For the third installment of our monthly series About Her Business, TSU profiles new entrepreneur and fashionista Shay Gipson, founder of The ASG Group NYC. Check out the second installment here.
TSU: Tell us about your business. What kind of products or services do you offer?
The ASG Group (https://www.theasggroupnyc.com) is a global consulting group of experts who advise fashion focused businesses on their marketing, project management, brand development, and public relations needs.
TSU: How did you get started?
After 17 years of corporate experience across a variety of roles and companies, I was advising fashion brands and my friend’s businesses on a range of special projects. I took the leap and “officially” became an entrepreneur about a year ago.
TSU: What are some of the companies that you’ve worked for in your corporate life and some of the roles you’ve held?
I’ve worked at some of the most recognizable fashion brands in the industry including Michael Kors, Ralph Lauren, Nordstrom and PROJECT Global Trade Show. I have a dearth of experience across different categories from licensing, product development, client and public relations. Essentially, I was helping friends in my network with services organically and realized I could do it for myself.
TSU: That’s interesting and usually how many businesses are formed by building out services already in our wheelhouse. When did your love for fashion begin?
My Aunt and Grandma passed on their vintage clothes to me as a teenager. My Mother would tailor them to fit me and I’d style them. It was that collaborative effort of putting my outfits together and seeing the outcome that made me fall in love with fashion. I loved to conceptualize my looks but sewing and drawing wasn’t my thing, so I knew that being a designer wasn’t in the cards for me. Also, I didn’t know anyone in fashion or how I could still be a part of that world, so for about four years after college I worked as a nanny and held about 3 jobs at the mall working at Barnes & Noble, Gap and Saks Fifth Avenue. Those retail jobs helped me realize how I passionate I was about working with customers, providing excellent service and meeting their needs. I really got to practice my “styling” at the Gap and Saks Fifth Avenue. Just as I was turning 22, the University of Cincinnati launched a new degree program in Product Development and Merchandising. I enrolled and thus began my journey into the fashion industry.
TSU: Did you like working in a corporate environment?
At the start of my career it was a great training ground with structure, process and measurable goals that were essentially handed right to me. I excelled at those things and just became a sponge. Those experiences and exposure that I received working for big brands enabled me to travel extensively, grow my network and develop my client relation skills – all of which prepared me to launch The ASG Group NYC.
TSU: What is your is speciality?
I’m relatable and my clients are able to connect with me on an authentic level. With my extensive network, I know we can deliver real solutions to their problems. I deliver what they need and much more.
TSU: What’s exciting for you in the fashion industry now?
I love mens wear. I’ve been in mens wear since 2006 and have really seen it explode with well deserved recognition from the press and consumers. It’s great to see brands that were very small a few years ago, turn into industry leading mens wear brands like Todd Snyder, Zachary Prell and Ovadia & Sons. Plus, I just love a well dressed man! That’s one of the reasons that The ASG Group NYC offers men’s high end styling services. We primarily work with men in sports, entertainment and corporate executives, too.
TSU: What about women’s wear? What are some of the brands you love?
TSU: Well you’re quite the fashionista who’s business it is to look good, tell us more about how you do that? Is it different now in terms of your own personal styling as an entrepreneur vs. a corporate employee?
Yes, absolutely. Since, I’m constantly running from meeting to meeting all over town, packing/unpacking the showroom, I have to be comfortable and look chic. My new “uniform” include more flat shoes and versatile separates like black trousers/jeans with silk tops from Vince topped with either my favorite burgundy leather jacket or a tailored blazer. Separates are my best friends these days!
*Shay Gipson rocking a vintage coat from her Aunt and her new boss lady work “uniform”. Photo credit:Andrew Werner
TSU: How do you accessorize? I’ve always known you to have amazing accessories especially a killer arm party.
Well, my favorite accessory is my Grandmother vintage white gold diamond ring which I wear everyday with mostly gold toned either delicate or a bold rings. I’ve been wearing my Shinola rose gold watch paired with either a Giles nailhead or Miansai fishhook rose gold bracelet, but I never take off the evil eye small chain link bracelet that I bought in Hong Kong.
*Shay Gipson with Chiun -Kai Shih aka Chunky, Founder of CKS Management
TSU: What exciting client or project are you working on now?
I’m thrilled to be working with Li & Fung on building up their women’s accessories business by designing and merchandising their new New York City showroom. And, in conjunction with CKS Management, we’re managing partnership initiatives for the new CFDA and Suntchi (China’s leading fashion lifestyle and entertainment company) five year strategic alliance which created the first gateway connecting China’s premiere business network and marketing platform with US based fashion brands and designers. I couldn’t ask for better partners!
*Li & Fung Showroom curated and managed by The ASG Group NYC
TSU: What’s the most challenging aspect of running your own business? The most rewarding?
Time management and juggling multiple projects are a constant challenge! I’m working on getting better and better at it every day. The most rewarding is bringing projects and people who may never have otherwise met or worked together. It’s fun and I’m able to use the skills that I learned in corporate, plus skills that come natural to me like sharing information, networking and helping people.
TSU: Any advice for women looking to start their own ventures? Particularly, single women?
When you’re single you don’t have a “safety net”, so you just have to jump and figure out a way to do it. Things will come together in your favor. Don’t doubt that you can take care of yourself. You don’t need a partner to fall back on. You can do it by yourself and for yourself! Find a network like minded entrepreneurs and help each other. I always thought that when I got married I would finally pursue my dream of entrepreneurship – because I’d have that net. This journey has taught me that I don’t need to wait for marriage or a safety net to pursue my dreams!
Do you have a single woman who is “About Her Business” that you would like us to know? Share with us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.