I love blogging because it’s so flexible and interesting. Whatever your interest is, you can pursue it with a blog. Fashion and beauty are two of the biggest blogging industries out there, and there’s a huge opportunity for fashion bloggers to make something great out of their blog-turned-business.
That said, it can take quite a bit of time to start earning a full-time income from a fashion or beauty blog. Even then, and especially as you’re building up, the money can fluctuate greatly from month to month. You may need a steady-paying gig in the interim or as a backup. But what are your options and where can you find a freelance fashion job?
There are always the typical freelancing routes — being a freelance designer, blogger-for-hire, or even social media manager for fashion brands. Those can be great stepping stones in building your own business and reputation, but they aren’t always stable and they won’t necessarily let you play in fashion all day, either.
So what’s a stylist-at-heart to do, for money, from home? Here’s what I think:
Be a Virtual Stylist!
Being a virtual stylist is a great way to make money while you’re building your blog. You can hone your already-keen fashion sense, get a better idea of what “the market” is looking for, get to know your ideal clients (and develop a sense of what to avoid), all while making some good money on the side.
Virtual stylist jobs have a lot of feedback mechanisms built in, which are fantastic not only for developing your own sense of style (seeing what people like and don’t like, and then seeing how you feel about that) but for developing your sense of other people’s styles. As any kind of stylist — or, yes, fashion blogger — you’ll need to be able to do things that meet people where they are, not where you are. Not everyone will dress exactly like you and share your exact fashion sense, after all, which means you need to be able to tap into what other people like and don’t like and then find ways to elevate.
How to Become a [Virtual] Stylist
If you are known around town for your keen fashion sense, you can offer your services as a stylist — the in-person kind. For a set fee, you head into clients’ closets and come out with custom-styled outfits. This is a fantastic business opportunity in and of itself, especially if you can tap into a market of people who have some money to spend on clothing but either doesn't know what works for them or simply don’t have the time to pull their clothes situation together as well as they’d like.
If you’d rather go the virtual route, however, you’ve got some interesting opportunities. These are some of the best:
- Direct sales clothing companies. You probably have at least one friend who is knee-deep in direct sales. There are quite a few different clothing companies that can be offered through direct sales, and this is something you can start doing online and offline, with as much of one or the other mixed in as you’d like. Online direct sales, when done right, can be very effective on Facebook, and there are quite a few salespeople who do this well. One of the best things about Facebook is that it’s free to join and is never “closed” so to speak. The important thing to remember about any direct sales opportunity is to find the right company for you and only join something you’re really excited to share. If you’re just in it for the money, it’ll show and you’ll have a hard time getting off the ground.
- Direct jewelry sales. If accessories are where you really shine, you may also be interested in direct sales jewelry companies. Many of these jewelry designs are as stunning as what you’ll find in the shops and custom boutiques, but much more affordable for the typical household. Plus, if you have an online shop, it might be easy to work in some of your very best pieces on your blog as a way to monetize the blog and support your commissions all in one. Stella & Dot is one of my favorites.
- Stitch Fix is a fashion company that hires at-home stylists. Stitch Fix clients fill out a profile and request a “fix,” and your job is to send them a box of items that should work for them. The client chooses which items to keep and which to return, and you’ll earn a commission based on what they keep. Other companies like Stitch Fix include Trunk Club, Fashion Stork Club, Bombfell, and Keaton Row. You can find part-time and even full-time work as a virtual stylist at these companies and others like them.
- Similar to Stitch Fix is Rocksbox, which deals with designer jewelry rather than clothing. If your “special something” is perfecting someone’s look with the right accessories, you can look for work at Rocksbox and other companies like it, including Your Bijoux Box, Hang Squad, and Emma & Chloe.
- Fashion job boards. These are few of the top fashion job boards:
- Traditional job boards. I did a quick scan on com for “online fashion stylist” and found a few interesting opportunities, including an at-home virtual assistant for a lead stylist in a Manhattan men’s boutique, an opening at an online fashion site, and an online personal shopper.
If your expertise lies in the beauty field, makeovers or special occasion makeup may be your home business of choice. Connect with area photographers to spread your name even further. And to take that type of stylist work virtual, you might be interested in working for the stalwart Mary Kay, which now employs virtual stylists to help their clients find the right products and shades.
One More Thought
My best piece of advice is to brand yourself as a professional with something unique to offer. The above is not a comprehensive list and there are a million and one little things that need to be done when running a business. You never know what you will run across or what will be offered to you. Show your style. Network frequently. Always act like a lady. And be ready for whatever comes your way!
Have you ever worked as a virtual stylist? If fashion isn’t your #1 thing, would you ever hire a virtual stylist or pick up a subscription box?