I’m so happy to have the series ‘Your Own Boss’ going on. This is a great way to find inspiration and maybe even a boost to start on your own and be your own boss. A great way to know it’s not always happy colors and happy endings, but that the struggle can be though. But it’s also so satisfying to see a work done and finished and knowing that you had everything to do with it being totally awesome. So, to keep on inspiring you all with these interviews, I have another boss babe that is rocking on the island as a fashion stylist. Let’s take a look.
AG Styling, what is the idea behind the name and what is AG Styling all about?
AG Styling is based on my own name, Adziënne Garcia and I put the styling at the end. I’ve studied Fashion Styling & Management at the Vogue Akademie in the Netherlands and I’m an all-round stylist. I’m trying to make my business the go-to styling agency in every field possible.
Why did you decide to start your own business?
Before coming to Curacao, I lived in Amsterdam and worked in a high fashion retail bag store. I was the manager of 4 branches. It was a store with expensive brands, but not the usual Fendi & Gucci brands bags. It started as a part time job, but I kept growing and getting more responsibilities. I was doing at the time an international management study, so the knowledge of that study helped me well with the management part of the job. But I also had a love for fashion, but I didn’t do much with it, just the usual giving friends and family advice on how to dress and get styled, after they were asking me to help them in that department.
One time I passed a Diesel store in Amsterdam and I went in and told them that their showcase was boring and didn’t have any style (without offending them ofcourse). The manager told me if I could do it better to show them. I thought ‘why not?’ and took the challenge to do so. I really didn’t worry about the guidelines of Diesel. I pretty much did what I felt was going to look good and that concept did eventually match with the Diesel concept. They love it and that opened the door that other people were interesting in me. But the first thing they asked was were I studied fashion and who I was. My first reaction was that I did it for fun and I didn’t studied fashion nowhere. Then something triggered in me and I realized that people that were asking were looking for someone with a fashion degree. Before I started the international management study, I did apply at a fashion school, but it was pretty hard to get in. So I started to look for workshops and courses, because it would look good on my resume. I eventually applied at the Vogue Akademie, which also wasn’t easy to get in but surprisingly I got in. The great thing about those schools is that big fashion brands come to seek interns to work for them. That way I got the chance to work with brands like Diesel, Hugo, G-Star, Bijenkorf etc. I also try to negotiated my pay very well that I didn’t receive an intern paycheck.
But I was doing to much stuff at one point. I was still working part time at the bag store and worked nights at a bar and ofcourse fashion school. I eventually burned out. The manager at the bag store told me to take it easy, but the doctor told me to take a 4 month break from it all. That’s not something easy to do, because I had bills to pay. The manager of the bag store told me that he can’t pay me when I’m on my rest break BUT that the job will be waiting for me when I’m done with the break. Awesome ofcourse to have something to fall back on. I finished the school and packed my stuff up and came to Curacao. I have family here so it was an easy pick. I also followed my heart here for a relationship. But after the 4 months I wanted to stay and didn’t want to go back. Not an easy decision but I gave everything up in the Netherlands to stay here on the island. Then something that I didn’t expect happened: the relationship was over. But I didn’t want to pack up everything because of a broken heart and leave and certainly not with the feeling that I didn’t accomplish anything. So the beginning wasn’t easy at all. Island life isn’t city life and I was always a city girl. I worked in two retail fashion stores and meanwhile I was getting assignments for fashion styling. That’s when people were asking me to send them invoices and if I was registered at the Chamber of Commerce here. To keep the clients, the next step was to register myself and so AG Styling was born.
What are some of the high and low points of starting your own business?
A high point, in a way, is that I can do what I want and feel free do so. A low point is ofcourse the financial uncertainty. I also had some annoying moments in the beginning that I had to explain myself and my profession again and again. The people here were not getting it. I had to get used to the mentality here. Also the fact that you can’t expose the work you’ve done when working with international brands. In the beginning my focus was only to get work from Europe and I asked my school to help me get some clients here to the island. But I can’t expose that on social media. I did it once before, without knowing it was forbidden. I got a fine for doing it, so I’m pretty aware now how and what to expose of the work my doing.
What is your greatest achievement until now with AG Styling?
After lots of work, getting an invite to the New York Fashion Week. I surely a big high light of my career. Also being the customer (stylist) on the movie ‘Double Play’. The movie is based on a book from a local writer Frank Martinus Arion.
I also had the pleasure to be the fashion stylist on the dutch movie ‘Bon Bini Holland’. I did the parts which was filmed here on Curacao.