WE’RE ALL HUMAN: HOW & WHY STYLING COMPLIMENTS OTHER INDUSTRIES
Clothes are NOT the only answer to boosting body confidence or achieving the wardrobe/style/fashion of your dreams. WE KNOW, we swore, and no, we’re not joking. The truth is, the clothes are only a small tool that enable us to work successfully as stylists, and they’re most certainly not the be-all and end-all of a successful styling relationship. As hard as that might be to believe, sitting down and taking time to really, truly understand your CLIENT as a human being, and invest the time into building a personal connection, is the real key to styling – like it is with so many other professions in the same vein. Just think about it, when you work with a personal trainer – it is just as important for you to connect with the trainer, for them to understand you as a person and for them to learn what motivates you, as it is for you to follow their exercise plan. Without one, the other doesn’t really work.
It often isn’t until we’re saying goodbye to a client that they realise exactly how important it was for us to understand them as a person in order to achieve the things they wanted from their session. By ensuring we work with the person first, and the clothes second, it makes our job as stylists that little bit easier, and a whole lot more enjoyable. It also connects styling to other careers and professions that champion human relationships first, many of which fall into the Health and Wellness category.
All month long we’ve been talking around our theme of Health & Wellness, and exploring exactly how the many different areas relate to our job as stylists and our role as boosters of confidence. Whilst this connection may not be obvious on the surface, the truth is we all connect on a deeper level – we’re all human and we all thrive with the right support and encouragement.
Boosting confidence, and using clothes as a tool to do that, is not exclusive to potential personal stylists. The truth is, training in specific styling modules, even when you’re not planning on becoming a stylist, can give you the edge in your field because it provides another channel to connect and relate to your clients, AND give them more of the tools they might need to move forward.
Meet Philippa, our case-in-point. Soon-to-be brand new member and all-round star, Philippa has just done exactly that by training with Emmeline and The image Consulting Company on our Colour Module.
In her day-to-day life, Philippa is a Transformative Coach and has created an original and amazing platform through which she is passionate about giving her clients a safe and supported space to explore themselves, and the steps they need to take to become their best selves. By offering what she does in her role as a coach, and combining it with the knowledge she’s learnt from her styling training, she has increased how she can help her clients move forward and the support she can offer them.
Don’t take it from us though, read what Philippa said when we sat down to ask her a few questions about her role earlier on this month…
It is my belief that it is the connection with the client and being by their side during the process of transformation that is the most important thing.
I am a Transformative Coach. Basically, I help people feel safe and supported to bring about change in their lives. It is the connection between the client and me that is transformative, and for some people it is the first time they have felt safe to embrace change in fundamental aspects of how they live. It is a privilege to share this special time with clients.
Why did you decide to follow this path?
My own transformative experience started in January 2017 when I lost much of the sight in my right eye. It was very scary. After treatment I was lucky and recovered a lot of the sight I had lost, but the effect on me personally was enormous. During 3 years of therapy I had what I call an awakening; I chose to look at my past and see how it was affecting my present. I now have a better understanding of my behaviour patterns and I am in a place of self-acceptance and self-love, which is not a place I ever dreamed I would be. I want to help others feel this too; we all deserve it.
I undertook foundation level counselling training and decided I would prefer to work as a coach as it allows more flexibility with ways of working. It is my belief that it is the connection with the client and being by their side during the process that is the most important thing.
Who are your clients?
Anyone who wants support making a change in their life and there is a connection between us. I have lived in Bristol for 20 years, but I am a northerner in my heart and I am known for my direct, but kind, approach. I won’t tell clients something I don’t feel to be true just because I think it’s want they want to hear. I will always do this with total respect and kindness, have no fear!
What appeals to you about personal styling?
Sometimes it’s practical help that people need before they can embark on a journey of personal development. Like de-cluttering part of the house or sorting out the wardrobe. It can, in turn, help start a process of self de-cluttering. It’s also a great way to connect over a fun session looking at colour, body shape and style rather than diving straight in to the “big” stuff. For me, it was during my therapy that I had a personal styling session with Emmeline and it really boosted my confidence at a time that I was feeling pretty lost and confused. I have since trained with Emmeline and offer colour and body style consultations as stand alone sessions, and there is absolutely no obligation or hard sell from me to take coaching sessions. I only want to coach people who are ready and want it.
For those who feel they might need your help, but aren’t confident enough to reach out to you at this stage, what would your advice be?
If people think they might want help, explore the possibility of having that help. Approved coaches are listed in a number of places such as the Association for Coaching or the Life Coach Directory.
I won’t tell clients something I don’t feel to be true just because I think it’s want they want to hear.
They have information about the coach themselves, their training and qualifications and the services they provide. Most coaches offer a free initial call/meeting and use that to see if you feel a connection with the coach. Take time finding a coach that feels right and don’t be put off if you’re not sure about the first one. It’s usually a gut feeling as to which coach/therapist is going to work well for you. You are in control of who you choose to work with as well as the content and pace of the work you do.
The same idea applies to a personal stylist. I suggest having a chat with the stylist and seeing if there is a connection. You should feel comfortable to freely discuss what you are looking for in a styling session. If you don’t feel comfortable, maybe this is not the right time and perhaps come back to it after a few weeks. Allow yourself time to get used to the idea but there is really nothing to worry about; you will have a great time and learn a lot.
Breathing! I know it sounds daft but in moments of anxiety or lack of confidence, just take a deep breath in for 4 counts through your nose and breathe out for 4 counts through your mouth. Do this at least 3 times. This helps clear “dead” energy in your body, slow your heart rate and helps you feel more grounded and confident.
Make a list of the things you like about yourself. We spend too much time focusing on what we think of as our “bad” points while forgetting all the “good” ones – it might be your warm smile, your bouncy hair, your elegant hands, your patience, your kindness, your fantastic baking (I admire anyone who can bake, I’m useless!).
Try an affirmation or two. I thought this was a bit of a cheesy thing until recently – I have been doing some work around my own feelings of safety and I have a photo of a handwritten post-it note as my phone screensaver so I see it lots of times each day. It says “I am safe and I am looked after” and it is really working for me. Every time I see it I silently say it to myself and I am feeling much more grounded and safe as a result. You have nothing to lose by giving it a go!
What’s the best way to communicate with you?
I am not really on social media although I do check out twitter every now and again. My website (safeandsupported.co.uk) has a contact form you can complete and I will get back to you. Or you can email me on firstname.lastname@example.org. I love connecting with people so please get in touch.