Recently I’ve been working hard training women through our Style Academy who want to start their own businesses, both full and part-time, as a personal stylist and shopper. I absolutely love training and teaching people who already have a love of fashion, a great eye for style and the ambition to succeed and be the best! There’s something very fulfilling about being part of the growth and development of someone so talented who just needs a helping hand to get them going in the early days of their new career.
People often tell me I have their ‘dream job’ and ask me what it’s like to be a self-employed personal shopper and stylist? How do I generate business? How did I learn to help women with style advice? So I thought I’d write a blog for those Fitting Talk Fashionistas who’ve often wondered if personal styling and shopping is the career for them.
This is my unadulterated honest take on the realities of running your own style and shopping consultancy – the good, the bad and the ugly!
I personally love working to my own rules and my own hours. I love having the flexibility to say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ – this was probably my main motivation for starting My Style Companion if I’m completely honest, obviously as well as the fact that I had good personal styling skills and love to help people. I also obviously love fashion and clothing and researching which new trends and styles will work for my clients – that doesn’t feel like work at all!
When I first started out, because it was going to be my main source of income I worked very long hours, weekends, nights and did a lot of work for free in order to get my name out there. However I look back now I think it was all worth it, and at the time I was confident if I just got the word out about how I could help women feel more confident and less ‘lost’ with their wardrobe, that eventually the bookings would come. They did thankfully!
How to get started…
For me there’s only two ways to a career in personal styling and shopping. Experience working for another personal stylist or training. Experience is fantastic however for many people they don’t want to start at the bottom of the ladder again. Training is the next best thing as you’re learning everything you need to know about personal styling AND more essentially, how to make a successful full or part-time business from it. There are many women who have a great eye for style, but they are not all personal stylists and shoppers – if you’re serious about a career in this industry, you need to invest your time in to finding out how to run a good business in this field.
My Style Companion has presented some great opportunities for me and helped me to achieve some ambitions in my life such as working for myself and being my own boss, being featured in national magazines, styling some amazing women and transforming their confidence, being invited to amazing events like The MOBOs and LFW and meeting loads of other fantastic people I wouldn’t have met if I hadn’t started out on my own. There are also obviously opportunities for celebrity styling, styling for photoshoots and also working with businesses to help their staff with their image – all sorts of things really! It’s the kind of job where the opportunities are only limited by your imagination.
Any form of self-employment is hard-work and takes time to establish yourself and build a reputation, however the rewards are flexibility, making earnings directly in relation to how much you want to work and the fulfillment of helping a woman rediscover her style. It truly is a great feeling.
Also the job is very demanding physically, mentally and emotionally as you spend a very intense few hours with someone where it’s all about them, so very often new stylists can feel quite drained after an appointment, but after doing this for 5 years, I find it doesn’t affect me anywhere near as much now as it used to you. My brain and body have gotten used to the demands now!
If you’ve ever thought you would love to be a personal shopper and personal stylist, then 2013 could be the year to take your first steps towards a new and exciting career.
We are looking for the UK’s hottest fashionistas to become new Personal Stylists and Shoppers so that we can help more women across the UK achieve wardrobes that they love to wear, rather than a closet stuffed full of clothes that are just ‘ok’. We’re offering the opportunity for women to become self-employed personal shoppers and stylists, trained by My Style Companion and I personally am super-excited about developing new styling talent so that we can spread more My Style Companion joy.
If you would like to find out more about Training to become a Personal Stylist, visit our website. We are offering personal styling and shopping courses in Manchester and London for 2013 and we’re looking to develop some of the UKs best personal styling talent. We want you! Detailed courses start from £525.