We are so excited to feature stylist Melinda Chan from LOVE THAT OUTFIT on the blog this month. The following is our interview with Melinda.
Firstly, we love your store, your concept of style and convenience is pure genius, how did you find your niche? Where did it start?
It started because over the years I’ve always been asked by friends and family if I could help style outfits for them as well as their kids. Having been a Fashion Buyer for over 10 years I was fortunate enough to have developed many contacts in the fashion industry. Also, being a mum myself I know how hard it is dragging the kids out to various shops to find anything, let alone something stylish. Online shopping is growing by the day, so I thought why not amalgamate what I love to do and also help provide a service for mums to make their lives just that bit easier? Viola, that was how Love That Outfit began!
What are your fashion tips for mums – what wardrobe essentials should we look for?
I’m going to be a bit different and say there are 6 essentials to any mum’s wardrobe!
1. Killer (Yet Comfortable) Jeans
A dark wash and straight, or slightly boot cut leg is always in style. Avoid trendy or embellished denim and if you are able to splurge a little, when you find the perfect pair of jeans, buy two. Have one hemmed to wear with flats and the other to wear with heels.
2. A Fitted Jacket – doesn’t have to be black…although black is traditional and fool proof. Go for a style and colour that suits your lifestyle and fits well. As long as the look is tailored, you can still pair them with jeans, pants and a dress…so very versatile.
3. Layering Tanks/Singlet’s – You can wear them under a jumper (if it’s a bit too short or to add interest), as well as to help balance out your proportions. I wear a fitted tank or singlet under a lot of tops, which acts like comfy shape wear (to help tuck in the tummy).
4. A Great Bag – Make sure it is big enough to hold all your essentials and that you can carry it comfortably on your shoulder or across your body. I also would recommend colour, maybe try something fun like green or blue as they go with plenty! Of course, there’s nothing wrong with a neutral colour either.
5. Accessorize. This is where you can have fun and experiment. You don’t have to spend a lot either! Try some bold, colourful bracelets or a statement necklace that jazzes up any outfit.
6. Ballet Flats – Ballet flats are great to run around in. Don’t be afraid of colours or prints. Your shoes are a great place to incorporate a pop of colour. If you want your flat to look a little sexier, go for one that doesn’t cover up all your toes (note: toe cleavage is good, but not too much! Lol). Flats go great with skinny jeans, skirts, dresses….anything really
Who do you look to for inspiration for fashion and Business?
As a Fashion Buyer I have gained inspiration from my overseas trips. Even just seeing people on the street gives me ideas. As a mum I gain inspiration from reading fashion blogs, flipping through local fashion mags and browsing online (after the kids are tucked away in bed). As an individual I’ve always had a love for fashion (my husband calls it obsession) that drives me. All this I channel into Love That Outfit!
You’re a busy wife and mum of two, what are your tips for managing work and a family?
Develop and stick to a schedule. Decide what hours you will work and what hours you will have for yourself and your family. Try to stick to this plan. I have a little e-planner that I use to plan my day/week and prioritising my tasks helps keep me on track. Planning, preparation, and organisation goes a long way.
Plan ahead for mealtimes. I try to plan out meals for the week ahead. I double the recipes and freeze meals for later use. This cuts out a considerable amount of time and stress, and leaves more time to be spent with the family.
Take care of yourself. This is very important and not an easy task for most working mums but I think it is essential. This means exercising, eating well, and taking time out to de-stress. Also eat brekkie!
What was the best piece of advice you were given when starting out?
Fashion can be purchased, style can’t. So sell style….
What advice would you give to yourself if you could go back to when you were starting out?
Don’t focus so much the number of likes you get….it’s not about quantity. It’s ok to get it wrong. Just try and try again
And lastly what is one of your next business goals?
To further build awareness of Love That Outfit! Being relatively new in the market place (having launched 6 months ago) I want to be able to express to customers exactly what makes us unique. What is that you ask?
- We offer complete styled outfits for kids – all the work is done for you.
- We offer an online styling service for women – something that is convenient not just for working women but to all mums who lack the time to find that perfect outfit or wardrobe updates they need.
Thank you so much Melinda for taking the time out of your busy schedule to talk with us. We are excited to see what is in store for Love that outfit!
Melinda is also hosing a LOVE LOVE LOVE showcase through LOVE THAT OUTFIT and has over 50 creative businesses on board who have created one off pieces to purchase. You can check them out by clicking on this link: http://on.fb.me/1d8db4T