Blogger, social media master and self-confessed lover of all things life-style and food. Blog: www.thesouthamptongirl.co.uk Instagram: @thesouthamptongirl Twitter: @thesotongirl YouTube: The Southampton Girl

Love style? Love to shop? Then turn your passion into a career with the MM Styling Academy Personal Styling Course. We get it; there are so many personal styling training courses to choose from so what makes the MM Styling Academy so different?

1): Years of experience

Melissa started with no experience of styling ‘real women’, and a very limited budget. She just moved to a countryside location where people didn’t really do ‘fashion’, and all she had was the backing of friends who would constantly ask for style advice. You don’t need anything more than that either! If you’ve got the passion for style and love of shopping then the MM Styling Academy can show you how to turn that passion into a successful career as a personal stylist in your local area.

2): Real women of all shapes and sizes

Over the years Melissa has been a ‘secret shopper’ on many styling courses and apart from the odd snippet of information, most of the stylists painted an incredibly glossy picture of their job: photo shoots, after show parties, large pay packets. That’s not the work most personal stylists work in – in fact it couldn’t be further from the truth! Melissa styles your normal ‘real’ woman, mum, grandma, aunty who typically shops on the high street or online, with two kids hanging off their arms, and panic buying for an event because they’ve put everyone else ahead of themselves. Sound familiar?

As such the styling you provide them with has to be relevant to their lifestyle demands. Typically this involves creating a capsule wardrobe which takes them from the school run to coffee with friends, to standing on the side of a sports pitch and maybe the odd supper party/evening out with the girls. These are normal women with normal lives who have lumps and bumps in all the right (and wrong) places.

The beauty of this ‘type’ of client is that they’re everywhere – in the school playground, on your local high street, amongst your friendship groups. At the MM Styling Academy we teach you how to tap into the client base that is all around you without having to spend a small fortune on marketing campaigns. Every piece of advice we give comes from our own learnings and is achievable by each of our students – regardless of what your professional background is.

3): The reality of running your own business around family commitments

Melissa runs her personal styling website (mmpersonalstyling.co.uk) and her hourly rate is easy to find online. Most people will work an 8/9 hour day, 5 days a week so with a little bit of maths you can work out what a stylist like her will be making on a monthly basis – right? Wrong. Women have children, a partner who may work away or late hours, a house to clean, mouths to feed and a mountain of ironing that is always there! So, the reality for someone like that is you will need at least one day ‘off’ to attend to the house and work admin; and if you’re starting a new career because you want to work around your kids school hours you have to remember your time throughout the day is limited.

Add to this the fact that you’ll need at least one day a week prepping for clients that are coming up and suddenly you’re down to an average of 3 clients a week and you’re only working 4/5 hours on each of those days. Don’t get us wrong, personal styling is a lot of fun and you can make a great living from running your own business, but family restrictions mean that your time management skills need to be impeccable, and you have to be more creative in some of your styling offerings so that the shortfall in income is made up in other ways (for example Melissa runs Body Shape Master Classes). We’ll teach you these practical skills which help you run a successful and profitable business!

4): Communication is key

How do you tell your client that the very item they adore is the first item you’d throw away? Or the clients that likes wearing tight tops that do nothing apart from highlight their muffin top? Awkward? It doesn’t have to be. Melissa had no clients when she started and no budget for advertising. She had to rely on word of mouth, so her success hinged on her ability to build rapport and make her clients feel as good as they looked.

A lot of this comes from within (how personable you are and how at ease you make people feel) but part comes from being armed with appropriate responses to difficult questions and scenarios. We role play all of these situations over and over again. We’ll teach you how to lead the client in such a way that they come to this conclusion themselves and yes, of course we cover the dreaded camel toe!

5): Style is not all about London you know!

We know it, plus we like to stay relatively close to home so most of our courses take place within Hampshire or Wiltshire and sometimes at locations such as the Designer Outlets in Bicester and Swindon, or large shopping centre locations like the Oracle in Reading, Festival Place in Basingstoke, or West Quay in Southampton.

We’re a flexible team so as the courses start to fill up we look at the locations of everyone and try and pick somewhere central to the majority. It means most people can get back home each night and if they need a hotel prices are a lot cheaper than London!

Hopefully you can see that the MM Styling Academy is not a typical personal styling training course; we’re brutally honest on the issues faced when styling real women and we’ll give you all the tools and insights needed so you can learn to become a personal stylist without making any of the mistakes that we did! We’re delighted to announce that the next course will be held in May 2017 at the McArthurGlen Designer Outlet in Swindon!

The course runs from May 22nd – May 24th and covers all aspects of becoming a personal stylist in your local area, including: how to assess body shapes; what to wear / what not to wear; how to build a capsule wardrobe; how to complete a wardrobe edit; what to include in your styling kit; how to set up your business; how to get clients; and so much more.

For more information please visit www.mmstylingacademy.co.uk or call Melissa Murrell on 07970 801993.

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