Fashionistas of the world, this is your chance to become a personal stylist!
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Styling help is more popular than ever as more people become beauty and fashion bloggers and look to impress others on their Instagram accounts.
As a personal stylist, you get paid to piece together tops, bottoms, shoes, bags, and accessories to create awesome outfits for your clients.
I won’t lie and say that this is an easy career to get into.
You’ll need a super keen eye for fashion and the ability to make people want to work with you, so people skills are a must.
You’ll also need to know how to score clients, which can be a tough process for a beginner until you get your name out there.
But, the end result can be so rewarding when you end up with your dream career!
If you’ve ever wondered how to be a wardrobe consultant and get paid to work with fashion all day long, then this is just the post to help.
How to Start a Stylist Business
Let’s get right into learning how to start your own business as a personal stylist.
This opportunity is great for people who want to own a business and have the drive to learn the business end of everything.
It, of course, helps to have some business experience or training already, but it’s not necessary.
As a personal stylist with your own business, you’ll have your own client base to work with, and you’ll call the shots.
That means that you can decide how much you make, who you employ (if anyone), and how your business runs!
How Much Do Personal Stylists Earn?
While a personal stylist working for a company might earn around $15 to $20 per hour, the sky’s the limit when you own a business.
Your rates can increase dramatically with experience, but even as a beginner, you can price yourself at about $30 per hour.
As you start to get more clients and people begin to recognize your name, you shouldn’t have any problem commanding anywhere from $100 to $200 per hour!
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Some stylists prefer to work by projects, such as styling everyone in a wedding party, rather than work at hourly rates.
In this case, you can easily earn thousands of dollars from one project.
It’s a good idea that, if you prefer to work per-project, you ask for at least half the cost of the project up front which can help ensure that you get paid for your hard work.
What You Need to Succeed
It doesn’t necessarily take experience as a stylist to start your own business in the industry.
But, there are some things that could come in handy if this is the route you want to take:
Awesome People Skills
You’ll be working with people every single day helping them find the perfect outfits.
You should have a keen ability to understand someone’s personality and style so that you can match them with the right pieces.
That means that you’ll need great communication skills so that you know how to ask the right questions in order to create the best outfits for your clients.
People will want to keep working with you if they feel comfortable with you and like you really understand them and their style, so people skills are an absolute necessity here.
Strong Fashion Sense
It goes without saying that you’ll need an excellent sense of fashion!
It may help you to create a portfolio of your best work. You can even be your own model, so there’s no need to hire expert photographers and models to show your work.
Even something as simple as your Instagram account with lots of followers and engagement can be a great way to prove your skills to potential clients.
Basic Business Skills and Willingness to Learn More
You should have at least some knowledge of starting your own business or know someone who can help you start off on the right foot.
There’s a lot that goes into starting a business from scratch, like taxes, local business laws, accounting, employees, and more.
It’s a good idea to hire a business consultant and accountant from the get-go to make sure everything is in place for you to start your business and obey the laws as you grow.
You should also be open to learning more as your business grows.
It’s possible that your business entity can start as something simple, like a sole proprietorship, but may need to change to something a little more complex as you expand your company.
Taxes can also get a bit more complex with growth, so be open to learning as much as you can throughout your journey.
Experience is Helpful, But Not Necessary
You don’t need any experience to start your business, but it could help to have some.
The more experience you have, the more legitimate you’ll seem to potential clients.
Your experience can also help you command the rates you’re seeking.
Think about it: Would you rather hire an accountant who has no proven experience or one who has worked at an accountant firm or has several testimonials from private clients?
If you have enough proof of your skills that back up your expertise without any experience, that’s awesome.
But you might want to consider practicing on a few of your close friends first to build a portfolio that can get you started.
Scoring Personal Styling Clients
Now you know what it takes to get started as a personal stylist.
But how the heck do you find clients?
Work with People You Know
Your own personal network of family and friends can be the perfect place to find work as a beginner!
Ask friends who are getting married or family members who want to start a fashion blog.
Those who already know you well will be delighted to work with you because they already trust you and know about your sense of fashion.
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Network with Other Stylists
Build a network with other stylists on your social media channels, especially LinkedIn.
Facebook groups are also a great way to connect with other personal stylists who have built businesses like yours.
Networking is a great way to learn from others, show your own expertise, and even score some overflow work through word-of-mouth referrals!
Get a Job in a Boutique
You can always get your start in a boutique, which will help get your name out in the community.
It’s important not to actively promote yourself to clients that come to the boutique because that will likely be against policy (stealing clientele is frowned upon!).
But when you do awesome work, the customers you help will likely share your name with their friends and family, so you’ll get some local recognition.
