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Rising Stars: Meet Cherise Matthew

Today we’d like to introduce you to Cherise Matthew.

Hi Cherise, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today?
While my interest in fashion dates back to my pre-teen years, my fashion journey officially began when I left Orlando to study fashion design at Washington University in St. Louis. After graduating in 2014, I relocated to New York City to put my degree to use and pursue a career in design. For six years, I worked in the city as a designer for a womenswear apparel brand. About four years into my career, I realized that design wasn’t my forever path and began brainstorming what my next step would be. My love for fashion was still a constant so I turned to social media as a means of expression. My Instagram first started as a space to share my favorite editorials and runway looks and it eventually became a space for me to highlight trends and offer styling tips. While exploring this new realm, I also began freelancing on the side as a digital stylist and took a styling course at FIT. It didn’t take long for me to realize that styling was my next calling.

My love of clothes has always been rooted in their ability to make someone feel confident and comfortable in their skin. I know shopping and getting dressed can feel daunting for some, so my goal is always to make fashion feel less exclusive and more fun and approachable. In 2019, I launched my style blog, Chicly Reese, which is dedicated to doing exactly that. Every post features style hacks, shopping suggestions, and practical ways to incorporate trends into your everyday wear. I officially left design and NYC at the end of 2020 and am newly back in Orlando. In addition to creating content for my blog and social media, I now also offer styling services, including closet audits, special event styling, and wardrobe makeovers.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
I think my biggest struggle was falling out of love with design. As someone who is a planner and who had a set career path in mind, the thought of shifting gears and starting fresh again was super intimidating and scary. It took a lot of self-reflection and faith to finally make that switch from design to styling, but I’m really happy that I chose to bet on myself and follow my passion.

Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
I am an apparel designer turned blogger and stylist. I manage a style blog, Chicly Reese, dedicated to making fashion feel more inclusive and approachable. With every post, the goal is to provide relatable style inspiration and embolden readers to try something new. I also offer styling services for both personal and professional occasions. My background in design has provided me with a really intimate knowledge of clothing and what works for different bodies. I am a firm believer that there isn’t anything that you can’t pull off, so I’m all about problem-solving and helping clients look and feel good in items they’ve always wanted to try but didn’t think they could. I also understand how crucial it is to meet clients where they are and curate my picks to align with their dream aesthetic.

Is there a quality that you most attribute to your success?
I definitely think my flexibility and ability to adapt have been imperative to my success. Working in fashion, you quickly learn that everything is subject to change, from deadlines to the project details. It is crucial to always keep the big picture in mind and constantly work towards that. Whether it’s working with a new team or taking on a completely new role, I have always tried to approach these challenges with excitement and curiosity. You want to ask questions, take notes, and absorb as much as possible so that you can, in turn, become a source of knowledge for someone else.

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