My Career: Are you stuck in a style rut?

My Career: Sharon Huggard, The Style Coach tells us about her job
My Career: Are you stuck in a style rut?
The Style Coach Sharon Huggard

Name: Sharon Huggard.

Age: 45.

Lives: Innishannon.

Job title: Sharon Huggard The Style Coach.

Salary bracket: Enough to keep my wardrobe up to date each season.

Education background: I studied Business Studies and Marketing in college in Dublin many moons ago. I have always obtained industry-relevant qualification, e.g. my banking exams, life assurance and in recent years a Fashion Merchandising & Buying Diploma, Style Coaching Institute Diploma and Coaching Models of Practice QQI level 6 award with distinction. I recently was offered one of the 20 coveted places on the AIB Women in Enterprise Growth Academy Programme for ambitious entrepreneurs.

Hobbies: A lot of women will identify with the struggle to carve out time for their hobbies with juggling work, family, etc. I have three very active children and my social life revolves around taking them to theirs!

I have less me time since setting up The Style Coach but I am so passionate about what I do so it that it doesn’t seem like work, but I am very aware there needs to be a balance. I need down time so I can give the best of myself to my clients.

I enjoy reading personal development books and listen to them on audio when in the car. I love my weekly Pilates class. Getting out in nature is good for my soul and clearing my head. I enjoy attending personal development workshops and seminars. I attended Tony Robbins’s Unleash the Power Within, London 2019 event last April.

Spending time with my husband, three children and our puppy.

Describe your job in five words: My passion, fulfilling, transformative, empowering, educational.

Describe yourself in five words: Ambitious, people person, relatable, authentic, supportive.

Personality needed for this kind of work? Empathetic, patient, passionate, non-judgement, open-minded, social, organised, motivational, enthusiastic, client-focused and good listener.

How long are you doing this job? Sharon Huggard The Style Coach was only born in 2018 but I feel everything I have ever done has led to be this point.

I developed a huge interest in personal development and growth which led me to combine my Fashion Styling experience and my Life Coaching skills to provide a holistic approach to styling. To empower, educate and inspire women to express their true style and confidence. Transform Your Style. Transform Your Confidence. Transform Your Life.

How did you get this job? After I left college I worked in AIB and Irish Permanent (now Permanent TSB) in Dublin and moved into the Mutual funds world, followed by 10 years in Eagle Star Life Assurance (now Zurich) in Dublin and I transferred back to the Cork office with my fiancée, now husband, to set up home in Cork. I finished up in the coporate world after our third child was born, as having three kids under 3.5 years wasn’t conducive to family work/life balance for me. I was a full time stay at home mom for many years when they were small. It was hard work but I was very fortunate to be in a position to do it and so grateful for that special time with them.

In 2011, I was looking for a bit of excitement and to reclaim myself, I entered a competition for Ireland’s Next Top Stylist. I had no retail or fashion experience, the brief was to style a photo shoot. I decided to show how to style one item six different ways. I am a very practical person and this is a corner stone of The Style Coach. I won the title as Ireland’s Next Top Stylist and a Personal Style Course in Dublin and mentoring with one of Ireland’s leading fashion stylists, Cathy O’Connor. That was the start of my passion for helping women feel more confident and have fun with fashion. I subsequently was one of four finalists in Oasis My Personal Stylist, their National Search for a Fashion Stylist for the Oasis group.

I have been a fashion stylist for nearly eight years. I had my own Business Style4You and then 5.5 years ago I was asked to work in Dressed Boutique as Fashion Stylist and I am now also a fashion buyer there. In 2018, I set up Sharon Huggard The Style Coach.

Do you need particular qualifications or experience? I am a huge advocate for relevant industry qualifications and membership to industry Institutes as they help keep you on top of best practice, industry news and developments. Qualifications alone will not be an indication of how successful you will be as you need to have great rapport, connection and trust with your client. Life experience and personal development will also have a huge impact on the service you offer your client and how it’s received.

Describe a day at work: No two days are the same and I adore the variety and excitement that brings, but a typical day might look like this. I get my three kids off to school, check my emails, create content for social media, engaging with my followers, replying to client queries, etc.

Having q 1-2-1 meeting with my Style Project six week programme on zoom (from the comfort of their own homes).

Checking in with clients to see how they are progressing and keeping them accountable. This is a very important part of the programme as it keeps them focused, taking small actions and building momentum to achieve their unique goals.

I offer complimentary 20 minute discovery calls to potential clients to see how I can help them and if we are a good fit to work together.

In the evening, either attending Network Ireland events, hosting my Style Factory masterclass or taxi for the kids’ matches and training.

I am working on reducing my exposure to technology and social media an hour before bed so I read before bed to wind down.

How many hours do you work a week? I work in Dressed Boutique 20 hours per week. It#s more difficult to quantify the hours I work on Sharon Huggard The Style Coach but approximately 15-20 hours per week, but I’m constantly thinking about the business so in reality it is a lot more.

What do you wear to work? As a Style Coach I am the face of my brand and service so I like to present a professional and stylish look that reflects my style personality. My service is client-focused so it is about THEM, not me. It is all about their unique body shape, style personality, lifestyle and requirements so it’s very individual.

I do like to dress smartly for work during the day, meeting clients I would typically wear tailored trousers, a statement top and heels. I elevate the glamour for The Style Factory masterclasses in the evening to a dress and heels. When I’m at home running and racing it is more relaxed and comfortable attire, with jeans and t-shirt or sweatshirt with comfortable dressy runners. So I tend to dress for the occasion and the different roles in my life.

Is your industry male or female dominated? My business is very female dominated as all my clients are female, as I help women stuck in a style rut transform how they look on the outside and feel on the inside. I work in Dressed, a women’s boutique.

I’m a member of Network Ireland and The International Association of Style Coaching, they are both amazingly dynamic, progressive and supportive organisations for women in business.

Does this affect you in any particular way? There is something so empowering and inspiring about surrounding yourself with ambitious successful women who raise each other up.

Is your job stressful? How? Rate it on a scale of 1-10: I would rate it is around 5 as I actively try to manage my stress with mediation, exercising, getting enough sleep, etc. I need to bring my A game to my clients so that can be stressful, to make sure I have the energy, positivity and enthusiasm that my clients deserve.

I feel a responsibility to ensure my clients get what they come looking for when attending my Style Factory Masterclass and Style Project 1-2-1 Programme, and that is the biggest stressor to ensure I give myself that time to be my best so I can give my best to them.

Do you work with others or on your own? I work on my own so networking and being a member of institutions and groups is really important for connection and support.

When do you plan to retire or give up working?

I’ve only just begun so it’s not even a consideration, so as long as I’m empowering, educating, and inspiring women, it’s my passion and responsibility to help them.

Best bits: The feedback from my clients has been phenomenal and the transformations from my clients stuck in a rut with low confidence and lost identity, to see them blossom in front of my eyes, is so rewarding and I’m just so excited for what is ahead for them.

Worst bits: When a client finishes up on my Style Project Programme and we have built up such a genuine connection and relationship, but thankfully I do keep in touch with them to see how they are progressing and I have worked with many of them again.

Advice: Styling, especially Style Coaching, isn’t about you, it is about your client. Make sure you are client-focused, they are the centre of any decisions and you wouldn’t go wrong. Listen to your client.

Any other comments? Follow your dreams... it’s never too late to find your passion and purpose.

For further information please email sharonstyle4you@gmail.com, check out the website at www.sharonhuggard.com and follow Sharon Huggard The Style Coach on Facebook and Instagram.

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