Our local communities are full of businesses with female founders, owners and leaders. TS Bank wants to celebrate some of those women, along with their businesses, by featuring them in our Female Founders blog series. Fifth up in the series is Style Sixty and Co., located in Atlantic, which is owned by Talya Kamies. Read our interview with her below and stay tuned for additional inspiration from successful women in our community.
Tell me about your business.
I own and operate a women’s clothing boutique in downtown Atlantic as well as online through Facebook. I carry misses (S-XL) as well as curvy (1XL-3XL) in addition to shoes, jewelry and accessories.
How and when did you get started?
Established in 2017, Style Sixty came about from a passion for all things fashion and providing a business that offers affordable boutique style clothing! The name Style Sixty comes from my three children’s birthdays. William is my oldest and was born on the 25th of June, my 2nd boy Wyatt Lee’s birthday is the 30th of March and then my baby girl Aly Mae’s birthday is the 5th of September. Total that all together and you get SIXTY!
How have your life experiences brought you to where you are today?
I am a well-traveled and well-educated woman. Although I haven’t been everywhere - it’s definitely on my list! I worked in healthcare for 11 years prior to opening my store, so basically I can talk to anyone of any age about anything! I was a young mom and completed my bachelor’s degree all while raising three kids at home! I fully understand the saying “nothing worth having comes easy”. Although those days of raising three kids under three while writing 10-page essay papers were tough, it was so worth it when I finally closed my computer for the last time and knew I DID IT! Just like starting this business, I knew success wasn’t going to come over night, but the more time I put in the bigger it would grow. And boy has it paid off!
What do you enjoy about owning your own business?
The drive of working toward my own dream and not someone else’s is the best feeling in the world. When I walk around my new store (although still under construction) and say to myself, "WOW! I did this! My tiny inventory that started in my family room basement has exploded into an uber-successful online and in store boutique!” BEST. FEELING. EVER.
What do you find is your biggest challenge?
Keeping up with all the inventory that is going OUT the door! I know right, a terrible problem to have!
What sets you apart from your competitors?
Having a brick and mortar star as well as an online store makes my inventory accessible 24/7! Although my physical store isn’t open, you can shop online anytime of day or night! Just ask my kids and Thomas, my phone NEVER stops ‘dinging’.
What is your motivation? What drives you?
I have three very busy and involved children! I do not like saying ‘no’, so anytime I am able to say ‘yes’ I thank all of my wonderful customers for all of their support of my dream! THAT and I totally want to retire by the time I’m 45 to a Caribbean island laying on the beach with a cute cabana boy bringing me fruity cocktails all day!
What’s your secret to success?
A wise teacher I once had in middle school once said, “honesty is the best policy.” Although that seems like common sense, it really is true in all aspect of life. I will honestly tell you how something fits and if it will or will not work for you. If you ask for my honest opinion I will tell you, nicely. I don’t want anyone walking out of my store in clothing that they are not comfortable in and I want it to flatter your figure: big, small, short or tall!
How do you maintain a healthy work/life balance?
I have two great employees, Reagan and Jeni, that help me out more than they probably realize! They make it possible for me to not miss any of my kids activities and for me to still be able work for a foot and ankle surgeon on Friday who’s patients I love dearly!
What was your biggest life lesson?
I turned 30 this past April, so I’m still learning everyday about life lessons. But over the past year especially, I have learned that staying true to myself is number one. This is my dream and no one else has to understand it!
What advice would you give other women who are interested in starting their own business?
Go for it! If you have a dream and drive you can achieve it! Start small like I did or be brave and go all in! However, if you don’t try, you won’t ever know what could have been!
If you could share one piece of advice for women on the path to success, what would it be?
“Stay In Your Own Lane.” Not everyone is going to agree with you and not everyone is going to support you! And that’s OK! It’s not their dream to chase so don’t let it consume you!
How can someone get in contact with you?
In Store: I am located at 415 Chestnut St in Atlantic, IA
Facebook: You can follow along at Style Sixty and Co