A lot can happen in the span of 5 years and today excitingly marks the 5 year anniversary of starting my company, DTK Styling LLC.
I’ve realized that most of my followers and even some of my friends and family don’t really know or understand what I do or how hard I have worked over these past 5 years. I figured I would let whomever feels compelled to read this blog post a little insight into my life.
Let’s just start from the beginning… I was raised in the country in a very small town in Texas. So obviously, I was a huge tomboy. My youth and into high school was spent playing soccer all day, everyday, for a total of about 15 years. High school wasn’t really something I wanted to do for the entirety of 4 years so I made it a point to graduate in 3 so I could start pursuing my Architecture degree at UTA, all while having a full time job. My parents taught me to work extremely hard for things I wanted, and I did just that. 5 years later, I graduate with a degree in Architecture and Business Management right as the economy crashed. I took a few months of “off” time to figure out what I wanted in life and made some major life changes.
Not only did I meet someone and get engaged, I also packed up and moved to Austin. It’s crazy to think that was over 7 years ago. Thankfully, the Austin economy was still going strong and ended up finding a job at an architecture firm in Austin. I had been so passionate about architecture since I was a child so it was amazing to actually make my dream a reality in the real world. I quickly realized after a year that working in a commercial firm was not for me but I didn’t want to jump from job to job. I had worked in retail while in college and had the occasional modeling gig but figured why not make fashion my full-time job. So, I did. I set out to start my own wardrobe styling company.
I started planning how I would accomplish starting a business while having a full time job. People always ask me if this process was hard… HELL YES it was hard! Not only was I worked at a full time job, no one knew who I was in the fashion world which equates to me doing almost a year of free work to build a clientele and a wardrobe styling portfolio. Not only was I trying to create something huge from nothing, I was also planning a wedding. After working at the firm for 2 years and working double time for another year, I was able to quit my full time job to 100% support myself with wardrobe styling work.
A lot of people get confused on what a wardrobe stylist actually is. There are also many types of wardrobe stylists. I personally work on commercial and print advertising; which means TV commercials and print advertising you see in magazines. I’m not a fan of doing editorial work and really busted my ass to break into the commercial world at an early stage of my career. Each and every year got better and better and my clientele and rates got bigger and better. Check out some of my awesome clients HERE! I never took the time to assist anyone, but literally jumped in and did things how I thought they should be done and it paid off exponentially. Being extremely confident was key.
But wardrobe styling isn’t a walk in the part… it’s way more demanding than most people think. I’ve been seeing some videos online that say how personal shopping and personal styling are not as glamorous as people would think. Same goes with wardrobe styling. It’s not only shopping and dressing people for a living. It’s extensive and very meticulous work! Our shoot days sometimes last over 16 hours with no breaks. You aren’t always dealing with the nicest people in the ad world either. People know exactly what they want, they know how they want their set run, and that’s how it is going to happen. You HAVE to have tough skin in this industry or you will get eaten alive.
Yes, self employment is overly scary at times because you might not work for a month, but it was the best decision I ever made for myself… Apart from that, I quickly realized my financial situation had to change. I had to save every single penny I made. I was a hoarder. Of money. This type of work has taught me so much! I strongly recommend anyone who is considering being self-employed to save at least a year’s worth of income if something happens and you can’t work and also plan to set up a retirement for yourself. The biggest is SAVE FOR TAXES!! Not only do you pay employment tax you will be paying self-employment taxes, which means you pay almost 40% in taxes. But enough of the lame stuff!
As time went on, my marriage did not work. I filed for divorce after 2 years of marriage and focused on myself and ended up meeting someone absolutely amazing. During that time I did find my furry best friend, Steven Jalapeño and he is still the biggest part of my life today!
Now, where the blogging comes in! About a year ago, I realized that I had a lot of free time in between my big jobs and wanted another creative outlet. That is where blogging emerged. Back when I started my business I also had a fashion blog, which I totally should have stuck with but majorly slacked on. I revamped the blog and started from scratch again! I have definitely busted my ass to grow a decent Instagram following, which hasn’t been easy with having an extremely demanding job. As most of you bloggers know, it’s not all glamorous and it is extremely time consuming; finding clothes to shoot, having a good camera to shoot with, scouting locations, editing photos, keeping a cohesive feed, and finding appropriate fashion, filler photos. It’s a full-time job in itself! I’m honestly amazed at how I can actually make blogging work. I owe so much to Grayson who puts up with me AND takes all of my photos!!
The majority of my followers and new friends know me as a blogger and not for what I actually do for a living. I do not blog full-time. Maybe one day, but that is definitely not a priority of mine at this time. As of now, I will definitely love getting the perks of free clothes, cars and hotel stays! 🙂
I am overly passionate about this business I started from nothing and have been so amazed at how it has grown. I have met so many amazing people along the way and wouldn’t change anything about how my life is now! 4 months ago I was able to purchase my very first home in Austin! Not only was that a huge goal of mine, but I made it happen way earlier than I ever thought was possible!
Being an only child I am outrageously independent and am so proud of what all I have accomplished in 5 years. 5 years seems so long because so much has changed in my life in that time, but it’s also only 5 years… I can’t image what the next 5, 10, or 20+ have in store for me.
A HUGE thank you to everyone who has supported me along the way from knowing me in high school, college, moving to Austin, working at the firm, starting my own company, photographers and ad agencies giving me a chance, all of my new blogger friends and to everyone I will meet along the way! Life wouldn’t be the same without you all!!!