My Week: Sarah Cook of Stylus Parties

The style entrepreneur on being frustrated with having few boys in her industry, fun with Twitter and striking a balance.

by Hannah Prevett
Last Updated: 19 Aug 2013
It was Stylus Parties’ first birthday last week, so I celebrated with a few glasses of wine with the stylists who live locally to me. We run courses to help people become fashion stylists so they can host our parties at people’s homes (think Tupperware or Body Shop at home - I’m doing that with style). So I’ve set up this virtual learning environment to train people in the UK to become a personal stylist. After that they can also go on to become personal shoppers and things like that.

So far we’ve taken nearly 60 people through the course, and they’ve all had one thing in common - they’re all women. We haven’t had a single man apply yet. I don’t really understand: there are loads of male hair stylists and I had a couple of boys on a make-up course I taught at a further education college earlier this year, yet no guys seem to want to become stylists. It would be really great to have a man, because although sometimes they laugh at fashion and styling, often they could do with the most help.

My day starts at about 6.45 when I get up and have breakfast. They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day and it’s absolutely true: I can’t function without some cereal or toast and at least two cups of tea. I’ll then get my two boys, aged 14 and 10, ready for school. Once they’ve headed off I’ll check my email and social networks. I’ve really got into Twitter in the last six months and it makes me chuckle every day. I was following David Walliams’ swim down the Thames last week and his tweets were hilarious. You just knew it was coming from him, rather than his PR team.

After that I’ll work through my to-do list, which I’ll have written the night before. I spend a lot of time speaking to other women in the network of stylists we have built. So I’ll be giving them advice on the phone or by email. And then I’ll get applications online and submissions of assignments. Every day is different and it’s not always easy, but I love it. I cannot wait to get out of bed and get to work each day

That said, I still believe family time is important. As much as anything, it helps me unwind, so I make sure my evenings are spent with my husband and children. We can all be workaholics, but if you take a step back, you can see that your family needs you just as much as the business. It’s just about finding a balance.

Sarah Cook is the founder of Stylus Parties, which trains fashion stylists to hold fashion parties in people’s homes.

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