Where to Next? Your Help Needed…

August tends to be a quiet month for fashion before the excitement of the new season and that back to school feeling of September whether you have school age children or not. For me it tends to be a time of reflection over the last year of my business and is often the time when I come up with new ideas. The ever popular monthly wardrobe was first introduced in August 2 years ago, for instance and the first post on the blog was conceived 6 years ago and posted in September 2011 (I can’t believe it’s been that long!) and now here we are 572 posts later.

looking stylish, capsule wardrobe services,

Since that first post there have been both ups and downs in my blogging and styling business. But as highlights, I have worked with and built a community of amazing women, won prizes for my posts and been invited to the RewardStyle conference for top tier bloggers for the last two years. There have been long hours, sometimes into the night and even early morning trying to get a wardrobe out or a post finished, but I can honestly say on balance I have never regretted starting this business.

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There has been so much to learn over the last 6 years 🙂 Blogging isn’t just about pretty pictures, not for those who run their blog as a business anyway. You have to be a little bit (no a lot) techie, wear a business head (you wouldn’t believe how many people want you to do work for nothing or in return for a “free” product, well sadly free products don’t pay the mortgage) sometimes be tough – not easy for me, but I have learnt the hard way that there are people who will try and get free what others are paying for and still complain – and of course be creative, while still being authentic and not just promoting anything, even if you don’t believe in it. In fact, most of what appears on the blog I buy myself and if I wouldn’t, then I won’t promote it. One other thing I have learned is that you can’t please everyone and I have to stop trying. There will, and have been, people who don’t like me or what I post and if that’s the case there are thousands of other blogs to read, so I have to post what is true to me and the audience I want to serve.

looking stylish, capsule wardrobe services,

And now I feel it is time to refine the business again and I would love to have your help, more about that later.

Why the need to make changes? To start with I have never been a traditional style blogger. For much of my blogging career I didn’t actually appear on the blog. Partly because I loved the creative side of putting outfits together in collages and being able to pick pieces from anywhere without having to buy all the items first and partly because I didn’t think my readers would want to see outfits on me, someone well past 25 and with a distant memory of a waist! However, thanks to you, my readers, I have come to realise that you do want to see what outfits look like on real women like you. I am still learning so much about outfit photography, in fact photography at all and actually loving the experience of learning something else new. So one change you will have seen already is more photography, but I will continue to create outfit collages to illustrate posts as well.

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Secondly my business has two streams to it, the blog and the styling services. Over the years I have tried to provide a selection of services to meet your requirements, but I feel that if you land on my site for the first time you may not know where to start or how to find what appeals to you. I have also tried to have a balance between inexpensive services/products and higher end, more personal services and this means that with the quantity on offer it may be confusing. So that is where you come in, I would love you to comment on this post and tell me which products/services you want to see continue and which don’t interest you.

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Thirdly overwhelm! Fortunately this has decreased since Liz started working with me. This time last year I was trying to do too much, because I never want to let anyone down. But I am learning to say no and I don’t want to get to that position again because it stifles creativity and things get missed. Now that there are two of us I want to ensure that we provide you with the best service possible, whether that be as a blog reader or as a services customer.

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I have listed all the offerings below, because there may be some you don’t know exist. Please let me know which you like/want to see more of and which you don’t and, If you are a member of the Style Club I would love suggestions too about what else you would like it to include. This is you chance to help shape the blog and offerings going forward, as there is no point me putting effort into what doesn’t appeal to my loyal readers 🙂

looking stylish, capsule wardrobe services,

Top – M&S sold out online // Watch, vintage – similar // Macbook Air // iPhone 7 Plus // Organiser – similar // By Terry Bronzer // Camera Lens // Mascara //

Free content:

Blog posts 2-3 per week – I will be incorporating some new content for US readers as I realise that about a third of my readers are outside the UK and of those, predominantly in the US.

Friday Bulletin

Youtube videos (one area I am looking to expand with regular videos on style tips, wardrobe tours, capsule wardrobes etc)

Under £50:

The Style Club £10 per month – monthly magazine, private Facebook group, new monthly challenge with £50 voucher prize

Makeup Capsule Wardrobe £29

Colour Dossier £49

Colour wallets £49

Seasonal capsule wardrobe £44

Over £50:

Executive Style Club £69 – all benefits of the Style Club plus an executive capsule wardrobe which builds 8 items per month

One off 6 item capsule wardrobe £129

12 Item capsule wardrobe £258

36 item capsule wardrobe 3 x £219

Monthly 6 item per month capsule wardrobe builder £129 per month

Holiday wardrobe £299

Online Live Life in Colour Course £237

Additional courses – e.g Capsule Wardrobe?

