We recently sat down with Jen Stafford, Founder of SALT Styling, to pick her brain about the life of a wedding stylist.
What is SALT Styling?
Salt Styling is a creative event styling studio. We offer clients everything from event design, creative direction, logistical management, décor sourcing, vendor curation, project management, destination scouting, styling, photo shoot direction and brand consulting.
How did you get into event styling?
I started as an intern for a business called HipHip, run by the lovely Jemma Cassidy, who took me under her wing and showed me the ropes.
When did you start SALT?
From there, I landed myself as Junior Editor with non-other than IMAGE Publications where together with Kate O’Dowd, we started up what was then called BASH magazine. I learnt so much from Kate, she rarely gets the credit she deserves; she is a raw talent and a true inspiration, she is also gas craic! I left last May to start up Salt and the rest as they say…
Did you always want to set up your own business?
Yes, I love the adrenaline that comes with starting your own business, it is equal parts exciting and terrifying.
What 3 words best describe Salt Styling?
Honesty, design and simplicity.
What sets you apart from other stylists?
I think the unique selling point of any stylist is themselves. I love what I do and I work so hard on every project. I forge great relationships with each client, as having an amiable personality and being able to work with other people is so important.
What is your favourite thing about being an event stylist?
I love the start of a project and working on the creative brief, and teasing your ideas out before presenting them to your client.
What is the worst thing about your job?
The creative industry is a bit of a weird one. Those who work in it, truly know how it feels to be held ransom to their own creativity. The amount of people I’ve seen pack it all in to get a “real job” and I don’t blame them, it’s not easy. Even though people think we live such a glam life… *rolls eyes*
What is your best advice for aspiring stylists?
Be nice. You never know where a contact will come in handy, your reputation is everything. You’ve got to work your butt off, nobody else will do it for you.
How did you decide on the name for Salt Styling?
I was on a staycation in Inis Meain, Restaurant and Suites, one my favourite places to escape in Ireland. They harvest local produce from the island and were explaining to me the importance of working with the elements. I spent a lot of time learning all about the natural elements and minerals and roles nature has to play in our lives. The topic of Salt just naturally came up in conversation and stuck with me.
I notice you get a lot of inspiration from the seasons – what is your favourite season to work with?
I’ve always been told I have an odd obsession with nature, which is true. I love Spring and Autumn, they are the most diverse seasons to work with, the colours are forever changing and have a lot to offer as a foundation to any project.
What is your advice for the bride to be when styling a wedding?
Everyone has an opinion and will tell you what to do, don’t let people pressure you and make you feel guilty of your decisions – do what you want!
In your personal opinion, what really makes a wedding?
Good food, fun and a relaxed couple.
Have you spotted any recurring trends for weddings this season?
I try not to pay attention to trends. I think it is so important to pick a venue that will enhance your style. If you are looking for a boho laid-back vibe, then a venue with candelabras and glitzy decor won’t work, so don’t force it.