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Indie Fashion Week Fashion Workshop - Stylists

Tips From Established Stylists To Aspiring Stylists

They stylist portion of the Fashion Workshop for Indie Fashion Week in DC was paneled by some very big names in the area. George Worrell of George Worrell Style, Monica Barnett of Blueprint for Style, and Grant Harris of Image Granted were each present to give some very insightful information into the career of styling. Some may think formal education is the single key ticket to being successful in the realm of styling, but for those of you without the formal background don’t worry. Of the three panelists none of them had any formal education in styling, but have all grown to be incredibly successful in his or her field.

George Worrell began as an event planner and caterer. He soon realized that he had an innate talent for styling and putting together great pieces. His primary focus is on historical fashions, which makes him a great asset to the political community of Washington, DC. Along with working with some of the industries top names he also works with women recently released from incarceration to help assimilate them and their style back into society. Monica Barnett also had a very organic start in the business. Much like myself, she started styling friends and family members and her career blossomed amazingly from there (I hope to one day have similar success). Her main belief is that opportunities are fostered solely based on an individual’s drive, passion, and exposure. She’s worked in all types of styling arenas, from costume to celebrity styling. Grant Harris started in the business as an entrepreneur looking for something he truly enjoyed that could be a life-long career. He too has no formal training as a stylist, but has put in a large amount of time building connections, working with mentors, and getting good knowledge of the business.

To start with the largest point to drive home for any future stylist: the contract. As George Worrell explained, everyone wants a stylist, but not everyone can afford a stylist. It is imperative that the contract be written up and signed by the client before the start of business. He has a corporate lawyer that helps draw up and deal with any contractual issues. He then presents the client with the contract and asks for a retainer and escrow. You should have a down payment for the work you are about to do, as well as a way to pay for the products you purchase. You should not be using your own money in hopes that a client will reimburse you. Your time and expertise are now your most valuable assets and what you are trying to sell to those in need of your services. For this reason, it is also very important to mark your hourly rate accordingly.

Monica Barnett advises to start with a yearly goal. At the end of the year how much money would you like to have brought in, and work backwards from there. How much time are you willing to put in each day, each week or month? How hard are you willing to work, advertise, and network? Also, keep in mind your target client. You cannot have a celebrity hourly rate without the celebrity clientele to afford you. All three panelists agree that there is no set hourly rate for a stylist. Some say beginners should start at $70-$75 per hour, middle experience $100-$150 an hour, and so on from there. However, it is solely based on the above guidelines how much you decide to charge. Your hourly rate is not set in stone either. That can and will change and vary constantly.

Both Grant Harris and Monica Barnett have moved into a more corporate stance for styling. They do a lot of speeches and conferences, as well as businesses in search of assistance in directing their employees on proper dress. It stands to reason that social media does not play a huge part in their day-to-day entrepreneurships. Monica does admit that it can help with blogging. Grant also concedes that it can help to meet the client on his or her plane, or communication route that is more comfortable with them. They do both have social media outlets, which will be listed below. George Worrell’s view of social media definitely contrasts those of Grant Harris and Monica Barnett. He has a large social media presence, also to be listed below. He believes that while social media may not bring in clients it does help get your name out and keep you relevant and on the minds of possible clients. It is also a way to showcase what you are capable of. He also works with big businesses and government contracts, but simply views social media differently. Each individual should choose their own path for social media and his or her desired presence, but keep all accounts brand consistent and appropriate.

Styling is something you either have or you don’t, it is thought. It is very hard to teach styling and the creative nature that goes along with it. Being a large presence in the world of styling is, however, very hard to do. Make sure it is what you want, because it will not be easy. Stay focused and surround yourself with people that uplift you and believe in your vision. Don’t ever stop learning and building knowledge of fashion, business, and life in general. Don’t bite off more than you can chew just because you are so excited to finally be noticed. You want your product to always be top notch, and sometimes that means saying no. Finally, once you get your success make sure to enjoy it! Life is short and if you’ve become successful at your passion you are one in a million; so don’t take that for granted!

Monica Barnett Website:

Monica Barnett Twitter: (@Blueprint4Style)

Monica Barnett Instagram: (blueprint4style)

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