How To Become an Event Stylist | Popular Party Planning Blog | Celebration Stylist

How To Become an Event Stylist

How To Become an Event Stylist by popular South Florida party blogger and event stylist Celebration Stylist

I get a lot of questions about how to become a party stylist or party blogger {similar yet different careers} I sort of fell into it myself but I get a lot of messages about where to start. I'm hoping this post answers some questions for those that are interested. I tried to answer all of the questions I normally get within this post but I'm missing anything, comment below or message me and I will add it in. Bare with me, this is a long, dense post but it has a ton of useful information in it that I wish I had from the beginning.

So let's start with the basics... with a simple google search you can determine what the requirements in your county are for licenses. Generally there's no license required to be an event stylist but a basic business license and insurance usually is. If you are a blogger, there is even less required. These things vary so much from state to state and county to county that I'm not going to cover this topic in depth. I recommend doing your research online regarding your specific area or contacting a business attorney to help you. Costs will vary greatly by location. Most party planners and stylists work from home cutting out the office expense so this business does tend to have low overhead and low startup fees but this can also be a detriment because anyone can do it, meaning there can be a lot of competition. Figure out how you can stand out! Once all of that is done make sure to get a website, business cards, and all of your social media accounts set up on every popular platform.

Whether you decide to get into blogging or on location styling you WILL need a portfolio. And a great one at that. This is the most important step because without proof of what you can do and what your style is, you won't get hired. You don't need photos of every theme under the sun but having a portfolio with at least 5 complete parties with beautiful photographs is a great start. Try to vary the themes to show your capabilities and talents. And if your party is perfection but the photos are dim or out of focus, don't use them, the photos in your portfolio are just as important as the party styling itself. Think of your portfolio as your catalog, this is what people will look at to help determine if they want to work with you or not and what they will want out of their own party. You can either display your portfolio online or with a blog or if you are booking jobs in person more often, you can print it in a book online fairly inexpensively so people have something tangible to look at. For me now, my portfolio is my blog and my Instagram. When I did on location events, I also had a physical portfolio.

Now if you're new you're probably wondering how to go about putting a portfolio together in the first place. If you have some great photos of parties you've styled in the past for yourself or friends and family then you can use those. Even if you just have a few shots from each party, it's a good start. If you don't have any good photos then you will need to get to work! There's a couple ways to do this. You can either offer to style parties for friends and family at cost and within their set budget to get photos of or you can do a styled shoot in your home which is just a staged party essentially. The latter will get it done quicker but will cost you some money for supplies. Even if you are staging a party, make sure your portfolio reflects your best work.

How To Become an Event Stylist by popular South Florida party blogger and event stylist Celebration Stylist

Speaking of supplies, let's talk about props and party supplies. Over time, as your business grows you will accumulate more and more props. When purchasing, try to stick to classic pieces that fit your style and can be used over and over. Think of creative, less expensive ways to tie in specific themes with those same classic props. Printables and paper products are a great way to bring your theme in without buying expensive pieces that will only be used once. At almost every party you style, you will accumulate at least a few new props so no need to blindly buy a bunch up front.

Remember that this is your business and you have complete control of how its run and what you offer. You can look around for inspiration and advice but then offer what works for you and your ideal client. For me, when I started, it was my side job that I did while I stayed at home with my daughter. My time felt valuable to me and I was only going to leave her if it was worth my time. I decided to target high end clients that could afford the services I wanted to offer at the price I felt was fair. My portfolio reflected my capabilities and a look and style that was worth the money I was charging. I started out with packages and then ultimately ended up customizing every quote because that's what worked best for my clients. They knew what they wanted and they wanted custom parties. So do what works for you, it will evolve and change over time once you figure out what works best and that's ok. As far as pricing goes, that will change over time too but my best advice is do not sell yourself short. Trying to do a lot of parties for cheap instead of a few parties for more will cheapen your brand and is the perfect recipe for burn out. A styled party is a premium service, not a necessity. See what others are charging in your area but also try to determine the cost and value of your time based on how much time you will be spending. There's more to it than it seems. There's the driving, buying supplies, crafting, embellishing, meetings, set up, break down, etc etc etc. Factor all of that in, determine your hourly rate and make sure to include that in your fee. Don't be afraid to have a minimum either. You don't want to dedicate your entire day to something that will only earn you $50 so set a minimum to ensure you are not wasting your time. {Can you tell I'm passionate about this subject?}

