By Sophie Green and Danielle Ord.
Helenlee Whalley talks to Sunderland University fashion students about pursuing her dream career as a professional stylist, using her passion for influencing lives to allow everyday people to feel confident and comfortable.
Surprisingly Helenlee’s education guided her towards sports science allowing her to become a personal trainer which together her and her fiancée used to start their own Gym. Whilst as a personal trainer, Helenlee attended a colour match with a stylist who gave her an insight into her style code. Through this she gained knowledge of ‘her’ colours, one of which turned out to be emerald green – this has since grown in symbolism as the colour sparked an online frenzy as she wore it in an Instagram post. Since this post, the colour has become much more than brand identity as it strengthens the relationship with Helenlee and her clients who personally associate Helenlee with the colour – “obviously I’ve always got my signature colour on somewhere”.
At the age of 30, she decided to follow her passion for fashion and blogged her fashionista style on Instagram for her followers, which has now increased drastically over time. Helenlee’s experience with becoming a professional stylist took a lot of hard work and dedication, the growth of her underlying love for fashion to her full-time job has been a journey: “You don’t have it all figured out from the beginning,” she stated as she explained her progression to the present day.
In discovering the struggle individuals have in personal styling, Helenlee talked about the emotional stories behind clothing which she really tries to grasp when working with clients. In the creation of the ‘Style code’, which she described as a personal identity as well as a style personality, Helenlee tailors her advice to the individual looking at the context in depth alongside her practical knowledge in style. In describing the emotion involved in assessing clients, Helenlee told the students how trust is the most important quality to have, due to the personal problems which styling can come under for some.
Throughout the talk, Helenlee also advised the students in the world of work adding its: “Your circles and relationships really”, expressing how the synergistic relationships between her and surrounding people or companies can be as simple as online ‘exposure’, advertising and supporting those who aid her business.
All in all, if you’re tired of wasting money and precious time on the wrong type of clothes for your body shape; 2 to 3 hours in Helenlee’s dressing room is just what you need. Bring and show accessories that you love and hate from your wardrobe and make changes today – “Coordinating a mix and match visible wardrobe,” as Helenlee says.
You can follow Helenlee on social media @helenleeloves or head to her website helenleeloves.com.