Today we’d like to introduce you to Elle Monus.
Hi Elle, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
I grew up a small-town kid, in a small-town family, truly nothing extraordinary. Dad from Los Angeles, a mom from the projects in Dallas giving us better than they had. Id say my actual career took its first steps when I was 11. My mother had died and my dad was doing his best to raise us on his own so during the summer while he was at work, I would go to the local women’s crisis center and volunteer every day from 9-5. For me it wasn’t a chore, It gave me a purpose, I loved helping out in the thrift store and eventually moving into the front office to do paperwork and answer phones. I continued volunteering there until I was graduating high school and they were gracious enough to give me a job.
I worked three jobs and went to college on my lunch breaks and after work until I graduated, then I got tired of the small town life and took the first job I could get in the big city. I was a receptionist for a law firm and just hustled my way to each next step. Paralegal, building my own program, leaving to run a firm for two of my attorneys and because I always had something to prove- I was also blogging about plus size fashion.
Through blogging I found a clothing subscription box company in it’s infancy that was looking for beta testers. I’ve always been a little wild, so I gave two strangers my credit card info and let them go shop for me. We built a relationship over time and after being the second customer and flying out to New York for focus groups, they offered me a position building out their Styling team. I scaled that team from nearly zero to hiring over 150 Stylists in just over a year.
When it was time to move on, I’d been building companies for almost a decade, so I started freelancing as an People Operations Consultant. I flew from major city to major city building and reorganizing startups- I had everything I ever wanted. Then I lost it.
I’ll get into the details later of exactly how I lost everything, but it was time to build- again- so I did. One of the women I met in New York at Fashion Week in 2014 and I had become friends and she reached out to me to see if I’d be interested in joining forces in a personal styling and image consulting company. It was an instant yes for me and that’s how my partner Veronica Bessey and I brought life to our company, TRUE Image Group. I call it TRUE, it’s like having a teenager that wants to go by their coolest nickname.
When Veronica and I built TRUE, we wanted to give women the freedom we’d found though finding our truest selves. We do that by taking the traditional styling model and turning it inside out. Style is not your clothing, it’s your most authentic self, so we use a holistic method of personal development, lifestyle coaching, body positivity, celebration of self, photo shoots and finally- clothing. We also never mind ever bringing cupcakes and champagne into the mix. We found a way for you to give yourself the ultimate gift- self-acceptance and play.
TRUE doesn’t stop there. Veronica and I both worked our way to the top, winning national awards and building excellence in atypical results, but we both know what struggle looks like so we work very closely with the Dallas community. We work with a nonprofit, Portfolio Resident Services, and provide social services to underserved areas. TRUE has furnished the center where I work with the kids and paid for quite a few events and activities. We’ve even gotten a nice letter from the Mayor of Dallas to inspire positive growth as early as possible.
TRUE’s mission is to build and inspire self acceptance and we build that through work and play. I could not ask for anything more in life than what I’ve built. Of course, I’ll always want to keep growing, but I found my passion in life and anything extra will just be a bonus.
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