I love women. Fashion mad women. Who inspire me and who I can inspire. Meet Rachel. She came into my life 4 years ago after her Mum did a fashion course in Dublin with me. Rachel worked with me in helping me to market and build my classes & fashion courses having seen the effect it had on her Mum.
Passion is one of those things you cannot inject into people. When you have it for something you simply must follow it and that is exactly what Rachel did. Rachel is one of the people who inspired me to start fashion industry courses and to drive forward to build a community of fashion mad women. One that supported and inspired them to do something they love, no matter how big or small. That started with training a small group of Stylefish fashion teachers, (who now feature on my website and offer classes in women homes). Rachel completed this course with gusto.
Rachel loves fashion but she also loves the business of fashion. A girl truly after my own heart and she has helped me in more ways than she knows to see the wood from the trees in those yearly years. Recently, I caught up with Rachel as she is paving her way in the fashion industry and here are all the amazing things she has done since her fashion course and work with Stylefish.
Rachel Bothwell. Her fashion story.
I have been a member of the Stylefish family since 2012 and have loved every minute of it! I discovered Stylefish on Dragon’s Den and Julie’s determination and drive to bring fashion and styling to everyone really made an impression on me. My mother went to a number of Julie’s classes and I could see the impact she made, she gave her the confidence to go out and shop and come home happy and satisfied with her purchases. This definitely filtered out into other parts of her life and she became a more confident person overall.
I then became Julie’s Marketing Intern, and worked with her on all aspects of developing the Stylefish business. During this time, I spent a lot of time seeing how Julie taught her students and gained a good understanding of styling and the fashion industry.
What course did you study with Stylefish?
I completed the Stylefish Teacher course in May 2013. I learned the fundamentals of personal styling, body shape and colouring. I developed skills in sharing this knowledge with others and how to bring out their own personal style.
What was your personal goal in completing your fashion training?
To gain a deeper understanding of styling for different body shapes and colourings and the psychology behind shopping and to see where this could all lead me in the fashion industry!
How did you use your training afterwards?
My training has been very useful for my time working in various major retailers and in the Postgraduate Diploma in Fashion Buying and Management that I am currently undertaking. The course covers a broad number of areas involved in fashion retailing, including fundamentals of fashion buying, sociology of fashion, fashion marketing and PR, materials & fabrics and finance. My experience in the fashion retail industry to date has proven very useful, including my time at Stylefish.
I strongly believe my education in styling with Stylefish will make me a better fashion buyer. As in marketing, buying hinges on an understanding of your customer – their likes and dislikes, what suits them, when and why they buy. Body shape and colouring are extremely important aspects of this, even more so as retailers are expanding into increasingly globalized markets.
What have you done since?
For the last year I have been working as a Marketing Assistant in the marketing department of a major Dublin department store. I will soon begin an internship in the buying office of a major Irish retailer.
What is your favourite part of working in fashion?
No two days are ever the same. Seasons change and so do preferences and behaviours, which means you have to keep track of it all and anticipate how it will affect your customer. It’s exciting!
What is the most rewarding part of the job?
As a fashion teacher it is seeing the look of satisfaction and delight when a client ‘gets it’. This can be anything from discovering their body shape and what looks good, or why that colour never suited them and what colours bring out their natural features beautifully. Or it could be when they grasp the power of accessorizing – who doesn’t love accessorizing when they know how to do it?!
What do you like most about advising other women?
I love to see someone’s confidence grow. When a client can go and pick out the perfect outfit for themselves, armed with the knowledge I’ve given them, I know my work is done!
What are the most challenging parts of the job?
Putting yourself out there can be daunting at first, but once you get out there you’ll never look back!
Where do you like to shop?
It differs season to season, some high street retailers knock it out of the park some seasons but not others. Warehouse was really on point for SS15, so I picked up quite a few pieces there. Zara is a great one for classics, but I can’t buy trousers there as I’m too tall…disappointing! H&M is better for trousers, especially patterned ones that I love right now. I love Clerys for a bargain and Dunnes for the staples. And like any fashion girl – I can always find something in Penneys, accessories in particular! Moda in Pelle is one of my favourite show brands, I may have bought one too many pairs of boots there last winter. I also have a mild obsession with Hermès but that’s another story.
Do you feel being part of a community with Stylefish has benefited you in what you do?
Being part of the Stylefish community has been really rewarding, I have gained a beautiful network of like-minded women, all with a passion for fashion and helping others to find their style. It’s great to catch up at industry events, such as fashion shows and previews, along with our regular seasonal catchups with Julie to discuss the latest trends.
What advice would you give to others who would like to get into fashion?
Get as much experience in as many areas as possible, by using whatever skills you have, to find your niche. My marketing background led me to retail and now on to fashion buying!
How can people contact you?