Top 8 Tips on Running a Successful Styling Business

So you love styling and interior designing is your passion. Why not make your passion profitable? Being an interior stylist is a rewarding career in an ever growing market aimed at helping people style their home to look the best.

If you plan to have a slice of this lucrative and fun-filled career, there are steps that will help you build confidence, have a client base, and get accurate knowledge.

Let’s take a look at some of the things that will help you become a stylist.

Formal Learning.

You can learn interior styling by enrolling in courses, being mentored by a seasoned designer or a combination of both. It’s basically the same as other career paths. Becoming a certified interior stylist is exciting. You get to learn through trusted professionals while the learning experience is fun and practice-based.

If you are training with a certified stylist, you are assured full support and access to your mentor’s network of contacts. Expanding one’s network is every aspiring stylist’s aim. Being trained by an organisation or individual with years of experience and craft will also provide you comfort and reassurance that you will be successful in your chosen field.

Build Your Portfolio.

Like any other created and visual careers, the quality of your work will also be backed by a portfolio. Your portfolio has to be visually compelling and provides a glimpse of your achievements. To start a portfolio, you first have to engage with some clients.

If you’re starting out, you may want to consider heavily discounted or even free services to customers. In exchange, you will include them in your portfolio or media kit showcasing your greatest coastal interior designs or residential interior designs depending who your target clients are. Another way is to form a partnership with a photographer. You can provide them with areas to photograph. You will then get well-framed photos from which to build your portfolio.

Being an interior stylist consists of vast synergistic relationships and collaboration with other visual creatives. Being professional, approachable, and open-minded are keys for lasting partnerships with other individuals.

Dress For Success.

Of course, the best way to promote your service is to make yourself a walking sample work. ¬†There’s no one else who can speak for your brand other than yourself and the way you dress. You are the figure head of your very own business, so make sure you always take care of your own image always look at your best.

Showcase your personal style. This will help draw your potential customers. For example, if you are into avant garde or fashion forward styling, then dress like one. You can also be classic or minimal fashion chaser. The way you dress attracts a certain type of clientele. ¬†Clean, well-kept nails and skin, with well-matched make up says a lot about your style and work ethics. And don’t forget your communication and body language. They’re part of your branding.


The good old word-of-mouth recommendation is still the best method for marketing. Make this your goal especially when you are building up your client base. The first home builder groups are particularly promising. When one client recommends your service to another, this could snowball and help expand your clientele. Starting out is all about reputation building so put some extra effort in.

The design industry is very dynamic and being a designer is both fun yet demanding. The opportunities that will come your way can be limitless. If you are still aspiring to become a designer, there are a lot of ways to get your foot in the door of the industry. Don’t worry if you feel you kind of started late. It’s not about being first.

Be realistic.

Your goals has to be clear and realistic. Clearly identify what you want to achieve and why you are starting the business. The design industry is incredibly attractive and can be blinding. The fabulous events, travels, and frequent rubbing shoulders with famous people could make you forget about real stuff when running a business. It will sometimes conceal the not-so glamorous side of it. A chunk of your time will be spent managing inventory, managing your employees, finding press opportunities, sales and marketing, coordinating with suppliers, and juggling customers who are in different time zones. You could be styling boutique hotels in Spain but you are in Australia and thus in a different time zone, which you have to factor in.

This is what your typical day will go – adding eating, sleeping, showering, and socializing in between.

Assess your own skills and fill in the gaps

Delegating will help you to focus on the more important things that generate income for your business. This is where outsourcing comes in. You will be much happier with the result if you focus on the core of your business and hire other experts to take care of the rest. Make use of your contact list. You will definitely find someone who has the skill set that you need or knows someone who has.

Find or create a point of difference in an over saturated market

With so much competition going on, what will make you stand out? There are innumerable online retailers out there, so what will make your customers choose you and return to you again and again? Finding a gap in the market is what could help you to stand out in the crowd and take charge as an innovative design company. If you find shortages in designing the luxury hotel industry, then make that a high priority target market. It is also important to want to design and style for the target market you are choosing. Do not just base it off a gap in an already oversaturated market.

Use social media to build awareness and confidence surrounding the brand

In today’s digital age, no business can thrive without some help from social media. It is where you can showcase the latest trends, offer styling tips, and connect with your customers. No more hard selling. A deeper connection is formed between you as an interior decorator and your customers through social media. Consistent presence in social media will also promote loyalty to your brand. Connecting with bloggers whom you share similar target market can also help build your credibility. People tend to respond well to personalized styles and recommendations from others.


View all posts by