I’ve been fascinated by fashion and style ever since I could remember. After seeing the first episode of ‘What Not To Wear’ (remember BBC2’s Trinny and Susannah?), I was hooked – styling was my future.
London College of Fashion offered me a place to study the business of fashion: the perfect opportunity to indulge my twin passions (business and fashion) and learn more about all aspects of the industry. My time at LCF was a real eye opener and I learned so much about what it takes to run a fashion business.
After leaving, I sought to broaden my experience in fashion. First off, I interned at Instyle and Marie Claire, where work varied from calling in press samples to attending fashion shows and assisting fashion editors on shoots in the UK and abroad.
From there, it was a short hop to assisting freelance stylists and building experience in music, fashion and TV. I’ve had some amazing opportunities to work with some incredible people, including royalty. I’ve styled for X Factor live shows, and travelled to Dubai, Singapore, Spain and the US.
Working in such diverse arenas helped me hone my skills and gave me valuable insights – and so did working at Selfridges for two years as a personal shopper, learning more about the luxury industry as I styled high net worth clientele.
Launching my own personal shopping business in London, over 10 years ago, was the obvious next step. Since then, I’ve been fortunate enough to be offered the role to launch and manage the personal stylist lounge at intu Lakeside shopping Centre. With my team of stylists, I’m able to offer a free service to shoppers, and I adore the contrast of working in a retail mall setting, helping individuals to develop confidence in creating wearable looks, both for everyday life and for special occasions.
What I love most of all about being a stylist is the fact that I go to sleep every night knowing I’ve made a positive difference to someone’s life. It’s an honor, and very rewarding!
Be comfortable without compromising
If I were given a penny every time a female client told me she wanted to feel comfortable, I would be a very rich woman. Many women think they have to choose between comfort and style – that it’s one or the other. I strongly disagree!
For me, a successful shopping trip lies in helping you look and feel better than you could ever imagine. While that might involve you stepping out of your comfort zone to experiment, I believe it’s essential to feel comfortable but to never compromise on looking good.
When I first meet clients, I often ask: “What is the one word you would use to describe how you’d like to look?” I then use this word to build their look upon. (Mine is sexy. That’s how I like to look, even in a jumper and pair of jeans.) You might want to be stylish, fashionable, classic, elegant or trendy for example. This is where we start.