Last month I had my first style client and I wanted to share about my experience! It might not be exactly what your expecting. There was no fancy website or posting ads for styling, the opportunity just came by me bring me! This was an opportunity that I knew I needed to take when I was approached about it, despite being nervous or unsure if I had what it takes.
It all started last year when I was a substitute teacher. There was one particular middle school that I subbed at frequently. They always needed subs and I needed to work. 😂 Once the word gets around that you are a good sub (there are horror stories of some bad ones out there from other teachers), your demand goes up. So, word of mouth got around that I used to teach and had all the skills to care for their kids. Finding a good sub as a teacher is like finding a great babysitter for your kids. They want to trust you! Teachers that I had subbed for, especially those who ended up really liking me would give my name and number out to other teachers. WOM marketing right there!
In the very beginning of the school year, I picked up a computer class to sub and I ended up subbing her class so much I lost count. The unique thing with subbing is that you never really meet the teachers of the class you are in because they aren’t there.
So one day I got stuck sitting in the gym for a few hours on one of the state testing days. Imagine four hours with 200 middle school kids playing basketball in a ginormous gym. It was nice and quiet. 😉 I ended up chatting it up with none other than the computer class teacher I subbed for! This is like super rare to even have time to talk, let alone someone who you sort of “know”.
We talked about everything, like Kon Marie, house renovations, my fashion blog, teaching, and everything in between because we had so much time on our hands. She was so easy to talk to, funny and super personable. My kinda person!
Well, when I brought up my blog, she was super intrigued and we started talking about fashion and how she wanted to clean out her closet Kon Marie style. She ended up telling me she wanted help with looking stylish for the next school year. The more we chatted, I realized she was super serious! People joke all the time I should help them but most never want to follow through. Turns out I was scheduled to sub her class again the next week and she asked me to leave her my business card and phone number! So that’s exactly what I did!!!
I sort of forgot about it after I hadn’t heard from her. Then one summer day in June, she text me!!! Turns out she wanted to pay me to come and act like we were on a real life “What Not to Wear” episode. I gave her my rate, we set a date and that was that!
On July 5th, the day after July 4th, I had my first style client ever and it was such a fun learning experience!
Meet Donetta! Shes the sweetest, most hilarious and silly lady! If she had an endless budget, she says her favorite dream store to shop is Anthropologie. Me to girl, me to! Her students are so lucky to have a teacher like her! She teaches coding and a Microsoft Office class and it’s just the coolest program and insane that kids 12 years old are learning HTML!
A Little Bit About Our Style Sesh
On Friday morning, we met at her house to start our style session. That word makes it sound so serious. It never even felt like work! We spent the day laughing and I just loved every second. Her daughter whos a UCF student ended up joining us for the day.
My main goal was to make sure we stuck to her personal style, to have fun with the entire process and mainly to make sure she felt confident in what she was wearing. You can have the most trendy outfit on but if it doesn’t feel “you”, it doesn’t matter. I wanted her to love what she was wearing and to feel comfortable in her own clothes.
She was such a hoot and had her daughter and I laughing the entire time. When she was trying to figure out what clothes from her wardrobe she wanted to keep, we had a mini try on session. She would come out wearing a dress or top and I would tell her if it was a yes or no. Turns out, she already had beautiful and quality pieces! There were just a few bad seeds that were very old. I had her put in the “do not keep” bin, true “What Not to Wear” style and she loved every second!
I really think she was a great client to start with! The biggest struggle for her was styling pieces together and figuring out how to wear certain pieces. Our first style rule was, “no more sneakers with shoes”. Plain and simple, she was a teacher on her feel all day and needed a comfortable shoe option. While she was trying on clothes, I started Googling a cute, comfortable and super versatile flat option. We found a pair that she was going to save up for and then order on sale!
My next rule was, “no more button up tops over her shirts”. She liked being covered and this is totally understandable when working with middle school kids and being active all day. I wore long sleeves button ups and wide leg pants most days when I taught because of this. Instead, we swapped button ups for blazers or cardigans.
The best moments were when Donetta would walk out of her room and show off an outfit I helped her style. You should have seen the expression on her face. It was pure confidence! She felt soooo good about herself and absolutely loved what she was wearing. That alone made my whole day!!!
What I Learned from My First Style Client
- Make sure they feel confident and beautiful always!
- Value yourself and your worth when charging prices
- Let them be themselves and express that in their style
- Don’t style them exactly like you would style yourself
- Give constructive criticism and not tear anyone down
- Be upfront. If something is not flattering, tell them!
- Give simple and easy to understand tips when it comes to patterns and color mixing
- Have fun
- Be yourself
- Come prepared!
I hope you enjoyed this little story about my first style client! This is the huge reason why I started my fashion blog in the first place. To share stories straight from my heart with you!
Do you have any questions about landing your first style client?! Have you ever charged for your services?! I’d love to know. Or, if you would like to have your own personal styling session, I would love to help!
Lots of Sunshine,