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From Styling to the Mat

Alma the Superhero Mom

Talk about superhero mom. From styling as a profession to hitting the mat and 5-time winning champ in Muay Thai, Alma is a burst of energy and someone who can take you down but at least you'll look good!

Who is Alma and what is your background?

I am a first-generation Filipino American who was raised alongside my two sisters by my mother and grandmother. Growing up, my mother made numerous sacrifices to ensure that we had access to incredible opportunities. To assist my mother in raising us, my grandmother immigrated from the Philippines. Coming from a household that was filled with strong women, my upbringing has significantly shaped my identity and values.

How did you get into fashion styling?

I developed a deep passion for fashion at a very young age. By the time I was 6 years old, I was already illustrating my own outfits and collaborating with my grandmother to bring them to life by selecting fabrics and sewing them together. This early exposure to the world of fashion fueled my desire to pursue a career in design, leading me to attend fashion school. However, it was during my time as a personal shopper that I discovered my true love for styling. I yearned to break free from the limitations of styling specific brands and decided to establish my own business, where I could focus on understanding and meeting the unique styling needs of my clients based on their lifestyles.

While I am technically referred to as a "stylist," I prefer to think of myself as a "wardrobe therapist." My ultimate goal is to ensure that all my clients feel equipped and confident in the various roles they play in their lives, by helping them look and feel their best.

Dream client to style? 

My dream clients are individuals who are open-minded, honest, and ready for a life-changing transformation. These clients are willing to be vulnerable and trust in my expertise to help them become the best version of themselves. Collaboration is key, and I appreciate clients who are eager to learn and embrace new ideas.

My dream client fully embraces the experience and leans into the process. And when they do- it is incredibly rewarding to see them shine with newfound radiance, confidence, and self-esteem.

Was told you used to do Muay Thai, tell me more about that.

Muay Thai has been a significant part of my life and continues to play a vital role in my overall well-being. As an active fighter, I have accumulated over 20 fights, 5 belts, and even won gold internationally. In 2019, I proudly represented the US team, showcasing my skills and dedication to the sport.

Even though my competitive days may have evolved, Muay Thai remains an integral part of my routine. It’s a non-negotiable and I still commit to practicing 4x a week and have the privilege of being a female coach at Five Points Academy in SoHo. Muay Thai serves as both my therapy and lifestyle, providing me with a physical and mental outlet that keeps me healthy, balanced and sane.

How do you juggle your work and being a full-time mom? 

The early stages of motherhood were undoubtedly challenging, especially during my daughter's infancy. I often felt exhausted and overwhelmed, constantly running on minimal energy. However, as a woman raised with my upbringing, I learned to adapt, be resilient, and make things happen no matter what. 

Growing up, I was conditioned to believe that I would need to work for a major company or pursue a career in nursing. However, I want to show my daughter that she can be anything she wants, even if it isn't considered the norm. I believe in breaking stereotypes and demonstrating that there are no limitations to what she can achieve.

Now that my daughter is 2 years old and attends daycare twice a week, I have the wonderful opportunity to carefully plan and attend my appointments on those specific days. I am truly grateful to have an amazing partner who is not only an exceptional father but also a small business owner himself. Although it can get tricky at times, we make a great team, supporting and helping each other in balancing our responsibilities. 

In the evenings, when the house is calm and everyone is asleep, I cherish the stillness. It's during this time that I can fully focus on managing my projects and working towards my goals. Running Alma Styles grants me the flexibility to prioritize my time with my daughter, and I consider it a great privilege. 

My daughter is my ultimate source of inspiration, and my drive to succeed extends beyond financial accomplishments. I want to set a positive example for her in all aspects of life. She is the driving force behind everything I do, and I am committed to continually striving to be the best version of myself for her sake.

Describe your style in 5 words.

1970’s Retro meets The Jetsons   

What is the most important staple that you think works with any outfit?

Silver shoes! They are bold yet go with everything and effortlessly level up any outfit.

What style icons inspire you?

Iris Apfel. She will always be remembered for her bold and larger-than-life frames. Her unique style philosophy resonates with me, embracing the idea that as we age, our fashion choices can become more daring and expressive.

One piece you're buying for Spring?

Something Kelly Green, not sure yet but it’s my absolute favorite color to wear for spring! 

In the evenings, when the house is calm and everyone is asleep, I cherish the stillness. It's during this time that I can fully focus on managing my projects and working towards my goals.