When you branch out on your own, you could already have some clients waiting to work with you.
Reach Out to New Fashion Bloggers
Keep an eye on new fashion bloggers or Instagrammers.
They might need your help to perfect their outfits and grow their own audience.
It’s possible to become a 100% virtual personal stylist by picking pieces you find on the web and directing your clients where to find them.
Don’t think that you have to stay within your neighborhood.
Online fashionistas may need your help to keep putting together winning outfits that please their audiences and won’t mind that you live hundreds of miles away.
Or, Build Your Own Business with an Online Styling Company!
Online styling companies are an alternative method you can use in building a business from scratch.
You’ll still have a small business of your own, but the great part is that the company will do most of the tough stuff for you, like taking care of sales tax and other things that make starting a business confusing.
These companies are legitimate fashion companies that allow you to become a personal stylist and earn commissions from your work!
*You may be wondering why I didn’t mention the popular LuLaRoe here.
At the time of this writing, LuLaRoe is in the middle of a hefty lawsuit about the alleged pyramid scheme behind the company.
Consultants and customers have complained about easily-damaged clothing and scam-like business model.
Because of the allegations against the company, I’ve decided, at this time, not to include information here about becoming a LuLaRoe stylist or recommendations for joining the company.
Cabi is an online boutique that specializes in women’s clothing.
As a personal stylist with the company, you can choose to earn cash in one of three versatile ways:
- Through personal sales, which gives you up to 35% commission on anything you sell
- Through team sales, which is more like a multi-level way to sell items, boosting your commission when your team under you also sells
- Through inventory sales, where you’ll hold clothing yourself and sell it to others, which can give you the highest return on your investment
Cabi offers a lot of options for personal stylists to earn in whatever way they think will work best for them.
Check out the site to calculate your estimated earnings based on how much you can work each week and how many styling shows you’re willing to take on.
KOKOON is a 30-year-old venture with clothing that used to sell in top retail stores like Nordstrom, but now is sold completely online to women.
You can become a stylist with KOKOON by filling out an application on the website.
You’ll host shows when you decide and can earn 10% of your sales in free clothing plus the potential for bonuses.
Stylists can earn real cash for their work through styling appointments, trunk shows, commissions, and more.
Peach is a contemporary women’s clothing brand that focuses on casual wear, active wear, and business wear.
As a stylist with Peach, you can earn up to 35% commission on your personal sales, but even more, money if you build a solid team.
Book either in-person or virtual styling appointments with clients to earn money, and you can also host trunk shows and attend events when you work with Peach.
If jewelry and accessories are more your thing than clothing, then working with Stella & Dot may be the perfect opportunity for you.
This company focuses on hats, jewelry, bags, and other accessories to finish the perfect look, although it does offer some clothing as well.
It’s also one of the most popular direct sales companies out there right now.
You can sell either in-person or online, so do what feels right to you and works with your schedule.
Stylists can earn up to 50% discounts on products, plus 35% commission on their personal sales.
The top stylists even get occasional paid trips for events!
There are also tons of bonuses and incentives in place to help you meet your goals, like cash bonuses during special promotions.
Stitch Fix is quickly becoming a well-known name in the personal styling industry.
You can become a Stitch Fix Stylist for either men’s or women’s clothing, working on your own schedule.
The company only hires stylists in specific regions, like San Diego, Dallas, and Los Angeles.
Style Lab is an on-demand personal styling website where women can go to have outfits created for them by professional stylists.
Of course, the site needs stylists like you to do the job!
The website doesn’t give a lot of information about the stylist position, but you can contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information and fill out an application on the site.
Trunk Club is Nordstrom’s version of a personal styling service that matches people not with trending clothing, but with clothing that best fits their taste and personality.
The service is for both men and women!
Trunk Club sends a box of hand-selected pieces to customers doors, but unlike subscription services, customers will only get boxes when they request them.
Stylists can work through a Clubhouse – or an on-site location of the company – or help clients via phone, email, or messenger.
Conclusion: How to Become a Personal Stylist
If fashion is your thing, then a personal stylist can be your dream career.
Fashion companies have made it easier than ever for fashionistas to become personal stylists without having to worry about the tricky business aspect of the job.
However, these styling jobs won’t let you achieve your earning potential because you’ll be limited by commissions instead of receiving a full fee for your work.
If you don’t mind leaping into the business end of things, starting your own personal styling business can give you the career and the cash you’ve always dreamed of.
Thinking of starting a personal stylist career?
Would you rather create a business of your own or grow a small business as a stylist for an online fashion company?
We’d love to hear your thoughts. Leave us a comment below!
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