Time management is big business these days, not least when it comes to fashion. With so many of us juggling careers, families and busy social lives, it can often be tricky finding the time to simply do our laundry, let alone bolster our wardrobes. That’s where Chantelle Znideric comes in; as an award-winning personal stylist, it’s her job to help people find the ideal look that’s right for them.
“It comes down to time these days,” she says. “Loads of people have personal trainers, and are becoming more aware that they can get help with their wardrobes, which saves a huge amount of time. I can go out with someone for three hours, but they can get a whole new wardrobe and see the different outfits that can be achieved for them and their lifestyle come together. People are becoming a bit more savvy and realising that they want to get it right, as they haven’t got time to get it wrong.”
Based in Headley Down, Chantelle started out as a fashion blogger, before quickly coming to recognise that both men and women were interested in her expertise, and launching her very own business 10 years ago. Today, she offers a range of bespoke services to her clients in order to achieve the style of their dreams, from personal shopping to wardrobe management.
“It’s a case of showing them these lovely pieces, but being able to mix and match – and dress up or dress down – for different occasions,” she continues. “So, it’s not just a really glitzy piece for party season; it’s dressing it down for daywear, making the most of what they buy and looking at things differently as well.”
A change in the way her clients think is key to Chantelle’s success. Far more than just the aesthetics of looking fabulous, her job is very much centred around the way her patrons’ clothes make them feel on the inside, as well as out. Return business is likewise a big part of her USP, as she’s able to take her customers on a journey over time, building on what’s already come before.
“It’s really nice to be able to build up that relationship and trust with a client,” she insists. “Every client is exciting to work with, because they all have very different requirements, so even with my regulars, I always want to develop their style further. Even though I know what they like, trends change every season and new stores and brands are always cropping up, so I like to try and move them on a little bit each time.”
Living in Hampshire, Chantelle is naturally familiar with the wealth of boutiques and high street options available throughout the county. Whether it’s a small, independent outlet or a larger department store, she advises that it’s not always a case of picking one over the other; she’s equally at home on a bargain hunt as she is in the hands of a couturier, and encourages the same for her buyers.
“A lot of my clients want to shop in different places and buy different brands that they may not be able to otherwise,” she explains. “It’s a chance to be yourself and be individual. I like all of the independent boutiques that are around in Hampshire, because you get a bit more of a personal touch.
“But I also quite like going down to Gunwharf Quays in Portsmouth as well, because the outlet shopping is my bag too – grabbing bargains and not always wearing new-season stuff, but being able to have your own style and wear things how you want to wear them, which is a bit more individual. I like being able to shop anywhere on the high street.”
It’s not all about hitting the shops either, as much of Chantelle’s custom now comes through digital means.
Her online presence means she can work with individuals across the globe, tailoring her offer to accommodate their unique lifestyles and requirements. Further maximising her busy clientèle’s time, she utilises social media as a way of executing their vision, wherever they are.
“There’s a Pinterest element as part of my process,” she reveals. “With every new client, I like to create a Pinterest board that demonstrates looks, colours and styles that I think would suit them. It’s a chance for them to have a look and get excited, but also feed back on things they might be a bit scared of, or things they love or prefer. Before we even go shopping, there’s a visual element to it, because style and fashion can get interpreted in different ways, so it’s quite nice to give them the opportunity to give me feedback on what they think.
“It’s quite interesting to do that, which is why they come to me. They might still be building their confidence the first time, but by the second time, they know how I work. There’s a process to how I work with people, so they know they can feed back at any point.”
In addition to Hampshire, Chantelle caters to equally discerning shoppers in Surrey and London. She can be found in Harvey Nichols and the capital’s famous Selfridges flagship store, where luxury surroundings are combined with pure indulgence for a truly unforgettable and exclusive experience. And while this will always be an integral part of her brand, she’s also excited for where the future will take her.
“There’s a huge digital opportunity with virtual and augmented reality,” she suggests. “There are some interesting things that could happen in that space. I’ve seen already that I could potentially be here and my clients in New York, and rather than Skype styling or FaceTime, we could be working in the same space, which is quite exciting.”
Whatever shape things to come may take, one thing that’s certain is that Chantelle’s guidance will never go out of style. Her sole objective remains to enhance the individuality and increase the confidence of those she works with, advising on key styles, wearable trends and suitable colours, in order to achieve an exceptional outcome beyond their expectations.
“I love working one-to-one with people and seeing them change and increase their confidence in a couple of hours,” she concludes. “People have these ideas of what they think they can and can’t wear, or what they think they will or won’t look good in, so I really like to explore those things and see people really get excited about fashion and appreciating themselves again. Fashion changes all the time, so I still love it after 10 years.”
For more information, visit personal-stylist.co.uk