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Life & Work with Sofia Lujan

Today we’d like to introduce you to Sofia Lujan.

Hi Sofia, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
I have always been interested in fashion, art, and style and dreamed of a job in the Fashion Industry. Yet, my college education was in International Business. My last corporate job was working at a leather company back in Colombia (South America) where I am originally from.

It was enlightening for me because it gave me the first opportunity to get involved with the fashion industry and learn more about color theory and trends. Everything changed though when I got married and moved to the United States with my husband. When my kids were born, I decided to stay at home to take care of them. And effectively this put my career on hold for a long period.

Time was passing, and I still had fashion stuck in my head. After I moved to the Triangle in North Carolina, my first step was to start networking and connecting with the local community so I started volunteering at Dress For Success as an Image Coach.

I came to realize I had a natural talent, which in this case I was able to use to help empower other women in their journey to achieve economic independence. My job was to help create outfits either for their interviews or a professional attire wardrobe capsule for the first week of a new job.

I joined Style Collective, a platform that is targeted toward influencers but it helped me incredibly to connect with not only local bloggers and influencers but with boutiques and other entrepreneurs.

I also was introduced to Models for Charity, an organization that focuses on helping local non-profits by hosting fundraisers, volunteering for events held by third-party organizations, hosting awareness events, and donating a portion of the profit from hired engagements. I thought that their concept was an incredible way to combine what I like the most: Volunteering, being social, and fashion.

By 2018, I was quite undecided whether to persevere and pursue this career path or look into something else. My first break came when one of my submissions was selected for publication in Instyle Magazine, in their Real Style section. I felt this was a great achievement and gave me that push and reassurance that I should jump with both feet into my dream career.

So, I decided that I wanted to become a Personal and Fashion Stylist full time and I thought it was important to have some training. For me, it was not just a matter of passion and talent but also getting formal education in the industry. I enrolled with the School of Style, Trendy Academy, and took several classes at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City.

By 2020, I was ready to launch my own entrepreneurial business Sofia Lujan Styling. Yet, like many, I wasn’t exactly expecting that a pandemic was going to shake my plans. Yet, I went through and launched my business in 2020. And by 2021, one of the highlights of the year was my joining Directions USA as a Wardrobe Stylist, an achievement that I pinch myself to believe is real.

I am here, I am still standing and working to provide my clients with an excellent experience that translates the passion that I have for what I do. Everything is falling into place with the hard work, dedication, and love I have put into this career.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way? Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
It has definitely not been an easy road for sure but it has been one that has brought me great fulfillment. To start, I had my career on pause for a long time as I decided to focus on family. Then, re-starting a career at an older age feels like a struggle and you second guess yourself many times. Those early wins you get, help you hang on to it.

For my business, it doesn’t get any more challenging than getting started in the middle of the pandemic. It made it extra challenging to network and encourage potential clients to invest in their style when we were stuck in our houses. Additionally because of the nature of my career is preferable to be performed in person than virtual.

Finally, as an entrepreneur, I have to wear many hats. I’m not only the stylist but also very involved in marketing, and social media, and have also had to learn to deal with the finances, taxes, etc.

Even if you outsource some of this, as a starting entrepreneur you have to be on top of all these.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
I am a Personal and Fashion Stylist. On the Personal Style side of my business, I specialize in guiding women in finding a true and unique style that will help them feel self-confident and use their style to achieve their goals.

I identify my clients as multitasking women inspired by the women I was surrounded by during my upbringing, my grandmother, my mom, and my aunts. I firmly believe women wear different hats every day and are a beacon in our society.

As a Fashion Stylist, I work through Directions USA, the agency that represents me to work with clients like Cato Fashions, Home Depot, Lowes, and different production companies assisting them with wardrobes for different types of media.

I am proud of my journey and the spot I am today. It wasn’t easy to completely change careers and start from scratch but when I look back on what I have accomplished I feel immense gratitude.

I believe that what sets me apart from others is that I am an extremely social and relatable person which helps me establish personal connections with my clients. I feel these qualities make my clients feel they can trust me with something as intimate as their style.

Who else deserves credit in your story?
First and foremost my family. My mom inspired me to be an independent woman. My husband has been there every step of the way to encourage me and support me. My sister is my biggest cheerleader and my right hand for everything.

My kids have recently started participating in helping with social media content, especially video shooting and editing, something I will always cherish. Of course a special thank you to my clients that have trusted me to guide them through their personal style journey.

And then I have a long list of all the wonderful people that have surrounded me with their support and encouragement. Probably, I am missing more because it takes a village to accomplish a dream.

  • Dress for Success.
  • Instyle Magazine.
  • Style Collective.
  • Models for Charity.
  • Directions USA.
  • Midtown/Cary Living Magazine.
  • Wisdom Teethinger- Teen & Twenties Wellness.

 

  • Janeth Moran.
  • Camila Hanisch.
  • Marissa Williams.
  • Vivian Blanco- Vivian Blanco Jewelry.
  • Alexandra del Rio- Koket Boutique.
  • Lucy Brummett.
  • Melissa Vera.
  • Tica Lema- Care Plastic Surgery.
  • Tracy Trellis- Trellis Beauty.
  • Melissa Small.
  • Janis Lozano- Artistry by Janis Lozano.
  • Kierrar Biesley.
  • Jessica Douglas.
  • Marianella Seijas and Alexandra Pantoja.

 

  • Yolanda Chirinos YCH Photography.
  • Sara Coffin Photography.
  • Hidden Fox Photography.
  • Jessica Bratton Photography.

Contact Info:


Image Credits

Sara Coffin Photography, Cary Living Magazine, and Mash Photography Instyle Magazine

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