CrowdInk had the chance to sit down (virtually) with Kirsty Noakes, founder of Shop & Style Specialists (SaSS), a company dedicated to personal and professional styling services that help clients find the ‘you’ in their styles. She talks about how she started, why her job doesn’t feel like a job, and what you can do to start and scale your business.
CrowdInk: Tell us about your brand. How did you get started? What was your inspiration?
Kirsty Noakes: SaSS is the acronym for Shop & Style Specialists. The business mission is to provide unique personal and professional styling services that help men and women look and feel their incredible best.
The mission meme is ‘finding the ‘you’ in your style’. When I work with my clients, my greatest goal is to find style with authenticity. Anyone can put on new and shiny clothes and look pretty. But the real benefit is when you help men and women find their authentic style. A style that is true to their inner self, that empowers them and shows at a glance who they really are. That’s my goal, and that’s my brand.
I started my business after my partner and I moved to Perth from Queensland. We were committed to starting IVF to see if we could have a family so a conventional job seemed like too much at the time. As I like to be busy and creative eventually I had to ask myself, ‘if I could do anything at all, what would that job be?’ I was out shopping at the time – my favourite sport in the whole world. So I went home and googled how to make a living from shopping and built the business from there. And it’s true what they say: find a job that you do with passion and you’ll never work a day in your life.
My clients inspire me every single day. One of the questions on my online style profile questionnaire is ‘what part of your body do you like to show off?’ And more often than not the answer is ‘nothing’. And that really breaks my heart. There is a beauty in all of us just waiting to explode. Clothes are the first thing we put on every day that tells people exactly who we are. If we don’t get it right in the wardrobe, then we aren’t seeing the person we want to be or believe we are in the mirror. That disconnect can leave us with incredibly negative feelings about ‘who’ and ‘why’ we are. When I’ve cleaned out a client’s wardrobe and we’re out shopping and they step out of the change room with their eyes lit up, I could just jump over the moon. When they tell me they hate shopping, but they loved going with me, and that they would never have tried that on before and they love the way they look, I go home walking on air. I have the best job in the world.
CI: How do you spend your free time?
KN: After a very long two years on IVF we were so lucky to have our miracle babies Leo and Lilly. They have just turned one. Unfortunately we actually don’t have any family here in WA, so we’re doing it all on our own. In short, running a business, being a new mum of twins, loving my man and organising our wedding for later in the year, there is no free time. I think if we had any, we would steal an extra sleep.
CI: What’s one fashion accessory that you can’t live without?
KN: My understanding, acceptance and confidence in who I am and what I stand for.
CI: What’s your number one piece of styling advice for women?
KN: Be true to yourself. Enjoy the differences in you and those around you, but don’t try and copy them. Don’t be driven by trends, what’s popular, or what looks good on other people. Your intrinsic self is to be nurtured and celebrated at all times. With champagne as seen necessary.
CI: What is your number 1 tip for aspiring entrepreneurs who are looking to start a business?
KN: Start every action from the basis of what fits your values. Know who your avatar is in great detail. Search for them, fulfill their need, and respect them beyond anything.
Check out Shop & Style Specialists here!