After losing her job in the recession, Patrice J. Williams decided to share her shopping secrets with the masses on her site Now she hosts style segments on some of our favorite shows and gives advice in her new book Looking Fly on a Dime: How to Find Fabulous Fashion at Any Thrift Shop & Make the Cheap Look Chic. See her business and fashion tips and discover the five wardrobe staples every woman should own.

Name: Patrice J. Williams

Age: 32

Title: On-air style expert and editor of Looking Fly on a Dime

Location: New York, NY

Hometown: Hackensack, NJ

Twitter handle: @FlyonaDime

LinkedIn page: Patrice J. Williams

Instagram handle:  @LookingFlyonaDime

The gig: As a writer and affordable style expert, I blog on a daily basis at Looking Fly on a Dime and I write style articles for a few websites. I also do on-air style segments including finding models and products, and offering style commentary for outlets like the Today Show. I also host thrift shopping events in New York City. When you help a woman put a little pep in her step, it instantly changes her outlook and empowers her.

The journey: I was the nerdy girl and awkward growing up. When I entered the workforce and became an assistant at a fashion magazine, I was earning less than $30,000 and became a pro at dressing on a budget. When I was laid off from my job right before Thanksgiving in 2008, I was forced into the entrepreneurial world.  I was broke, so I had to figure out what it was that I loved about my former position, what I hated and how I could turn that into my own thing. It took me a year to come up with the idea for Looking Fly on a Dime.

Her top shopping tip: Don’t get hypnotized by sale signs. A lot of stores try to lure you in with a sale, but you’re not always saving money! Before spending, research to determine if it actually is a steal.

Thrifting 101: Fashion is cyclical, so what’s hot now was hot back in the day. Thrift stores have the trends we’re currently wearing at a cheaper price and more unique items than what’s being mass produced. It’s all about affordability and individuality.

The fashion staples every woman should own: Flat riding boots, a statement coat, a structured leather purse, an A-line little black dress that hits just above the knee and single sole black pumps.

Her biggest lesson learned: When I first started blogging, I was initially Living Fly on a Dime and didn’t research my name. About a year into blogging, I received an email from a blogger letting me know I was infringing on their trademark. I had to consult an attorney who let me know that I had to change my name. I was able to rebrand using Looking Fly on a Dime. I made sure to trademark my name.

Her top business tip: Always negotiate. It can be intimidating when you’re a new business owner but if I don’t advocate for myself, then who will? I finally stopped feeling guilty about asking for more money or perks because I’ve proven that I’m worth it. Even if you don’t get exactly what you asked for, at least you asked and set the foundation that you take yourself and your business seriously.

Her secret superpower: I have an active imagination and I’m a dreamer. I visualize everything. Whether it’s mapping out my day in my planner or even visualizing what I want my life to look like a year or 5 years from now. Those visions help me map out what I need to do now to get to where I want to be.

Her stress reliever: I love to zone out and watch any home design shows on HGTV and I have a weird obsession with MSNBC’s prison show, Lockup. I also love walking, and I pray and meditate every morning and night.

Her tech fix: I never leave home without my myCharge portable charger for my iPhone.

Her top shopping apps: I love Poshmark for selling your amazing, unwanted clothes and PriceGrabber to find the best deal on products before you buy.

Her beauty bag: I love NARS tinted moisturizer. It’s less fussy than foundation, but provides coverage. My hair is really dry, so I use Miss Jessie’s Pillow Soft Curls and African Pride’s Bouncy Curls Pudding.

Her power style accessory: Statement necklace. I have at least 15 of them.

Her theme song: “Everybody Got Their Something” by Nikka Costa.