Month: January 2015

#ShopYourSalary – Olivia Pope Style!

Curvy CEO, LLC claims no ownership of images above. No copyright infringement intended. This collage is crafted for entertainment purposes only.[caption id="attachment_8844" align="aligncenter" width="617"]Curvy CEO, LLC claims no ownership of images above. No copyright infringement intended. This collage is crafted for entertainment purposes only. Curvy CEO, LLC claims no ownership of images above. No copyright infringement intended. This collage is crafted for entertainment purposes only.[/caption]

When I first began the Shop Your Salary series, one of the first and most persistent requests I received was for an Olivia Pope-themed post. Well, with "Scandal" scheduled to come back from it's winter break TONIGHT (*pops and locks in excitement*) I figured this would be the perfect time to present such a collection. So, without further delay, here it is!!!

OLIVIA POPE AS CEO plus-size olivia pope fashion (For items and shopping details click here

This was the easiest look to compile because it includes many pieces that Olivia Pope herself wears, like the Ferragamo shoes and the Prada purse. And while the labels and sizes might be different, it is not difficult to imagine that a plus-sized Olivia Pope would effortlessly don a Badgley Mischka gown for an exclusive dinner at the White House.

Meanwhile, Olivia as a plus-sized Corporate Vice President might have a wardrobe like this...

OLIVIA POPE AS CORPORATE VICE PRESIDENT plus-size olivia pope outfits (For item and shopping details, click here.)


What if she were a "mere" Project Director? Could she still look as fly on that salary? With help from retailers like Lane Bryant and Nordstrom (not to mention Macy's and SimplyBe) -- the answer is: absolutely!

OLIVIA POPE AS PROJECT DIRECTOR
plus size olivia pope fashion (For items and shopping details, click here.)


Finally, it is hard to imagine Olivia Pope as an Executive Assistant. But really and truly, we all start somewhere. And I had a feeling that she was just as fashionable, even when working on political campaigns and living on a shoestring budget. This is where fast fashion becomes the working girl's best friend. Check it out!

OLIVIA POPE AS EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT
plus size olivia pope clothes (For items and shopping details, click here.)

Well, there you have it! I hope you will be curled up in front of your tv tonight with your red wine and popcorn to find out who snatched up Olivia...I know I will!

#WorkwearWednesday – What to Wear When It’s C-C-Cold Outside!

what to wear to work in the coldwhat to wear to work in the cold
Well, Winter Storm Juno is upon us. And even though it might not have been as bad as predicted, it's still pretty darn cold. While folks in New England and the upper-parts of the Mid-Atlantic region are more-or-less snowed in, folks in Washington, DC and the rest of the country still have to soldier on...in below-freezing temperatures.

While it's commonly understood how to bundle up to keep warm outside, it may be less intuitive as to how to dress to keep it professional, yet pretty in the office! So, here are a few simple tips to help you keep it cute in the cold weather!

First up? My favorite - the sweater dress!

what to wear to work when it's cold outside

(For items and shopping details, click here.)



This look, which features a dress that gives a strong nod to Marsala - the 2015 Color of the Year, demonstrates that with the right layering pieces (including these Fleece tights in black by Lane Bryant, tall boots, and an eternity scarf), it's entirely possible to wear a dress during the coldest time of the year.

However, if the thought of wearing a dress in this sub-freezing weather makes you want to crawl into the fetal position, here is an alternative look featuring pants. Now, you know how I feel about pants and pant suits, in general. However, with some strategic use of color, you can definitely brighten up your look and even your entire mood despite the piercing temperatures. Check it out!
what to wear to work when it's cold outside

(For item info and shopping details, click here.)


This particular look features the Isaac Mizrahi Live! Leopard Jacquard Sweater Coat from QVC.com. In my humble opinion, this is the warmest, coziest, most luxe-feeling sweater you will ever wear for the price. By opting to wear a colorful top (instead of the expected black or white) you take your style to another level! I wore a similar style when I participated (for, like, a day *womp-womp*) in plus-size stylist Crystal Cave's #NotSoSkinnyStyle challenge. Check out my snap from Instagram below! (My apologies for the bathroom selfie!)

curvy_ceo on instragram
Those are my best tips for keeping cute at the office during these harsh winter months. What are some of your style tips for winter office style?

Monday Morning Memo – Nothing But the Best

monday-morning-memo NEW "Nothing but the best in life is good enough for me." - Frank Sinatra, "Nothing But the Best"

Now that the holiday season is over, did you put away the "good china" and the "best towels"? You know, the ones you only bring out when company comes by to visit?

I dare you to continue using your very best goods even if only for yourself...especially if only for yourself. Because you deserve the absolute, very best.

