#SchoolOfStyle: The Business of Styling Part 2

SchoolofStyleDCPopUpClass1Collage3(1) Snapping selfies / (2) a gorgeous DC Day / (3) School of Style sign

Happy Friday! It’s hard to believe that just a week ago I was preparing for my DC weekend at School of Style. I posted Part 1 here, and today I’m bringing you Part 2. Makes sense as there are two days of class, no? Despite being insanely tired and having my head spinning from all of the details from day 1, I was ready to jump in. And jump in we did.  For the first part of class we were back to the basics: mileage logs, kit rentals, 1-9 form, invoice, budgets, and rates.

SchoolofStyleDCPopUpClass1Collage5(1) School of Style class / (2) The “Kit” / (3) Lots and lots of notes!

We also covered contacts and the importance of relationship building with people in the industry while also never networking above your level. For example, if you are an aspiring stylist with no experience, you gotta intern (which is not working for free, it’s working in exchange for knowledge) for 6-9 months. Then you need to assist. While doing those things, network like crazy, but only with other interns and assistants. Never bill yourself as a stylist to another working stylist, because there is nowhere to go with that relationship, it will only be competition.

SchoolofStyleDCPopUpClass1Collage4(1) The panel of experts / (2) Their bios / (3) The School of Style Team + the panel

The 2nd half of class was filled by DC styling experts with current jobs in personal styling, editorial styling, personal shopping, and boutique buying. As to be expected, the market in DC is primarily personal shopping/styling (think diplomats, politicians, etc.) with a fair amount of work in production/commercial. Each woman was an inspiration and it was great to see them living out their dreams (despite being in a very chaotic and unpredictable industry).  It was also a pleasure to meet Alison – a fellow VCU grad and former Richmonder! As the session wrapped, each shared a little pice of advice:

  • Alison: “Learn how to read your clients. Know their style, what they want and what they need.”
  • Kaarin: “Hustle every day.”
  • Stephany: “Be careful of entitlement. Be ambitious, but be careful, keep your mouth shut, watch, learn. When you are willing to work for free, you can work for almost anybody.”
  • Robyn: “It is a business. Run it as a business, put in the work. The business of business is business.”

And then it was a wrap! And time for my 2 hour drive home. I really enjoyed this experience, learned a lot, connected with some DC bloggers, and met some great girls.

Where there any cons to this conference school? Sure, a few. But that’s to be expected and maybe even dependant on your own personal preferences/location. But for me, these were my cons:

  • Jobs – you have to go through all three classes to become a “graduate” and get on the email list for jobs. This is great…if you live in LA or NYC. The market for most styling jobs is just not huge in other places and it may not be worth it if you don’t live, or are going to relocate to, one of those places.
  • Styling Kit – you can purchase a styling kit at the class or through School of Style. The kit has a ton of worthwhile things in it and is great for convenience. With a little time and patience you could probably track down the contents of the kit yourself.
  • Contact Book – again, like the jobs, this is great if you live in LA or NYC. If not, the contacts won’t do you much good (and it’s expensive!).
  • Q&A – some questions were asked in which the answer was “Yes, we cover that. But in Class 2.” The reasoning was that we just didn’t have time to cover it in Class 1. Which I totally get, because we literally spent the whole 16 hours listening and taking notesm but it can come across as, spend money, take the class.

Despite my few cons, the over all class was a huge pro! Now it’s time for me to get on my own to-do list: snag a URL, make assistant business cards, make some contacts, and get to work.

Note: School of Style did not compensate me monetarily for this blog post nor did their PR representatives ask for a recap. I just loved the class AND signed up for the personal styling class in NYC in March. With my own Benjamins. So it’s legit.

Images c/o: Chic Stripes instagram

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3 thoughts on “#SchoolOfStyle: The Business of Styling Part 2

  1. Those are really interesting networking tips, and I think that’s a good point about networking with people at your level. Totally makes sense! (Kind of similar for blogging, in a way!)

  2. True – I never thought of that! I think it’s a little different with blogging, only because most bloggers are “equal” so to speak, but it could totally apply for your own niche. With styling, I would never say to a working styling that I am a stylist, but would say I want to assist/intern with them. Kinda like knowing the right words to say to get you in the door and gain that good experience. :)

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