When you’re in school, it’s super hard to decide on your future career. There’s already hours of homework and study, now you’ll soon add decisions about college courses and jobs to your list. At KISS, we’re chatting to people in different industries about how they’ve landed their dream role, what they actually do, and their advice to you. This week, we’re chatting to stylist Rebecca Rose Quigley.
What is your current role?
I’m very lucky that I have two jobs to keep me occupied, or crazy busy, whichever way you want to see it. I teach in Youthreach parttime working with “at risk” young people, then the rest of the time I’m a fashion stylist.
I took a job share last year to focus on my fashion business.
Can you describe what your general day to day looks like?
I’m sure everyone says this but no day is the same apart from how my week is structured.
Monday to Wednesday I teach, my role is really fulfilling. I have a great relationship and rapport built with my students, which is always important in this type of role.
Thursday to Sunday, I work in fashion. I could be pulling looks for my tv slot on Ireland AM, styling my lovely clients who need outfits for returning to work, changing jobs, communions, weddings etc. or working with boutiques and shopping centres showcasing their new stock.
Things have changed slightly since Covid – there is a lot less footfall in the shops and people are less inclined to spend, so the one to one styling sessions are less frequent but it’s so great to have the interaction with my followers on Instagram and Facebook, where I work with some well-known brands to bring amazing fashion trends to those who love online shopping.
Thankfully, I’m continuing to work with the boutiques and supporting local businesses – everyone in this industry took a hit during the pandemic so I’m glad we can all pull together to see it through and rebuild the economy together.
How did you decide on this type of career?
Neither careers were really planned. I didn’t particularly enjoy school but I love being active, so I was delighted to get my first choice, a degree in Sport and Health in Liverpool Hope. I always had a flair for art and design, coming up with new creative ideas and of course a devotion for all things fashion, so for me it was a no brainer to do a styling course.
What course did you study in college?
I studied Bachelor of Science in Sport and Health, Liverpool Hope and a course in Styling with Image Academy.
Having completed my degree, I took a role as a youth worker in Foroige which put me on the ladder towards my current teaching role. I really enjoy being able to put this to good use teaching Health and Fitness, SPHE (Social, Personal, Health Education) and RSE (Relationship, Sexual Education) in Co. Monaghan Youthreach.
Upon completing my styling course, I was employed to cover a personal stylist’s maternity leave for Blanchardstown centre. It was an invaluable experience at the time, as it helped me grow and learn the dos and don’ts of the industry.
What are the ups and downs of the role?
Running your own business definitely has pros and cons. Thankfully, I love to keep busy, some weeks managing, marketing and selling yourself as a commodity is more than a full-time job. You have very little downtime and I am rarely off my phone, so I need to protect my “me” time, especially if I have received some “not so nice” messages.
Saying all of that, I eat, sleep and breathe fashion and am very lucky to do something I love so much. My followers are amazing and really keep me going even on those harder days – I love helping people to understand their body shape, how to dress for it, all while being fashionable, in a world where you shouldn’t be afraid to stand out from the crowd and be who you want to be.
What advice would you give to a student looking to get into your line of work?
Firstly, really evaluate what you are passionate about, don’t doubt yourself and experience is key. I know building experience can be hard but working for free, interning and volunteering is invaluable. In my early days, trying to build my brand, I worked evenings and weekends for free. It took a long time to build relationships and trust with those I wanted to work with long term. This is an ongoing element of my job.
You will hear “no” a lot but don’t take this “no” negatively – see it as a positive to build that resilience and endurance to explore different avenues.
A quote from the Footballer Pele that always resonates with me is “Success is no accident, it is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice and most of all. Love what you are doing”.
For more job profiles on medicine, music, media, modeling, and loads more, check out our Career Chats series.