XEL Magazine (www.xelmagazine.com) just published my interview and I am very excited to share it here:
Stefania Bartolomei and her journey to tailor-made success with One of a Style
At XEL Magazine we are celebrating independent business owners with our very own Independence Week. Issue #3 is all about recognising the success of independent business owners on their journey to entrepreneurial success.
We chatted with Stefania Bartolomei who is the business owner of One of a Style, a company based in London which recognises the customer's needs when tailoring fashion to their own individual style and needs.
How do you plan on taking your company forward? Have you got any exciting plans?
I have many exciting plans, like workshops and events! I prefer to keep the details secret for now, but I can tell you that one of my upcoming project is to write a book, that will be very different from all the styling books written so far!
What inspired the name of your company?
My business name plays with the words “one of a kind” and “style”. I believe that everyone is unique, so their style can be unique as well. I wanted to give a clear message, that I really work for clients and that my consultations are truly based on clients' personality, lifestyle and look, and not on fashion trends or on my own style.
What is your backstory? What inspired you to start your own company?
I have a background in fashion. I studied at University of Fashion in Florence (Italy) to start working straightforward in fashion companies, from textile to apparel. I loved fashion for its creativity, and the infinite combinations that can be created with fabrics, colours and shapes! The fashion world is very complicate, though, and very often you are judge for what you wear, how you look and even what you eat, rather than for your abilities.
So, after a while I started feeling that I wasn't fitting in that world any more, and that I wanted to start working on the customers' side! Besides, I always had a natural attitude to help people with their look and shopping choices, and after some researches I found out that I could make a real profession out of it! So in 2011 I attended a first course in personal fashion styling, at the London college of Fashion, yet it took me 5 years to take the courage to quit my job, move to London and start my own business.
Has it been a long journey to get to where you are today?
Well, not really, if you consider that when I moved to London I didn't know anybody and that, in the meantime, I've also become mom! Running a business is difficult, it requires great determination, original ideas and, of course, knowledge (while many believe with just passion you can go everywhere!), but play the cards well, the results can arrive very soon. This is what happened to me, thankfully!
What advice could you give to aspiring entrepreneurs?
Well, I see many people giving up at the first difficulties, so my greatest advice for them is: If you really have passion for something, do everything you can to make it happen! It is very important to do what we love, and to love what we do in life! But you need to be prepared and ready for a journey that is not going be easy.
How would you say your business is different compared to other’s in the same sector?
I have a strong background in fashion and a great understanding of fabrics and garments, and with my consultations I offer true valuable advice to my clients, that not everyone has the chance to give. Also, I believe that my Italian origin gives me a natural sense of style and good taste. So combinations that are very easy for me to create, for instance, are absolutely surprising for my clients..
What has been the highlight of your business career so far?
Well I have to say I've had many important and rewarding moments, but one that I remember with great fulfilment is when, as new mom, and still breastfeeding, I accepted a request from a client. I was feeling nervous at first, after months of maternity leave and also because I had to take the baby with me (surprised? This is London and that's possible!) but she insisted on working with me and I thought it could have been the opportunity for me to slowly get back to work.
Not only I've been able to manage the sessions, the whole experience went incredibly well and after just a few weeks the client texted me saying that she was feeling much more confident, she was getting many compliments on her look and also finally was dating someone (what she wanted to achieve with my consultation)! The incredible thing is that, while usually I help clients to feel more confident thanks to my advice, that time I felt more confident myself and, even if challenging, it gave me a great push to get back to do what I love!
Where do you plan on taking your business?
I most certainly will get to train aspiring stylists one day, maybe I'll set up an agency in collaborations with other professionals..who knows? But at the moment I am happy to work with clients myself, I still feel like I want to be in first line.
It's looking to be an exciting time for Stefenia and we look forward to seeing what's next on her fashion journey to tailor-made success.