My name is Anna Villaruel. I'm 25 years old studying for a Diploma in Fashion Design while running The Chic Fashionista.com. I also work as a certified image consultant and aspiring fashion stylist - and I love every second of it!
The favorite part of my job?
That is to be able to help women dress well, add some elegance to their style and watch their confidence soar!
Fashion has always been a passion of mine for as long as I can remember, and I'm very appreciative of having the opportunity to make a living out of what I love doing :-)
My Personal Style
Fashion persona (-s): Classic, Creative and Natural
Random facts about me:
1. I speak 4 languages: English, Norwegian, conversational Tagalog and Korean, and I'm currently learning Spanish. I also want to learn French, Portuguese, Italian, Mandarin Chinese, Japanese and Russian.
My educational background is quite colorful because I dabbled here and there during my time in school. I went from studying sales management to social work, IT & communications to hypnotherapy.
I've always been passionate about fashion and styling, but I never knew that it was possible (or even an option) for me to make a living out of it. Throughout my childhood and teens I was taught to believe that settling down with a "safe" job within Management, Health or Law was the ideal route in life.
Deep down inside I knew that wasn't true but I continued shuffling through my existence because I was confused about what I wanted to do with my life - whether I should confine to the norm or follow my heart.
I chose the latter and came to the conclusion that it's wrong to tell how "worthy" a person is based on their education. Someone's individual passion can also be another person's inspiration. What better way to live than to help and uplift each other?
Story Behind The Chic Fashionista.com
I started the The Chic Fashionista.com back in 2008. Initially I intended for it to be a place where I could gather everything I knew and learned about fashion, but it has grown to be so much more - an online fashion resource where women could find everything they want and need to improve their style while maintaining a chic and classy look.
Many people think that 25 is a young age for an image consultant. I do agree that having lived longer provides a wider time span for trial & error with fashion, and not least an interesting development of personal style.
However, I hope that this website can show you that having passion and drive for something you love can be of tremendous value to others :-)
What Fashion is for Me
At 13 I already knew how to spend my money wisely on clothes (but I was far from perfect!) My friends would often compliment me on my outfits and latest purchases. What I wore was far from expensive, but I knew (for the most part) what looked good on me and channeled that into effective sifting through clothing racks without having to spend a fortune.
Fashion was a way to escape. In the same way some folks enjoy a glass of red wine, read boat magazines or collect figurines.
And most importantly, fashion for me, was and still is an art form of self-expression that adds color to the seriousness of what most people make out of life. It's like this fuel, that once you milked it, a passion and positivity started rubbing off on all areas of my life.
Dream of becoming a Fashion Editor
I can remember myself at an age 14 surfing the net searching for fashion inspiration when I stumbled upon About.com's fashion section (this was way back in the early 2000's) and soaking up on their their fashion tips and printing out every page.
I remember thinking that their fashion advice was helpful and practical, but I felt it lacked depth and a friendly voice. So I imagined myself being the editor and webmaster of the site, playfully thinking up of ideas on how I would improve the content :-)
Childhood Dream Becomes Reality
Fast forward to the summer 2008. I had some experience selling e-books online in the past but it wasn't until a few years later I realized the huge potential of the Internet.
With my passion for fashion, I decided to create a website where I could collect all of the fashion & style knowledge I had acquired since I was a very young teen, after countless years of shopping, reading fashion books and putting together outfits.
I already knew how to create websites (thanks to studying IT & Communications for a year). I loved every bit of the process of establishing the website - from designing the layout to editing images, and also writing the content.
So on September 23rd 2008, The Chic Fashionista.com was born. I started the site with a few articles on color and body shape analysis, and continued to cover topics based on my reader's requests. A few visitors a day steadily grew to several thousands (Edit: Close to 10'000 uniques per day. January, 2013). To put my skills into practice I also started doing consultations with friends.
Becoming an Image Consultant
In 2010 I decided to get formal training in image consultancy and color analysis to build on my skills.
Seeing the potential through my site's hundreds of thousands of hits and the demand for affordable style makeover my readers were requesting from me, I just KNEW that I was meant to be a helping hand in their quest to improve their style!
Concept Behind The Chic Fashionista.com
I draw most of my content ideas and outfit inspirations from the effortless, yet elegant and flirty Parisian chic look, and I believe every woman deserves to play up their femininity!
My passion is to teach women how to dress well and look current and add some elegance to their style. The goal of this site is to help you look well-dressed and classy without falling within the stereotype of appearing plain and outdated.
I'm very particular when it comes to proportions and harmony in styling, photography, graphics and decorating - so you'll often see me hammering on and on about the importance of wearing clothes that complement your body figure. And I believe that these two "ingredients" (proportions and harmony) are some of the factors that make up "Chic fashion".
As much as I love the exciting aspect of fashion. You know, the bells and whistles of the latest trends and must-haves. My true passion lies in uplifting women, helping them feel confident in their style and closet choices.
Experiment and be playful about all of this - fashion is supposed to be fun! =)
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