Splash Styling provides a fashion styling consultancy service for photographers, designers, personal and private clients, retail outlets and magazines.
Founded by Natasha Leslie-Badu in 2009, Splash Styling aims to engender new found confidence by offering clients a complete transformation, regardless of budget.
Splash Styling helps their clients to develop their personal style through a variety of services including colour and wardrobe analysis, a personal buyer service and event styling.
The London based company employs a team of seven associates.
Why did you decide to start Splash Styling?
I decided to start my business not only to fulfil a personal goal and do something I am passionate about, but also to inspire and motivate others.
I am a true believer in leading by example and always try my best to set good examples for others to follow.
What’s the story behind your company name?
The business is named after me – Natasha – otherwise known as Splash to friends and family.
Splash Styling represents the ‘Splash touch’ – the vital ingredient that brings out the flavour in your wardrobe or that little black dress that’s perfect for all occasions.
What was your career path prior to starting your first business?
Prior to starting my own business I graduated as a Bio Chemist and worked for two of the leading pharmaceutical companies, Procter & Gamble and GlaxoSmithKline.
My science background taught me great research, analytical and organisational skills which I apply to my styling work today.
Did you always know that you would start your own business?
Running my own business was always my goal and something I knew I was capable of achieving, having developed the necessary skills through various experience gained at work and university.
What type of clients do you work with and which of your services are most in demand?
Splash works with photographers, designers, personal and private clients, retail outlets and magazines.
The service that is most in demand is personal styling for private clients and styling for photo-shoots.
What are you working on at the moment?
At the moment I am working on broadening my portfolio to showcase more fashion trends and to appeal to a wider market, major retail outlets and fashion magazines.
An essential part of this is building my network and creating a database of contacts whose brains I can pick – this has been an amazing experience. I have come to learn how powerful one’s network can be, if utilised professionally.
Most human beings are happy to help, offer advice and guidance – I recognise that I am a fledgling with a lot to learn. I want to learn.
Can you describe your typical working day?
If I am working on a photo-shoot my day will involve meeting models, selecting outfits and debriefing the Splash team on the day’s schedule.
That schedule includes getting models into hair and makeup, travelling to the shoot location, setting up on location, organising models changing, retouching of hair and makeup. Directing the shoot and selecting final images.
What have been the highlights of running your own business?
The highlight of running my business is working with clients. Knowing that I have made someone look and feel amazing through providing a quality service and exceeding the client’s expectations. I also love making an impact on a client’s outlook to style and helping to develop self confidence.
What is the hardest part of running your own business?
The hardest part about running my own business is having multiple roles. As a business owner you have to be a good people person, manager, leader, organiser and administrator. As a business owner you have to learn to be an expert in all of these areas.
I am also a new mum. Everything is possible if you are determined enough. I have quickly learnt the art of multi-tasking.
If you could select anyone as a mentor who would it be and why?
If I could select a business mentor I would select Kimora Lee Simmons. She has worked her way up from a model to a fashion mogul and multi million business woman and is a mother like myself, who made her own success through hard work and determination from a young age.
What has been your proudest business moment so far?
My proudest business moment so far has been seeing my nugget of an idea, come into being. Starting up Splash having had the vision and ambition; watching my ideas unfold and become reality – from the hard slog of business development and having a strategy to booking my first client – it’s been phenomenal.
What, or who, inspires and motivates you?
My love of fashion and style has been influenced from a very early age – my grandmother and mother were my style icons – some of the clothes featured are clothes my grandmother wore in the 50s and 60s.
I have built on this and the looks and images of Splash are inspired by numerous Italian and French designers such as Cesare Paciotti, Roberto Cavalli, Alexandre Vauthier to name a few and celebrities including the fashion mogul Kimora Lee Simmons and infamous stylist Gok Wan.
Splash images are influenced by music, art and the world around us. Splash has a critical eye for style and tends be inspired by analysing people encountered in everyday surroundings and working out how to adapt and improve their look to make a statement.
For my personal style, I love clean lines, quality and believe beauty is in simplicity.
What advice would you give to someone who is considering starting a styling business?
The advice I would give someone considering starting up a styling business would be to first develop your personal style that represents you and your brand. Research your target audience. It is always important to know yourself and your style before you are able to advise others.
Once you establish your style and you are clear on your target audience, you can build your business plan around it.
Fast forward five years, where do you think your business will be in 2016?
In 5 years time I see Splash as an international brand, well known throughout the fashion and styling industry.
Natasha, is there anything else you’d like to share?
I am passionate about style and it is tremendously important to me that through Style I am able to motivate and support others, to lead by example and to show that hard work pays. Tenacity and the willingness to give of one-self will reap rewards. I don’t therefore keep my knowledge to myself – if I can help someone along the way – then I will.
Splash not only helps clients develop personal style and enhance their image for a one-off occasion but also encourages personal shopper clients to develop their self-confidence to enable them to maintain their new found sense of style long-term. We provide links to life coaching services such as Blueprint.
Blueprint helps you to live up to their maxim that “When you look great on the outside, you feel wonderful on the inside and people pick up on your positive energy”. For more information visit www.blueprint-ent.co.uk.
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Natasha Leslie-Badu was interviewed by Octavia Goredema, founder of the Twenty Ten Club.
Do you have a question for Natasha? If so, please feel free to post a comment below: