Sacha Stewart has been building her fashion brand The Style Vault while working as a full-time nurse on the front lines of the global coronavirus pandemic.
Building a successful career in the medical field, Stewart garnered the support of her family and followed in their career footsteps. However, fashion and style have always been what she is most passionate about. As COVID-19 disrupted our lives, careers, and way of living, Stewart saw firsthand the impact COVID-19 has on individuals and families. Seeing how fragile life is, Stewart decided it was time to pursue her passion with more vigor and build The Style Vault into a sustainable and growing business.
BLACK ENTERPRISE had the opportunity to discuss balancing a full-time job with building The Style Vault, her frontline experience with COVID-19, and the misconceptions of Instagram fashion businesses.
When did you realize a business could be built around your passion?
I realized my passion for style and fashion could become a business when I used my profits to pay for college tuition and books. Before I started my online boutique, I sold clothing, shoes, and bags on eBay. I’ve always had an eye for fashion so my items would sell very quickly. After college, I used the extra funds to offset my rent and pay for vacations. Sourcing clothing and creating outfits is a fun, creative outlet for me. I’m honored that people see my vision, like my style, and support my brand.
Does your cultural background influence your creativity and sense of style? Is it incorporated into your brand?
My Jamaican heritage influences my sense of style. Both of my parents are very stylish and bold with their fashion choices which rubbed off on me. I’ve taken many trips to the island throughout my life and what stands out the most is the dancehall concerts and carnival attire.
I used to be so mesmerized by all the embellishments and the creativity put into each look. The clothing shown on my website boutique is full of flavor. Here at The Style Vault by Sacha, I gravitate toward mixed prints, adornments, and clothing with unique silhouettes.
How do you balance a full-time career and building a business?
It was tough at first. I had to be very organized with my time. As a respiratory therapist, we worked three 12-hour shifts per week. I would try to schedule my days together so I can have the other four days to work on my building my brand. I worked the night shift so when I got off in the morning I would read emails and pack orders for hours. I would then take a nap and drop my packages at the post office on my way to work. In between those days you have to find time to get your hair and makeup done and shoot your looks. Creating business relationships is key for building a solid team because it is important to have reliable people working with you.
Are there misconceptions with Instagram fashion/designers and, if so, what are they?
I think the misconception with Instagram fashion boutiques is it’s not a real business. At times I feel we are not given the same respect as big retailers. People see us as a person and not a brand, so it makes us very relatable which is a great thing. On the other hand, since we are so accessible it can be difficult to create a boundary line. Often I find myself answering questions or talking about things that are not necessarily related to an item. It’s great to have many of my IG sisters and brothers that continuously support my brand and also think I’m relatable as well.