We’re kicking off our new Eye Candy interview series (woo!) with a fashionista to her core, Carnisha Gilder. She is the founder of The Fancy Success, a lifestyle brand with key focus areas of education, travel, and fashion. She believes her purpose in life is to incorporate all three of these passions in the most healthy and ethical ways while helping other women discover their passions. We’re a huge supporter of entrepreneurs, particularly women of color. We couldn’t wait to ask her all about her journey and experience starting her own business! Be sure to keep up with Carnisha on Instagram (@_fancysuccess_).
Tell us a little about yourself i.e. where are you from, how did you get into fashion?
I’m a proud Detroiter. I was born and raised on the west side of Detroit, Michigan. I’ve always been interested in fashion. In my opinion, fashion is another form of art. My mother is a fashionista and it rubbed off on me. We bonded over shopping trips almost every weekend.
What motivated you to start TheFancySuccess.com?
Before I started TheFancySuccess.com, I started a consignment shop out of necessity. I was experiencing changes in my funding at my university. I noticed that I had tons of designer clothing that I outgrew or no longer wore. I had 6 inch Louboutin heels I knew I would never wear again. I started selling the items on a consignment shop I started on Instagram. TheFancySuccess.com was born because I knew that my personal clothing would eventually run out. I began selling t-shirts and that expanded to custom luxury furs, special occasion dresses, and trendy clothing.
What are some obstacles/challenges you face as a business owner?
I’ve faced many obstacles. The first obstacle was starting from the bottom and practically having no funds to start the business. Most start-ups have thousands of dollars to figure it out. I made my dream work with much less. Another obstacle was not having a mentor. There were many mistakes I made in business that I could’ve avoided if I had someone to tell me. Being innovative and growing the business is always a challenge. Users of social media often see ads on their timeline, it is always a challenge to keep people interested in a seemingly oversaturated market.
Who are your inspirations in fashion? My mother is a huge inspiration. I describe her style as classic and chic. I adore Victoria Beckham’s style and @londongirlinnyc on Instagram.
What are your thoughts on the fashion industry right now? What are some changes you’d like to see?
I’m loving the shift in the fashion industry. Brands like Zara have made fashion fun, unique, and affordable. I also like that women like myself are able to create brands from practically nothing to offer unique clothing as well. I still wish to see more representation of minorities with other popular brands. I understand that the fashion industry is the second industry that causes the most pollution in the world. I think it’s time that we find a way to produce fashion in a healthy and ethical manner.
What is some advice you’d give to individuals interested in starting their own business?
I would tell someone to do their research, don’t be afraid to reach out and email people on social media for advice, focus on yourself, don’t copy others, work tirelessly on your brand, and have faith.
Finish this sentence: I can’t leave the house without… my iPhone
Top 3 music artists: Beyonce, Frankie Beverly featuring Maze, Ella Mai
Favorite fashion brands: The Fancy Success Luxe, Zara, Gucci
NYC or LA: Los Angeles
Don’t forget to treat yourself to something “Fancy after every Success”!