Sophie DuBow: Up-and-Coming Stylist
About six months ago, 24-year-old Sophie DuBow decided to go solo and start her personal styling company, SophStyle.
Lauren: How would you describe your style?
Sophie: Ever since I moved to New York, the city has had a huge effect on my style. Since there is always so much to do, I prefer multipurpose clothing that I can dress up or dress down depending on the occasion.
Lauren: What made you want to get into fashion, and styling in particular?
Sophie: I have always loved fashion–ever since I was a little girl. It’s always been in my head from the beginning. As I got older, my friends and I would be getting ready to go out, and I would always be the one who was helping everyone, whether it was their hair, makeup, and especially their outfits. As I realized how much I loved to do all of these things, I began to realize how much a lot of people don’t.
Lauren: What got you to this point today?
Sophie: After High School, I began my college education at the University of Florida, where I studied for two years. Later on, I made the decision to move to the city, where I went to LIM College for two and a half years. During that time, I did a couple of internships. One was with a PR company, one with InStyle Magazine, etc. After all of the internships, I worked retail at Intermix, then I worked at Trunk Club for about a year and a half, and then I worked at Thread Styling–a concierge styling service from the UK.
Lauren: What sort of influence did Thread Styling have on your career choices?
Sophie: Thread Styling was a great experience, as it was all luxury clothing and gave me the exposure to the high end side of the fashion industry. With that, I feel like I got a well-rounded base and education for how the business works.
Lauren: How did you finally decide to go solo and begin your own company?
Sophie: There was never one specific thing that happened. I guess living in the city so long helped me make contacts in the industry. Especially through Thread and my other experiences, I finally gained the confidence to be like, “You know what, I could do this.” There was nothing to lose by trying it. Again, especially with living in New York City there is so much at your disposal and I just decided to give it a go and go all out for about six months to a year and then see where I got with it.
Lauren: How has the experience been like so far with running your own company, and what does a typical day look like for you?
Sophie: It’s been amazing. My favorite part about my job is that I am working for myself, so I really get to do things and take on projects that I wouldn’t be able to do otherwise. As for my day-to-day schedule, I used to work from home, but I recently got a co-working desk at an office in the city–which I highly recommend–so that’s been really great in separating office life from home life. No day is the same, but no matter what, I’m always following up with potential and current clients, keeping SophStyle’s social media up to date, and collaborating with stores like LF who have been really great. Overall, it’s important for me to make sure I’m keeping organized and I’m not letting anything fall behind.
Lauren: Where there any large obstacles that you had to surpass in order to get to where you are today?
Sophie: I think I’m still working and striving to be in a place in my career where I’m not yet. That being said, I’m excited I was able to make that step into starting my own thing, but in starting your own business there is so much more that goes into it than just those first couple steps. Just being able to stay positive and motivated and making sure you keep your goals in mind is one obstacle all together. You’re your only motivator when working for yourself so nobody’s going to remind you about that deadline at the end of the day.
Lauren: When it comes to that struggle, is there anything in particular that you do to stay motivated?
Sophie: I’m constantly looking at websites and their new arrivals to get my creativity flowing, but one thing that actually really motivates me is going and walking around Zara. I don’t know why, but there’s something about Zara in that they do such a good job in dealing with the newest trends and it keeps me inspired, especially when it comes to putting together a new outfit for a client or even for a new article for my blog. Exercising is also really important, because you’re doing something for yourself in order to clear your mind. Even if it’s something small like going for a walk it can help you get clarity and feel reinspired again. To be able to do what is great, it just takes self-discipline.
Lauren: Do you have any advice for aspiring stylists and/or people who want to go into the fashion industry in general?
Sophie: Of course! I have three major things I always tell myself:
Be patient! I still struggle with that, but it’s important to keep in mind all of the steps that have to be taken to reach your end goal. Sure, social media and all that can be inspiring, but it’s also hard when you see people in the place you want to be. You have to remind yourself that there are a lot of steps that need to be taken before you get to your goals. Don’t be too impulsive and make sure you think everything through.
Take advantage of every opportunity you get–even if it’s an internship you didn’t necessarily want. Everything happens for a reason and the fashion industry is really small. And that goes with events, too. I’ve had so many experiences where I was asked to attend an event super last minute that I didn’t really want to go to, and it almost always ends up being a positive experience. It’s a chance to meet new people and make new connections. And even if nothing comes from going to a said event, it’s still a great confidence boost to say that you went and did it.
Make sure you’re always nice to everyone! Developing relationships and creating new contacts with who you meet is so important. You never know how people overlap–especially in the fashion industry where people are constantly trying new things and moving on to different industries. Always make sure you have good relationships with people because you want to be remembered in a positive way. With those contacts you make, follow up is huge. Even a small text can go a long way.
Some other exciting news: Sophie recently spoke at PricewaterhouseCoopers about her career, and even crazier, she styled Jenny McCarthy for the American Music Awards this year! Find Sophie on her website, www.sophystyle.com, her Instagram, @sophstylenyc, and her Snapchat, @sophstyle.