Events – Style days, Overnight Spa, Christmas outfit shopping – any other suggestions? Perhaps a further afield shopping trip – Milan outlets, New York?

Phew! You see it is a long list but I don’t want to cut anything that you still want.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post and for your comments, I look forward to reading them x

22 Comments

  1. Elizabeth
    July 28, 2017 / 6:14 am

    Hi Maria
    I am Australian, 60yr, just retired. I love your blog and seeing you; how clothes look on a real woman. Blog 3 times a week, as I so look forward to reading.
    I’m interested in the free content as the rest is hard to access. It gives great ideas of what to look for here. I like the cool/bright/soft etc options which you give.
    Thanks Elizabeth

    • Maria
      July 28, 2017 / 12:13 pm

      Thank you for your comment Elizabeth. I will continue to post 3 times per week as often as I can, when I am creating the seasonal wardrobes this might go down to 2 but I will be aiming at 3. The colour posts are always popular so that won’t change either 🙂
      Have a lovely weekend.

      • Jennifer Bradley
        August 3, 2017 / 6:55 am

        I’m with Elizabeth – also Australian I’m most interested in the blog and fashion ideas. The wardrobe services are not appropriate for us as the season is wrong and yes, they’re difficult to access.

        But I very much enjoy the ideas, the colours, the shapes, especially for older women. My shape is not dramatically different from my twenties, but short and tight clothes tend to look wrong as I age.

  2. Georgina
    July 28, 2017 / 12:00 pm

    Hi Maria, do you still offer the Style Makeover as a service? I noticed it’s not on your list.

    • Maria
      July 28, 2017 / 12:17 pm

      Hi Georgina, Thank you for asking. This was one of the questions because I have only sold a few of these, I will continue to offer it if it is wanted though and you can still order it here http://www.lookingstylish.co.uk/style-makeover/
      Have a lovely weekend.

  3. Mandy Jewell
    July 28, 2017 / 1:29 pm

    Hi Maria, I love the Friday Bulletin, and the links to the blog posts, which I sometimes look at during the week, but not always. I also love the Style Club, I’ll post some comments on that separately. I personally don’t really have need of any of your wardrobe builder services, although I think that they are a great idea. I do like the seasonal capsule wardrobes though, and the two I’ve bought so far have been really useful. I love all the colour stuff too, the course has been very interesting, and I also found the colour dossier and colour wallet very useful. Re the Style Makeover, referred to by Georgina, I have looked at this, but because I already have all the colour stuff, it doesn’t seem worth doing. How about replacing it with a style course, similar to the colour one?

    • Maria
      July 28, 2017 / 6:11 pm

      Thank you for commenting Mandy. I do have plans for more courses to include Style and capsule wardrobe creation so watch this space 🙂 I have also noted your suggestion for a blog post about days out. Have a lovely weekend.

  4. Mandy Jewell
    July 28, 2017 / 2:43 pm

    Hi again Maria! Just had an idea about a blog post. How about some hints and tips for putting an outfit together for a day out? The reason I’m suggesting this is because we often have ‘spur of the moment’ days out during the summer, and today might have been one such day, because the weather forecast looked promising, but…….now it’s pouring down, so we need to be prepared for all eventualities! So, I was thinking about a sort of layered look, which would be practical for a day of walking/sightseeing/visiting a stately home or garden, but could be dressed up a bit for a pub meal on the way home? I always struggle with layers, because a lot of my clothes don’t necessarily fit over one another!

  5. Pat
    July 28, 2017 / 2:55 pm

    Congratulations, Maria! The first few years in business are the most difficult and challenging. My husband and I were self employed for over 20 years…..our motto, just don’t give up, keep working and learning from mistakes. You provide a wonderful service, especially for working girls. The rest of us benefit greatly from your generosity in sharing insight and knowledge of color, proportion and style.

    Thanks for all you do and the love you share,
    A faithful fan,
    Pat

    • Maria
      July 28, 2017 / 6:15 pm

      Hi Pat, thank you for your comment and as always your kind support and encouragement! I think running your own business can be so rewarding, although it can sometimes be lonely too so I really do appreciate the comments and emails. While Liz has been away this week I have realised just how quite and insular working on my own has been so I will be glad when she is back on Monday – not least because she makes me great lunches! Have a lovely weekend.

