Have you ever driven past The Prop House and wondered, “What on earth do they do in there?” Maybe you’ve seen beautifully styled events, mall windows or shop shelves and wished you knew more about how it was done, and by whom. Well, we are here to answer all of your queries!
This month’s illuminating interview is from our super talented Event Stylist, Rachael. With her meticulous attention to detail, driven work ethic and refined sense of style, Rach goes above and beyond to make her clients’ dreams come true.
Rach, describe your role – what actually is an Event Stylist?
An Event Stylist designs concepts to elevate an event to the next level by creating a particular look and feel based on a client’s vision. This can be on a large scale, say a Circus-themed sit down Gala Dinner for 600 people, or an elegant cocktail party for 50 people. I love trying to bring new approaches to a re-occurring theme and making sure we keep on trend with the props we have to hire.
Talk us through how you found your way into this role. What was your experiential background?
I got my first break as an event assistant within a corporate company. This lead to about 8 years in an event coordinator position managing a national events portfolio. This job involved end to end Event Management of small workshops to large conferences to retreats and fully styled Dinners. To gain a bit more experience, I ventured to Melbourne and while there was lucky enough to work for Walt Disney Australia and Cricket Australia. I’ve always had a passion for styling and as I gained more experienced within Event Management I realised that the creative avenue was were I wanted to be.
What does a typical day look like for you?
Every day is unique as it’s all client driven. I have to be really flexible with my daily tasks and be a multi-tasking whiz! Each day sees me liaising with multiple clients, designing concepts, or sourcing items for designs.
What are some common misconceptions about your role?
- It is A LOT of hard work, long hours and weekend commitments. While it is really fun and extremely rewarding, it can be hard to deliver on people’s visions when working with venue and budget restrictions.
- How much styling actually costs. While I love Instagram and social media, it has created a market of clients that want those jaw dropping “insta worthy” events but don’t fully understand how much those people have spent to create those looks.
- While I am in a creative role, being an event stylist is extremely admin heavy. All designs are done on the computer and for an event to come to life, I have to do up different types of paperwork and instructions for the operations team and any external suppliers to ensure it’s all set up as per the plans. It is a very busy role so I don’t always get to go and help set up the event so the briefing and paperwork is very important.
What has been one of your favourite jobs or experiences as part of this role?
Being a part of the Commonwealth Games styling was a huge experience – it was very tough but a once in a lifetime experience. I can’t pick a favourite job but my top 4 styles so far have been: Dinner Under the Stars, Uniquely Romantic, Tree House and White Vintage Circus.
Do you have a favourite styling prop?
Probably our Timber Swing – I love an interactive photo opportunity and being able to adapt our swing into different styles with a variety of embellishments is really fun.
What advice would you give to someone considering becoming an Event Stylist?
One of the most important things for styling is remembering that the details matter, no matter how small.
I must say that having my event management knowledge of what it is like to be the client has really helped me understand and provide a better service now I am a supplier. Being able to read between the lines and know what the end event will look like from my client’s point of view really helps me design and create appropriate styling for different types of event.