1. Hi Rachel! Have you always lived in London?
I'm from Yorkshire originally. Following a BA in Graphic Design at the University of Northumbria, I came straight to London after graduation to get a job. It was tough at first, but over 25 years and 2 children later, it's definitely home. I worked as a freelance designer, specialising mainly in retail design concepts and airlines for clients such as Virgin Atlantic, Pret a Manger, Jaeger, River Island, BMI and Sainsbury's to name a few.
2. What's the most fun / exciting event you've put on?
The most fun event I've ever organised is probably a Halloween Party we had at home. It took months of meticulous planning to transform the kitchen into a dingy batcave, satisfying my inner goth and taking me right back to growing up in 80s Leeds.
We had a DJs, a Zombie punk band 'The TV Babies', a friend doing contortions whilst dressed as a character from a Tim Burton movie, and we drank vodka shots from test tubes. Everyone really went for it with their fantastic costumes. I've been under pressure to do another one but I'm saving myself for a big Game of Thrones themed birthday party next year. I absolutely love a fancy dress opportunity, my children love it too so we enjoy spending time planning outfits for Halloween, Comic-Con etc.
Another great party was a TOWIE inspired 40th which I organised for a friend - they had an Essex connection. A lot of TOWIE viewing was necessary, in the name of research of course. The devil is always in the detail!
3. When you're helping clients with personal styling, how do you know what suits them, and do you see a change in their confidence once you have them looking their best?
A lot of people get stuck in a style rut, whether it's due to lack of time or confidence, often buying the similar things from the same shops each season. It's fantastic when someone can be persuaded to go to a shop they've never been in and try on something they have never considered before. Just being presented with alternative ideas and encouraged to step even slightly outside their comfort zone and be open minded can be all it takes to update someone and give them confidence. That's a wonderful feeling for them and very satisfying for me.
4. How do you juggle work and children?
Juggling children is never easy. I have been a full time mother until fairly recently. My husband has always worked unpredictable hours and we have no family close by. It's only now that they are older that I feel like I can take on more work. Childcare costs and being self-employed make things very difficult - I'm not sure how people do it.
5. Have your friends and family been supportive of your new business?
My family and friends have always been very supportive. I'm very lucky, my husband is my No.1 fan (thankfully) and has encouraged me all the way. As a fellow designer, he knows my strengths professionally and as a partner he knows what inspires me and makes happy creatively.
Thank you, Rachel, and all the best with your wonderful venture!
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