Opportunista Meet Minimalista
Gianelle Veis does not relax. Gianelle Veis expands. Whether she is expanding the reach and revenue of the Fortune 100 companies she consults or the network of Opportunistas who's entrepreneurial moxie inspire her blog, Gianelle Veis is a women who is not comfortable stagnant.
No wonder I like her style.
Gianelle founded TheOpportunista after years of career exploration and goal shattering left her feeling eerily unfulfilled. Despite an impressive roster of professional achievement and academic pedigree (Bachelor of Communication and Master of Communication Management from USC, MBA from UCLA Anderson School of Management) Gianelle was underwhelmed by her progress towards creating her own opportunities.
Ever fascinated by the female entrepreneurial spirit, Gianelle was hard pressed to find a platform that celebrated everyday women growing real businesses. Sure, the internet loves to applaud Sophia Amaruso's #GirlBossMoment but where was the story of Britt Deanda, a young working mom who, despite personal tragedy, launched High Vibe Living, an innovative wellbeing practice founded on spiritual principles? Where was the practical advice from an in-the-trenches entrepreneur on how to network like a superstar? Why was there no attention paid to the real life, hard hustling ladies who successfully pivot passion pursuits into income generators?
Gianelle realized she had answered her own question and soon after TheOpportunista.com was born. The site started as a resource for practical business advice and morphed into a community of supportive, likeminded women: In six short months Gianelle has managed to profile 40+ Opportunistas (myself included). But wait - there's more! Gianelle is currently working on an Opportunistas documentary series, podcast, networking events and informational products.
What did I tell you? Gianelle Veis is all about expansion.
Except, however; when it comes to her closet. An aspiring Minimalista (high five!), this hustle loving Opportunistas shares insight into her personal style evolution.
Up, Close and Personal Style: Gianelle Veis
JMB: Describe your personal style in three or four sentences.
Gianelle: Classic. Bohemian. Edgy. And here’s a fourth word to summarize: Eclectic.
But since we’re using sentences, it’s safe to say that my personal style is in my humble opinion – stylish – and given all those descriptors – diverse. I adapt my style to fit my:
- Environment – If I’m working my corporate job, bring on the blazer.
- Mood – If I’m feeling like a badass, bring on the leather.
- Message – If I want you to remember me, bring on the red power pumps!
JMB: How does your lifestyle influence your wardrobe?
Gianelle: My style reflects the diverse lifestyle I’m currently leading. Say what?! Let me break it down for ya. Because I work a demanding full-time job as a management consultant in Corporate America and recently launched The Opportunista – my media and education platform for women entrepreneurs – my lifestyle is hectic. I make things less crazy by streamlining my work wardrobe and wearing my “uniform” – a button-up shirt, blazer, and dark denim. (I currently work with media and entertainment clients, so I can get away with jeans. Game changer in Corporate America.)
While I used to spend a bunch of time planning my outfits, I now don’t even think twice about it. I’ve limited my options so that I can leave room in my brain to make other decisions at work and for my side hustle. I think I learned that from Steve Jobs – black turtlenecks were his jam so that he could focus on building the Apple empire.
Since I adhere to formulaic attire for my full-time gig, I go bananas on the weekends if I make time to go out. Leather, lace, hats, heels, jewels galore. It’s ALL going on. I mix, match, and have a blast. If I’m being honest (and I always am), I don’t mind drawing a little attention to myself if I’m making the effort! I spend a lot of quality time with my laptop, so when I’m out and about, my off-duty apparel is about experimenting, taking risks, and having a great time.
JMB: How has your style evolved from your 20s to your 30s and beyond?
Gianelle: While my 20s were about sacrificing comfort for a fabulous outfit, my 30s have been about committing to making a fabulous outfit more comfortable. I never ever wore flats to work as a 20-something, but now that I’m a 30-something, I can’t imagine life without them. At the same time, I’ve expanded my definition of “flats” to include fabulous oxfords, loafers, or other masculine-inspired kicks.
Now that I’m in my 30s, I’ve also become more comfortable in neutral attire. In my 20s, I used to think that a white button-up and jeans were – pardon me while I yaaawn – bor-ing. In my 30s, I rock that minimalist ensemble. My secret? It’s not what you wear, it’s how you wear it. Confidence, ladies. It’s all about the CONFIDENCE.
JMB: Do you have a closet organizational system?
Yes. Holy moly – YES. In a nutshell…dresses, tops, jackets/blazers, pants, and skirts are separated and arranged by color order (think the rainbow) and cut (e.g., sleeveless vs. sleeves, short vs. long). Looking for more specificity? Tops are broken out by color and cut – camisoles, sleeveless, short sleeves, long sleeves, and jackets/blazers. Handbags hang out with handbags, scarves with scarves, belts with belts, shoes with shoes. And all those accessories also have their own color, shape, and style system.
I also organize my outfits for the work week on a hanging rack next to my closet and even lay out matching jewelry on my dresser. I wake up early, so deciding on my outfits and accessories the night before helps me to get out the door as the sun rises.
I know it sounds like I developed some sort of algorithm to organize my closet, but it just works.
JMB: What are you wearing when you feel most like you?
Gianelle: Silk button-up, jeans, and pumps. Sure my style ranges like the keys on a piano, but at my core, I’m a classic kinda gal.
JMB: If you had to give away all of your wardrobe except for 5 items what would they be and why?
Gianelle: This question is good for someone like me who strives to own less and less with each passing day… Here goes it!
- J. Brand dark wash denim: These jeans were made for me.
- Everlane white sleeveless silk button-up: Classic – Stands on its own. Versatile – Pairs well with just about any jacket or blazer.
- Theory black blazer: I feel like a boss and badass in this blazer. Does that make me a badass boss? Or perhaps a bossy badass?
- Loeffler Randall neutral clutch: This is one of the few handbags I own. I care for it like a newborn puppy.
- Tieks black patent flats: These shoes epitomize “comfort is king.” They make you feel like you’re walking on air. I sometimes don’t want to take them off.
- I told you that I’m striving to own less, but that doesn’t mean I’m there just yet! Bear with me because I need this 6th item – my “Opportunista” dress. Mint is the signature color on my site. This dress makes me feel on brand. Plus, the laser cut gives it that unique WOW factor. I get compliments on it all the time. It’s a great conversation starter, not to mention makes for the perfect segue into my elevator pitch! #Shameless
JMB: Do you have a signature look or piece?
Gianelle: Catch me at my full-time job, and it’s a blazer in any color. My blazer collection ranges from black, blue, or gray to red, peach, or lilac.
Catch me at dinner in a posh LA restaurant (errr, it’s rare), and I’ll surprise you.
JMB: Any packing or organizational tips?
Gianelle: Pack as lightly as possible. It will serve you well, whatever the purpose and wherever the destination – from a business trip to the Midwest to a vacation in Rome. You need a lot less than you think.
As for organizing, the less stuff you have, the less you have to organize.
Can you tell that I’ve been working diligently to embrace my inner minimalist?
The best part about being an Opportunista is the ability to nominate another. Many thanks to Opportunista Adrian Granzella, Editor-in-Chief of online career source The Muse, for introducing me to Gianelle, my twin flame in passion pursuits and a sharply stylish Opportunista destined for even bigger things.
Do you know an entrepreneurial woman who creates her own opportunities to live her best life? Nominate your favorite Opportunista here.
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