Stephanie Ramirez is a young, Afro-Latina professional with an eye for sleek, minimal aesthetics and a mind full of thoughts for dream chasers much like herself. Since 2013, she’s made her stamp on the digital world with the introduction of SittingPrettyStyling.com, the one stop shop for fashion, beauty and lifestyle expert advice.
While being constantly on the go, Stephanie remains grounded and close to her foundation of family, close friends, wide array of interests. Since leaving Tampa, FL for New York City, she hasn’t allowed the continuous flux to consume her. In fact, she uses it to the best of her advantage. Ramirez is always keeping herself busy, be it with photoshoots, show attendances, filming tutorials, writing or even her full-time job (seriously, how does she do it all?).
To get to know a bit more about the face and voice behind SPS, I wanted to take a brief moment and dive into six of my most probing questions for Stephanie. Here’s what she had to say:
FF: Explain the mission of Sitting Pretty Style to those who are new to your site/brand.
SR: The mission has changed since I started my blog in 2013 – I can’t even believe it’s been that long! When I first started Sitting Pretty [Style], I was a senior in college and thought of it as a fun pastime; a way to keep a style diary of sorts. As I’ve grown older, I’ve found my mission is a lot larger than originally anticipated. Sitting Pretty Style is a lifestyle website curated for the person looking to understand and explore life, career, and style after transplanting to a new city. As the voice of SPS, my view centers around New York City and the things I wish I knew when I first moved here.
FF: How has your life experiences pushed you toward launching your own LLC?
SR: I grew up with two amazing parents who both own small businesses. My father owns his own accounting firm and my mother is an interior decorator, so I grew up thinking working for yourself was normal. I first came to my parents with the idea of opening up my own online store where you’d be able to shop the pieces I wore as well as receive styling advice, hence – Sitting Pretty Styling. As a graduation gift, my parents made SPS an LLC and although my plans for the site have changed, I think it’s been for the better. Sitting Pretty has grown into something I would’ve never imagined and it has done so by the experiences I’ve gained since moving to New York City.
FF: What are some of the unique ways in which you use fashion to express your identity?
SR: First and foremost, fashion should always be fun! I wake up each morning, ask myself how I feel, check the weather for the day and go from there. My fashion choices, aside from functionality, express my mood, confidence, even the way I want people to perceive me. Our clothes are bigger than what runways and magazines tell us – anyone can be fashionable. Style, however…that can’t be taught; it’s innate. Very rarely I will ask others for style advice when it comes to dressing myself because it’s a feeling you get when you know you’re wearing the right outfit. When I leave my house, I want to feel like my best self each day.
FF: What are the three most important things you hold close to you as you advance in your career?
SR: My family and close friends. Sounds cliché, but family and close friends are what keep me going. With social media so ingrained in our lives, we now constantly feel a need to live up to people’s highlight reels or unrealistic fantasies of what our lives should look like. The reality is, life – real life – isn’t something you can photoshop, filter, and edit to perfection; it’s messy, unclear, and sometimes it’s downright mean. There are days, weeks, even months where it can feel overwhelming, and sometimes unexpected things happen, leaving us with a huge feeling of uncertainty in our careers, lives, and ourselves. Having a strong support group that knows the real you and loves you anyways is how you keep going.
Believing in yourself. Again, cliché, but in this world there are so many people who will tell you “No,” either because they don’t want you to succeed, or they are so overcome with negativity they can’t see that nothing is impossible if you truly believe in yourself. I can’t tell you how many people told me moving to New York unemployed was a horrible idea or that if things got hard to just go back home. These weren’t people who wanted me to fail, either! Quite the contrary, it’s usually the ones who love you the most planting seeds of doubt. As we get older, we grow to be cautious, afraid of the world and all the harm it can cause. That’s why believing in yourself is the most important, especially when it comes to advancing your career or business. I tell myself every day nothing is impossible. That isn’t to say trying to grow your career isn’t scary, it is; but, if you want it bad enough, you’ll find a way to make it happen.
Understanding who you are. This may not sound like it has anything to do with your career, but the reality is it has everything to do with your career. I happen to work in the freelance/blogging world as well as the corporate world and in both, I have learned understanding who you are is fundamental in how you succeed because it determines what you define as success. There will always be people who are willing to do “whatever it takes,” to succeed, even if it means sidestepping others to do it. It’s not what I believe is right, but I understand others may not be as concerned about that. Acknowledging who you are what you will or won’t do to get to a certain point is fundamental in business.
I know I am not a person who would be okay knowingly hindering someone else’s career to get ahead, so, my rate of succession in a professional setting may be slower than others, and that’s okay. I understand who I am and know there are ways to gain where I want to go. I take that with me even with Sitting Pretty Style. I don’t write about things I don’t enjoy, and I don’t take on partnerships with brands or products I don’t believe in, no matter how much is offered. You cannot write about a life you do not lead nor be the kind of person you want to be if you do not understand who you are.
FF: As you continue to expand your reach, what are some of your business best practices?
SR: Consistency and organization, which is easier said than done. Being a full-time blogger with a full-time job, keeping myself organized has been the biggest key to my success. I schedule everything and block time out of my weekends to write posts and shoot photos. When your small or simply starting out, you have to be your own assistant and boss. I also try to schedule time to have fun. I will go on hikes for a full day, take a day trip outside the city, grab brunch with my girlfriends or if I’m dating make sure I’m factoring in my significant other. My career is one of the most important things I will ever achieve in life, but making time for loved ones will always take precedent.
FF: Talk a little about where you see yourself and Sitting Pretty Style in the near future.
SR: It’s currently changing, which is the biggest component of my recent hiatus! I have this tattoo on my back of a geometric arrow – I love the symbolism of arrows; they’re pulled backwards when they are about to be launched forward. Lately, I’ve had my own share of setbacks, some of which were unexpected and I needed time to process. As I’ve processed, I’ve realized they are temporary and it’s because my life is being launched forward. As someone who writes about life and experiences, those changes influence my writing and site.
I see Sitting Pretty as a site that will be for those who want to understand life in a city and all the things that come with it. Life as a woman who is trying to figure out how to have a career, a business, and still find time to have a social life. It will be a place where one can go to seek advice or asylum, or learn how to let their style shine.
Follow Stephanie’s carefully-curated IG here.