TP: Hi Louise, thanks for joining us today! Tell me, how would you describe your role to someone outside the industry?
LPR: Wardrobe Stylist and Clothing Designer
TP: What do your parents think you do?
LPR: I think they have a pretty accurate idea of what I do. I think they can't really keep up with what is happening and when, but they're incredibly supportive and understand the ups and downs of freelance life.
TP: That's so lovely to hear! How did you get your start in styling?
LPR: I was born in Durban but moved to Cape Town when I was 7. I always knew I wanted to be a clothing designer. I've always been obsessed with textiles and clothes. My mum used to cut me squares of fabric that I would cuddle like a teddy bear and rub on my face! I studied clothing design at Cape Tech and wardrobe styling was a natural progression.
TP: Tell me about your first shoot?
LPR: Holy shit, I honestly can't even remember! They all blur into one after a while
TP: What have you learned from this industry?
LPR: What being in this world has taught me. is that the only way to be happy and successful is to have a "can do" attitude. Anything is possible. It's actually a fab philosophy for life in general!
TP: What do you think makes your work unique or stand out from others?
LPR: I like breaking the rules. All this "she's got an Autumn skin tone so can't wear blah, blah, blah colours rubbish". I put pale skin in nudes with red lips and I go dilly for a clashing print.
TP: What’s an average day like for you?
LPR: Average day? There is no such thing in my life!
TP: What do you like the most about your work?
LPR: It's always changing, every day is different. You can't really get bored!
TP: What’s the most challenging part of your work?
LPR: Getting model sizes at 10pm when you have to be on set at 6am the next day…
TP: What was a memorable assignment from the past year?
TP: Do you have any goals or dreams for your styling career?
LPR: I think the most rewarding thing in this industry is having return clients. Building relationships and friendships over time - that’s the most rewarding.
TP: Speak a little bit on the idea of "being your own boss." How do you manage that elusive work / life balance?
LPR: It's hard! That said, I'd never go back [to a day job]I see a business coach and it's the best money I spend every month. When you're working independently, it's good to feel like you have someone supporting you. The pros are: it's made me SUPER organized and I now know how to use Excel to track my earnings. The cons are: work is seasonal and Winter can be slow and tough.
TP: What is the biggest challenge of working alone or independently?
LPR: It can be lonely. So, I rent a desk in a gorgeous heritage building on Shortmarket Street with some other like-minded design friends. It's good to keep work at work and then relax at home.
TP: Have you ever considered getting representation?
LPR: Yes I have and I will
TP: How do you normally land new projects?
LPR: Word of mouth!
TP: Through which channels do you promote yourself?
LPR: I don't really, but I must start! I have so many projects on the go, so when things are quiet on one thing, I work on the other and I'm constantly juggling amongst them.
TP: When you have an assistant working for you, what do you look for in someone that you would hire?
LPR: Must have a "can do" attitude and be super energetic! They know what you need before you even know what you need.
TP: What would your advice be to an aspiring stylist?
LPR: Assist, assist, assist! It's the best way to learn. I still assist on big jobs and I keep learning!
TP: Alright, last parting words - What's the best advice you've been given?
LPR: Don't let other people’s egos get to you!
Thank you for sharing your story, Louise!
Connect with Louise on IG @louiseparkross
or via email firstname.lastname@example.org