Mam Cymru is organising a series of events this year to give our readers an opportunity to meet face to face, relax and have fun. The events are also an opportunity to boost businesses run by talented mums the length and breadth of Wales.
Our next event is a personal styling party, an opportunity for you to learn which clothes and which colours suit you. Eleanor Gardener, mum and personal stylist, will be sharing her expertise on the evening, and it will all be held in Her Dandy Wolf in Aberystwyth – a lovely, independent shop run by a mother and daughter team.
The event will take place on Friday 5 April at 19:00. Tickets are £35 and include a styling session, prosecco and nibbles. The shop will also be offering a 15% discount on everything during the event too! We have launched it all on our Facebook page – and there are only three spaces left! If you would like to attend, please e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org – first come, first served!
To give you a chance to learn more about Eleanor – we arranged an interview…
Where are you from and how did you get in to styling?
I come from Bangor originally, but I now live in the south. I’ve had an interest in dress designing since I was a child, I used to design clothes in my bedroom and would style my school friends on nights out as well! My friends would go out in my clothes, and I loved making people feel good about themselves.
My great grandmother was a tailor and my aunt – Aunty Eurwen would make dresses for my sister and me. I remember her measuring us and it was such a surprise to get the unique and beautiful dresses from her. It was a natural step to pursue a career in the field.
Where did you learn your trade?
After studying my art course in Coleg Menai Bangor, I went on to the London College of Fashion to study Fashion Design Technology Fashion Textiles. It was an exciting three years learning a lot and having a wealth of excellent experiences in various fields in the fashion world. I worked on haut couture collections, I went to the John Galliano studio in Paris for an interview, I worked for Mother of Bride where I took photographs of the dresses for the ‘Look Books’ which are the sales catalogues… and much, much more!
When did you start working as a stylist?
When I was studying in London, my friend Luned Emyr came to stay with me while she was filming and presenting the programme, Y Sioe Gelf on S4C. I started styling her for the filming, and as the producer saw the difference and liked the look, I was employed as a professional stylist and everything developed from there.
Who are your clients and what type pf advice do people want?
I have been fortunate to have a variety of clients, many of them people who don’t enjoy shopping, so it’s easier to employ someone like me to choose clothes for them. I can help to revamp their wardrobes, advise which colours suit the individual and I also offer a service where I go shopping with the client to teach them what to look for and which shops would be good for them.
Do you find that mums need help after having children?
I work with several mums who want advice after having children to suit their shape or to rediscover their confidence. I am also employed by mums who are looking for a special outfit for their children’s weddings and mums who want a change of image for a new job. Similarly, I work with many men who want an image to suit a job or if they’re going through a mid-life crisis! It is a pleasure to give that confidence to the individual.
What are the most common mistakes that people make when clothes shopping?
Buying without thinking what they already have, shopping without a list, buying the wrong sizes, or buying patterned/striking items which are difficult to adapt for different outfits.
What is the golden piece of advice you could offer Mam Cymru readers?
Think before buying clothes! Look at your wardrobe and have a clear-out every four months or so, learn which clothes suit you, then you’ll be able to buy things that are suitable. Looking at magazines is a good way of getting ideas and creating a scrap book. Finally, don’t be afraid of wearing colour!
How difficult is it to juggle the business with the children?
I have three sons by now, George-Macsen who is 5, Tomos-Idris who is 4 and Emrys-Idwal who is 2. Between having three children and moving houses several times, it has been a very busy time! We lived in Aylesbury near London when we had the children and we then moved to Guilford because of my husband’s work. Juggling with two children was okay, but since we returned to Wales in summer 2016 with a young baby, the juggling has been more of a challenge. Unfortunately, my mum died of cancer las year, so between everything I have been focusing on working with long-term clients recently. My youngest son will start in nursery school this September, so I will have an opportunity to develop the business further once again. These kinds of events also help me.
What can people expect in the styling party?
Everyone will leave understanding more about the colours which suit them and the styling rules. They will also learn how to create a sustainable wardrobe for everyday life.
Mam Cymru would like to thank Eleanor Gardener for chatting to us and we look forward to the party! Remember to get in touch with email@example.com to reserve you place!
By Heulwen Davies, Mam Cymru