Results Instead of Distractions

Many of you know by now that I hold “Style Court” on Tuesdays and Sundays at The Hive. As a stylist and wardrobe consultant, I’ve kept a connection to working in boutiques as an adjunct to my business. Truth be told, it’s field work for me and a way to stay connected to an audience that will always be my target. I also have an opportunity to discover trends in behavior that I would not be privy to otherwise. The human element is valuable to me and even though I’m a player on the social media playground, it lacks in the energy that takes place when we are face to face with one another. While predicting the future is not my super-power, I’m noticing a desire for a more human experience overall.



There’s been a lot of speculation on what the future of retail will look like. While much of our world is becoming wired for technology and our issues are supposed to fit into a business model developed by actuarial analysis, the simplicity of listening to a problem and offering a personalized solution is starting to feel unusually special.

Over the past few weeks I have had multiple mothers of daughters who have just had babies come in (we’re talking five in the last week, and I work part-time) and look for clothing that will help them feel good about themselves as they head back to work. You may say this is a very unique demographic, but I feel it is a bellwether. Let’s consider the generational divide for a moment. Younger women have been inclined to explore time saving wardrobe models such as Stitch Fix and Trunk Club that are delivered to their office or home in lieu of spending weekends at the mall. These prescription services have been vetted by enough women at this point to be realized as the more generic solution that offers short term satisfaction with minimal long term value. At least this is my takeaway from the cross-section of women I’ve asked.

Personally, I feel our culture is hungry for the human element because technology has anesthetized so many parts of our lives. Supporting a new mother is an age-old passage that cultures observe as integral to a healthy society. If anyone understands this need, it’s the new mother’s own mom. After the honeymoon period of welcoming that sweet bundle of joy into home, an inevitable reality sets in. For many women, this involves going back to work and getting dressed is not quite like it was before baby was ever on board.



Being a mother involves a skillset like no other and a role that lasts beyond getting them launched into the world. You must know when to step in and when to back off – especially when your children are adults. The holidays invite opportunities to gift instinctually where children will feel cared for – regardless of their age. However, helping your daughter find work clothing postpartum is no easy task. How lucky these women were when they discovered me on the sales floor at The Hive! I happen to have instinctual styling tendencies that took over at lightning speed once I encountered those in need.

A quick rundown of the scenario…

  • DAUGHTER – Her life has now changed forever.
  • DAUGHTER – Her body is in a state of change and she needs to feel good about herself.
  • DAUGHTER – There is no time for shopping or finding pieces that provide a variety of solutions.
  • MOM – Feels a wardrobe solution will help tremendously but where to begin?

My sweet spot is being young enough to know what the daughter is going through but old enough to instill confidence in mom that I’m the fairy stylemother for this situation. My younger clients equate me to that cool older sister who fast tracks them to results instead of distractions – there’s a difference! First, I listen to how mom describes her daughter and get an idea of the office’s dress code and the daughter’s style. Once I have a mental image of her daughter, I go into action and come up with a handful of solutions. Santa has nothing on my bag of tricks – which evolved professionally into my Tullebox!



Now we’re at checkout with some wonderful items from The Hive on the counter. What might those items include – you ask?

My number one choice has been the Slade blazer from Rag & Bone for its hip lifestyle fit that can be used for work or play. It fits like a sweater but acts like a blazer. It also travels like a champ! The Hive just received a shipment of two incredibly useful colors – Army and Salute (green and navy). These make a great gift for a mom to give her adult daughter since it offers a slew of uses this time of year as well as the ability to transition into spring.



As I hand over the gift-wrapped boxes and bags, I also offer my card (you can pick one up on the counter at The Hive or The Shoe Hive). They now realize their own holiday miracle has occurred – they’ve been working with a pro!! The lightbulb goes off and mom understands the value of getting me involved to finish what we’ve started. Booking a session with me for her daughter in 2020 could care for her in a variety of ways – saving her time and money while showing her wardrobe strategies that will keep her feeling good during this new phase of life. We all need that personal TLC at times of diversity and while moms can understand the practical need for a solution, their skillset can be somewhat limiting. But they do know what the human element feels like and it’s not a box delivered with clothing classified as “people like you bought this.”

I’ll be at The Hive on Christmas Eve (9am – 3pm) and this coming Saturday (10am – 5pm). We can talk blazers or how to book style services 😉

Here’s wishing you a happy holiday season and more than a little humanity in 2020!


  • The latest from Alicia
Alicia was born and raised in Alexandria, and married a local boy. She is happily married and the mother of two amazing children and one adorable and terribly smart border terrier named Dixie. Alicia has always known she was a creative. She collected editions of Vogue from junior high on and has always loved clothing and design. She studied interior design at VCU and parlayed that degree into commercial interior design, the web design, and ultimately found herself managing a local boutique and serving as a stylist to many Alexandrian women. She now has a successful full-time styling business, The Tulle Box, and makes it her business to make her clients feel great about themselves and the way they look.

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