What led you to setting up The Styling Storey?
After working many years in retail management and studying at London College of Fashion, there was only one thing I truly wanted to do: make women feel more confident in their skin. I live for that transformative moment in the mirror when a woman sees the hope of the future and reflects the beauty that we all see. So the Styling Storey was created: a style agency that helps women to know what to wear and how to wear it with confidence.
It happened very organically at first, friends, then their circle of friends, then clients at work and so on. I helped them with their wardrobe, to realise new ways of wearing the old and also with shopping trips to fill in the gaps.
However The Styling Storey took on an even deeper meaning when I lost my confidence in my appearance after having my little girl, and going through some big life changes. I had to learn to do it for myself and this is when my interest in coaching came in.
I’ve combined the two to help women reconnect with themselves, learn how to express who they are so that they can go out and live confident lives.
The fashion industry is fast moving, how do you think the perception of personal styling has changed in line with this?
I don’t think it has changed as much as it needs to. Personal trainers were once for the rich and famous, now they are everywhere and accessible to all. Of course the standard and quality of the trainer varies massively but its something most people engage with, even if just through online teaching. I’d love to see it become more normalised for everyone. Whether that is engaging with a stylist in a department store or investing in a personal stylist.
In fact, I believe a personal stylist is as important, if not more important than a personal trainer as our confidence in ourselves impacts every part of our life.
What are the most common issues you see your clients facing when they come to you? There are quite a few:
-A feeling of overwhelm and confusion about what to wear and what’s in fashion. They want help with carving out their own signature style in an up to date and style led way that also fits in with their everyday life. Updating their wardrobe with new brands and silhouettes.
• I have other women who know the power of personal appearance but want to know how to take it to the next level with the aim of getting more creative and inspired.
• A loss of identity and a real sense of disconnect from themselves, often they’ve been through a lot of change in their lives and they have lost connection with how to dress and express themselves. People often come to me when they are feeling at a low ebb.
• Preparing for change, whether that is a new job, upcoming promotion, marriage, divorce etc.
• A fear and overwhelm of shopping.
• A lack of consistency with their style, some days they feel great, other days they feel worried to leave the house because they are not wearing the right thing.
• Finding the right outfit for media work, red carpet events and social occasions.
• You have created a global client base can you tell me more about how you do that and if this is part of your vision to work with more clients overseas?
I think there are a few elements: networking, setting some bold intentions and communicating consistently with your audience, whether that is on social media or through email. Instagram has been very powerful for me, it’s such an international stage and you can connect with people all over the world and I have got work with women abroad through it. I’d absolutely love to continue to grow my international client base, I love new experiences and adventures and working abroad allows me to do that. For me the next level is to be involved with some more private conferences, events and media opportunities outside of the UK.
• You mention that you have a passion for self-development. How important do you think this has been in supporting you on your business journey so far?
Intrinsic. I help women to evolve into their best selves, so it’s essential I practice what I preach. The basis of a lot of the support I give is in the power of positive psychology; taking positive steps towards a stronger, brighter and positive future. After having my daughter, I suffered with post-natal depression and anxiety attacks, so self-development helped me to switch the negative thoughts and re-train my reaction to the world.
• How important do you think it is for female founders and entrepreneurs to have a defined style when it comes to fashion and do you think this supports their success?
This is my favourite question in this interview! I believe it’s very important but the key to it is that it is authentically you. Your brand will resonate with others if you learn to do you in a bolder, brighter and more confident way. This is why I chose to become a style coach as oppose to a personal shopper/stylist. Its deeper and more intrinsic than just what suits our body shape and colourings, it has to suit our personal brand and support our identity. However our style and self-expression must also be fluid and be allowed to evolve and improve, just like our businesses. Often the issues I have to deal with is that people are stuck in an old definition of themselves and they wonder why their feeling stuck.
What has been your biggest learning curve since setting up the business?
Everything! from balancing being in my mum energy and work energy to dealing with a more public profile, through to managing my social media especially the photos and becoming more comfortable in front of the camera (a working process!). Then there is understanding the true value of what you bring to the client and therefore what to charge to working alone and having the full responsibility of the business on your own shoulders. it all bee charging the with being on the BBC and hosting many workshops, conferences and events new unanticipated aspects of my work such as
Which part of your work do you love the most?
The variety of the work, the human connection and the amazing wins that take you on such an unexpected adventure. My recent regular appearances on the BBC and being invited to be an inspirational speaker at an international lingerie brands campaign laugh have been a great win.
Can you tell me more about the speaking and consultancy side of the business? Would you say these are key to raising awareness of The Styling Storey and what you do?
Absolutely, they are a wonderful way of spreading my message to a larger audience and educating them on the power of style on our wellbeing and confidence. I love the variety this brings from speaking at more intimate settings such as Soho House and Home House to more public places such as the BBC, through to working with retailers behind the scenes. It pushes me to work holistically and tackle the issue of style and wellbeing from every angle, which ultimately benefits all my clients.
What’s the most important part of your daily routine?
Putting my phone in another room to charge before bed. A non-distracted, good night sleep is essential and this change made all the difference!