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Meet Long Beach Fashion Stylist: Heather Flores

Today we’d like to introduce you to Heather Flores.

Heather, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
When I was eight years old I announced to my third-grade class that I was going to be a fashion designer. I began my love of fashion by delving into every fashion magazine I could and studying it like an encyclopedia. As a teenager, I began searching thrift stores to develop my unique style. After high school, college and many retail jobs I realized I my true calling in fashion styling ( I can’t draw or sew, so the designer calling went out the door). About 4 years ago I started my online vintage store. Through my shop, I was able to express myself by searching for fashion treasures and styling the photo shoots. I really began professional fashion styling about 7 months ago, a friend of mine recommended me for a job and I’ve been working regularly ever since!!

Has it been a smooth road?
Smooth road, definitely not. It’s a very up and down business, sometimes you are super busy and then other times it’s hard to find work. One of the biggest challenges is finding paying work. Test shoots and editorials don’t pay at all but they are great for your portfolio and usually the most creative jobs. So making a living doing what you love can be the challenge that I believe all creatives face, unfortunately.

What’s your outlook for the industry over the next 5-10 years?
This is hard to gauge but I do think the fashion industry, in general, is going to see some huge changes. However as far as styling, with social media right now there are a lot of so-called stylists who just want to be recognized for dressing cute but are not willing to put in the work to achieve real success and often their popularity is fleeting. I think brands and designers are going to start realizing this and want to make sure if they are hiring people to represent their brand it is someone with some real staying power and their talent transcends just dressing cute and having a lot of followers. I don’t know that social media followers always translates to actual sales numbers and loyal consumers.

What would you say has been the biggest challenge for you over the course of your career?
I think my biggest challenge has been finding work and getting paid for work. There is a lot of work out there to do for free, such as editorial, that is fun and creative, however that does not pay the bills. So finding paying jobs is really about networking and who you know, you can’t just look online and apply, that’s just not how the industry works. I think this is probably the struggle with all creative freelance work. Everyone wants to work for free or trade but unfortunately we all have to make a living. However getting paid to do the work you love is the most rewarding thing you can do.

What would you tell someone who is just starting out?
Be driven, kind, personable, responsible and organized. Sometimes talent isn’t enough. Being talented is great but if people don’t want to work with you because you have a bad attitude or don’t possess good work ethic people will not continue to work with you.

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