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Rising Stars: Meet Keyshonna Miller-McNeil

Today we’d like to introduce you to Keyshonna Miller-McNeil.

Hi Keyshonna, thanks for joining us today. We’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
For as long as I can remember, my first love has been fashion. It’s been 20 years since I coordinated my first high school fashion show! My passion for fashion continued into my young adult years as I was a petite plus-size model, pageant competitor in the Miss USA pageant system, and Co-owner of a Tampa Bay-based modeling agency Elure Models LLC.

In 2007, I transitioned from model to agency owner, where I began to work behind the scenes alongside my business partner styling photoshoots, developing models, and coordinating fashion shows. Through these experiences is where I recognized my love for wardrobe styling. However, in 2010, I stepped away from what I love to pursue a career in education.

Although I loved students and enjoyed cultivating them into pursuing their dreams, I recognized that teaching wasn’t my passion. It was just something that I was good at. My heart never left the fashion industry. Throughout the years, I have curated looks for friends, family, models, and co-workers.

Having these individuals trust me with my expertise showed me that my love for fashion is my gift. So in 2020 the pandemic hit and I decided to capitalize on my work-from-home time by launching Styled by That’s Key. Key Styled Looks is a household name of fashion sets styled by myself that are displayed on Instagram.

Styled by That’s Key provides chic and effortless looks for the everyday woman. “AAA” is my philosophy- I ensure that looks are accessible, attainable, and affordable for women to develop their style. My goal as a stylist is to give every woman the key to discovering her unique style within.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
ABSOLUTELY NOT!!! There are several challenges that I face with being a wardrobe stylist. The number one challenge is people not understanding the value of what I do. I don’t think people understand the time and thought that goes behind curating looks.

Therefore, I’ve experienced a lot of downplaying and diminishing of the wardrobing styling that I have to offer. With individuals not valuing or simply just not understanding what I do, I’ve found that establishing clientele is difficult. I also find that people mistake me for a stylist which in the fashion industry is typically a hairstylist.

Once they recognize that I’m not a hair stylist then conversations end at that point. Also, since Tampa is not considered a large fashion market, establishing relationships with fashion houses and designers is difficult. Actually, there aren’t any fashion houses located in Tampa and if you aren’t an established wardrobe stylist then building those relationships is difficult.

Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
Styled by That’s Key is a fashion styling/ personal shopping/image consulting company that is passionate about helping clients find their key style. Styled by That’s Key offers personalized styling services to meet clients’ individual needs. Services include closet makeovers, virtual styling, personal shopping, fashion show, and photoshoot production.

Monthly personalized subscription packages are available to help clients develop their style. I believe that everyone has style. Sometimes it’s buried or forgotten. Sometimes it hasn’t been discovered yet. I’ll work with clients to help you discover their style by helping them dress in a way that is a reflection of who they truly are. It’s a Key Styled look “dressing from within.”

I’m most proud of what I’ve been able to accomplish as a wardrobe stylist within the past year. In the past year, I have been published in 6 magazine publications with two special edition showcases and 6 cover models. I’ also was nominated for and won the 2021 Stylist of the Year Award with Ms. B Productions Fashion Gala Awards.

I’ve become an assistant stylist to Elizabeth Carson Racker with ECR Designs and Audrey Pat McGee with Audrey Pat Designs. I was also the Lead Stylist for my first film called “Rewind” written and produced by Deriyun McGee. I will be competing for Best Fashion Stylist at the Eye on Fashion Stylist Competition and I will also be making my first appearance as a wardrobe stylist assisting Elizabeth Carson Racker at New York Fashion Week.

I would say what I’m most known for is my creativity with photoshoot shoots and fashion show production. I definitely have a creative eye that I believe makes me unique. I can look at someone and immediately know how to style allowing them to stay true to who they are as an individual. I don’t believe in cookie-cutter fashion.

I love color popping, mixing prints, and adding bold accessory pieces to help my clients stand out. I’m also known to be the budget cautious queen. I believe that you don’t have to break your pockets to look fabulous.

We’d love to hear what you think about risk-taking.
It’s funny that you ask this question. As I mentioned before, I have a background in education. I was a teacher for 13 years for Hillsborough County Public Schools. So, my view on risk-taking applied to my students but never myself. What I mean by that is I would always encourage my students to step out of their comfort zone and I would say you can be anything and accomplish anything.

Don’t let anyone stop you. However, I had stepped so far outside of my gift that I lost sight of that for myself. So I would show my students my work and they would say OMG you are so talented why aren’t you a stylist? I would say things like it’s too late now, I’m married now, I have responsibilities, or have a daughter now.

Every excuse in the world to not take a risk because I’m a logical thinker, I was comfortable/content and every time thought about it, it didn’t make sense to do it, or wasn’t the right time. I can honestly say now that my students and my daughter helped changed my perspective. I wasn’t practicing what I was teaching them and what I would expect from them.

I came to the realization that I didn’t need to have everything figured out, I just needed to start and my students/daughter challenged me to do that. If I start and I fail, at least I can say I took a risk and tried. If I never take a risk or try, then I never gave myself the opportunity to see what it can be.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Michael Shots, Lamar Penick Photography, Leonard Selmani, Twysevphotos, Jodamann Wardrobe, Riccardo’s Menswear, Delyz LTD, Diva Me, Pretty Banana Republic, Shein, MUA Marquita Cole, Speechelle Phases, and @Ms_2much28

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