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Buy Better, Buy Less

Personal Stylist Maria Copeland Helps Clients Build a Wiser Wardrobe

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Article by Lisa Moyer

Photography by Janie Jones

Originally published in Johnson County Lifestyle

After hauling that third trash bag filled with cheap, ill-fitting and disposable clothing to the drop-off site, you might want to reconsider your wardrobe choices this fall.

Meet Maria Copeland, your new personal stylist. As CEO of Etceterally Yours for women and Tailored to You for men, Copeland is educating clients how to buy better and buy less by investing in a wardrobe that works.

“Apparel is the number two global polluter and consumer of natural resources with much of it purchased at discount and discarded into landfills,” Copeland says. “Building a great wardrobe requires intentionality and a plan. Investing in ethically produced clothing made of high-quality, sustainable natural fabrics just makes sense, especially as we get older when fabrics and construction make all the difference.”

For seven years, Copeland has been styling women from her Olathe boutique and her virtual/online offering with Etcetera, a private label designer line. Three years ago, she added J. Hilburn, custom men’s clothing, to offer concierge convenience for men. Copeland’s clients are often professionals who recognize the importance their appearance plays in instilling confidence and achieving goals, both personally and professionally. 

But it wasn’t always this way. After a decade at Hallmark Cards, Copeland chose to stay home to raise the three children she shares with her husband, Michael Copeland, mayor of Olathe.  

Although rewarding, she noticed after a few years of living in comfy house clothes that she’d lost track of her personal style: “My husband would ask me to attend social functions with him, but I couldn’t figure out what to wear or how to shop with kiddos. When I did shop I was completely dissatisfied with the experience, just like all of my friends.”

When Copeland heard about Etcetera, she knew it was time for a change: “I loved the clothes and thought, ‘why couldn’t I do this?’ So I did.”

Her Etcetera clients asked Copeland if she could help their husbands, so she added her men’s line.

“I love working with men, especially when they discover how awesome custom clothes look and feel. They appreciate never having to try things on at a store again,” Copeland says. “Their wives thank me because their husbands look put together, and they no longer have to be his style advisor.”

Copeland says she loves clothes, but she especially loves people, and 10 percent of her profits support charities. Recently, she organized a fashion show for breast cancer research and awareness to support her friend and client, Barb.

Copeland first helped dress Barb’s husband, a super-trim former athlete who couldn’t find off-rack clothing that fit well. Copeland then helped Barb create a wardrobe that moved with ease from managing her real estate business to engaging with her busy family.  

“Barb and I became instant friends,” Copeland says. “She appreciated my advice on what was flattering on her and how to create a versatile wardrobe.”

When Barb was diagnosed with breast cancer, Copeland was there to help. 

“Dressing Barb’s changing body helped sustain her confidence through clothing. Her oncology nurses commented how she dressed well even when she didn’t feel good. It gave her added confidence to fight this battle. Now, Barb is preparing for reconstruction and dressing for those changes, too.”  

As a business owner, wife of a public figure and mother of three, Copeland says the challenge has been worth it.

“When I started my business, I made sure it was flexible enough for me to be the primary parent at home. Now our two daughters are in college, our son is entering 7th grade, and my home demands have shifted. I love that my kids watched me grow my business and saw that hard work pays off.”

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