“Creativity takes courage.”
– Henri Matisse
Today’s featured creative is Kaitlin Holland, founder of The School of Styling! I met Kaitlin when I attended TSOS in LA this June. She is such a sweet and caring person and her attention to detail is amazing. Every aspect of the workshop was phenomenal, and I walked away inspired and empowered. Kaitlin is impacting the creative community in amazing ways by following her vision one snowy day. From connecting creatives, to teaching them business + hands-on skills they need to make their brand successful, her work is transforming lives and businesses. I am so thrilled and honored to feature her today, and I know you’ll enjoy learning more about the woman behind all the beauty that is The School of Styling!
Tell me about yourself:
I was born and raised in Raleigh, NC and I now live about an hour and a half west in Greensboro, NC with my husband, Clay, and our puppy, Sophie Mae. I’ve always loved art and design. When I was younger I set up an art corner in my room and loved to create, collect, and decorate. My mom was constantly redecorating our house, which is where my love for design came from. I would help her paint, pick out fabrics, and when I got old enough, I got to draw up my own plans for my bedroom. My dad started his own business when I was in 5th grade, so I’ve admired entrepreneurship from a young age. I like to think I got my creativity from my mom and my drive from my dad!
After high school, I attended Elon University, a small liberal arts school, where I studied art and fell in love with my handsome husband! During my senior year, I decided I wanted to start a vintage rental company to serve Raleigh and the surrounding area. At the time, there was nothing like it in Raleigh, so I felt it was a great opportunity to get into the wedding industry! I started Simply Put Vintage, which has since been sold, and learned a lot running my first business. I also learned that I didn’t want to just manage props, I wanted to create! As I designed and styled a shoot for our site launch, I fell in love with styling. I didn’t even know it was a job option at the time, so I continued to do it on my own time and dime. Eventually, I began to offer styling services for weddings and events and as I met more and more people I found a deep need for education and development in the creative business world. Enter: The School of Styling.
During a huge snow storm in February of 2014, I finally sat down and started to draw up plans for The School of Styling. I knew I wanted to provide creatives with practical business advice, fuel their creative juices, create a platform for life-giving community, and make them feel loved and valued.
I have done 4 workshops over the past year and plan to continue to host and connect creatives!
How did you discover your love for the creative world?
I’ve always been creative, but my eyes were opened to all the possibilities when I was in college. Pinterest was fairly new, so inspiration was incredibly accessible! I was obsessed with weddings but didn’t know where exactly I would fit in on the grand scheme of things, and to be honest, at the time I still thought I would go into the public school system and teach!
How does your art background inform your business?
Gosh, without my art background I’m not sure The School of Styling would exist! I realized how many people didn’t know why their pieces or compositions work, they just knew what they liked. We could never say we liked something in art class, we always had to tell why. Teaching other professionals to look at their work critically and with purpose is so much fun for me!
What is The School of Styling?
The School of Styling is a community for creative individuals looking to deepen their knowledge of business and gain experience styling, no matter their profession. Our goal is to teach and equip new and established wedding and event stylists, interior designers, photographers, bloggers, prop stylists, and business owners how to design and style a space, event, or photo shoot creatively. We host intimate three day hands-on workshops all over the country with a purpose to equip + encourage creatives to style with intention, build smart businesses + cultivate community.
What does styling mean to you, and why is it important?
Styling is the art of making a space, person, or item look beautiful. Styling is important because as humans we were created to crave beauty. When something is carefully created or crafted with us in mind, it’s like receiving a precious gift. The feeling of being known, loved, and accepted is indescribable. As a creator and stylist you have the ability to bring beauty to the world that has purpose and meaning. Beauty that is intended to remind people there is hope, light, and joy in this world. Beauty that inspires others to live well-rounded and full lives. Beauty that goes beyond trends, and sinks down deep into what is timeless.
What are your plans for TSOS in 2016?
Oh, where do I start 🙂 We are busy planning three workshops for 2016 as well as online content and some fun collaborations that I can’t wait to share more about! [tickets to The School of Styling Nashville went on sale today!]
What is your favorite part of a TSOS event?
There are so many wonderfully overwhelming moments at our schools, but my favorite part has to be my role as the connector. I not only love to see how relationships form during a workshop, but how they continue to grow once we all go home.
What would your advice be to creatives who are just starting out?
Be wise with what people are entrusting you. Meaning, even if you have a small project or a low-paying first job, give it all you have and don’t waste time or resources on things that are unnecessary. If you are wise with a little you will be wise with a lot.
What is your ideal Saturday?
My favorite Saturdays are those spent at home with my husband and our puppy, Sophie Mae. With fall just around the corner, I’m dreaming of a home cooked breakfast complete with pumpkin chocolate chip pancakes, bacon and coffee. Saturday’s are often my chance to clean the house (which has become very therapeutic for me), bake something I’ve been dying to make, go to the gym, work on a project for my house, invite friends over for dinner, and watch a movie with my husband. I’d also toss in a trip to a local vintage shop downtown and treat myself to a chai latte from Starbucks!
For endless inspiration and to stay updated with all things The School of Styling:
Facebook: The School of Styling
The photos in this article are from TSOS Austin and were taken by Love the Nelson’s Photography.