Emma Shoe Styling You
THE BIG QUESTIONS
WHAT IS YOUR PROFESSIONAL TITLE?
WHAT DO YOU DO ON A DAY-TO-DAY BASIS?
So many things! Looking after two little people first and foremost and once they’re at school I work on my business - Emma Shoe Styling You. My main focus is trying to generate new clients so I do a lot of networking both f2f and on social media. Even though I’ve been a personal stylist for over 10 years, we’ve moved three times during those years for my husband’s work from London to Lancashire, next Nairobi and then two years ago to Surrey, where I’m based now. Moving so much has made it tricky to build a permanent client base - I can’t keep popping back to Lancashire or Kenya to work with clients - so it’s like starting a new business from scratch again here. I’ve found it takes about two years to properly settle after such a big move and it’s only really over the last eight months that I’ve fully focused on my career and building my client base.
WHAT DID YOU WANT TO DO WHEN YOU WERE A CHILD AND WHAT CHANGED?
A fashion designer - I was always sketching women in crazy clothes. I did a degree in Shoe Design and spent 15 years in the industry so I guess I did follow my childhood dream, I just focused it on shoes not clothes. I still do the odd freelance job but my heart’s not in it as much now and my true passion is for personal styling, which I find so rewarding.
WHAT ACADEMIC QUALIFICATIONS DO YOU HAVE?
Art foundation, Degree in Shoe Design and Post Grad certificate in Teaching and Learning for higher education level.
WHAT’S THE BEST CAREER ADVICE YOU’VE EVER BEEN GIVEN?
Follow your gut!
WHO IS YOUR ROLE MODEL AND WHY?
My sister in law Ali, who is a senior director with the NHS and works so hard in a very difficult environment, she always sees the positives, is calm and a great problem solver, is fun to be around and is an amazing mother to three gorgeous (now almost grown up) children.
WHAT IS THE BEST THING ABOUT YOUR CURRENT WORKING ENVIRONMENT?
Flexibility to drop off and pick up my children from school and manage my own hours, no office politics.
WHAT WOULD YOU CHANGE ABOUT YOUR DAILY WORK ROUTINE IF YOU COULD?
Not working into the early hours every night!!! Reducing the time I spend on social media.
WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF PROFESSIONALLY IN FIVE YEARS’ TIME?
Becoming a specialist in personal styling for weddings and being known for my expertise in this area.
DO YOU FEEL YOU CAN BE THE SAME PERSON AT WORK AND IN PRIVATE?
My personality is crucial to my work; honesty, intuition, kindness and empathy form parts of my character but are also vital in my work. A wardrobe makeover or style session can be a very emotional process for some women, so it’s crucial my client’s connect with and feel they can trust me.
WHERE AND IN WHAT ROLES ARE WOMEN IN THE LEADERSHIP STRUCTURE AT YOUR COMPANY?
It’s only me in my company which can get lonely, but I recently joined a brilliant networking group called Inspiration Space and through that I’ve met women who’ve inspired and mentored me.
DOES DIVERSITY MATTER TO YOU?
Yes incredibly, especially in the way I bring up my children. I want them to engage with as many different people from all walks of life and know never to judge a book by it’s cover (perhaps an unlikely thing for a personal stylist to say) I was apprehensive when we moved to Surrey that their school cohort might be only white middle class Brits, but actually it is a lovely diverse mix of cultures and social backgrounds which I think is important.
HOW GOOD IS YOUR WORK LIFE BALANCE?
Not great, I work late at night and never switch off!
WHAT QUALITIES DOES BEING IN YOUR ROLE NECESSITATE?
Being non-judgemental is important; when I say what I do, many people think I will judge them based on their outfit - I don’t.
ANY FINAL COMMENTS?
I love the goal of Ladies-who-Launch and hope my profile inspires someone. My goal is for my daughter to grow into a strong and fearless woman. It’s also important for me to teach my son to respect women, see them as his equals and for him to be OK with talking about and showing emotion.