Ellie Brown is a freelance stylist that undertakes beautiful work, often using our locations. With a background in graphic design, merchandising, fashion and interiors buying, Elkie brings an abundance of creativity to everything she does. We spoke to her about her work and influences to understand more about why she loves what she does. We love Elkie’s work so are very happy she has taken part in our Q&A!
How would you introduce you and your work in one sentence?
A creative workaholic who loves their job!
What was your route to becoming s stylist?
I studied graphic design at university, and after that I knew I did not want to be a designer sat in front of a computer. I missed making and creating with my hands! Shortly after graduating I got a job working for a group of independent retailers in Dulwich in SE London as a window dresser and visual merchandiser, which also lead me into interior and fashion buying. I absolutely loved the mixture of merchandising and buying and how creative it was. I was given a lot of freedom which can be rare in this field. From my Saturday job as a teenager at Osbourne & Little, I was introduced into the world of interiors which I adored and while working at the stores in Dulwich I started assisting an interior stylist on shoots. I assisted on and off for 4/5 years, during that time I was doing test shoots and starting to pick up smaller styling jobs. The balance then shifted from assistant to stylist and left assisting and have never looked back.
Who or what has influenced most in your work?
My mum was a fashion stylist and a single mum. I think her creativity and work ethic as well as her constant support and encouragement has made me the stylist I am today.
You have worked as a freelance stylist since 2010. What have you seen change the most in your industry during that time?
Working mainly with commercial clients, there has been a transition from needing to sell everything off the page to a more inspirational/editorial look, with a more real life and relaxed feel. I think this is due to the increase in online shopping as well as the role of social media outlets like Instagram and Pinterest and the influence they have.
You work with editorial and commercial clients such as the White Company, but also in event styling with clients such as Fox Films. How do these 2 strands of styling differ?
They differ but I think my approach to both is quite similar. Its all about creating an environment. The constraints of a location in both cases is always an obstacle, but with an event or a press show there is no cheating allowed out of shot!! I think the experience I gained as a visual merchandiser has really helped with event styling, to me it is a similar process and to turn things around very quickly!!!
You work with some of Britain’s very well known brands. How does it feel to be part of how they represent their image?
It’s a great feeling. I have been fortunate to work with a few large brands as they were going through a change in how they represent themselves. This is a very exciting process, and you really are part of that change. As a stylist you can be very involved in this process from an early stage and its always amazing to go through the process and to see the final outcome. I still get excited to see my images pop up.
What is the BEST thing about your job as a stylist?
Firstly I just love what I do, and its so part of who I am as a person as well. I also get to work with the most amazing people. Photographers, art directors, set builders and I have two amazing assistants who make my job a dream.
If you weren’t a stylist what would you be doing? (and why)
I think I would probably have my own concept fashion/interiors store. That early part of my career I did really love and still dream up ideas of what kind of store I would open.
Where in the world holds a special place in your heart? (and why)
Joshua Tree National Park. It the most magical and beautiful place I have ever been to. It has this very special feeling about it that is hard to put into words. The landscape in incredible, I had never been to anywhere quite like that before or since. There are some amazing cabins within the park I am dying to stay in. Maybe a trip back this year!
What is your mantra for life?
Be kind, challenge yourself everyday, have fun, work hard, and make time for downtime (still trying to do this)
Clients include: John Lewis, Neptune, The White Company, Sainsbury’s Home, M&S and Debenhams.