4 Ways to Break Into the Styling Industry
Updated: Nov 21, 2022
Are you looking to start your career as a stylist but not sure where to start? Have you already started but feel like you have a ways to go? Well, we're giving you 4 ways to break into the styling industry so that you can put your talent out there!
1. Get an internship
Internships are a great way to gain experience, especially if you don’t have any. Your internship doesn't have to be traditional or be with a huge company in order for it to be legit. Try reaching out to local stores and boutiques to see if they are looking for help. Use the transferable skills that you’ve gained from other jobs (leadership, customer service, creativity and communication skills) to build relationships with businesses and clients. As you do more, you’ll learn more. And as you learn more, you'll be able to better navigate through the industry.
Here are a few places to find styling internships:
2. Shadow a stylist
Another way to get valuable experience is to shadow a stylist directly. Professionally reach out to some of those local stylists you follow on Instagram and reach out to them via email. The key is to find people who do what you want to do, and simply connect with them over coffee or lunch. Saying things like “I would love to learn more from you". Or "How can I be of assistance to you?” has worked well for us. Be persistent and don't be afraid to follow up more than once. The right person will get back to you!
3. Build a portfolio
Show people your talent! Building a portfolio will let your work speak for itself. As an aspiring or emerging stylist your portfolio can be kind of thin but reach out to other creatives in your area and propose a collaboration. You’d be shocked at how many creatives would be willing to work with you. Plan photoshoots and build a team to showcase your skills. Sometimes you can find creatives who are also looking to build their portfolios as well. This is perfect if you don't have much of a budget. You don’t have to spend a ton of money to do this. Be strategic about who you collab with. Let them know upfront that this collaboration isn’t compensated, but is a great opportunity to build on your skills and portfolio to share with your audience.
Here are some creatives you can collaborate with to start your portfolio:
4. Collaborate with other stylists
Find other up and coming stylists, like yourself, already doing things in the industry. Ask if you can assist on a photoshoot or collaborate on looks and ideas. Collab with people on your level and build each other up. And always make sure the collab is beneficial to everybody. If you all share the same audience, that’s a good sign that you should collaborate.
But before you do, communicate the benefits of the partnership with an NDA or written agreement.
These tips will help you find your footing in the styling industry but most importantly, be confident in what you can do even without a bunch of experience!