How do you become an image consultant?

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Emma Reed is a freelance image consultant with a background in fashion design. As someone who enjoys working with people, she is really happy in helping others to improve their self-image.

How do you see your role?

I help people to make the most of their looks by showing them what suits them best, enabling them to feel good about themselves.

What are your main responsibilities?

I hold individual and group consultations. I assess individual needs and advise on how to achieve different looks. Some people want colour, make-up or style consultations, while others require wardrobe organisation. People often approach me if they need help with a special occasion, like a wedding. Sometimes I accompany clients on shopping trips. I also write a column on wedding attire for the Asian Wedding Directory.

What hours do you work?

My hours are varied. No two days are ever the same. One day I might be meeting a group of business people, and the next I could be offering advice to a group of women. I also work evenings and weekends if necessary.

What is your working environment like?

It depends - sometimes I am working in a client's home, sometimes in a boardroom or a hairdressing salon. Wherever I am, it really helps to have good daylight, space and a large mirror to work with.

Who do you work with?

I work alone, but I have a network of useful contacts. I refer my clients to a preferred list of make-up suppliers, hairdressers and fashion outlets or take orders myself.

What special skills or qualities do you need for your job?

Strong people skills are vital. You need to be a good listener and a good communicator. You also have to be assertive but sensitive to your clients' feelings.

Why did you choose this type of work?

After completing my degree in fashion design, I realised that I didn't want to pursue it as a career and went into teaching. I had seen how well colour consultations could work when I watched a consultation at school. Some time later, I looked into it again and decided that as I loved shopping, this job would be ideal.

What sort of training have you done?

I received my training in Birmingham, which involved a ten-day training period spread over nine months. The sessions included colour analysis, style consulting for men and women, arranging wardrobes, business management and make-up application.

Emma's route to becoming an Image consultant

  • GCSEs.
  • A levels.
  • Foundation Course in Art & Design.
  • Degree in Fashion Design with Technology.
  • Teacher Training 7407/Stage 1.
  • Image Specialist Certificate.

Emma's image consultant tips

  • Listen to your clients.
  • Organise yourself well and be assertive.

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Image consultant salary information

  • Most image consultants are self employed, so earnings vary greatly.
  • Consultants can earn from £12,000 to £40,000 a year.

How do you become an image consultant?

  • There are no set entry requirements, but experience in a related area, such as beauty therapy or marketing, is useful.
  • There are relevant qualifications at a variety of levels - degrees, BTEC/SQA higher national awards and foundation degree courses are available in a variety of related areas, such as beauty therapy, design, marketing or media communications.

Modified: 16 June 2013

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