Based in Dallas, Texas, Chrissy Mixon is the owner and designer extraordinaire of Classy You by Chrissy Mixon. It was her love for fashion, style and “all things classy” that influenced her decision to launch the line of apparel in 2016.
After conquering thyroid cancer in 2014 and due to weight fluctuations, finding fashionable, modest apparel became a constant struggle. However, undeterred, Chrissy decided to be the solution to her own problem and pursue her dreams. Having battled with inaccurate accounts of self-esteem herself, she made encouraging and empowering women all over the world part of the vision.
As a business graduate of Texas A&M University in Commerce, Texas (2016), Chrissy went to great lengths to advance her knowledge of business operations and the tenets of entrepreneurship, in that shortly after graduation, she began her career as a fashion designer and business owner.
Her brand and collection cater to the sophisticated, fashion-forward woman who embraces class and modesty as a lifestyle. Classy You is the palette Chrissy uses to exhibit her artistic, creative abilities. Through her chic, high-quality custom apparel, she is making her mark in the fashion industry. In 2017, Chrissy decided to advance her career by pursuing a dual degree in Fashion Design and Patternmaking at El Centro College in Dallas, Texas. She looks forward to incorporating her skill set and knowledge base from her studies into her collections.
The Zimbabwean-born, Texas-bred, self-taught designer believes that her luxury brand will reach today’s elegant, cultured and stylish woman. She aims to bring back the class that has been sorely lacking in the industry. Classy You will forever reflect the true essence of a lady!
Hey Chrissy, can you introduce yourselves to us?
I am a very down to earth, fun loving, free spirited, fashion, and style loving woman who was born in Zimbabwe and moved to the United States (Dallas, TX) when I was 16. I am currently pursuing my dualAssociate’ss degree in Fashion Design and Pattern making.
As a self-taught designer, can you take us through your journey to where you are now?
When I launched the business in 2016, I would sit in my workroom brainstorming, sketching, trying to figure stuff out and cry sometimes.It was exciting and quite challenging at the same time to be able to execute certain designs without the intermediate skills set and I felt that I would benefit myself and my clients at large by pursuing the necessary skill set and knowledge via going back to college for Fashion Design. I can honestly say that as I’m learning, I see the growth in my design pallete and it’s not as frustrating as when I started the business.
What is a day in the life of you like?
I spend 13 hours at the college in a normal semester; before finals that includes attending class, doing some research about industry events/people/things, spending hours of lab thereafter to complete some assignments, taking some much needed cat naps and sharing some laughs with my classmates, checking my emails, following up with some clients, updating the Classy You social media pages and getting some sleep then repeat.
How did you launch Classy You?
Since I was a teenager, I got obsessed with certain high-end designers and always loved fashion, but I think the big bit me in 2009 before I got married. Being that all my bride’s maids were modest and didn’t have the right piece to match their dresses, I decided to design their bolero jackets and had them custom made. I received so many compliments of how unique and beautiful they were but I didn’t think anything of it. I just knew the girls looked classy, modest and pretty, and I loved it!! In 2012, I felt a strong desire to start my fashion line and I remember praying and asking God how to go about doing this. I started doing a lot of research and even praying about what I would name this apparel line. It was then that I got the answer to name it “Classy You by Chrissy Mixon”. So, with fear and excitement, I officially registered my business. My mother has always taught us and raised me to be a woman of class, and that would be a message reflected through my brand. However, after my battle and VICTORY with thyroid cancer in 2014, I struggled with finding modest, fashionable clothes that actually fit me due to my constant weight fluctuations.
Honestly, I cried often and got frustrated because I had a closet full of clothes I couldn’t wear after a thyroidectomy and an open heart surgery within a couple of months. My self-confidence plunged and I was slightly depressed. Immediately, God reminded me that Classy You was the avenue I could use to encourage, empower and support women by creating custom pieces that would perfectly fit their body types. Women around the world who felt just like me. It was then, that I couldn’t stop talking, dreaming and probably annoying my close friends and family with birthing Classy You to the world. I knew after I graduated from the Business school in September of 2016, that it was the opportune time to launch my brand.
How are funding your business as an entrepreneur?
Currently, it’s self-funded and I reinvest the proceeds into the business.
Can you tell us how you are aiming to bring back the class that you feel has been sorely lacking in the fashion industry?
My brand aesthetic is mainly classic and is designed to cater to the sophisticated women who love dressing chic and classy.
Who does the team involve behind you at Classy You?
I am currently building my network and team of partners with Classy You, from models to photographers to make up artists, stylists, suppliers, etc—it often changes depending on the type of project at hand and the availability of the needed role. I am a firm believer of not burning bridges so my team is thankfully growing as the business grows.
As you continue to grow, what important factors did you consider when looking at the scalability of your business model?
