Finding my path
Having previously completed a GNVQ in Art and Design, I was unsure how to go forward. I loved shopping, fashion, colour and photography but most studies just focused on one area. I knew that people, colour and clothing were my top priorities, but I was unsure how to go about training for a career in these areas.
Fashion was not a broad enough sphere as I didn’t want to become a designer but wanted to work with individuals. I wanted to help people to look and feel their best. My husband researched training and found the British College Of Professional Styling and I enrolled straight away.
Discovering my interests
The course is in-depth and covers a broad range of topics within the styling profession. This helped me to see which areas I was interested in, such as fashion history and catwalk styling, but not wanting to fully focus on. This in turn helped me to focus on the services I was truly passionate about and proved to be a really effective way of understanding the different areas of styling. I was able to identify the specific skills and tools needed to pursue a career in the field I desired.
Something that I really found beneficial was the feedback. My tutor’s mentoring helped me to see ways to grow, areas to consider when looking analytically at fashion and most of all, she encouraged me to be brave with my ideas and opinions.
As an experienced and current fashion leader, Katharine suggested I should look into fashion writing as she believed that I was skilled in communicating in this way. It was not something I had considered before but I am very glad she encouraged me to so.
Exploring a range of opportunities
Since gaining my diploma in professional styling I have been featured in, and contributed regularly, to luxury and regional magazines – one of which has been nominated for an award. Writing and fashion editing is now a regular part of my work and is something I thoroughly enjoy. In recent years I have become a mother, so I am balancing this with my clients and writing. For me, styling is very flexible. As you can choose how much time you want to give as long as you stay aware of up and coming trends, it is something anyone with a keen eye and passion can pursue.
Much of my work with individuals has been through recommendations. These are mainly clients who book a colour analysis for themselves with me and then pass their complimentary voucher on to other friends. This also leads to other services such as wardrobe cleanses and concierge. I love working one to one with others and have found that it is often quite therapeutic for the individual. It is an honour to be able to highlight areas of beauty and enhance their shape and features. I aim to leave each session having the person encouraged and built up with the information and skills to implement what they have learnt.
I have also worked independently and alongside other stylists in shopping centres. These events are usually seasonal specials or where there is a push on a set item, such as lingerie and expert bra fittings for example. Centres often have new season release shows for editors and stylists and these are a really good way to stay ahead of the trends, meet new potential clients and make great contacts.
I have also been approached by a hair and beauty salon wanting to incorporate a stylist for their clients to improve the overall image of the customer and reputation of the salon. I have developed and run a 4 part course for the salon, looking at how wardrobe management can be lifestyle appropriate and interchangeable. I am booking clients through the salon offering colour analysis, concierge and personal shopping experiences one day a week. So far this is going really well.
All the help you need
I would thoroughly recommend The British College of Professional Styling as the content, support and feedback are fantastic. The course covers a varied range of styling avenues and this helps to identify the areas of styling one may wish to pursue.
Some examples of Sarah’s range of styling work (click image to enlarge)
An article about French style for Eaux magazine (Essex edition)
An example of Sarah’s fashion editorial work
Sarah working as stylist on a full make over client at Pure Colchester
Sarah with a client, identifying suitable colours against her skin tone
Sarah conducting one of her colour workshops at Pure Colchester
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