As a part of the Morning Lazziness series about empowering women who are encouraging and doing incredible things with their ideas in society, I had the pleasure of interviewing Jodie Filogomo.
Jodie Filogomo is the founder of Jodie’s Touch of Style where she showcases her style that it’s never too late to look great. She has been featured in Women’s Day magazine and on StyleCaster’s site.
Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive in, our readers would love to learn a bit more about you. Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
When I was in my early 40’s my best friend passed away from melanoma at the age of 34. Seeing someone so young have their life snuffed out, led me to realize that life is too short for unimportant details. It was this that pushed me to sell my dental practice before I turned 50 so I would have more time to explore and enjoy my life.
After retiring from my dental career, I started a site Jodie’s Touch of Style, to showcase that it’s never too late to look great. I include different models on my site to show that age, size, and budget are not deterrents from having fun with styling our clothes. In fact, one of the models is my 84-year-old mother.
Can you tell us the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?
When I first started talking about fashion and style, I incorrectly believed that there was only ONE way to dress and look good. But since blogging, I have come to realize that our style should be as unique as our personality. I now feel like my wardrobe is 180 from when I was working. It’s much more colorful, more interesting, and definitely more fun!
What do you specialize in and why should someone choose you over your competitors in your field?
My specialties are twofold. One is the fact that I am a pro-ager. I believe that we should embrace EVERY birthday that comes along and that means loving our bodies as they are. Too many stylists talk about covering up our “flaws” and trying to look taller and slimmer. I am a huge advocate that we shouldn’t try to be any kind of “er.”
My other specialty when it comes to clothing is having the creativity to change up an item of clothing and figure out many ways to wear the same thing. I’ve learned that our clothes are not the boss of us, and we can make them look differently very easily.
What are the three things that mostly helped your online business succeed?
The best thing about my online site is that I have 3 different ages, sizes and shapes of women so there is something for everyone. I may be swimming upstream in that I believe we shouldn’t follow the fashion rules, but once you analyze the reasons we think a certain way about clothes, our world becomes so much bigger.
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?
My goal is to inspire other women to believe they are fabulous as is. Most older women feel the need to cover up their bodies as they age, yet our bodies are nothing to be ashamed about. I also want women to stop being so scared about trying new fashion ideas and styles. It’s meant to be fun and not stress-provoking.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person you are grateful for who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
I feel like I’m at the Oscars thanking everyone who helped me get to this point. Of course, my mother is my hugest inspiration and I couldn’t do this without my husband who is our photographer and so much more.
But I also want to say that we get braver as we get older when we find others to push us to think differently. And that person would be my friend, Catherine Grace O’Connell who is the founder of the Facebook group Forever Fierce: Midlife Matters.
What were your most important challenges? & How did you overcome those challenges?
I’m a biology person through and through and so starting an online site especially fashion-oriented brought about technology challenges along with photography challenges. Did I overcome them? Haha. Maybe and maybe not. I always say I’m a work in progress, yet learning is the key to having fun in life.
What’s your piece of advice for readers who want to achieve wealth and success in life?
That’s an easy one. Gratitude. Gratitude is everything because our wealth and success in life can be as simple as having a friend to share it with. You don’t need a million dollars to be wealthy and successful.
In fact, every day, my husband and I jot down 3 things we are grateful for, and every day we realize that we are blessed.
What do you think is the key to a truly successful online business?
Make it about something that you like and enjoy. It’s much harder than anyone realizes, and it will become something that needs constant attention. Therefore, if it’s something that has your heart and energizes you, it will be a source of happiness.
What’s your business model? How does your online business make money?
Mine is a fashion blog to inspire women. I make money with ads on my site along with getting commissions from shopping sites. Occasionally I also write sponsored posts to introduce new companies or products to my readers.
Where do you see yourself and your business in five years?
Gosh, I hope to be continuing to inspire women with what they wear and how they feel about their bodies. I would love to get out into the community also and show some great styling techniques in person.
What’s your piece of advice for people who want to quit their 9-5 job and start a business?
My biggest piece of advice is to have a plan and then be flexible. You might have an idea of what you want to do, but sometimes you need to stop and shift gears to make it even better.
What is the biggest sacrifice you’ve made in starting or running your business?
Vacations. Purely and simply, I rarely get time off when I’m not checking in on my site or social media. Sure, we take trips and go places, but it’s hard not to be “working” also.
The future of the digital world might be ruled by blockchain and cryptocurrency. Do you think it would be challenging for all age groups to gain knowledge about the same? How can we educate them?
I do think it will be challenging for the older generation to embrace this because it’s so different from how we were raised.
Truthfully, I’m not even sure how to educate anyone about this because I know nothing about it also.
What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started” and why?
The funny thing is I just created a video with this exact query.
- 1-Analyze the rules. There are SO many fashion rules that make no sense, especially in this day and age. Yet when we hear something over and over we take it to heart. But now, if you analyze the rule, you may realize that the idea should go in the trash.
- 2-Embrace your body. It’s so sad when I hear women say they can’t wear something because they have to cover their wiggly arms or because it makes their butt look big. I’ve asked my readers why having a big butt is bad? Those are the questions we need to start asking.
- 3-Don’t blend in. Most of the fashion rules are all about looking like everyone else. Yet we are extremely unique people, and our outward appearance should reflect that.
- 4-You are the boss of your clothing. Just because you bought a clothing item that is meant to be a dress, doesn’t mean you can’t change it up to make it look like a skirt or look like a top. There are a ton of ways to make our clothing more versatile than you think.
- 5-Have FUN!! Our style is personal and with that, it should be something that doesn’t cause us anxiety. Too many women worry about if what they are wearing is correct. Or if they can combine certain colors. The answer is always to have fun and do what you want.
What would you tell yourself ten to twenty years ago that you wish you knew then?
I would have told myself not to be so scared of failure. At that time of my life, I thought failure was a bad thing. Of course, now I know better. Failure is a part of success, and we learn so much from it.
The funny thing is I would have been too headstrong to listen to any advice from myself!!
Lastly, what do you think this world needs the most?
Again, this is an easy one because I have a shirt that says this message.
More Kindness, Less Judgement!