When I was 10 we migrated to the United States. It was almost the start of the school year and I remember we went to get some fall/winter clothes. It became our custom, at the start of the school year my parents would buy the clothes my brother and I needed for fall/winter; the same for spring and that was it. Nothing extravagant, now I know what we were doing was a form of capsule wardrobe. For holidays or special occasions, my mom would buy a piece/outfit for us; well mostly for me since my brother had the same style regardless of the event. At some point, we began to visit a friend of my mother’s who sourced second-hand clothes. It became my job for the day when we’d go see her. My mom and I would assist her in sorting the clothes, in turn, we got first pick of the items and even a discount. Imagine that, a discount on already discounted second-hand clothes! 

As I continued to grow I struggled to find my style. I always wore practical pieces that matched with most of the other pieces that I had, or whatever was available as a hand-me-down. In high school, I became more involved in activities and sometimes needed professional attire. That carried on to college where I had to juggle my limited budget between everyday clothes, business casual attire for work/presentations, and going out clothes. Because who’s wearing everyday clothes at the club? I continued to look for versatile pieces that I could wear through the different phases of my life. When I entered the workforce, nothing changed. There were special occasions when I would go out and buy a specific outfit because quite frankly nothing I had was a fit, or simply because it was the only opportunity that I had to buy something trendy or different. At least that’s what I convinced myself of. 

I’d go through phases of buying things in a specific style and then realizing I couldn’t match those things to everything else in my closet. I love color, one time I ended up with dress pants of different prints and blazers of prints/colors that didn't match. So then I would stop buying and work with what I had, not having much to work with, yet my closet was full. Did I forget to mention my mom ‘til this day (I’m 36yo) buys me clothes!? Half the time she’s on target with my style, the other half, well I know she means well. I didn’t have the heart to tell her no, so I’d keep it and force myself to wear everything she gets me. So my closet always seemed full, yet I constantly felt like I had nothing to wear. I ended up wearing the same pieces over and over. 

So after feeling like I never had my clothing style, and like I hardly ever followed fashion trends, why start a clothing boutique? That’s exactly why! BYSALWAYS stands for Be YourSelf Always! No matter what your budget is, no matter what the trend is, find a piece that’s you and wear it. Wear it multiple times, wear it in different ways, just wear it! I began with a focus on business casual because for years this style has served me well. Its versatility allows for some of my pieces to be worn to work, to dinner, or a celebration. Every single piece in any of our collections are items that I would wear. Honestly, it’s hard not to wear them all, I have to constantly remind myself that it’s a business and not my personal closet. As we continue to grow I hope that you can find a piece, or pieces, that speak to you. 

Remember to Be YourSelf Always!


Mercedes Ninoska 💜

BYSALWAYS founder sitting at a cafe wearing shoes from one of our collections.

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