It’s been my job for 6 years this month (on my 33rd birthday in fact – scary!) and somehow in the buzz that comes with being a personal stylist and with my new Personal Styling courses having kicked off in the last few weeks, I realise there are questions to be answered! The question more than any other is ‘What’s it really like to work as a personal stylist?’
So, here is an insight and some of the most common questions I get asked about the job of a Personal Stylist for those of you considering delving into the magical world of fashion!
Are you ever worried you will not get it right for your client or they won’t like what you choose?
Anyone who cares about their job cares about whether they are good enough! This is normal but with practice as a personal stylist you become an expert at running your consultations, working with your clients and most importantly building a rapport with them. Sometimes, it happens you can very quickly pick an entirely new wardrobe for a client. With others (and depending on what’s in the shops!) it may take longer. That’s the reality in any creative business. I love this as each time you are personal styling with a client there will be new stock on the shop floor and hence you are always starting with fresh options for you clients and playing as you go!
How long did it take for you to get your first client once you completed your training?
I started by teaching style classes and I firstly advertised my classes through my local VEC college. I ran a trial course to see if women would come! I had 22 women in my first class. That not only built my confidence but started a little network of women who trusted me and what I had to offer. I had my first class within 12 weeks of starting and my first consultation soon after that class. You have to give it time and you have to be prepared to get yourself out there and tell people what you do!
I feel people would laugh at me if I told them I was a personal stylist. How do you gain that confidence in yourself and your services?
It takes time just like every new job and new change in your life. As women, we can be our own worst enemy. If you have a passion for what you do and you know you have a good eye for fashion, you just have to believe in yourself. It doesn’t mean you have to dress up every time you go out for a pint of milk for fear of people not taking you seriously! One thing I promised myself when I started was I was going to be myself. I have a huge passion for fashion. I love clothes but I don’t feel the need to dress up every minute of everyday and I don’t do much make-up! Ever! Find your way by being yourself and believing in that version of you. Real women naturally gravitate towards other real women!
How much money can you make as personal stylist?
If I had a euro for every time I am asked this! Of course it depends on what you charge. I would expect a personal stylist starting out (having trained and done a number of trial consultations to build up your confidence) should charge between €40 – €60 per hour for a personal shopping trip and around €100- €120 each for body shape/ colour consultations/ wardrobe styling. If you have 3 clients in a month that would be €320. I also advise some stylists who are into beauty to look at other ways they can grow their income with companies like myshowcase.com or stellaanddot.ie
What’s the best bit about being a personal stylist and what’s the worst bit?
The best bit is definitely getting to work with clothes! As a personal stylist (and even though you no doubt adored clothes before your training) you will have a whole new appreciation for them when you qualify and start working with clients or even just with friends and family. Not only does your own wardrobe get much better but the best bit is you get to share that passion with others who have lost their way or need some help. I love when I create a look for a client they would never have picked for themselves and they love it!
The worst part is probably having to keep track of your own accounts! I hate numbers! Running a fashion consultancy business means you gotta do your accounts! Dragons Den really thought me the value in this and forced me to learn how!
How do you keep up to date with all the latest trends and what’s in the shops?
Lots of different ways. When I started I wondered myself how I would! But when you are in the fashion world, things just happen. You get invited to press shows for all the high street retailers. You introduce yourself to people and boutiques so you get to hear about what they are up to and new brands they introduce and finally being in the shops with clients means you are seeing clothes and the shops all of the time! You also can get access to pr websites so you have access too lots of great images for a fashion blog or your social media pages if you decide to use platforms like these!
To find out more about my Diploma in Personal Styling, CLICK HERE or email Julie@stylefish.ie. My next part time evening course will run in the Autumn 2015 and full time Summer courses are listed also for August 2015.