We had the good fortune of connecting with Sade Elam and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Sade, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
This is actually quite funny… I always wanted to be a business owner. I can remember being about 10-11 years old saying I’m not built to be anyone’s employee. I didn’t want people telling me what I could or couldn’t do. I wanted control over my time and money. Back then I was called sassy, today we call it a kidpreneur. Fast forward to being 21-22 years old I remember asking myself, what I was doing with my life, what was the point in doing what everyone wanted me to do if I wasn’t happy… I did what I was told, graduated high school went to college and still things just didn’t seem to be working out. I cried and prayed for God knows how long about what path to take… long story short I ended up taking the path of entrepreneurship. I knew betting on myself was the only surefire way to live the life I dreamt about.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
The Financial Stylist, is a brand, my way of making sense of two worlds that wouldn’t traditionally go together. One business of mine, Ineviv, a wardrobe styling firm and online boutique (keep your eyes out the private label clothing line is in the works) and my other business is in financial services. I am a life insurance broker… by creating my brand I’m able to uplift people, help them become the best versions of themselves through education, personal development and of course helping them look good lol. I’m like your money girlfriend, creating a safe space where people can feel comfortable enough to be completely transparent allowing me into there financial and fashion closets. In the end, they walk away with new knowledge, a plan of action and a new level of confidence.
Was it easy of course not, try quitting your hospital job, walking away from college 3 credits shy of your BSN, being a single parent, with over $120k of student loan debt, no savings and a bunch of maxed out credit cards while deciding you’re going to start a fashion business. Funny, but that’s exactly how I started, then add an industry that requires you to one educate people about better money habits, about building wealth when you yourself didn’t have a good relationship with money, and on top of all of that being extremely shy… life will always present challenges however it’s up to you to choose to fight through them. I choose to grow through life by looking at obstacle as a learning lessons. I’m sure you’ve heard this many times before, but it’s true; personal development is key. The books you read, things you watch and listen too play a huge role in your perspective and outlook. The people you surround yourself with matter too, you should never be the wealthiest, smartest person in the room, who will stretch your vision, who will help you grow? However, having people who you can teach keeps you sharp. All that means is get you a mentor/s to pour into you and a mentee/s to pour into.
The biggest thing I’d want people to understand and really grasp, you cannot hack your way through life. Hacks don’t last, it doesn’t teach you habits that will carry you through life. You can leverage mentors to help you condense time and avoid some mistakes but there’s no way to hack your way to success, you gotta just put in the work.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I’m a Philadelphian, my city is full of history, culture and hidden gems. You can drive all throughout the city and see beautiful murals painted on the sides of our buildings. Hang out on a rooftop or two like Cira Green, Assembly, or Bok Bar, enjoy a meal the Moshulu or walk through Spruce St. Harbor Park along the waterfront. Ride a bike along boathouse row while taking in the beautiful lighted scenery in the evening. Be sure to stop downtown, Manayunk and Northern Liberties too,
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Where do I begin… there are so many people who has pushed me, whether it was because they believed in me or that they doubted me and tried to tear me down. I use it all as fuel to keep me fighting for my goals. My dad, one of the wisest men I know, from him I learned and still learn humility, to be a person of my word, to do right by people regardless of their actions, to stay grounded in my faith and to always use the Bible as my guide. The giving spirit I think I picked up from both of my parents and my grandmothers… I’ve had some mentors that I both aspired to be like and some I thought I’d never want to treat people like that however, there were lessons learned from both. My brothers, he’s been a believer in my wildest dreams and abilities since as long as I can remember. Then there’s my team Meisha, Theresa and Julia Agnew, they rock with my roll. I asked them to take a leap of faith and build something from nothing with me and they did. Last but certainly not least, my daughter, she’s my biggest supporter and the best accountability partner I can ever ask for… but most of all I truly could not have gotten where I am today without God protecting and guiding me.
Linkedin: Sade Elam
Facebook: Sade Elam.
Photographer Credit: All Money Shots (@allmoneyshots on IG) Hair Stylist: Ciara Harvey (@cjsavvyinc on IG)