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From corporate America to entrepreneurship

Local entrepreneur puts Hollywood spin on her Northeast Wisconsin personal stylist business

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December 28, 2022

GREEN BAY – When most people think of personal stylists, they likely don’t think of Northeast Wisconsin.

One local entrepreneur has set out to change that.

After spending 20 years in the retail and fashion industry, Stephanie Taylor – owner of Styled by Stephanie and descendant member of the Oneida Nation – said the COVID-19 pandemic left her without a job and filled with uncertainty for the future.

Instead of sulking, the mother of three said she decided to use the opportunity to follow a dream she never imagined she’d be able to pursue.

Taylor admits, however, it took her a bit to find her way there.

Choosing not to re-enter the corporate world, she said she worked a few side jobs and even got her feet wet in the realm of entrepreneurship with her own contracting company, but never really found success.

Taylor said it wasn’t until a friend asked her, ‘What do you love?’ that she realized her passion was, and always has been, in fashion.

And like it is often said, the rest was history.

Styled by Stephanie
Taylor launched Styled by Stephanie, LLC – a personal stylist business – in April 2022.

Though self-dubbed a personal stylist, she said she considers herself more of a wardrobe assistant and does much more than just help individuals pick out clothing.

“(I) uplift and encourage people to be their true authentic selves,” she said. “I love it when a person puts on an outfit, looks in the mirror and the look on their face completely changes. They love what they have on. They walk out of the fitting room with confidence.”

In the stylist role, Taylor said she also helps her clients organize their closets, which in turn gives them peace of mind.

“Organization reduces anxiety,” she said. “When you have a space and there’s clutter, sometimes it can be overwhelming. You don’t know sometimes what you have in your own closet. So I organize, and most importantly, I give time back to my customers who don’t have the desire, or time, to organize. I take on their responsibilities. Ultimately, I educate them while easing their lifestyle.”

Local niche
Taylor said one of the things that help Styled by Stephanie stand out is being based in Green Bay.

She said there are online options customers can use to help personalize their wardrobes, but it’s based on algorithms, which makes the “personal” aspect less so.

Taylor said she’s also doing what she can to change the mentality that personal stylists are a “big city” kind of thing, reserved for those “with money.” 

“I’m willing to help anyone out with a consultation and to see where we can work together,” she said.

Taylor said she does her best to create “unique one-off looks” for her clients that catch the eyes of others – and that is where her work with area boutiques comes in.

“I look for stores that offer one or two pieces of clothing or items, rather than big box stores that carry 10 on the rack and have 10 more in the back,” she said.

Taylor said the limited-edition look helps add to a client’s “allure, balance, confidence and dignity.”

Styled by Stephanie offers various services, including closet detox, style education, personal shopper, organization and events.

Taylor said she is currently working on getting a website built which will allow customers to set up consultations online.
She said it is set to go live sometime in the first quarter of 2023.

For now, Taylor said she’s active on the Styled by Stephanie Facebook page and can be reached directly at

Her moment to shine
Taylor said she recently took her small-town idea national – competing as a contestant on “The Blox,” a reality show that pits contestants in a series of entrepreneurial exercises, pitches and tests over a two-week period.

Entrepreneur Weston Bergmann, a former MTV star on reality shows like “The Real World” and “The Duel,” is behind what producers describe as a “Shark Tank” meets “Top Chef” style series. 

Taylor said her involvement with this show was one of the best experiences of her life, giving her a college degree worth of information and experience and then some in the two weeks she was filming.

She was one of 40 contestants chosen from a list of 80,000 applicants.

Each day, Taylor said contestants were divided into pods of about 10 contestants each.

“The first half of each day was spent in business workshops, the second half competing in entrepreneurial challenges,” she said. “Each person hoped to be wearing a special red jersey signifying their current lead every evening.”

Taylor said filming for her season was two weeks long, every day intense.

Stephanie Taylor was a contestant on the newest season of “The Blox – an entrepreneur reality show. Submitted Photo

She said she credits the show filming with a few things – being around the right people who encourage you and help you grow and learning courage on camera, which has translated to confidence when she walks into a new potential client and pitches herself.?

“It was such a life-changing experience because, for the first time in my life, I was around people I could learn from, around people who have the same entrepreneur passion as me,” she said. “Before the show, I hadn’t found that ingredient in Green Bay because I didn’t have a mentor or people I could lean on to keep me motivated. I had to do all that myself.”

Taylor said being surrounded by others who understood what she was doing made her want to listen and learn from them.
“I took that position seriously, and they all lifted me up so high,” she said.

Taylor said her season of “The Blox” will air on the AlphaBlox website and app, as well as Google Play, Apple Play and other streaming platforms, sometime during the first quarter of 2023.

Community involvement
Taylor said she makes sure to make time in her busy schedule to give back to her community.

Before the 2022-23 school year, she helped five families get their children ready for back to school with supplies, clothes, haircuts and photos.

Taylor said it afforded her the opportunity to work with more than 20 different small businesses to help contribute their time, efforts and funding for this project to a massive success. 

“I love connecting businesses together, networking and working with small businesses on the local level, to help promote and show that together we can all make a difference larger than we know,” she said.

Taylor said she was also recently asked to serve as a mentor for SCORE – a network of volunteer, expert business mentors dedicated to helping small businesses plan, launch, manage and grow.

“I’m excited to help people of every age,” she said. ‘I want to reach people who need that motivation and encouragement to keep going. I want to be able to help people keep their dreams alive and give them ideas, encouragement and some positive reinforcement knowing no matter what, anything is possible.”

The future
Taylor said she knows success comes with failure as an entrepreneur but said whatever the future holds for her and Styled by Stephanie, she’s ready for it because she knows she can overcome anything.

Raised in what she described as a “dysfunctional, toxic environment,” Taylor said it was a pattern that followed her into adulthood.

“I ended up getting into a cycle of bad decisions and abusive relationships,” she said. “Through situations I got myself involved in, I became a single mother homeless with three children. I woke up one day after losing it all and told myself this will never happen again. From that day, I have rebuilt everything in my life from nothing.”

Throughout the journey, Taylor said her children and giving them things, she never had, have been her biggest inspirations.

“(My oldest), she understands my late nights,” she said. “She encourages me. She’ll tell me she’s proud of me out of nowhere because we’ve been through a lot together. She’s seen me come where I’ve come from. She’s watched me, and us, grow from being homeless to rebuilding our entire lives.”

Taylor said she’s inspired to do big things because of her children, and she hopes she will do the same for them.
“I am living proof that no matter the hardships you face, you have the power in yourself to be anything you want to be,” she said. “I am a single mother of three beautiful children – 11,12 and 14 – and they are my motivation to love myself and be the best version of myself I can be. They know anything is possible.”

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