The struggle is real - for a stylist anyway...


The struggle is real - for a stylist anyway...

Photo by  Jonny Caspari  on  Unsplash

So I have spoken with quite a few of you recently on my 1:1 calls, and it's funny, because we all work in this field on the assumption it is pretty open. We show ourselves on social media - what work we’re doing; what’s going on backstage; we share and share this world of ours - the fashion world… 

But do we share what it is really like?

And if not, why not?

One reason is that the struggle to be a successful stylist or assistant is real. If you don't know what I am talking about and you don't follow @stressedstylist or @fashionassistants then it’s time to catch up! Or at least follow them.  They might seem to be joking - but actually, they are talking a whole lot of truth. 

The problem though is, us.


Barely any of us talk to each other about how to do the job. Because the industry is by its nature competitive. Because we don’t often need to work together, especially if you are freelance.

Freelance stylists are a solo train, unfortunately, with only your assistant for company and carriages full of luggage dragging behind.

Sometimes, it's because we are just winging it and can't ask for help, because... shouldn't we already know how to do this stuff?

But also, because it is - it can be - exceptionally hard to find clients. And when we do speak to each other, it's not about helping, or handing over client contact details and a system for getting them.  More often than not we’re complaining (“budgets are so low,” “this happened to me”). OR it’s “I love what I do..” which is better! But never forgetting the fear that giving away precious information - helping others - might somehow lose you clients.  

Just between you and me, I think clients rely on us being cagey about who we’re working with and how we work with them. Some - NOT ALL - can benefit  by reducing our fees - or paying them late - or not at all.

I know great stylists who are still struggling 15 years into their career. Yes - they do their jobs and they do them very well, but they simply don’t earn enough to pay for the lifestyle they want.  In fact - if you are deep in the styling world, your lifestyle often revolves entirely around styling.

Forget friendships (your fiends are the teams you are working with); relationships (your relationships are the teams you are working with - though be careful, that can get messy); holidays - they are the trips you do, when you work abroad; time off (ummmm - who takes time off when you don't know when the next job is coming in!!!), and of course, regular working hours.. (meh).

Is the pay good? It can be, but you need the RIGHT KIND OF CLIENTS for this career to work for you.

Danielle x

Coming up in October:

I will be running a 4 day FREE challenge on Facebook to help you find clients in the fashion industry.

Click here for details.