big tip as well. Like, think of your year on a whole know your high seasons, your low seasons and think about what you could do for cash injection. So that's another tip we'll take away from you, Germany. Now, let's jump into a quick lightning round. You're just going to answer the very first thing that comes to mind. Are you ready? I'm ready. All right. So number one, what is a resource that has helped you launch? GG and CO that you can share with a side hustle pro audience? Rich Dad, Poor Dad? Okay. Yeah, why?

Germanee Gerald 42:57

I feel like it helps you shape like how you think about things financially, and just become a little bit more grounded and smarter when you approach finances? Yes. Not even from a business but also personally.

Nicaila Matthews Okome 43:09

Yes, yes, for sure. Actually, recently, we read that it was like in the last year, but anyway, let me get into lightning and lightning. Okay. Number two, who is a non celebrity black woman entrepreneur, who you would want to switch places with for a day and why? Oh,

Germanee Gerald 43:27

fine. Weaver I love you hear me fine. We were We were always together one day, but anyway, I love her. She's a woman of faith. But she's a woman who was very confident in not only who she is, but her audience her product. She knows exactly the rooms that she is destined to be in and like, I'm like, I don't drink whiskey, but I want some whiskey. It's because that woman like Yes. Like she's really doing it with Uncle generis and just like helping that brand continue to grow and I believe he just came out with her own whiskey as a result of you know, working with working with her family company. Love

Nicaila Matthews Okome 44:16

it. Love it. Number three, what's a non negotiable part of your day these days

Germanee Gerald 44:21

working out because if I'm not working out I'm going to be mean to everybody more manageable after our work after I've had my me time so that I can you know function. Okay.

Nicaila Matthews Okome 44:37

Love it. Number four, what is a personal trait about Germany that has contributed to your success?

Germanee Gerald 44:45

Oh, I think my nimbleness like dang nibbled is resourcefulness I'm gonna be resourceful. I'm gonna figure it out. Yeah. Oh, is that okay.

Nicaila Matthews Okome 44:59

Yep. And then finally, what is your parting advice for fellow women entrepreneurs who want to be their own boss, but are nervous about losing that steady paycheck?

Germanee Gerald 45:10

Yeah, do it, do it. Fast. Like I said, Don't burn the bridges. So even if it doesn't work, you can come back you or you can figure out a way where you can do your nine to five. And then also, you know, still have your side hustle. I don't think entrepreneurship and I don't say this, I don't say this with malice at all. Full time. Entrepreneurship is not for everybody, it is tough. And so you know, if you can still have your side hustle and keep your nine to five, like, go for it. Or if you feel like you know, you can be an intrapreneur inside your corporate space, do that too. But don't be sad or don't beat up on yourself. If you don't do the full time entrepreneurship route, keep them benefits and they

Nicaila Matthews Okome 45:59

are real. They are real.

Germanee Gerald 46:01

But anyway, like, you know, if it's on your heart to do it, do it.

Nicaila Matthews Okome 46:05

Love it. And so thank you so much for being in the guest chair. Where can people connect with you? And GTN co after this episode?

Germanee Gerald 46:13

Yeah, you can connect with me via Instagram at Germany underscore G or the website at Germany g.com or Gigi and co styling.com I believe they redirect to each other so either way you can get to me and then I say believe LinkedIn is Germany Gerald and that G R ALD because I do not use my last name these days. But yeah, those are the the big ways that one could connect with me.

Nicaila Matthews Okome 46:45

All right, I love it. We will link to all of those guys in the show notes. Again, cermony thank you so much. I'm glad we finally got to catch up and learn more about your journey. I was super inspired. And I hope you guys are as well. Okay. You and there you have it. Talk to you guys next week. Hey guys, thanks for listening to side hustle Pro. If you like the show, be sure to subscribe rate and review on Apple podcasts. It helps other side hustlers just like you to find the show. And if you want to hear more from me, you can follow me on Instagram at side hustle Pro. Plus sign up for my six bullet Saturday newsletter at side hustle Pro, that CO slash newsletter. When you sign up, you will receive weekly nuggets from me, including what I'm up to personal lessons and my business tip of the week. Again, that side hustle pro.co/newsletter to sign up. Talk to you soon

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

Meet the host:

Nicaila Matthews-Okome

Hi! I’m Nicaila, the Creator and Host of the Side Hustle Pro Podcast. I started Side Hustle Pro when I was a side hustler myself. I was a digital marketer at NPR by day, side hustler by night. Through the powerful stories shared on this show and the courage to launch my own initiatives, I was able to quit my own job and go full time with Side Hustle Pro.

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