Sara Crawford-Jones, a New Castle, Delaware native is amongst this dynamic circle of artist. As a child she was on a mission to make this vision of a stylist her destiny. Sara recalls how a trip to the Donna Karen Outlet years ago put her in line to see a preview of coming attractions in her life as a stylist and fashionista. Sara shares with me the day she knew fashion was her passion. “There was this pretty lime green chiffon blouse in the store, and I just could not stop touching it…at that very moment I knew ok, I need to make a lot of money to buy these clothes because I like high priced items”. Sara was blessed as a child to have an amazing foundation in her family to help her map out her blueprint on becoming a successful entrepreneur. Coming from a family were entrepreneur blood ran deep, the support for her vision was already available. Sara gives credit to both her parents for adding value to her talent. “My father was an artist, he could draw and my mother was a seamstress, so I had the best of both worlds.” When Sara started her career, she was a designer. An amazing thing to know is she has pretty much had her hand in all roles in this industry. Job titles from visual merchandiser, designer, and stylist helped build her knowledge and craft. When asked what role she enjoyed the most, it was hard for her to pin point what gave her the most joy in the industry. After deep thought, she was happy to agree with herself it would have to be designing. For Sara, designing garments is where it all started, she realized this is what made her love the world of fashion the most.
Sara’s brand of Anara Original and her being known as a fashionista is largely received in areas such as New York City, Philadelphia, LA, and Wilmington, DE just to name a few locations. I asked Sarah when she first started on her venture a few years back was it hard for her own community in Delaware to except her value as a stylist. Sara shared it was more so inconsistency if anything for her, she feel the community needed to see her in action when she first started out. Sara gave immediate advice. “You should nurture and support your own, it’s fine to support others, but it should definitely start at home.” When Sara moved back to Delaware from New York around 2008, she recalls there was a higher acceptance of her brand as a stylist. She explained she was receiving many request for feature stories and interviews. Like most who live in their creative space and mind, after a while Sara needed to extend her brand outside of her community to bigger name cities. Sara was able to now live in her home town community while traveling to clients outside of State of Delaware as a great alternative.
Currently, Sara is styling client Nadjah Nicole a rising local artist who appeared as a contestant on NBCThe Voice in 2015. Sara also works styling the everyday woman in the community. I was curious like many the price range for this kind of service. I’m sure like many, I was under the impression only the celebrity or the financially upper crust could receive such amazing service on a regular bases. Every woman one time in her life has fantasied of having a “Dream Team” accessible at her finger tips by pulling out her cell phone, and calling your personal assistant to line up someone like Sam Fine as your make-up artist, Tokyo Stylez doing your hair, Naomi Yasuda your nail artist, and June Ambrose to style your attire for the day. So when Sara informed me of her packages, services and hourly rate charges starting from her low end rate of $50-$75 an hour I was really shocked I imagined it would be so much more.
Sara’s new venture in the style game is now the title of published author added to her resume’. “The Playbook to Essential Style” Is the title of this how-to easy read guide helping the everyday woman in fashion. Sara’s book is a helpful editorial to show her skills set in styling the everyday working woman. This amazing book can be purchased at Amazon or directly through her website www.saracjones.com for about $20. Although people know Sara is a stylist, it was important for her to give the reader simple easy tips on fashion. Sara explained she noticed when speaking with women in different states something stood out. “What I have noticed in general, working with women some cannot identify their own style. They like a bunch of different things, or they are not sure about their body type. We also run into society type issues where a celebrity may have something on, and everyone thinks they should wearing it, and that is not the case. The book touches on how to identify your style and the key pieces you should have in your wardrobe from garments to accessories.” This book touches on dress codes, black-tie, and dressing for your body type. Sara focused on the problem most people run into when trying to dress for their body type. Sara explains how she sees people trying to figure out what to wear. “I think this is one of the hardest things to deal with period. Our eyes look at clothes almost like food. You get so excited, it looks so good, and smells so good you put all this food on your plate and you know you cannot eat it all. So I equate this to clothes, when you go into the store, and you see something you like you say Oh My Gosh it’s so beautiful! It’s so beautiful… it’s not in your size, or the right fit for you, it’s always something. We are all built differently”
Sara shared a testimony about one of her clients who was a plus sized woman that had a difficult time finding an outfit in the store for an after 5pm affair. Sara shared with me her client wore a skirt she created just for her and went to a local salon, soon after she received raving reviews on this piece she created to compliment her client’s body type. This reaction made Sara feel amazing that she was able to give her client unexplainable confidence from this original garment. Today, Sara only designs and sews customized projects for clients. Her most recognizable piece is her signature tutu. Sara laughed and stated “I became the tutu queen by accident.” She explains this all started when she saw a photo a few years back and became inspired to create this now signature tutu. It all came about from a simple creation of a fire engine red tutu she wore during a Christmas photo shoot with her husband. Once she posted the picture on social media it has been the excitement and her clients’ constant request.
Today, Sara still creates these tutu looks for photo shoots for little girls and babies. I said to Sara, well this accident as you call it means you absolutely have to keep the tutu brand for Anara Original. Sara laughed and agreed. I asked her if she had any future plans of another photo shoot with her wearing the famous tutu creation. With a smile on her face she was excited to say yes, but quickly explained she would have to do the next photo shoot with some sun, the last photo shoot that started the craze was in the winter. Finally, I asked Sara something I was just dying to know all this time we were together… I wondered since she was a stylist and fashionista does her personality often notice and critique every persons outfit out loud when she sees them? Sara laughed at the question and simply replied, “No, not really. Not unless it is really, really, really, really, really bad… I may think things and shake my head on the inside, but I don’t outwardly say anything. I’ve grown to say if they like it, I love it. So, I just keep my comments to myself. I don’t ever want to crush anyone’s spirit.”
On the day we were together, Sara was finalizing the details on an invitation only event in New York. This special event is at the end of July. Sara credits the help and support of her success not only to her mother, husband, and family members but also her publicist Raven Robinson. This intimate lunch and learn is an event to get into the depth of her new book with the media, invited fashionistas and stylist. Sara is extremely excited about the opportunity give fashion tips and advice at this private affair.
I asked Sara if she has any words of wisdom or life quotes that are a staple in her life. What she shared was powerful and moving in one short phrase she titles the Red Thread that has stood out throughout her venture as being a stylist. “Success starts with happiness, if you’re happy then you’re winning”
With Sara’s contagious happiness, I will absolutely second Sara’s statement and she is no doubt about it… WINNING!
For more information on Sara Crawford-Jones you can follow her @anaraoriginal on all her social media sites
Twitter, Instagram, Facebook
Article: Porsha Hargrove
Photos: Porsha Hargrove PR Photography