As we near the end of the statewide stay-at-home order, stylist and founder of DC Style Factory Rosana Vollmerhausen has found that this strange period of our lives has actually provided her with something she didn’t know was needed: more time. Time to reflect, change and grow.
Throughout the quarantine, Vollmerhausen has adapted to school-at-home schedules with her three children, started two new aspects of her business and found “dancing like a fool” to be a must-do ritual. Here, the esteemed style expert shares exactly how she’s found pockets of happiness during the global pandemic.
On a now-typical work day:
DC Style Factory stopped seeing clients in person on March 13. We typically book two months in advance, so since that date we have transitioned about half our clients that had pre-booked appointments to remote styling. We have a closet-shopping, outfit-creation process that we use to deliver styling services to clients in other parts of the country. So we migrated our in-person clients to this process. When you are shifting clients who are accustomed to, and expecting, an in-person service to a remote service, it is not just scheduling a Zoom call. It is about educating them about how this will look different from what we had originally outlined, but the results will 100% still be the same as if we did it in person.
We also launched two new services to better meet our community’s needs during this time: Style Define and our Zoom Style Consult. Both have been so wonderfully received by our community and we are excited to be able to continue to help our clients during this time. Finally, we have ramped up our communications with our community, which includes IGTV videos and a regular Instagram Live style talk Tuesdays at 1 p.m. over on Greenbelt-based stylist Alison Gary’s account. We have embarked on a closet audit, talked wardrobe essentials and discussed what is “flattering” in 2020. So in a nutshell, a lot less driving and a lot more time in front of a computer screen!
On what shopping looks like today:
Like many people during this time, I am spending less. Due to reduced sales this spring season, I have cut team hours, company expenditures and more. I am operating on a lean budget both personally and professionally. Additionally, when things change dramatically in life—particularly in such an unsettling and scary way—it’s natural to seek immediate relief. One of the ways that many of us cope with stress or seek escape is through “retail therapy.” In my experience, shopping purely with emotion doesn’t lead anywhere good for your closet or your bottom line. So, I have purposefully worked with what I have in my closet instead of giving into the temptation of wanting to buy a whole new stay-at-home wardrobe.
I have bought one thing though: house shoes! I have fuzzy slippers I throw on when I get home or on the weekends, but being at home 24/7, I was finding that I wanted something more stylish to wear around the house. I wanted a comfortable slipper-type shoe, but I wanted them not to signal “bedtime.” I even wrote a blog post about my search. After about two weeks at home, I found the perfect gold pair by Jill Burrows and I have been wearing them Monday through Friday ever since. One thing I am definitely buying more of? Chocolate chips! We make cookies at least twice a week!
On WFH attire:
Again, my Jill Burrows slippers. My #WFH style formula has been jeans and a top, gold house shoes and a cheetah print belt. That belt pulls it all together and makes me feel like, “Yes! Ready to get to work!” Funny how that little accessory can shift my mindset. I also have been wearing my vintage Lee mom jeans because they are soft and comfy. I don’t own a lot of athleisure because my life before sheltering in place was running around with clients. But my clothes have always been comfortable. I have been wearing more color though, pulling for more of my tops that are bright reds and pinks. They bring me joy and look great on Zoom calls with my clients. My blazers are quietly snoozing in my closet.
On finding solace:
My wonderful friend Tashira, who is a local blogger, has this wonderful life tool called the 21-day Happiness Project. She is a cancer survivor and speaks at local events about her journey. The toolkit she created is an easy way to put into practice those things that can create pockets of happiness, particularly during difficult times. The key is that they should be low-cost or free. So for me, it’s been those simple pleasures: going for a walk each morning with my husband (rain or shine!), riding on scooters around the neighborhood with my youngest child, making chocolate chip homemade cookies, organizing my closet (seriously), dancing like a fool and FaceTiming with friends and family. I try to make sure I do at least two of these things each day to help keep me in a positive mindset.
On must-shop sales:
There are so many sales going on right now as a result of retail closures. Neiman Marcus in particular is offering deep discounts during this time. A sign of the times, I am also loving the masks at local brand Printed Wild. If you are interested in supporting local brands and retailers that have shut their doors to the public during this time, the best way to do that is through a gift card and support on social media.
On what she will wear post pandemic:
I am 100% missing my blazers and am excited to wear my bright green Rachel Comey jacket once again. I know I could just pull one and wear it at home, but it’s not the mindset I am in. The blazer is such a power garment. Right now, I want comfort.
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