Have a wonderful week, everyone!

Real-Life Curvy CEO: Kim McCarter of Corporate Curves, LLC

CurveAppealKIMcWhen I was first dreaming of starting a blog, I researched various potential names and one of the early candidates was "Corporate Curves" but, alas, that name was already scooped up by plus-size industry mogul Kim McCarter, who has worked with major brands and as part of the editorial staff of SKORCH magazine. In time, I actually came to know the woman herself and she has transitioned from someone I admired from afar to, I daresay, a "big sister" - always doling out fabulous advice about how to take your game to the next level. Today, I'm thrilled to present her as our Real-Life Curvy CEO!

Tell me about your business, Corporate Curves, LLC. Corporate Curves,LLC is a boutique-styled private business coaching agency. I work to empower creative women entrepreneurs who want to turn their passions into a profitable business.

CurveAppealKIMcHow did you make the transition from plus-size blogger to plus-size entrepreneur? I stopped blogging. I had to. As long as I continued to blog, I was being thought of as just another blogger. I stopped blogging and did a personal re-brand of myself. I slowly changed my image on-and-off line. I believe people really took it seriously in 2013. I even introduced myself differently.

What do you think has been the key to your success thus far? Consistency and Investment. In order to maintain my visibility in this arena, I have to remain relevant. The only way to do that in this era of Social Media is consistency. I live my brand 365 days a year, even in my personal life. I do NOT turn it off - even on date night. I believe in investing in myself and my business. I read A LOT. I study wealth management. I take courses and invest in programs, conferences and seminars. I have a business coach that will help me grow to multiple six-figures and she helps keep me focused.

What has been the most surprising thing about having your own business? The most challenging? The most rewarding? My biggest surprise was how much my faith would be tested. I do not know a successful entrepreneur who doesn’t believe in a higher power. Your faith is tested and you just have to keep swimming. My most challenging moment was when I noticed the lack of support I was receiving. I started Corporate Curves with the idea that I was going to help companies who wanted to successfully build business geared towards the plus-size industry. That did not happen because they didn’t want to invest in the expertise I had to offer. So I set my sights higher. I broadened my niche and it was the best move I made for myself. [Ed. Note: CAN I GET AN AMEN?!?!?]

What advice would you give to other women who hope to start their own business? corporate curves logo Have a plan and if you are unsure, invest in your business to find someone whom can help you build the foundation you will need. Too often, aspiring business owners and bloggers are always looking for FREE help. Free is good; it is great when you have a good resource but you have to understand that if they give you a goldmine for free - you will receive a diamond mine for the paid product.

How can my readers keep in touch with you andyour business ventures? My official website is www.corporate-curves.net. I am also on Facebook.

Anything else you would like to share? This week, I released my Media Essentials Kickstarter Pack. I have packaged together over $3,000 in media inspired templates and with instructions for creative entrepreneurs. I created this package because I receive the same questions about media kits, pitch letters and contracts. I also made sure the package is supper affordable (it’s under $100). It can be found here: http://www.corporate-curves.net/services/media-essentials-kickstarter-pack.

Kickstarter Packet

Well, there you have it! Be sure to stop by www.corporate-curves.net so Kim can help you #BeOnBrand today!

#WorkwearWednesday – FLOTUS SOTU Style!

first lady sotu style plus sizeOnly moments into her first appearance, both The Chic Incumbent and my Farrah of Estrella Fashion Report let the world know that Mrs. Obama was wearing an outfit from Michael Kors' 2013 fall collection. No matter what your political affiliation, you have to admit that she looked absolutely captivating...

first lady sotu style plus size

Unfortunately, that bad, bad suit does not come in plus-size...in fact, it looks like it's just about sold out everywhere in every size, period. But, that doesn't mean that you still can't wear a gray tweed jacket inspired by the First Lady's State of the Union style! Here are just a few gray tweed jackets that you can easily pair with a pencil skirt (again, in gray or even black) with a simple pair of pumps!

first lady sotu style plus size

(For more details and shopping info, click here.)


