We had the good fortune of connecting with Whitley Shari and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Whitley, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
I have always wanted my own business. But it took me a lot of jobs, business school, and missed opportunities to realize what I was truly passionate about pursuing and what values I wanted to instill in my business no matter the field. What propelled me to began the process of starting my business was feeling undervalued and underpaid while missing opportunities doing what I really enjoyed. I held multiple managerial positions that truly allowed me to see the difference I wanted to make in fashion and in business and how I could make a better impact as an entrepreneur and not just an employee. Integrity, opportunities for growth, access to resources, teamwork, and opportunities for low income communities; Are just a few of the values I knew I needed to instill in my business because that is exactly what I was lacking as an employee.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
What sets me apart from others is my drive, determination, and integrity. I can always make something out of nothing and being raised in Baltimore truly gave me an undeniable hustlers spirit and go-getter mentality. My most proud and exciting moments are the experiences I had as a runway model and fashion stylist working for multiple companies and designers at New York Fashion Week: The Shows. Also, being a three times published fashion stylist who has worked with notable models is a big accomplishment for me. I am excited about my future as well, I just moved to Atlanta and I know there is so much more in store for me and my business.

I got to where I am today through hard work and dedication no matter how many “No’s” I heard, opportunities missed, or doors closed. I worked for big retailers such as Nordstrom and Victoria’s Secret, the state government, and any creative I could to open new doors for myself and create new opportunities. Supporting other creatives, being willing to show and prove my talent, and networking are just a few things I learned while struggling to start and maintain my business. I had to learn I could not do it all alone, and that support from people who valued my skills was not only necessary but it made all the difference in the world.

It took a lot of prayer, stress, and wanting to give up to really give me the drive and confidence I needed to keep going. But at some point, I had to stop focusing on the no’s and negative Nancy’s because there were so many people in front of me who recognized my growth and wanted the opportunity to work with me! That is when I really recognized the difference could make in my own community.

I want people to know that integrity is of the highest value to me and my brand will always embody that. What I believe in, and what I find beautiful are the passion behind me and my brand and I plan to use it to create art through fashion that represents me and the communities I love and am inspired by.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I would definitely have to start each day with brunch and mimosas! I love Cafe Circa and Blue Martini brunch and day parties. Hot Betty’s in Tucker is also a favorite brunch spot of mine, their drinks and service is amazing. I love nature and Atlanta has some of the most beautiful parks and outdoor activities; Piedmont Park and Ponce City Market will definitely be on the list for some day outings, maybe even a picnic. We all know Atlanta’s Nightlife is nonstop, I would definitely take her to Compound for some late night fun and luxury. What is a trip to Atlanta without some shopping at Lenox and Phipps?! Afterwards I would have to take her to R. Thomas. or brunch at the W. I may be slim, but obviously I love to eat.

Being a well rounded girl, I love museums and of course fashion. The High Museum and SCAD Museum are two personal favorites that I know she would love!

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My sister Tyra Johnson-Brown, the CEO of The Posh Organization truly deserves my SHOUTOUT! Embodying everything a big sister, mother, wife, and CEO should; she is the inspiration and push I needed to start my business. Watching her leave a job to start her own business and growing it into the successful company that it is today showed me that not only is it possible but its our destiny to grasp and keep striving for the changes we want to see in business, our communities, and hopefully the world.

Website: www.poshausofstyle.com

Instagram: @poshausofstyle

Image Credits
@terrelantoni @indie.fash @nisheah

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutAtlanta is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.