I am often asked how I got into styling by both men and women I meet, who would love to work in fashion. Most people think that you have to have a degree in fashion or have studied since an early age, or think that it’s an unobtainable career!
But I am proof that it isn’t! I changed career just as all of my friends were settling into theirs and climbing the corporate ladder! Instead of doing the same, I quit my job and enrolled on an intensive 7 day styling course run by Nicky Hambleton-Jones of Channel 4’s Ten Years Younger fame.
I had always loved fashion and making garments but I never pursued it as a career so making the decision to leave my career for a complete change of direction was a BIG ONE!!
It was June 2008 when I took the course at NHJ Style Academy’s central London site and I was terrified! Thankfully a lot of people on my course were in the same situation, taking a chance on a DREAM and for all of us who attended the course it has paid off, as we are now all working in the industry.
What does the course entail I hear you ask?
Firstly let me say it is NOT a course where you just sit around a desk and learn the theory behind styling and trust me there are a lot of those type of courses out there. But instead it is hands-on from the very beginning, with lots of tasks and style challenges to keep you constantly on your toes.
The tutors are all professionals and have years of experience, not just working as personal stylists but also in retail, journalism, TV and the corporate world. So they really are qualified to impart their knowledge and experience to students. Not only about styling but also about the business side of setting up as a stylist and what you need to get you started.
Students learn how to break down a wardrobe to its bare bones and then build it back up with the shopping trips. The course also covers the psychology behind styling and how it can have a massive impact on a client’s life. They have constant shopping tasks throughout the week so that students get a real feel for shopping with clients, budgets and briefs, all of which are very different to just shopping with friends or for yourself.
At the end of the course students also get 2 days’ work experience with Personal Stylists from the NHJ Style team and their real clients. This was a huge draw for me when I booked as I felt it was really important to see a real stylist in action, in order to understand if it was something that I could do.
Another fab element of the course is the opportunity to win a 2 month Internship with the company, where you get to assist the Head of Styling and her team with personal clients, corporate clients and at events; an experience that can really help set you up for a career as a stylist!
So if you have ever dreamed of a career as a STYLIST…. STOP dreaming and make it a reality. If I can, so can you!
Since completing the Style Academy course I’ve set up my own personal styling and fashion styling business - styling personal clients, models and celebrities as well as hosting fashion events. I could not have had a better introduction into styling - the NHJ Style Academy encouraged and nurtured my confidence and ability as a stylist, and provided a solid foundation from which I could launch my own career.
Find out more about the courses at Nicky Hambleton-Jones’ NHJ Style Academy
Read more about Claire Wacey