Aspiring stylist looking for advice

Q. I’m a 24 yr old aspiring stylist. I absolutely love fashion! You name the magazine and I probably have a subscription. I’d love to start my own personal shopping/styling business. Although I don’t have a background in fashion or degree in fashion I still think that I could do well. I got my niece ready for her winter formal and I only spent $96.00. Fifteen of it was spent on her dress. She looked fabulous.

Do you have any advice on how I can get started in this field or who I can talk to about getting started. Any help you can give would be greatly appreciated.

-Fun Fashion Fanatic 

A. Love a girl with passion.  Now it’s time to focus your passion towards your goal of creating a personal business. Start small.  Keep your day job and make time on nights and weekends to build your shopping business. To start, do you want to work in-house for an upscale department store or boutique as a personal shopper, create a loyal client list that trusts your expertise and sense of style?  Or start on weekends by creating a comprehensive list of all the boutiques, shops and department stores, break it down by neighborhood, prices, designers offered and even restaurants in the neighborhoods. Meet with managers of these establishments and be friendly, build a relationship. 

For styling you’ll need photos of your styling work.  Are there any photographers that are trying to get work for their portfolios?  Offer your services for free.  You’ll both get something out of the shoot. Create a website offering your personal shopping, perhaps even shopping tours of different neighborhoods with a stop for lunch or afternoon tea. Create a postcard that can be left at different boutiques, bookshops and especially hotels in the area plus contact women’s groups-PTA, junior leagues, red hat societies- to let them all know you are available to be a personal shopper.  At hotels, meet with the concierge and let him or her know the details of your business so they might suggest it to guests.  Be savvy enough to shop for both women and men. And then of course there’s always the opportunity to learn the business by assisting a fashion editor/stylist on shoots—get the lay of the land by doing the grunt work (ironing, lugging trunks and boxes, pinning clothes) which quite frankly, I still do.

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