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Baltimore plus-size stylist competing in national reality show

Posted at 5:25 PM, Sep 15, 2023
and last updated 2023-09-15 17:40:34-04

PIKESVILLE, Md. — For Atarah Styles, getting dressed has always been one of the simple joys in life.

When her mom passed away during the pandemic in 2020, that simple joy became much more meaningful.

"It just knocked the wind out of me. And getting dressed was one of those ways I got out of my slump, because we're all stuck in the house, so I put some clothes on, [and] my mood instantly elevated," Styles said.

She decided to take that feeling and run with it. Styles already had an entrepreneurial spirit - she'd been a makeup artist since she was in college.

But as you might imagine, that wasn't a profession that was exactly thriving during the height of COVID. She wanted to try something new.

Now, she runs an agency as a plus-size stylist, helping women make wardrobe decisions that, as she puts it, take them from the "comfort zone to the confidence zone."

Styles hopes to make up for a lack of plus-size representation in the fashion industry, a goal that's also inspired by her mother.

"I remember years ago my mom going shopping for her job interview, walking out the store saying, this is depressing. I was maybe 8 or 9-years-old saying, 'Mommy try this one!' But she was just defeated. I don't think she went home with anything," Styles said.

She wants women to leave her office feeling the exact opposite.

That idea caught the eye of the decision makers for a national reality show called "The Blox."

"It's a competition for entrepreneurs in its 7th season, and the showrunner is a famous contestant from shows like "The Real World," and "The Challenge."

Out of about 50,000 applicants, just 70 are chosen. Styles was one of them.

"It was like within 24 hours, 'oh, you're exactly what we're looking for,'" Styles said.

She flew to Kansas City in January for the week-long competition, taking part in challenges each night.

Along the way, the competitors were given tools for expanding their businesses when they went back home.

We won't spoil how it ends, but Styles says it was the opportunity of a lifetime.

Between running her own business, and landing a spot on a reality competition show, she thinks her mom would be proud, and she knows, her 7 year-old daughter is.

"Even today when we go out in public, she'll go, 'my mommy's been on television, I want you to know what she was doing.' She's definitely a very huge cheerleader for me, so she was excited," Styles said.

Oh, and we know what you're thinking;

"I gotta ask, is that your real last name?" WMAR-2 News asked. She responded, "I made it work for the brand!"

Speaking of branding, Styles wanted us to let you know about her next event in Baltimore.

"We also host plus-centric community events, and our next one is coming up on October 8 in Baltimore! It's at Citron, it's a plus-size luxury brunch experience celebrating curves, confidence, and community," Styles said.

Tickets are available here.

You can watch "The Blox"here.

Follow Atarah on social media here:
Instagram: @atarahstyles