5 Things Your Accountant Wants You to Know Before Starting a New Business

5 things your accountant wants you to know before starting a new business5 things your accountant wants you to know before starting a new business Today's post is a guest entry from Melantha K. Paige, President and Managing Partner of Paige Consulting Services, LLC (PCS, LLC). I had the pleasure of meeting Melantha at the last Chasing Joy Brunch & Learn last August in Philadelphia. We happened to sit next to each other and shared a great deal about our efforts to give our all to our "day jobs" while pursuing our passions on the side. In Melantha's case, it is helping individuals and small businesses achieve their financial goals. Drawing from her many years of experience, including five years of providing tax, audit, financial planning, financial literacy and other services through PCS, LLC, she graciously agreed to provide a bit of insight into what budding entrepreneurs - like my readers! - should be thinking about as they prepare to launch their own enterprises. Be sure to read to the end of the article...you just might find a special discount code for Curvy CEO readers for PCS, LLC services! It’s Monday morning and you’re on your way to begin yet another week at your boring day job. You’ve considered starting a business for a very long time. You’ve developed a business plan and have even made a few “sales”. You believe that you have the perfect product, service, or niche idea that you’re sure is going to be the next big thing, but you’re confused as to how to get started. Or, maybe you’ve gotten started but are unsure of whether you’re on the right track. Should you hire an accountant? Should you incorporate as a separate legal entity? What about taxes? After years of working with small business owners and being a small business owner myself, I’ve come up with the top 5 things you should consider when planning to start a new business. 1. Create a separate legal entity. One of the biggest mistakes that small business owners make is failing to establish their business as a separate legal entity. The creation of a separate legal entity is paramount to ensuring that the business is able to sustain itself separately from the owners. It’s also a sure-fire way to reduce the personal risks to the owner associated with any legal action taken against the business. Depending upon the type of organization that is chosen, the owner will not be personally responsible for the liabilities of the organization. The business is able to establish its own assets and incur its own liabilities separate from the owners. In laymen’s terms, the owner's personal assets are not at risk if the business is sued or files for bankruptcy. The selection of a separate legal entity also has an impact on the taxes for both the business and the owners. There are several entities that one can choose from and it’s important that you choose the legal entity that is appropriate for the business that you are establishing. You should consult with an accountant or legal counsel to determine which entity type is best for you. You can also go to your state government’s website to review the rules for establishing a legal entity in your jurisdiction. 2. Do not commingle (business and personal) assets. Whether you choose a separate legal entity or not, I always adviseconcerned woman reading a bill letter with a pen and calculator small business owners to keep business and personal records separate. This means that all business revenues and expenses should be transacted in one account and personal expenses of the business owner should be transacted in a separate account. This is important because at tax time your business expenses will be used to justify certain write-offs associated with the business. If you are unable to determine which expenses are business versus personal it’s quite possible that you will not be eligible to deduct any expenses. Also, in the event of an audit by the IRS, expenses that are thought to be personal in nature will be disallowed resulting in potential fines, penalties, interest and additional taxes due. Aside from the tax implications, the separation of business and personal expenses will allow the creation of meaningful financial reports, which will allow you to better understand how your business is performing. 3. Don't be afraid to outsource. At the onset of starting a new business, many small business owners choose to “do it all.” This is totally understandable considering that in the early stages of a small business, access to “capital” is usually limited. While I am a proponent of doing it yourself when it makes sense, I always advise my clients to outsource when appropriate. So, for example, if you know that you’re not skilled in accounting and don’t understand how to choose a method of accounting, accounting software, MS Excel, debits or credits, then it would make sense to hire an accountant. There are plenty of low cost options for a wide array of business support services that can be researched online. You can even research “how to” videos via YouTube and other online sources. The risk of doing it all is that key functions will be done incorrectly and that your business will be adversely affected. You will have also spent precious time struggling – time that could’ve been used to improve your products and services. 4. Don't forget to secure the necessary licenses, permits, and insurance! As part of the establishment of your business, you should confirm any licenses that are required at the federal, state, and local level. Many states require sales tax licenses and other licenses and permits for businesses that sell retail goods and services. There are also vocational-related licenses and environmental requirements that must be considered. If you have employees you will need to ensure that you have a process to ensure that you are following federal, state and local laws regarding payroll taxes and employment law. paige-consulting-services logoInsurance is also very important to the maintenance of a successful business. Determine which business property requires insurance and contact a broker for an insurance quote. Obtain liability insurance on vehicles used in your business, including personal cars of employees used for business. Obtain liability insurance for your premises if customers or clients will be visiting. Obtain product liability insurance if you will manufacture hazardous products. If you will be working from your home, make sure your homeowner's insurance covers damage to or theft of your business assets as well as liability for business-related injuries. Consider health and disability insurance for yourself and your employees. 5. Do NOT ignore taxes; be sure to file annually. Every year - without fail - I meet a new client who is frantic because he or she has received a letter from the IRS or they’re afraid that the IRS will be reaching out to them due to years of unfiled tax returns. I can’t stress enough the importance of filing tax returns every year, regardless of whether you think you’re going to owe the government money. Failing to file tax returns puts your business at risk and can result in hefty fines, penalties, interest and additional taxes due. In addition to end of the year tax returns, small business owners have to consider additional taxes that must be paid throughout the year. For example, payroll taxes, quarterly taxes, sales taxes, and other state and local taxes. You should research your state and local tax authority website for required tax returns for business owners in your area. As I stated above it’s important to know when to outsource. So if you don’t understand taxes, hire an accountant/tax preparer or visit the IRS website for low-cost or free options for tax preparation services. Ideally, the person that you’re using an as accountant should be able to assist you in the gathering of key financial records that will be used to prepare your tax returns. Well, there you have it! Sounds like good advice to me! If you are interested in engaging PCS,LLC for your tax, book-keeping, or other services, they are offering a 20% discount for new clients that use the code "curvyceo"! [tweetthis]Hey small biz owners - need tax help? New clients get 20% off w/code "curvyceo" from @PaigeConsulting[/tweetthis] Be sure to contact Melantha and the PCS, LLC team online at www.paige-consulting-services-llc.com or by phone (484.857.7052). You can also connect via Facebook and Twitter.

