Alex Fullerton "How to Dress"
Every so often it's nice to step out of the interiors zone and feature other fabulous creatives. I know that those of us who love interiors also love fashion (at least 50% of you following me do) and so I wanted to feature Alex Fullerton, who I have known for a little while now. Alex is a freelance stylist, ex Stylist Mag and owner of #thedailyshoe and as of this month, author of a number 1 bestseller on amazon "the daily shoe". Read on to hear her journey from full-time worker to freelancer, why she made the move and why it has been successful for her.
1. You have a regular job in fashion, what made you quit and why?
I had been in my role of fashion director of Stylist magazine for over seven years so was starting to feel that I had done as much as I could in the position but the actual tipping point was that I had been asked to write a book, which I wasn’t able to do in my then job. My day job is still styling so I thought that the book would give me a USP and I made the jump and handed my notice in.
2. What got your started on writing your blog and on social media and why?
I started tweeting in 2011 and loved the immediacy. Instagram followed in 2013 and apart from a short hiatus when I was on maternity leave and blocked all my followers - apart from my mum - I love sharing little snippets of my life that I find fun and interesting to look at or work that I’m proud of. I’m sure more people look at my Instagram than my actual website so today creatives have to make sure their whole brand has the same coherent message.
3. You have a book coming out in June, can you tell me more about it and why you decided to write it?
Writing a book was never on my bucket list. I wrote in my jobs on magazines and I started out as a music writer (for Melody maker and Q) but I always saw myself as a stylist first, although I was praised for my writing and perhaps it’s in my genes as my father was a journalist… But being an author was something I never thought I’d do! I was approached by a commissioning editor, who had spotted me on the street (and knew my work.) We chatted about what I could write about and thinking of the adage to write about what you know, I came up with a treatment and chapter plan for How to Dress. It’s all the tips and hints I’ve learned over my nearly 18-year career in the industry that always seem to help my friends when we chat about clothes. How to build a capsule wardrobe, how to successfully shop the sales, the way to know your own style and what you should spend on - and save on. I want it to be thumbed through, kept in people’s handbags and tucked in wardrobes to become a constant reference resource. I was adamant that I didn’t want the tone to be bossy or ‘fashion police-y’ so it’s more about giving the reader the tools and ideas and then letting them make their style their own.
4. How has your day job evolved now you work for yourself?
It’s been brilliant to concentrate on what I love to do, which is styling and now writing. Now I’m freelance I spend my time purely doing those things. I don’t have to do any strategy work or have meetings about meetings. I’m doing less foreign travel which means I can spend more time with my daughter and because I don’t have to commute and be in an office every day I get to take her to nursery most days - and I rarely miss bedtime (when before it was rare if I would make it for bedtime during the week.) I don’t miss doing appraisals and setting objectives for my reports. I spent significant amounts of my time managing people and now I just have to manage myself. I have a brilliant agent - sometimes working from home can be a little insular, if you’re working all day on your own - so I can call them, offload, do all the water cooler chat.
5. Do you monetise you blog? or do you make money in other ways?
My day job of styling shoots and writing is how I make my money. Instagram is more a showcase of what I do… although I’m starting to work with a couple of brands on sponsored content.
6. What brands do you work with?
In my career, I’ve styled commercially for Stella McCartney, Marks & Spencer, Debenhams and House of Fraser as well as shoots for Vogue Brazil, V magazine, Bazaar Malaysia, Grazia and Glamour's UK, Italian, Russian and Icelandic editions.
7. What advice would you give someone thinking of going freelance and is too scared to do so?
I was scared of giving up my regular pay check and the security and status of working on a magazine but really, what are those elements when there is more time to be had with your family, you’re not fulfilled in a job or are faced with a dream opportunity? Just do it!
8. What has been your biggest milestone to date and why?
Every so often I have a huge milestone and have had some epic opportunities in my career that are real pinch me moments but I always think the most exciting parts are still to come!
Alex's Book is available for pre-order on Amazon Here where it is currently number 1 best seller in fashion photography. Congratulations Alex!
The Girl with The Green Sofa