Starting your own business is hard, especially when it’s in a completely different field to your expertise. However, Mardi Mason did just that. Leaving the corporate world of marketing, sponsorship and events for a more creative way of life.
“For a long time interiors was just a passion,” explains Mardi. “Yet whilst I was on maternity leave my interest in styling grew stronger and I had a real desire to work in the creative world. A visit to Life InStyle cemented in my mind that this was the industry for me, so I took the plunge and started my own business.”
[contextly_sidebar id=”ghnj6pLFgaQbufuWBO7qm6Vmks4RsZrl”]Already being the go-to person when friends needed interiors advice or help planning an event, it was somewhat of a natural progression and one that felt 100% right. Quickly landing her first job – to design a nursery for a friend of a friend – it was actually her Instagram handle that got her over the line. “I was once told to treat my Instagram page like a portfolio as it’s an opportunity to share your images and connect with a wonderfully supportive community. I love getting involved with 7 Vignettes for that very reason! So when my friend recommended me to her colleague and referred her to my Instagram page, she was able to get an idea of my style and chose to contact me as a result.”
Having worked across styling, events and interiors for the last two years, Mardi does everything, from designing homes and styling weddings to staging properties for sale and commercial photo shoots. Going from strength to strength it’s tips like using your Instagram as your portfolio and networking in your local community that have led to Mardi’s success. “Networking with the appropriate people in my community like owners of interiors shops who may get asked if they know a stylist, real estate agents, local artists and so on has proved pivotal. Word of mouth is such a powerful tool, so making my business known in my local area seemed crucial to me.”
It was this tenacity that actually saw Mardi achieve her biggest styling milestone; landing her first commercial photo shoot for boutique art company, The Colour English. Imagining it would be hard to get a commercial gig, what with having none in her portfolio, it was after seeing their gorgeous wool art in a local shop that she decided to take matters into her own hands. “After seeing some of The Colour English’s art in the flesh I looked them up on Instagram and noticed they didn’t have any styled images. I decided to approach them directly and suggested I could style a shoot for them. The timing was perfect as they were actually in the process of sourcing a stylist. We met and I pitched my ideas, they loved what I suggested and I was hired. To plan a shoot from conception, execute it on the day and see it come to life in images that the client loved, felt like a huge achievement.”
Loving bringing other peoples’ homes, products and events to life, next on Mardi’s agenda is a personal project, having recently moved into a cute 1930s cottage that has loads of character and even more potential. “I can’t wait to start our build in the next couple of years, as the more I learn as a stylist the more those house plans evolve and the more refined my style becomes. I also have a little girl on the way who’s due early January and I’m excited to get going on her nursery.”