Before You Change Your Career Path
There are some things you should know about the styling and design world. Interior Stylists face many challenges , some of these may not agree with you, while others may move you towards opening a door to a career that you only ever dreamed of. The first step to a successful career is to follow your passion. After all, doing something you love will never feel like work.
Read on to learn the 10 things you should know before becoming an Interior Stylist.
Be Realistic, It’s Not Cushion Fluffing
An Interior Stylist and Property Stylist’s job is hard work. It’s like moving house everyday. stairs, loading up your car, packing, unpacking the list goes on. But the result is worth all the hard work when your client walks in and you get the “wow”. You need to be some what fit for this job and have a thick skin. There is a lot more to being an Interior Stylist than shopping and cushion fluffing. Sleep! umm can’t remember when that last happened. I have 3 kids and a travelling husband so you know…. BUT I love what I do and it is my dream job.
Interior Stylist OR Property Stylist?
I am both. It’s a natural progression that happened with my business. I exclusively only did Property Styling (Styling To Sell) when I started. However, my clients loved the transformations of their homes when selling and returned to ask me to style their new homes to live in (Interior Styling). So I do both as it makes for a perfect business model. You need to decide what you are going to do and do it well. What services you are going to offer.
What Is The Difference Between A Interior Stylist And A Interior Decorator
Interior Decorators hold a qualification in Design – they usually work on projects including finishes and design of colour, hard areas (kitchens, cabinetry etc) and offer a scope of works for clients. They are interested in the craft and function of a space.
Interior Stylists are really interested in the dressing and entertainment value of an interior space, focusing on soft accessories (cushions, lamps, bedding etc) and current design trends.
Do I have The Ability To Style Other Peoples Homes!
You either have the knack for design or you don’t. That’s why people hire us – they know what they want but don’t know how to execute it and pull it all together. This is something I hear from every single client whether Property Styling or Interior Styling.
If you are one of those people who can just naturally bring a room together in any style and have people constantly commenting on your style this may be the job for you. And I don’t mean your grandma saying “that looks pretty”. There are so many new Property Styling and Interior Styling businesses that have started up, but simply don’t have the ability to design a space in a different style.
Business Is Business
You are in business – not shopping all day. You need at least a basic background in running a business or a very good accountant. Not to mention support from your family and partner. You may be able to select bedding that all coordinates, but can you run your accounts, SEO, design social media and make a profit! How will people find you. How will you get work – it’s not as simple as you think. Be prepared for a lack of sleep and long days. However, if you work hard be prepared to be rewarded and love your job.
How Do I Know If Interior Styling Is Right For Me
My top tips
- Google local Property Stylist or Interior Stylist – phone them, be upfront and offer to spend a day with them working for free. I did this with a few stylists before I started. I knew it was what I wanted to do. It will make or break you working as an assistant.
- Be realistic. Does your lifestyle suit this type of business. Can you dedicate the time?
- Do you have business skills? – you need them.
- Are you creative? – you need to be able to think outside the box.
- Do you have money to back you? You won’t be getting a zillion dollars for your work, it takes time to make a profit.
You Don’t Earn As Much As You Think
Show Me The Money! Umm yep no, not at first. In fact in your first 2 years expect it to be an uphill battle. When I started there were others around but enough work for everyone. Since then a lot of competition has come into the marketplace, a lot of undercutting that you can’t compete against unless you have a large warehouse and staff.
When you start out you purchase items as you go and then keep investing any money you earn back into the business. You don’t take a salary. In fact 4 years on I’m still not taking a salary per say. I have seen many posts in groups of new Stylists complaining they have no clients and cant compete with cheaper quotes – you need a tough skin in this business.
How Do You Even Get Interior Styling Clients
This is where community, being seen and known comes in. Join every group you can, be knowledgeable in your local area to start. Get in with people who have insider knowledge. Do your due diligence. You aren’t simply going to open a business and have hundreds of clients coming in. Hard work WILL get you there if you are prepared to put in the effort.
I had a local Agent who was my first client for Property Styling and it all started from there. The rest has been word of mouth mostly especially Interior Styling clients, then my website (SEO) and some Agents. I don’t rely on Agents as they can be fickle but have a few good ones who I work with all the time because I know they are good Agents.
Building A Portfolio
It’s a catch 22, how do you get good photos when you haven’t done any jobs to show potential clients. Well I will let you into a little secret. Photos are 100% the most important part of your business. Image is EVERYTHING in this business. It’s what clients look at first – to see your work. You can see our portfolio and images here to give you an idea.
Go and purchase some beautiful products and style your own home in different areas and take photos – if you can use a professional photographer – the difference is huge. Now you Have Photos for your portfolio. No not ikea and Kmart – anyone can do that. Be different and use your love of design.
Building A Online Presence As A Interior Stylist
A website – yes a website. So important I have learnt over the years. However building a website is not enough. How will people find your site – SEO People SEO. Get a professional website, it’s well worth it.
Absolutely no point in having a site if no one can see it when they search google for Property Stylist Or Interior Stylist. You won’t even come up on page 10 unless you invest in SEO. You can self teach yourself or invest in a good SEO company to guide you. I have learnt A LOT about this over the years. I am on page 1 through all the investment and hard work – not by chance.
So I will leave you with the above thoughts for you to decide if becoming a Interior Stylist is for you? In the meantime visit our website and have a look around to see how it has worked for me to become my dream job.