Monday Morning Memo – Martin Luther King Jr. on Moving Forward

monday-morning-memo NEW"If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward." - Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

On this day in which we honor the birthday of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., I thought this would be a most appropriate quote - particularly as we are more than halfway through the month of January. By this time, so many of us have steered away from those good intentions that we pursued at the beginning of the year with such gusto. But remember, no matter what your goal and no matter where you are, keep. moving. forward.

Happy Birthday and thank you, Dr. King.

Real-Life Curvy CEO: Shayla Boyd-Gill of LABOR Business Coaching

Shayla HeadshotToday's installment in our Real-Life Curvy CEO series features Shayla Boyd-Gill of LABOR Business Coaching. In addition to being a standout coach of women entrepreneurs, Shayla has a compelling personal story of transitioning from being a "broke and broken" business owner to a six figure, award-winning entrepreneur. You can read more about that here. Check out her interview below...and be on the lookout for links to free goodies from her websites!

Shayla Headshot Tell me about your business, Labor Business Coaching. We help service based women entrepreneurs to release past financial guilt and build profitable businesses that are highly targeted to the audience that needs them the most. As a matter of fact, we build strong foundations and create systems to streamline the business so that they don't create another job for themselves. Our goal is to help women take the leap to six figures and beyond in revenue without massive mistakes.

What inspired you to launch your business? I launched LABOR because it broke my heart to watch women struggle to build a business without a real plan for making the money that they need. Many friends and associates jumped in and out of the entrepreneurial world with a bitter taste in their mouth.

What common themes do you find between your clients as they strive to meet their goals? Many of my clients don't think that they can afford to build a team to support them. I love to show them how they cannot afford not to be supported in the process.

What do you think has been the key to your success thus far? I have spent over ten years supporting women in Logo_Labor_MainColorvulnerable stages of their life. As a birthing expert with my first company I had to help women see their power from pregnancy until the time of birth. I know what fear looks like and how it can impact you in your business and life. More than anything, I have lived many of the challenges that my clients are heading towards.

What has been the most surprising thing about having your own business? The most challenging? The most rewarding? Most surprising: The number of people that are intrigued by my story of being a home-schooling mom of six and entrepreneur. It feels so normal in my world.

Most challenging: I would have to say that the greatest challenge is launching what you feel is a valuable service or product and finding that your audience is not interested. You have to be able to rebound quickly and get on the next idea or tweak what did not work until you get to a "yes".

Most rewarding: I love to see my clients smile or pause when they have a breakthrough in their business. Recently a client and I had a meeting to map out the new year. We have been working together from the beginning of her business in 2013. She felt a little down because she did not meet her big 2014 revenue goal. I asked her what she made the first year (2013). She came back to me excited to announce that she had more than doubled her revenue this year. She did not realize it because she was stuck on one number. I love reminding my clients to celebrate the wins.

What advice would you give to other women who hope to start their own business? Seek out the support of someone that [pullquote]Head to www.getyoursixfigures.com to get Shayla's free audio dowload - 5 Boss Rules to Help Rake In the Cash![/pullquote]Visit has done the work that you want to do or a coach that can get you where you want to be faster. Make sure that they are a right fit for your personality. Don't be afraid to ask as many questions as needed to feel good about your choice. Don't build alone.

How can my readers keep in touch with you and your business ventures? Visit my site www.laborbusinesscoaching.com, like us on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/laborbusinesscoaching), and follow us on Twitter (http://www.twitter.com/LaborBizCoach). Also, I'd love to share a free audio called 5 Boss Rules to Help Rake In the Cash. Go grab a copy at www.getyoursixfigures.com now!