Wylde idea is an ongoing series where we discover the newest, most innovative products and services available online and in boutiques nationwide. This month we are going gaga over California based celebrity and personal stylist Jennifer Margolin's newest creation, Style in a Box, a product that brings Margolin's expertise and personal services to clients anywhere in the world via her website and one on one Skype sessions. We sat down with Jennifer to discuss Style in a Box, personal fashion consulting, and what she loves best about life in the style lane.
SW: How did you become a stylist? Was it something you've always wanted to do?
JM: I've always loved fashion. I conned my mom into getting me my first subscription to Vogue when I was in grade school. Fashion has always been my passion, but I began my career in Marketing and PR. But after taking a couple of years off to travel the world with my husband, a trip where in each country he would hit up the museums while I searched out the special local tailors, or brands, or designers, I knew I wanted to really follow my passion and refocus on a career in fashion. Originally I thought it would be opening my own boutique shoe store, but days before launching that project I found out I was pregnant. That experience, being a new mom, it really inspired me to do something for myself, to start my own company and get paid for doing something I have been doing my whole life, giving fashion advice!
SW: I know you have previously worked with many celebrity clients, but your new product "Style in a Box" appears to really be directed towards the 'every woman'- what made you want to go in this direction with your business?
JM: We recently relocated to San Francisco from Los Angeles, and many of my private clients here are the CEOS, Lawyers and high-profile business women who juggle tons of hats and who may not have the time to do a lot of shopping. At the same time, as my private business was growing I found I had to turn away a lot of just-starting-out women who didn't have the budget to hire me for a full closet consultation. That was frustrating, and I wanted to create a way that I could open my services up to women no matter what their personal budget.
SW: What exactly is Style in a Box? What inspired you to put it together?
JM: When I first came up with the idea of creating a personal styling kit, I did a lot of research, and there really wasn't anyone creating an actual physical product for clients. I'd love the idea of the anticipation of a gift, I wanted to give women the gift of style. So I knew I wanted something beautiful that my clients could actually unwrap, and I wanted it to be more than just a pretty box with a USB reader in it. So the Style in a Box kit contains, a lookbook based on the client's needs, a mini styling kit similar to what I give all of my private clients, and a USB reader that contains direct links to all the pieces I am suggesting clients buy. I really like the idea of having something the clients can refer to on their own time. I never pressure anyone to buy any piece of clothing, but we all know when you are shopping with your girlfriends, having a personal stylist stand over you in a store can feel like pressure, I wanted this to be something the client can look at for reference and decide on their own what they want to purchase. I want my expertise to be open to women, and to give them complete control over their own budgets.
SW: How do you base your recommendations? Do you have partnerships with particular retailers from whom you make all your recommendations? Or is it truly non-biased and based around solely the clients wants and budget?
JM: I do have partnerships with certain retailers, but it is ONLY so that I can offer discounts on certain items to my clients. Each kit is 100% personalized and built around the client's wants and budget. My core philosophy is to build a great basic wardrobe first with pieces that are of the highest quality the client can afford. That doesn't mean I recommend a Prada pencil skirt to everyone, I absolutely tailor my recommendations to the budget the client feels comfortable with. That being said, the client dictates exactly what is in the lookbook, meaning if the client is really only looking for work clothes, then I focus on work pieces, or if the client is say a new mom who who wants a more casual look for the time being we focus on that.
SW: Have there been any specific challenges with Style in a Box, that you might not have had in your regular business?
JM: Really the only challenge is making sure the online clients give me enough information! Sometimes you have to go back and forth on email to get enough details, but I am happy to do it. I know that without the right information the experience isn't going to be great for the client. And these are my clients, as much as my private clients are!
SW: What has been the highlight of launching Style in a Box? What are you most proud of?
JM: I love it when I get feedback either in our one-on-one Skype sessions, or via e-mail that says "I would have never picked that piece, but now it's my favorite thing to wear." That makes everything worthwhile.
SW: Any more developments on the horizon for Style in a Box?
JM: For my first launch, earlier this year just before the holidays, I really wanted to focus on just one package option to see how it went. But I definitely plan to expand the option into several kits at different price points. I am also working with a company that will help me create personal store fronts for all my clients within my website. This will make it super easy, clients can just log into my site go to their personal store front and all the pieces will already be there.
For more information on Style in a Box, including how to order one for yourself please visit Jennifer Margolin's official website.