27 Oct An Austin, Texas Stylist on the rise! Get to know Keirsten Howard.
The day in the life of a stylist begins with a client, a concept, and on to the creative process of bringing the client’s vision and style to life. To take your career to the next level, it’s then all about networking with directors, hairstylists, and makeup artists who have worked with elite clients and who in turn can bridge opportunity for yourself. It takes long hours, hard work, and determination but we have one Texas stylist story that may just be the inspiration you need to prepare for new goals in your upcoming year should styling be on your dream list of careers.
Seen here, Keirsten Howard, celebrity stylist.
Photo by Chelsa Carr.
Recently, we sat down with a very driven woman and got the scoop on Austin, TX stylist Keirsten Howard. She let us in on her career journey, things she’s learned along the way, and gave us a hint of what’s to come with her newfound celebrity clientele. Here’s what she had to say.
Seen here, editorial featured in SHUBA Magazine styled by Keirsten Howard.
Photo credit to Jade Hahhah.
SLTV: Hi Keirsten, we came across your Instagram account recently and love your unique sense of style and how you collaborate with local Texas retailers. Can you tell us your background and how you got started in the fashion scene?
KH: So my fashion background came about with my interest in fashion shows, the Victoria Secret fashion show to be honest. During my undergraduate studies in 2016 at Jackson State University, I was a college athlete completely devoted to my sport volleyball, but I always had an interest in the fashion industry. After graduating with a dual major in studio art and graphic design, I really wanted to explore the fashion industry from behind the scenes. I was curious about the creation of the Victoria Secret fashion show and how the stylists, designers, and creative directors came together to come up with the amazing concepts for each show so I began working in retail at Victoria Secret locally in Austin, Texas. While working at VS and receiving promotions, that pushed me in the direction of getting my master’s degree in business which propelled me into entrepreneurship and learning how to start my own business through social media.
SLTV: We can definitely feel the entrepreneur spirit within you Keirsten and can see that you naturally gravitated toward fashion business, content creation, and styling, please tell us more about this journey and how you began styling in ATX!
KH: Socially media was a huge influence in jump-starting my fashion entrepreneur journey. Around 2016 I became passionate about following photographers, models, and stylists all over Texas to see what they are doing and to also connect. This then led me to different creatives and opportunities to be a part of different groups where I began styling and collaborating on different photoshoot concepts outside of the 9-5. I found that I was really passionate about styling and creative directing and started building my portfolio so around 2017 I started a creative agency.
SLTV: Wow, how incredible, a fashion creative agency in ATX? Please tell us more.
KH: So naturally, my entrepreneur vibes kicked in while still in grad school, I started looking all over Texas to find multitalented artists and came up with the group called the Creative Collective ATX in which we started doing creative concepts for different brands and businesses in Austin. I thought, “I’m a creative and I wouldn’t be getting all these opportunities if I didn’t have the photography, model, makeup artist, and hairstylist to create an awesome concept that would make my styling come out.” The creative energy was so strong amongst this collective and I enjoyed every minute. It was around 2019 in which I started to take a step back from the creative field to rebrand myself. So many people were itching to work with me, but not many truly knew what all I did. At this time my talents were stretching far beyond just being a stylist. I enjoyed creating with this group and work locally with local businesses was fun, but I still had the passion and drive to push myself further in my styling career.
SLTV: The Creative Collective ATX, sounded like a huge success. You even created jobs for other local artists and helped local business boost their brand appearance. We love hearing the hustle of our Texas fashion industry. Please tell us about your rebranding process and the journey you are on now.
KH: Since 2019 to now, I have been rebranding my personal styling career on social media, networking, and focusing on meeting new and elite fashion industry professionals outside of Texas. I have to say that managing social media and formating it into a business is a task in itself. I was getting so much positive energy from the local and online community, that ultimately led me to rebrand and to figure out a way to show my style blog and my professional portfolio for future clients. The rebrand has offered my followers the opportunity to receive daily photos and videos of style training and coaching while allowing me to have a vibrant profile to show future private clients.
SLTV: So what does your styling process look like and what opportunities have come your way since rebranding?
KH: As a stylist, the pulling process grows with every client and project experience you encounter. Some days I have a few weeks to prepare, other projects I have three days to prepare. It also depends on the creative team you are working with. In my experience, I have worked with clients directly, however, with the more elite clients, you most likely speak with their PR managers or the creative director. We then decide on the concept and location for the client photoshoot then go to work. After several years of networking locally and working with the Collaborative Collective ATX, I continued to push myself creatively and gained more experience and in this past year of rebranding, it finally led me to work with really profound designers, photographers, and celebrity clients like Tabitha Brown, a TV actress, and a vegan lifestyle internet personality. I’m also excited to say that this holiday I will be styling a celebrity family in the music industry. I can’t disclose who just yet, but be sure to check my profile during the holidays.
SLTV: Music industry celebrities and actresses, congratulations! How did this opportunity come your way?
KH: So this past year I was so excited to have the opportunity to work with Tabitha Brown and her creative team. Tabitha Brown is a former actress who now has social media presence in the vegan community with her cooking show and motivational speaking. For this photoshoot, I had three days to prepare which also included me flying to Los Angeles. I researched local Texas boutique and jewelry designers, like Nina Beranato, Luxe Apothetique, Magik Supply, and Healing Hoops. I was so fortunate to have been pulled in by the photographer, Marcus Owens, who has worked with many celebrities in the past like Tyra Banks, Destiny’s Child Michelle Williams, and celebrity athletes like Grant Hill and Emit Smith, to name a few.
SLTV: What exciting news and we can’t wait to see who that music industry family is! We also hear you are launching your own fashion boutique. What is the name, concept, and styles should we look forward to seeing?
KH: Yes, I’m very excited about the music industry opportunity as well as launching my boutique this November called The Lyn Showroom. It will be a vintage boutique with sustainable and designer pieces that will give clients the opportunity to buy and use these pieces for future creative projects and brand work. With my own personal style and working with clients, I wanted to create a space for anyone who is fashion-forward looking for that statement piece. One of my style passions is mixing 70′, 80’s, and 90’s with current trends. The Lyn Showroom will definitely carry these styles that I hand-pulled from past and recent projects. One of my main goals is to make my showroom a place that offers an informative, fun, and educational environment to learn from. Even if you don’t shop, I want to give my customers the atmosphere to gain confidence in trying to find new ways to style their outfits.
SLTV: For stylists just starting out in the industry, what is the best advice you could give them if they are looking to elevate their careers while staying in Texas?
KH: It is so important to work on your portfolio. Doing your outside work and collaborating with your community to create a visual representation of what you can do, will help you grow in your experience. Having a variety of photos from past projects can show a future client, creative director, and brand clothing and accessory companies the many different styles you can create which shows versatility. Giving your clients a clear picture of your talents will drive the energy and excitement you need to land the opportunity of your dreams.