From Austin to Boston, and Everything In Between

By: Madeline Leto

My sweet friend Maddie Leto wrote this piece for a school project and I loved it so much I wanted to share it 🙂 I literally teared up reading this article. I hope you enjoy this piece as much as I did! P.S. Thank you Maddie for taking the time to write this. I love you so much!

At the age of five, Elise Sanchez refused to wear anything her mother laid out for her. Instead, every day she settled on the same purple dress. In middle school, she was the queen of the bows, sporting a different one to school each day. In high school, her style evolved into crazy high heels, multi-patterned skirts, and bright red lipstick to bring it all together. Now, currently a 20-year-old marketing student at Emerson College, her style has drastically changed and continues to change throughout the week. One day she will be wearing a teal jumpsuit with a black blazer and some nude pumps and another day she’ll have on sports leggings, a tank top and a sweatshirt. Although she has refashioned herself numerous times as she has gotten older, she’s remained adamant and confident about her styling choices, despite what everyone else thought.

Sanchez found comfort in expressing herself
through fashion at a very young age and has
pursued it ever since. Her dream began with her
blog. She wrote about her life, her fashion
interests and her inspirations, all while living at home with her family in Austin, Texas.
Nowadays, her blog (​​) has become a major component of her brand, but a couple of years ago it was the main thing helping her promote herself and get exposure in the fashion world. It kick started her photoshoots, modeling appointments, and styling consultations that have all accumulated into the official launch of her brand (Personal Stylist Elise Sanchez). Originally, her intentions were to be a full time blogger, but after sitting down with the CEO and Founder of The Brand Girls, Rachel Bozsik, she soon realized that she was capable of more than just blogging. It was evident to Sanchez that she needed to start making some big advancements in her career as soon as possible.

And that’s exactly what she did. She transformed her blog into a full fledged styling business. Anyone can now go to her website (listed below), fill out a style survey and get a personalized outfit just for you shipped right to your door. Her main focus when creating her brand was centered around helping everyday people find clothes that are accessible and affordable but also make them feel confident wearing them. “Fashion is a way of saying who you are without having to speak,” she explains. “It’s so rewarding when I get inspire others to take fashion risks and help them find their look!” She has particularly put emphasis on styling women. Her goal is to create a community of women that feel empowered by the clothing that they wear.

It’s clear that her dream business plan is finally becoming a reality. Despite all of her achievements thus far, her proudest moment was hosting her first Swap, Shop, and Style launch party at the 4th Wall Bar and Restaurant. At this event, people came in and donated their clothes and swapped them out for others. They also had the chance to check out some small business vendors who were selling their own merchandise. All in all, the event was a huge success. It allowed people to really see what her vision for her brand was and where it will go in the future.

None of this would have been possible without the love and support from students and staff at Emerson College. Located smack in Boston’s theater district, a melting pot of cultures, the college gave her the chance to get the education she wanted while being immersed in an inspirational, exciting, high intensity atmosphere. Since she has been at Emerson, she’s gained valuable knowledge about the marketing and fashion worlds and how they work together. Additionally, she’s received numerous opportunities to learn more about the fashion industry and promote her own styling business. For instance, last winter she earned herself an invite to New York Fashion Week and this spring an article was written about her in the Berkeley Beacon newspaper. “I didn’t know how soon it would all happen,” she said. “It’s crazy to think that two years ago I was in high school and this is where I am now.”

Unlike many seniors in high school who were more focused on getting the “ideal college experience”, Sanchez was set on going all in with her business plan. She explained that unlike her sister, who is currently in the process of joining a sorority and going to football games at a huge university, she wanted to explore a city, travel, and focus more on her career. “I’m definitely not a normal college student,” she admitted. However, despite the craziness of it all, she wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. Whatever fun she might be missing at a sorority, she makes up for by exploring Boston, hanging out with her friends, and of
course, shopping!

While she enjoys shopping at a multitude of stores and trying out new trends, there are some stores that she frequently visits. The number one store she loves going to is Nordstrom Rack. Sanchez is all about finding great deals and discounts on good quality items. She told me she doesn’t spend more than $50 on anything unless it’s a staple piece. In fact, she finds many of her most unique pieces for great deals while thrift shopping. These places keep her tastes fresh because she never knows what she’s going to find. In addition, she’s always drawing inspiration from the people and places around her. She doesn’t keep herself locked inside a box with one particular style or trend. Anything that grabs her attention at the right time could end up in her closet. After seeing her closet first hand, I can confidently say that there’s a little bit of everything. Overall, Sanchez has a LOT of clothes to choose from. There’s way more than a typical college dorm room is equipped to handle, but she’s managed to make it work thus far.

Balancing a career and college life is not an easy task, but that’s what Sanchez makes it look like. When I asked her how she manages both, she told me “I’m very disciplined and structured.” Every week she sits down and plans out her week in her planner. Everything from her class times to her bedtimes is accounted for, allowing her to keep on top of her school work and manage her growing career. She admits that she feels more pressure to succeed now more than ever. But with her determination and the love and support from everyone around her, especially her friends and family, Sanchez will do great things once her time in Boston comes to a close.

P.S. Stayed tuned Sanchez’s next launch this summer!

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