Christie and I have lived on the same street for years, but only connected a few years ago when we were both sending our children to the same school. We instantly connected once we realized that we both work in fashion. I’ve had the chance to work with Christie through her helping me with wardrobing and editing my closet, and she’s helped with all of our Voloshin photoshoots. She’s really amazing at styling the models and creating beautiful looks. She has so much energy, an eye for detail, and a knack for tucking a shirt in just the right way to pull together a whole look. She took the plunge early on in working for herself and I’m excited to share with you some of her insights into working in the fashion industry and personal style.
Tell us about your work: I’m a freelance wardrobe stylist based out of Philadelphia, often traveling for jobs. I style photo shoots for all kinds of clients - bridal, fashion, film, print, you name it. I am also a personal shopper.
Being a personal shopper sounds like a dream job to a lot of people – what are some of the hardest parts of that role?
I’m often meeting clients for the first time in the fitting room which can be a vulnerable place for them, it's important to make them feel comfortable and let them know they are in good hands.
Time management is also hard. I am constantly juggling multiple clients so I have to be super detail oriented and budget my time wisely… and I need stamina! Building a new wardrobe can take time and clothes can get heavy.
You have a very impressive client list. What are the characteristics that you think make a you such a successful stylist? Are they any key decisions you think helped propel your business?
Honestly, I’m friendly! I love meeting and connecting with people and making new friends. People want to feel good and I try really hard to make them feel that way while helping them to look good, too. Building my portfolio through creative collaborations and my website also really helped propel my business!
How do you help women feel both beautiful and comfortable? So often we see one sacrificed for the other. We’re most beautiful when we feel beautiful. And it’s hard to feel beautiful when you’re in shoes that pinch and worried you’re about to have a wardrobe malfunction. Confidence is beautiful so I try to dress my clients in things that make them feel good - inside and out!
Is there a common thread you’ve seen in the clients you’ve dressed in terms with how women relate to clothing? Clothing is very intimate for woman. It is our armor and our identity, much so more than men (not to say there aren’t men who feel the same or women who don’t!)
How do you know what is going to make someone feel good when they wear it?
A nice fabric and fit usually makes a person feel great. I know clothing labels and how they fit from my time as a stylist at my favorite department store Nordstrom! If I'm working with a new client, I do an evaluation and pair them with the labels that work for their body type and needs.
How do you continue to develop your skills over time?
Every photo shoot and client appointment adds to my development… the more outfits I make the more I find what works the best. I also stay up on what's happening in fashion by following blogs. I love the bloglovin app, I can keep up on all of my blogs on one feed. I also read the blog Career Girl Daily which keeps me inspired and motivated.
What do you do to stay connected to friends while being so busy with family and work? Making time for hanging with friends is not easy but it's something that keeps me going so it's important to have that balance. If I'm super busy with work and it's hard to get out I'll plan something simple like a pizza party at my house with my favorite neighbors. When I can't see my friends I make sure to stay connected by reaching out to see how they are doing.
What do you value most in female friendships?
Supporting other women is a key to success and I attribute a big part of my success to the woman who support me as well, (Amy!). What's better than being around others that understand you? Moms, career women, we all have a commonality that connects us.
You have a lot on your plate as a mom, a stylist. What do you do when you’re feeling overwhelmed?
Working out is necessary to keep me focused and strong when I'm overwhelmed.
What are some tips you’d give to someone who is looking to develop more of a personal style?
Hone in on your personal style by first defining what that style is! Some examples would be… are you a classic dresser? Are you creative, sporty or feminine or elegant? Pick your top 3 and stay within those characteristics when picking out a new piece… that helps define your personal style or “brand”. Then, pick a style icon as your inspiration to keep your point of view on track while shopping and have fun! My style icon has always been Chloe Sevigny, she's edgy but her clothes are still pretty and pulled together… my personal style traits are creative, edgy and feminine.
Do you own a favorite article of clothing?
Blue and lilac silk, hand dip dyed caftan from my favorite boutique Vagabond.
What is your favorite travel destination?
I have a special connection and history in London. My husband lived there when we were in our 20's so we have a lot of great memories of being young and having fun at shows and just living life!