This month we’re delighted to introduce you to alumni, Dana Frost. Dana is a personal stylist and fashion blogger based in Detroit, Michigan. Before launching her personal styling business, Dana Frost Styling in 2015, she had cultivated an impressive following as the voice behind the fashion blog The Closet Confessional.
Today Dana’s sharing with us the pivotal life event that motivated her to begin her career in fashion, what running her fashion blog has taught her about running a successful styling business, and how she blends blogging and personal styling.
What led you to The Paid Stylist and when did you complete The Committed Program?
I was getting ready to launch my own styling business and felt like I could use some help learning the business side of styling. Before joining The Paid Stylist, I finished a program for entrepreneurs in Detroit that helped me create a business plan, but I was looking for a plan specifically tailored to styling that could take The Closet Confessional to the professional level I wanted. In April of 2015, I signed up with The Paid Stylist, and I haven’t regretted the decision for a second.
What did you do before becoming a personal stylist?
Before becoming a personal stylist, I worked on several publications in Detroit doing online media. I loved the flexibility and the fact that I got to work from home, but the hours were extremely long, and I felt like I wasn’t flexing my creative muscle. I started writing my fashion blog on the side, which led to other opportunities doing styling, working on photo shoots, and eventually becoming the style editor for a local publication in Detroit.
Tell us a little bit about your journey to becoming a style blogger?
I started my blog as a way to express myself creatively. I was bored with my job and wanted a career that was more authentic to me. I was always a quiet and serious person, so I worried that going into the fashion industry would peg me as shallow or superficial, and minimize my intelligence. Then I got diagnosed with cancer, and I started to care a lot less about how I was perceived. I began to focus on a career that brought me joy and fulfillment. I started the blog as a way to announce to the world that fashion was something I wanted to pursue and that I could still be a thoughtful and intelligent person while discussing fashion and personal style. That’s where the blog's name came from -- it was my confession to the world.
What skills have you gained from writing your blog that help you run your personal styling business?
The blog allowed me a certain level of credibility when I officially launched my business. Since I had been writing it for several years before starting my styling practice, I had established a pretty strong voice when it came to my personal style. But I think there is a huge difference between styling yourself and styling other women. I started organizing closets and styling long before I launched the blog. It was something I did for friends and family for fun, I just never thought I could turn it into a business.
On a more technical and practical level, the blog gave me practice in running a business on my own. From creating editorial calendars to holding myself accountable to deadlines, these skills have helped me run my styling business.
What are your favorite styling tips or tricks?
I believe in a quality over quantity approach when it comes to personal style. We are constantly bombarded with new trends and “it” pieces. It can be overwhelming (and a waste of money!) to try and keep up. I focus on the individual style of each client and try and find pieces that represent who my clients are.
I encourage my clients to have a closet full of pieces that bring them joy. Style is very personal, and it can feel like there are so many "rules" you need to follow. But if you feel great wearing something, all the rules are secondary. I can help with the fit and what’s flattering when styling a client, but I also look for how someone lights up in specific piece or outfit. Fashion should be fun and energizing, so I try and bring that to every client experience.
Follow Dana on Instagram here.
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