The Art of the Hustle: Courtney O’Neal
A self-proclaimed #bawse, Courtney Rae O’Neal is a politico by day and fashion stylist by night. The communications director for a Member on Capitol Hill has been moonlighting as a fashion stylist for over a year. Since then, her company Courted!, has been linked to heavy hitters like BET, The Washington Post, and Fashion Washington Magazine.
On Finding Balance
CAPITOL STANDARD: What are the benefits, in your opinion, of moonlighting?
Courtney O’Neal: I believe the hidden benefits are the development of personal strength and endurance. Most people simply are not built for such rigor, especially for something so easy to quit, like starting a business.
Your time becomes the biggest commodity that you have. So you become extremely selfish and perhaps unreasonable to some people.
But those people knew you before you decided to become the person you are destined to be; and that is a tough transition for everyone. Know that you and them will be OK. True friends will understand your sacrifice.
On Building a Future
Is fashion styling your passion? If so, do you hope to do it full-time one day?
Definitely. My small business is my long-term plan; I hope to work for myself one day.
Why haven’t you gone full-time?
Greatness takes time. I think what is meant to be will be and there is no reason to “rush” through something when you can develop and perfect your craft & until you’re ready.
How do you juggle these two very intense priorities in your life?
Many sleepless nights during the week and sometimes full days of rest when the weekend comes. My business is always on my mind, but I was prepared first with this schedule challenge by attending graduate school full-time while working full-time. I felt like a crazy person and then I spoke with my mother one day and she gave me the best advice that has stuck with me since– ‘Don’t think about it, just do it.’
Photography by Leah Beilhart