Garland: Wardrobe & Personal Stylist

Name: Garland Sanders

Age: 36

City: Mobile, Alabama

Main Hustle: Being married to my wonderful husband and raising my 8 year old twins, Michael and Liza. That in itself I have learned is a full-time job. I will say watching them grow up and learn has taught me more about myself than ever. I am so blessed to call them mine.

Side Hustle: Cleaning out your closet, coordinating your closet, figuring out what key pieces you are missing in your wardrobe (once cleaned out), putting wardrobes together, personal shopper for your lifestyle, parties, weddings, Mardi Gras, etc. The most important thing a women should feel to me is confidence. I feel the right clothing–how it fits and how it’s worn–can change the way you feel about yourself. Sometimes it’s hard for women to let go of clothing they don’t wear because they maybe have a personal attachment or spent a lot of money. That’s where I come in—helping them let go! It’s so freeing!

I remember going in my parents’ closets in early high school and feeling and touching fabrics, especially my dad’s. He would say, “See how this sport coat feels or look at the colors in this tie.” I always loved how some textures and colors were so beautiful together, and others not as much. It was to me a “Wow!” moment. I always tell my clients you can be as classic as you like, because classic is timeless! But I will always get you out of your “box” a little bit.

Dressing is an art, and it can be so much fun if you allow it to be.

How did you get started?: Like I said above I’ve always been drawn to beautiful clothing, fabrics, accessories, and jewelry. I can go in clothing stores and stay for hours. Ha! It’s always been a passion of mine to make people feel good in their clothing. I remember in college, my friends would come in my room and ask, does this look good together? Or what top should I wear with these pants? Also in college I started collecting fashion jewelry. Every piece had a meaning to me. I studied fashion abroad in in London one summer and just fell in love. London sold me for sure. How freely people dressed; it was like art to them. And then it clicked for me. How they layered their clothing, colors, and accessories so perfectly. Colors you never thought should go together were worn with perfection. Londoners always made it look so easy.

So that being said, one day someone just asked me to pick out jewelry for a dress they were wearing for Mardi Gras and then next thing I knew I was cleaning out closets and putting wardrobes together. It is so much fun for me. For a while I never asked for money because it just didn’t seem right. I thought, how can I possibly make money for something that I am obsessed with doing?

When/where do you work on your Side Hustle?: I work during the week when my kids are at school. I am usually at people’s houses when it comes to their closets or shopping for specific clothing and accessories. I try to support local retail businesses but sometimes have to resort to online.

What are the challenges of your Side Hustle?: It is hard living in a small town sometimes. There are just not enough choices in clothing in a small town. The clientelle is small, but I feel I have a close, personal relationship with them, which is very rewarding. The more I know you, the better I can work with you.

What are the rewards of your Side Hustle?: I would say the best reward is when I get a text or call from one of my clients who says, “I felt so beautiful and confident tonight!” Or they send me pictures of them in the outfits I helped put together.

Who is your greatest supporter?: My greatest supporter is probably my husband. He is always pushing me to move forward with what I’m doing. He knows my strong passion for helping others and beautiful clothing. I’m lucky because his mother loves fashion and clothing also. Helps with the explaining, haha.

Who/what is your greatest source of inspiration?: I would have to say my greatest inspiration would be the girls of Debra’s, a boutique in Mobile. Holly Walton and Natalie Jones have taught me more than I’ll ever know. I worked for them full time at Debra’s before I had kids. I went to market, helped with the buying, and managed the store. Their creativity and unbelievable confidence in buying clothing and dressing women was contagious. The retail world is big, complex, and extremely competitive. I realized I liked working more one on one with clients. It’s an art to buy the right clothing at the right time for your clientele, season by season. Still to this day they inspire me by what they bring into the store. It’s always beautiful and different.

And of course social media is always a good source. I live on retail websites searching for anything different my clients may need to complete an outfit.

What is your dream for your Side Hustle?:

Well I’m always dreaming of what it could be, but for now I love exactly what it is. I really try to live in the moment, and in this moment, it’s pretty good. I guess the biggest dream is to continue boosting the confidence of women by the clothing they wear.

Do you have any advice for others working on a Side Hustle?:

Stay true to yourself. Be kind to everyone. You never know, you may need help or advice from that person. Like I said before, I’ve never considered it a job because it’s what I love to do. If what you’re doing makes you smile at the end of the day, then it’s your passion.

To learn more about Garland and her side hustle, reach out via email.

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Feature Photo by Access Magazine.

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