I recently had the “OMG this is awesome” opportunity to attend one of Julia Green’s, founder of Greenhouse Interiors, interior styling weekend’s held at her home in coastal Barwon Heads, Victoria. I mean, this was a once in a lifetime opportunity and I felt like Charlie after he secured the golden ticket to Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory!
I wrote a little media release for the weekend and bingo! the weekend and our styled images were featured on the Homes to Love blog (thanks so much guys!), which you can check out here or keep scrolling cos’ imma gonna lay it out for you now…
So you think you’ve got what it takes to be a stylist? Early morning wake ups, long days, sore feet (like really sore feet), aching, tired muscles and the most satisfying feeling of fulfillment? Flash back nine years and Julia Green hadn’t anticipated what it would take to be one of Australia’s most successful and sought after interior stylists on the first day she styled for Vogue magazine, but that certainly didn’t stop her.
In fact, the wealth of industry knowledge, business acumen and transferable skills she accumulated over the coming years lead her to the recent completion of her third ‘Styling 101’ Weekend Retreat with a group of like-minded students.
“I started out studying law believe it or not, got waylaid into pharmaceuticals as I needed money after being a poor student, and fell into a corporate time warp for 17 years,” says Julia.
A chance meeting with a photographer from Vogue who bought a couch off Julia through eBay, resulted in what Julia describes as a “Sliding Doors moment” and the start of her career as a stylist.
“He asked me who I styled for, and I embarrassingly said eBay. I didn’t know people such as ‘stylists’ existed. I had always loved interiors, but just assumed it would always be a hobby, and if I wanted a job in that field I would have to own a shop. This was well before the home explosion hit Australia and shows like The Block. So much has changed over the past decade.”
The six aspiring students had all come there intending to build on their business ideas and hopefully learn a little of the industry secrets so closely guarded by those in the know. What they didn’t expect was to walk away with a new tribe, new skills and an abundance of information that would have taken years to learn on the job, all over the course of just two days.
To kick things off the group gathered in the kitchen of Julia’s home and were instantly captivated by industry stories, hilarious anecdotes involving camel bites and drive through McDonald’s,
plied paired with generous glasses of champagne and full bellies of delicious local produce.
“Most importantly, I have learnt that team work and sharing knowledge is key to the best results. Our industry is heavily guarded, and I understand that this is likely fuelled by its competitive nature and by how hard it is to break into it. My mantra has been to share it all from day dot which I do through styling workshops and retreats. My styling retreats focus on leveraging experiences, utilising your transferable skills, and finding and understanding your niche/point of difference in a competitive space”, says Julia.
Following a tour of the house, the low down of ‘Styling 101’ and a visit from guest speaker Samantha Firestone on all things digital strategy and marketing, it was time to get into the nitty gritty and discover each other’s unique value proposition and how to get leverage in what is a fast paced, ever evolving and competitive industry.
Armed with a wealth of information, motivation and a support network that would rival alcoholics anonymous, at the stroke of midnight it was time for these Cinderella’s to hit the hay.
As Julia describes the weekend, “I invite a small number of people to spend the weekend with me, and we talk about the business of styling with a phenomenal amount of success. Not only does the team create beautiful imagery and a portfolio, but they importantly walk away with confidence, action plans, and the ‘how to’s’ they need to know to establish a career as a stylist.”
The morning saw an in house yoga session followed by a working breakfast on branding, pricing and the business of styling before the ring of the doorbell dictated game time.
With the styling gloves out, the students were tasked with curating a professional photo shoot to showcase the incredible work of artists Annie Everingham, Elle Campbell, Bibi Ana + Co and Electric Confetti. There were no roughhousing tactics here; this fight was all about teamwork, collaboration and producing editorial grade imagery that recognised individual’s styles and allowed the knowledge of the past two days to be put into practice.
“Being a successful stylist is largely about being a good team player. It’s about working in harmony with a photographer, client and team that can share your vision. It’s about believing in your capabilities and copping rejection on the chin. Style is subjective; what you like, others may not, but sticking to your own style is so important as it’s this authenticity that will set you apart from others,” says Julia.
With hearts full, bodies aching and faces radiating, it was time to say goodbye and make the journey home, knowing that life would never be the same.
With an arsenal of knowledge and a solid game plan, the future is bright (and neon) for this group of creative’s.
“The last group of stylists that attended one of my retreats (their work has been featured throughout this article), should be commended on all of the above. They should be celebrated for their passion, their thirst for knowledge, their supreme ability to share with one another, their love for this craft, and for their willingness to try something new. I am so proud of each of them, and we are in the midst of organising a part two in a studio to extend their skills even further.”
To find out more about Julia Green’s workshops, visit www.greenhouseinteriors.com.au.