  6. Sally
    July 28, 2017 / 3:18 pm

    Hi, I found your site through Pinterest just last week and I look forward to receiving the Friday bullitins and blogs which I have now subscribed to.
    I love what you do and all the outfits that you create. I am a 34yr old mum of 2 under 3 who is competlely lost with my wardrobe currently especially with my new post baby body and going back to work so I am trying to decide which service of yours to go for! I think the personalised capsule wardrobe services are particularly interesting as we are all so different.

    • Maria
      July 28, 2017 / 6:17 pm

      Thank you for your comment Sally and welcome to the LS community! I empathise with the changing body shape after babies and know how hard it is to grab some time to look after yourself especially if you are working too. I would be delighted to help if you choose one of the personal services but also I hope if you go back over some of the old blog posts you will get lots of advice and inspiration too. Have a lovely weekend.

  7. Jayne Thornton
    July 29, 2017 / 3:48 pm

    Hi, what attracted me to Looking Stylish originally was the idea of a capsule wardrobe. I found Looking Stylish by googling ‘capsule wardrobe’ and loved what I saw. I still really enjoy the blog posts where you put together a capsule for different colouring.
    I also like to see how a basic outfit can be worn in different ways. Your ‘little black dress’ post was interesting when you showed the same dress with different accessories. I would be interested in seeing a basic top and trouser outfit with accessories and a third item eg cardigan, making the outfit adaptable for different occasions.
    I also like seeing how scarves can be used as inspiration for a colour scheme. I would love to have ideas for an Autumn wardrobe based on a not-too-expensive scarf, suitable for different colourings. This could be a series spread over a few weeks!
    Hope these ideas are useful in your planning.

  8. Karen
    July 30, 2017 / 8:35 am

    Hi Maria, I really look forward to my Friday Bulletin every week. There is always something interesting to read. I am 5’3″and was slim but am now thin, due to illness. I would like to see a series of articles showing ideas for outfits for women that are petite, tall etc. I find many sleeves and trousers too long (unless I buy from a petite range) and tall friends struggle to find them long enough!! I am also flat chested and find that tops can look shapeless, while friends with large busts struggle to find ones that are comfortable and stylish. I know that there is no such thing as “the average woman” as we are all unique so I hope that many of your readers would find this useful.
    Thank you for all your hard work.

    • Maria
      August 1, 2017 / 5:50 pm

      Thank you Karen for commenting and your ideas. Many of the comments I have received have been about dressing for your body shape so we will definitely be doing more posts on that, I certainly can relate to dressing a big bust and appreciate that being slim can also bring fit problems so I will bear your suggestions in mind.

  9. Lisa Stevenson
    August 1, 2017 / 1:47 pm

    I’ve really enjoyed being part of the Looking Stylish family since joining late last year. With your help I have found some new go to colours which really work for me and all my family and friends have noticed a difference in what I wear! It’s been really great to move out of my comfort zone and try new things.
    Thinking about what I would like to see more of… For me it’s definitely about what suits my body shape, but more that apple, pear etc. For example, I would like to see comments on whether pieces suit short/long waisted , petite/long or big/small busts. I often send clothes back as they don’t fit my short waist & small busted figure because they are baggy around the boobs and too long in the waist but I would still consider myself an apple! Very tricky, I know!!
    I hope this helps – it’s great that Looking Stylish is evolving and I’m excited to see the results! 🙂

    • Maria
      August 1, 2017 / 5:53 pm

      Thank you Lisa, Body shape has definitely been the most requested theme for posts so I am planning a series of them and will definitely talk about proportion and long/short waist etc.:)

  10. Georgina
    August 1, 2017 / 5:19 pm

    I second Jayne’s idea about showing readers how to use scarves to create different colour schemes. That would result in some great posts!

  11. Alison
    August 1, 2017 / 6:11 pm

    After being a hoarder of clothes and shoes, I am now trying to create a minimalist approach to my wardrobe, so that I have a limited capsule of pieces that all work together. I am aiming for a minimal capsule of basic pieces with a few trends and patterns to suit my colouing. For some reason I was finding this hard to achieve. However, on coming across your excellent blog it has helped me towards limiting my colour pallette to the soft and cool colouring . Your outfit and colour capsule combinations for each colour type have been extremely helpful and I have bought some of the clothing examples. particularly the scarves. I am on a limited budget so it would be helpful to have cheaper options.
    Thank you Maria for your wonderful blog

    • Maria
      August 8, 2017 / 7:29 am

      Thank you for commenting and your kind words, I am so pleased I have helped you. There will be plenty more to come for the new season with outfits for the different colour dominants. I will be including a range of budget as well 🙂