This week we’re excited to introduce you to Alison Knox, owner of Alison Knox Styling in Portland, Oregon. Over the past year and a half, Alison has been styling clients and integrating what she learned from her previous work in customer service at a management consulting firm into how she approaches her clients and their work together. Read on to learn how Alison teaches her clients to refocus away from their perceived problem areas and what her favorite boutiques are in Portland.
What led you to The Paid Stylist? When did you finish The Paid Stylist program?
I had a mutual friend who introduced me to the bad ass stylist extraordinaire Laurel Kinney. I thought I would simply send over an email to her with a few questions on how to go about becoming a stylist but I ended up learning that an actual program exists to provide the tools and context. As you can imagine, it was game changer for launching my business and I completed the program in August of 2015.
What did you do before you became a personal stylist?
I started my business as a stylist upon moving home to Portland after living for 11 years in the Bay Area. While there I worked for a management consulting company called The Table Group and headed up all customer service for the firm. They are the source for healthy organizations, teamwork and simply how to communicate well with people. The skills and knowledge I picked up there have been invaluable to me in my business now. I feel confident stepping into emotionally charged situations and being able to speak helpful truth and navigate it with grace. It has also prepared me to enter these vulnerable spaces with people - closets and dressing rooms - and end up making it a really fun experience.
Where in your city is your favorite place to shop with clients? Any hidden gems you'd like to share?
Portland is a fun city to shop in and I feel like sometimes I'm trying to keep up with all the hidden gems constantly popping up. I love it when my clients are up for a boutique shopping experience and we always find our favorite pieces that way. My current favorites are WM Goods, Adorn, Shop Johan and House of Lolo for all your fancy needs. For accessories, you can't miss Balktalk who stocks so many of my favorite Portland jewelry makers.
What are your favorite styling tips, tricks or philosophy?
I've found it so helpful to start the process and conversation on the right track. Most of my female clients lead with, 'I hate this about my body, I want to cover this up, I can't wear 'x' because I look awful, I look bad in this color.' I love to shift the conversation and start from a place of what we want to highlight and celebrate. What feature do you love about yourself and what do you want to draw focus to as we put looks together for you? I find that so many women have boxed themselves into a corner and decided, with one off-hand comment in middle-school, that they have a 'problem area' and their approach to style becomes a mission to hide that problem. I find a lot of joy in helping my clients push through some of those and really celebrate their bodies for what it is right now.
Connect with Alison as she shares her styling adventures in Portland on Instagram here.
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