What is your current position/job description?
I am a freelance stylist and a stylist and presenter for Westfield South Australia
How did you get to the position you are in now?
I have been in the fashion industry for over 20 years working in many different areas. I started out working for a fashion agency in Adelaide when I left school which gave me a taste for the industry and I then moved to Melbourne to study fashion marketing and merchandising at the Melbourne College of Textiles which is now a part of RMIT. I was then in the right place at the right time and got to meet the head of the wardrobe department at Channel 7 Melbourne who offered me a job as a wardrobe stylist at the station. I ended up working there for 7 years and was so lucky to work with many amazing actors and celebrities .
I also learnt makeup artistry while working there. It was a fantastic time but Melbourne was never home so I decided to move back to Adelaide. I went via London (just a little of track) where I studied Fashion Styling for the Media at The London College of Fashion and then did a 6 month stint in the press office of international shoe designer L.K.Bennett London. When I got back to Adelaide I focused on my makeup for a few years and was lucky to be voted SA makeup artist of the year 5 times at the National ABIA awards. I have also been freelancing as a stylist working on many commercials and editorial shoots. The Westfield styling position came up in September last year and I am thrilled to be a part if such a fantastic team.
What are the opportunities that have opened up for you within this position?
Working with celebrities ofcourse! But I really love hosting events and workshops which is quite new to me, the highlight so far was hosting The City of Tea Tree Gully Christmas Carols event in front if 18,000 people. The thing that is fun and exciting about my job is that every week I am meeting someone new or hosting a completely different event.
Where do you see yourself or what do you want to be doing in 5 years?
I hope that I am still working in such a creative, fun industry. I love what I am doing now and can see myself continuing on for many years. I would also love to either write a book or produce an online site for woman who need to gain more confidence about the way we look, especially mums.
What advice do you have or can you give to people who want to get into a position similar to yours?
Don’t expect the Fashion industry to be all events and glamour, yes that is some of the time, but a lot is also very hard slog. On your feet for hours on end, lugging mannequins and clothes racks around, and sitting on the floor taping the bottom of shoes so they don’t get dirty in fashion parades- no glamour there! It is also very much about networking, often who you know or just being in the right place. So I highly recommend putting yourself out there for work experience or intern work. We are always looking for helpers during major events or campaigns but remember it can be hard work. Obviously having some experience in retail is very handy, and there are some great fashion courses around which give you a great background but hands on experience is looked upon very highly.
Your best tip or trick to keep a job like yours?
Sometimes you have to step out of your role and help when it’s needed, for example, I am employed as a stylist at Westfield but I will also help out with promo work or assist the marketing department when they are busy. By being flexible you will be highly regarded in any industry.
What an inspirational woman! Thanks so much for sharing you story with us Kara.