How To Become an Event Stylist by popular South Florida party blogger and event stylist Celebration Stylist

Decide what you want to offer, since my clients were high end, I decided that they would be able to afford vendors to bring in things like tables and chairs and then they would be able to select exactly what they want. I didn't want to have to bring in all of that and set it up myself so I didn't offer it. However I do know plenty of event stylists that do bring their own tables and chairs, so it's up to you. I only bring the cake table and linens, all other tables, chairs, and linens are to be rented at the client's expense because that's what worked best for me logistically and them for selection.

Once you have a portfolio and a pricing plan, you need to market. The build it and they will come mentality won't work. Even I started out thinking, once everyone sees what I'm capable of, they will want to book me! Maybe... but who will see your work and how? Marketing is the most important component of this business. It can have a domino effect and grow by word of mouth eventually but you have to start somewhere. Remember, people only have so many parties a year so you will need a lot of clients to sustain a successful business, unless you are also selling products or doing other things to make money in addition to this.

There's a million different ways to market your business but here are some things that worked for me personally. First of all, print ads rarely paid off {for me}. I ran a few in a local parenting magazine in the party section but I had to run several months at a high cost for a very small section to get business and it never seemed enough to be worth it but you can try your luck in your area and find what works for you. Some other things I did were set up a full party table in a specific theme for display at local school, holiday, and shopping events in my area. The most successful marketing technique for me personally was sharing photos of my work every single time to a local Facebook group of moms. It had around 30,000 members, all local, and whether I was promoting kids parties for their children or adult parties for themselves, I had the perfect audience. I would tag my own Facebook page and people that liked my work would follow me there also so I could continue to target them. I also had some success with Facebook ads at the time and people finding me on Instagram and my website. If you style a party for your friends for your portfolio as mentioned above, have them help you promote. Ask them to tag you in their photos when they share with friends, etc. If you do nothing else, at every single event that you style, for friends or clients, leave a stack of business cards in a place that people will see them and can easily grab them. You have the perfect captive audience right there!!

Now if you have decided to go more of the blogger route, you can read tips about that here and here. I'm also considering working on a post specifically for party bloggers if there's enough interest. I hope this helps but if you have any more questions about becoming an event stylist, send them my way!

SHOP PARTY FAVORITES:





9 comments

  1. Thank you for this, such great advice! I'm trying to break into event styling, it's not easy, but this gives me some additional ideas to what I've been trying. :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you for sharing :)! Opened my event planning company a year ago and have been trying to get clients and figuring out how to market more! Really loved the ideas in this post

    ReplyDelete
  3. This is great! My friend and I talked about doing this forever, but we never figured out how to get started.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thank so much for sharing! I have been wanting to do this for years and I am finally starting soon (ish). I am currently working on my content and site. As a military spouse that is constantly relocating my goal is to work towards styling for brands. If you have any additional tips for doing that, I'd love to hear them! Thanks again! Erin

    ReplyDelete
  5. This is a great read. I fell into party blogging completely unexpectedly. I started getting sponsored posts for parties more and more often, then I realized it was my favorite content to post. My blog gradually transformed into a party blog even though it started out as something completely different :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. Any tips on Pricing and what we should charge for Styling a party.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Great article!! I've been sharing parties on my party blog but also would like to get into styling parties for clients eventually.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Thanks for sharing! Getting started is the first step, great tips!

    ReplyDelete