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The Evolution

Image Strategist Jazzlin Raquel Talks Building A Brand From Inspiration Within

Photo by Jontrice Murray Photography

Photo by Jontrice Murray Photography

Jazzlin, the founder of StyledByRaq, works as an editorial stylist as well as a personal image strategist for models, actors and musicians across the country. She has a bold sense of her own style, and she loves helping others come into their own when it comes to fashion.

Read more for a behind-the-scenes look into her personality, her drive and some of the cool projects that she’s has in the works right now.

What makes you, you?

I’m different. I’m unique. I just RAQ different!

What insecurity do you look back on and wish that you never even entertained? What made you get over that insecurity?

I had to get over the idea that I couldn’t make money pursuing fashion. I was pressured to become a doctor or a lawyer or some profession with a more secure income.

But, I was always stubborn and hard-headed growing up, so the things that people would say to me—they never mattered. I would take it in, and try not to let it bother me, and it just made me stronger and better. I’m not where I want to be now, but I’m getting closer to living my dream and seeing my vision.

the things that people would say to me—they never mattered. I would take it in, and try not to let it bother me, and it just made me stronger and better.

As an image strategist, how do you stay inspired? Where do you go to for inspiration when your creativity is running low?

Myself. Believe it or not, for the majority of my photo shoots, I look at my old photo shoots and I get inspired, thinking, “How can I do this better?” or “I should have done this.” I’ll realize that I can actually execute a certain look much better now because I have more resources or I have more knowledge. The most recent shoot that I put together was inspired by one I did two years ago. I kind of grow off of my own work.

Your most recent shoot was published in an eBook, the Raq the Holidays Fall/Winter Lookbook, how did that experience come about, and what advice do you have for other women who may be interested in doing the same thing?

The lookbook was created because I’ve always wanted to find a project that represented me—a way to showcase my brand. I’ve tried a lot of things in the past, but I just knew that I was passionate about this project.

A lot of my clients and followers ask about what they can wear to specific events, or how to wear a certain piece of clothing, and it just hit me that I could make a book for the everyday male or female of any size that they could look through for inspiration or to find designers and boutiques that they like. People who read the lookbook can actually reach out to the designers and the boutiques themselves and find the look that works for them at a cheaper price than it would cost to hire their own wardrobe stylist.

For the lookbook, I created everything and put the whole production together—from hair, to photographers, to designers, to securing a location—all by myself.

I used a publishing site to design the eBook, and if someone purchases the book through my site, styledbyraq.com, she will be automatically directed to a sign-up page to learn more about creating her own eBook.

In terms of your upcoming projects or your personal milestones, what are you most looking forward to in 2017?

I just created my YouTube channel, and I released my first video, so I’m excited to do more videos and show behind-the-scenes on my shoots and show who I really am as a stylist because you don’t really get to see my personality via Instagram or Facebook. You can see the hard work that I put into every project, and also I’ll be making more content to teach other stylists and aspiring stylists.

I’m also excited to work with the new artists that I’m getting on board with to focus more on entertainment styling. I can help give them that image that helps them stand out from other singers, other rappers or other models.

And, look out for my Spring/Summer 2017 lookbooks. They will be released around spring break!

Want more of Jazzlin Raquel? Follow her on Instagram, @styledbyraq. You can also subscribe to her new YouTube channel, Styled By Raq