Since opening our Little Collins store, we have met some wonderful Melbourne city locals.

Over the past year, Sally Mackinnon, a talented Stylist and Personal Shopper, has become a good friend of ours. Alongside the ELK team, Sally has co-hosted events in our Little Collins Street store providing her expertise to ELK customers on ways to style their favourite ELK designs.

If you haven’t already attended one of our VIP nights, make sure to follow us on Facebook to be on the list for an invite to our next event.

Sally’s knowledge of body shapes, trends and the local retail market allow her to meet the needs of her clients no matter what their styling challenge.

After our last Styled By Sally evening at the ELK Little Collins store, we sat down with Sally to find out more about her humble beginnings, learn a few styling tricks and discover some of her favourite ELK pieces.  

Tell us a bit about yourself, when did Styled By Sally first come about?

I started Styled by Sally in 2007 after working for 10 years as a very fashion conscious primary school teacher. Something hit me at that 10-year mark, and I knew I needed a career change. I’d been watching shows like ‘What Not to Wear’ with Trinny and Susannah, and realised the advice they were giving made complete sense to me. I saw the personal styling industry as an emerging one so figured I’d go for it.

Who is your style icon?

I don’t think I have one particular style icon. I’m inspired by women I see on the street (well, via Instagram!) I get my inspiration from social media mostly these days. I do still enjoy flicking through fashion magazines, but what I love about social media is that it’s in the moment – you see something you like and you buy it (or recreate it using your own wardrobe. Easy… and dangerous!)

What is a styling tip everyone must remember?

Have a full-length mirror! It’s so simple, but so many women do not have one. Think about it, when you go shopping for clothes do the change rooms have mirrors that only allow you to check out the top half of your body? No. A full-length mirror allows you to see how an outfit works or doesn’t work head to toe, consider how something suits or doesn’t suit your shape, and also importantly to help assess if you feel ‘right’ in something. 

What does a day in the life of Sally look like?

Every day is different but I always start with a coffee in bed catching up on social media. Most of my client appointments are in the city these days, unless I’m visiting someone in their home to edit a wardrobe. I’m very lucky that I get to walk to work most days.

A typical day would start with a client appointment over a coffee, before hitting the shops for 3 odd hours to source someone’s new wardrobe. I used to back that up with another shop or edit, but now I have 3 wonderful stylists in my team so I can share the workload. This also gives me more time to manage the business and do all the other things a typical day might throw at me!

I’m heavily involved in small business in Melbourne as the Vice President of the City Precinct Association, so that can involve a lot of meetings with fellow small business owners, committee members and the City of Melbourne.

The day may also include processing a men’s online order (my newest project) and will definitely include checking emails, replying to phone messages, following up with clients, organising and managing my team’s appointments, invoicing, updating my social channels (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter) perhaps film a YouTube tutorial, work on my newsletter, write a blog post… it’s hectic!

Any exciting projects on the horizon?

I host and run a lot of events and workshops, which I love. I’ve teamed up with accessories designer and maker Sarah Conners to create a really great event for women we’re calling ‘Be You, Be Fabulous!’ We’ve adopted a new format by inviting a special guest to every event.

What is your favourite ELK piece? 

The beautiful prints you can find in the MUSE collection caught my eye instantly. This was a clear pick for me.

As a stylist, I always think of what other pieces in my wardrobe I can wear with something new. I don’t have a ‘rule’ as such but if I can think of at least 3 ways to wear something, then it’s usually a winner. I love that I can wear the two pieces together to make it look like a dress, or wear as separates.

A top with skinny jeans or denim shorts in summer, the skirt with one of my (many) logo tees. And I have to say, the ELK Slides this season are comfy like slippers!

To find out more about our ELK Little Collins store styling events, stay up to date on our Facebook page x

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