I want to still give the personal experience of working with my clients one on one. It brings me much joy when I have consultations all the way to the final fitting with my clients. Getting acquainted with my clients allows me to know them on a personal level, sometimes revealing pertinent details of their lives and it’s the opportune moment to speak to their struggle, rejoice in their victories or even share a word of prayer and/or encouragement with them. It’s more of maintaining my God-given purpose. Also, I would like to maintain producing pieces suited to their custom needs, while receiving the professional luxury brand experience.
Where can you see your self within the next 3-5 years?
My vision for my brand is to expand some of the services that Classy You offers—it’s a surprise so I can’t say much! I also want to work with some major magazines like Essence, Huffington Post and possibly be featured on the catwalk at New York Fashion Week.
How are you planning to expand the fashion services you offer?
As the business and clientele grow, I think it will be essential to get the client feedback as a guide and projection of how I would need to expand the brand and our services offered.
Can you tell us what areas you have struggled in professionally?
I used to be really challenged when it came to managing my time and lack of confidence fueled by minimal knowledge of my functionality. Since I’ve been in fashion design school, I see the skills and my confidence in my work improving. The overall effect directly impacts my time management.
Have you ever had any other mentor? If so how has this benefitted you to grow?
I have had 3 amazing mentors who specialized in advising me in different areas of my business. They have all poured into me principles and direction of entrepreneurship, the business of fashion and wealth management. As a result, I have centered my business plan around the insight they have shared with me. I would encourage anyone to get some good mentorship.
What outlets do use to market Classy You?
Social media and client referrals are the most prominent way to market the brand so far and will soon be using other avenues as we grow. Some of my friends say I’m a walking billboard because I usually wear a piece that I’ve made and that always gets random people asking where I purchased it from. It always sparks a conversation with them and they end up wanting to know more about my brand.
Which methods are you using to build your own support network?
Networking is very important in this business, any business in my opinion. I always make sure that I make a new contact anywhere I go. It could be from seeing a beautiful girl and striking a conversation to see if she’s a model, and she ends up being someone I will potentially work with.
What do you believe are the common misconceptions about being a fashion entrepreneur?
That is all glitz and glam! Granted when you get to a certain level as an entrepreneur you get to enjoy the benefits of working hard and getting no breaks from learning the flow of business.
What would you like to see changed for millennials within the fashion industry?
I think the quality of clothing that is made by fast fashion companies and highly trendy amongst millennials needs to change. This has largely affected the quality of the products in circulation currently.
What is the best piece of advice you have received to date?
Be authentic and be true to who you are.
What is the number 1 critical lesson you have learned in your career so far?
Giving myself time to grow! Sometimes I feel like I need to know everything I’m in setting but I have learned.
How do you create an evenly balanced work and personal life?
Prioritise my to do list and definitely practice some time management skills.
The highlight of your career so far?
Making two television appearances to showcase my upcycle garment on the same day within 4hours for the Goodwill Industries Annual Project Goodwill nonprofit charity fundraiser. It was amazing to have such a great opportunity and exposure to over 250, 000 people in about 24hours of the interview.
What gives you ultimate career satisfaction?
Seeing my clients happy and confident when they wear my pieces. I also take pleasure in knowing that I have reached my clients or business partners by encouraging them or building their self-image.
What barriers have you faced whilst building Classy You?
Reaching different demographics and connecting with certain platforms. As time progresses and the brand is growing, I feel like it will definitely take course.
Which other leading entrepreneurs and pioneering game changers do you also admire and why?
I love Sarah Jakes Roberts! Even though she is a pastor’s wife, she definitely strives to be a fashion-forward, classy woman who is also all about building her brand and businesses in different areas. Such a motivated go-getter!
How would you say you are intending to use your voice to educate others in the world of the fashion industry?
Given the platforms, I want to speak to the young women and encourage them to find their self-worth, find themselves and their purpose and be confident enough to pursue their dreams as this is something that I’ve personally experienced.
What is a good article or book you have read recently?
I recently started reading Don’t Settle For Safe’ by Sarah Jakes Roberts.
What does your Podcast playlist look like?
I’m not a huge podcast person but I love e-books!
How do you measure your own terms of success?
I don’t compete with anyone but I do measure my own success by the progress and growth I’ve obtained. My definition of success is not being in the same space I was last year in every aspect of my life. Being stagnant, in my opinion, is a sure sign that I need to improve as soon as possible.
What does #BEYOUROWN mean to you?
It means being the representation of your own kind of beauty, quirkiness, wit, confidence, style, and personality! Just absolutely love the life God has graced me with to be myself freely as I also inspire and help other women do the same thing!!
Lastly, what is next for you and Classy You?
I’m expecting nothing but greater things for myself and Classy You!