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Shelton Wilder Takes Paris: The Real-estate Mogul Talks Selling Dream Homes, Entrepreneurship and Fashion


Shelton Wilder x Arabian Moda
Total Look, Emanuel Ungaro.

CEO of the Shelton Wilder Group, the North Carolina native has built an acclaimed name for herself in one of the most in demand real-estate sectors of Los Angeles. As she juggles motherhood, selling million-dollars houses whilst staying head-to-toe in style, Shelton dedicated an afternoon of her European trip to a shoot in the city of lights.

Photographer: Ian Holmes - Stylist: Victor Concepto - Hair & Makeup Artist: Maryna Armoudom from Team Lena Yasenkova - Location: Paris, France

AM: Shelton do tell us about your personal and professional route
I'm a serial entrepreneur, and fashion has always been my creative outlet. I think of fashion as this incredible confidence-building form of self-expression that has the power to transform lives and help people reach their full potential. One of my first jobs was running Capitol (a fantastic luxury fashion boutique located in Charlotte and LA). From there, I started my own personal styling and image consulting firm. Before long, I launched my clothing line, Shemie (my friends used to joke and call me the Rachel Zoe of Charlotte). It was an amazing ride, I even had the opportunity to pitch my idea to Shark Tank on TV, but I gradually started to feel creatively unfulfilled. Finally, I had this epiphany that I needed a whole new challenge. After I married my husband and we had our first son here in LA, I got into residential real estate in 2015. It felt like a totally natural progression because it combined my two passions: style and working with people to help them reach their goals. Fast forward to 2022, and I have six agents and 6 core staff working with me. We're proud to be among US REAL Trends top 1.5% producers nationwide, and I'm a 2022 LA Business Journal Leader of Influence. I'm so grateful to have such an incredible team.

AM: What are some key services your agency currently offers?
We see ourselves as a white-glove, full-service real estate concierge. That means we swiftly execute and deliver on every transaction detail for our clients, from start to finish. We work with many high-profile clients all over Los Angeles, and we're known for our discretion. From signing non-disclosure agreements to working with off-market listings (and more), we stop at nothing to ensure our client's privacy, safety, and security. We’re also famous for our staging and property prep services. As I mentioned, one of the reasons I wanted to get into real estate in the first place was my passion for design. I see our client's properties as my creative canvas, and I love creating cohesive styles that maximize value. Our listings generate a ton of interest, and we invariably end up with multiple offers, often well above the asking price.

AM: Would you ever consider expanding your business to Europe or even the Middle East?
Absolutely! That's one reason we're at Sotheby's - to tap into their international network. We have several clients based in Europe and the Middle East and we're always looking for new opportunities to serve them. Dubai is an especially intriguing market right now and we're definitely keeping an eye on it. Who knows, maybe one day we'll have a satellite office there!

Shelton Wilder x Arabian Moda
Dress, Ziad Nakad Couture.

AM: As a female realtor in what used to be a male-dominated sector, was it a challenge to prove yourself? If so, how were you able to achieve that?
As a blonde southern woman, I'm often underestimated, but I think that's actually been helpful in my career because I just love proving people wrong. I wear a crown of patience, and I'm very intentional about how I present myself. I make it a point to be the expert in the room, and I work hard to back that up - whether that means knowing more about the market, being better prepared, or just being more personable. At the end of the day, I'm an agent's agent. My strong relationships with other agents are a big part of my ability to close deals and go above and beyond to represent my client's best interests.

AM: What advice would you give to someone purchasing their very first house?
Finding an agent you trust is more important than ever in this virtual world we're living in. You need someone who will be there for you every step of the way and who truly has your best interests at heart. I also recommend doing your homework on the market before you start looking. Speak with your lender first and know what you can afford and what you're willing to spend. That way, you won't become emotionally attached to a property that's out of your reach and endlessly compare your new home to that one. That's no fun and really affects your quality of life and enjoyment of your home over time.

AM: Can you mention one special sale?
Since we primarily operate in Brentwood, Santa Monica, Pacific Palisades, Malibu, and Beverly Hills, we sell incredible world-class properties regularly. But here's a goodie: we recently listed a high-profile client's Balinese architectural home in the Santa Monica Canyon for $9.5M. It sold it in just four days for $10.5M with multiple offers. The sellers then fell in love with a new construction estate in Santa Monica, also not far from the beach which listed for approximately $20M. We quickly secured this property for them and whenever they’re here in town, they enjoy the parklike backyard and pool with their grandchildren.

Arabian Moda x Shelton Wilder
Total Look, Natan.

AM: In your own words, how would you define a “dream home”?
For me, it's all about the acreage. (Tough to come by in LA!) I fantasize about having land for boys to play on and just enjoy the outdoors in complete privacy. I'm not as picky about a dream home as long as my family is there. I think anything that makes you feel like your best self and is welcoming and warm is a dream home, whether it's a mansion or a cozy cottage.

AM: Let's talk fashion; describe your style? And what are some of your go-to looks?
I guess I'd describe my look as Southern elegance meets LA chic. I wear a dress 98% of the time, and you'll never see me out and about in workout clothes. I hardly even wear jeans, and my friends joke that I always look ready for the red carpet. For me, it's a big deal to be someone's representative, and I always show up dressed to impress. I just feel like I owe it to my clients and myself to put my best foot forward at all times.

AM: And where do you like to shop?
Locally, I love Capitol, Elyse Walker, Brentwood Country Mart, and Palisades Village. But, when I'm in Paris, I never miss Hotel Cheval Blanc - La Samaritaine, and Paul Bert Serpette (for vintage Chanel). My favorite bag, hands down, is an Hermès Birkin. I also adore Gucci dresses and Zimmermann dresses and Valentino shoes.

Shelton Wilder x Arabian Moda
Dress, Emanuel Ungaro.

AM: You live around the glamorous Beverly Hills area. How is life in this part of the world?
Life is good! I'll start with the pros. The LA weather is hard to beat, and we live near the beach here in Brentwood on the westside, which is a huge perk. My favorite thing about LA is the number of fascinating and creative people. Most folks are genuinely friendly and down-to-earth despite what you see on TV.

I hate to bring it up, but since you asked about cons, there's the little matter of traffic. It can be overwhelming… you just have to plan ahead and give yourself extra time. Also, Californians pay some of the highest taxes in the nation. But, as they say, nothing good comes easy!

AM: Finally, a piece of advice to all the female entrepreneurs out there?
Find a mentor and face down your fears. Remember, if you don't believe in your own abilities, no one else will. You are unique, you are amazing, BE YOURSELF.

I think the most important thing is to let other people's criticisms and doubts about you be their problem, not yours. You are powerful beyond measure, and it's up to you and no one else to make your dreams come true. You can and will succeed eventually as long as you never give up!