These are the words used to describe none other than author, speaker, television personality, and Editor-at-Large of Essence Magazine, Mikki Taylor.
Dedicating her life to helping women realize their true inner and outer beauty, Mikki’s priceless tips on beauty, style, and health have guided women on the path to personal and professional success for more than thirty years. This month, the bold, brilliant, and business-savvy Mikki spoke with Dress for Success about how finding personal style can lead to professional success.
In 2010, Essence announced the retirement of their groundbreaking Beauty and Cover Director to the world, leaving millions of fans disappointed at the departure of their beloved Mikki. Although this chapter of her career was coming to an end, the daring diva was ready for change and was not afraid to spice things up. “I knew that there were so many facets to Mikki Taylor,” she recalls.
Without missing a beat, Mikki hit the ground running, launching her own company, Mikki Taylor Enterprises, LLC. “Mikki Taylor Enterprises is brand Mikki. It comes back to my major goal, and that is empowering women.”
For Mikki, empowering women means helping them find their own flair for fashion and unique style, a platform which led her to quickly become the go-to glamour guru for women all over the world. But Mikki always knew that her calling was about more than just finding the perfect stiletto; Mikki set out on a mission to help women who are looking for guidance and advice in every aspect of their lives, women who are looking for self-discovery.
“Self-discovery is one of the greatest gifts there is. I enjoy helping women discover how fierce, fabulous, and fascinating they are. There are many women inside each of us. My goal is to help women discover them all, and use the gift that’s been given to each of us to really make a difference, not only in our own lives, but also in the lives of others.”
Mikki’s mission is rooted in the belief that when a woman discovers the amazing and accomplished being inside of her, she’ll want the whole world to see her inner power too. Like Dress for Success, Mikki believes that how we look on the outside should be a reflection of how we feel on the inside, and that our greatest source of empowerment is self.
“You’ve been given one temple and I think how you posses it is self expression. If you feel good you look good. At the end of the day, the question really is ‘What do you want to say about yourself?’”
Mikki encourages every woman to allow style and self expression to help propel their journey towards success, but cautions that one doesn’t have to be a fashionista to develop personal style.
“Don’t take trends too seriously. You’re more than a season of style. Style is something that comes from within you. Identify it from within, and then work it. You can nod to the trends but don’t be victimized by them.”
Already wondering where you can find more treasured advice like this? Don’t worry, Mikki’s got you covered! In 2011, she published her second book, “Commander in Chic: Every Woman’s Guide to Managing Her Style Like a First Lady.”
Inspired by First Lady Michelle Obama, “Commander in Chic” gives women the tools to live life to its fullest potential, and it’s got Mikki’s fun, fresh personality written all over it.
So, what’s next for the legendary Mikki Taylor? Believe it or not, Mikki isn’t planning on slowing down anytime soon. She has plans to write several more books, and, in the meantime, she’s traveling as a part of “Versailles‘73: American Runway Revolution,” an innovative new documentary by Deborah Riley Draper currently out on DVD. Mikki’s also featured in the P&G documentary, “My Black is Beautiful.”
“You can count on seeing Mikki Taylor in every medium from social media to television to print,”the power woman explains. “My goal is to support, inspire, and simplify women’s lives. It will never be called work.”
What can we learn from Mikki’s journey that can help us along our own journeys toward self-defined success? Mikki teaches us that personal style can help us find professional empowerment.
Here are three tips from Mikki to help you kick-start your own career:
1. Identify your purpose. You owe it to yourself!
2. Move fear out of the way, so you can do great things beyond your imagination!
3. Surround yourself with wise women. They are your counsel as you move through your journey to success!