One of the hardest parts about being a freelancer is practicing self-care. With work constantly being sent to you or you personally looking for the next project, taking care of yourself may fall by the wayside.
Simple tasks like brushing your hair, getting changed, or even eating can slip by during a day that really has no set start or finish, but is this really a great way to go about freelancing? Probably not.
In Socially Dedicated's Freelance Self-Care Series, we want to spotlight different aspects of self-care and why they are important. We covered closing the laptop and breathing with some yoga by the waterfront and now our next stop is practicing self-care through having a professional wardrobe to LEAVE the house with.
Susan Padron, a personal stylist of the Greater Philadelphia area, offers personal styling that starts from your own wardrobe all the way to the shops you want to get some new clothes from.
Originally a middle school teacher, Susan took a dive into her own small business venture in 2016 after friends and family convinced her to make the switch. She began offering her knack for styling to those around her and has acquired many clients through her talents in fashion and personal styling. She will pack your clothes for you, add flair to your wardrobe, or even go shopping for you--or with you!
We were able to go together to the Cherry Hill Mall so that I could practice a little self-care and Susan could show me a bit more of what she does and how great she is at it--spoiler alert: she is awesome.
I had a pretty frugal freelancer budget of $100 because, as a freelancer, you have really great months and also some really lean months. I figured this was safe and Susan let me know this was not a problem. We walked into H&M and as someone who barely ever shops for herself, I was ready for a little wardrobe upgrade.
Susan immediately ran to some racks of clothes and was pulling items off the shelves and I felt like she somehow was telepathic because everything she pulled was something I was like "YES!" in my head about or something I may have not picked myself, but she jumped over the hurdle of courage and plopped it in our pile of clothes to try on. Mind you, this whole time she is carrying my clothes for me even after I try to hold them myself.
After walking around the store, grabbing a few shirts and pants, we run to the fitting room. She stays with me the whole time, offering her opinion, running out to get me a new size if needed, and ultimately giving me the confidence to come outside and show off the clothes. When an outfit required some jewelry, she ran out and came back with two necklaces and showed me how to layer the necklaces for a cool layered effect that gave my outfit a huge boost in fanciness.
We spent about an hour trying on clothes and our yes, maybe, and no pile quickly became clear after mixing and matching. Susan truly took the time to get to know my style and also kept the conversation going, wanting to know more about me as well while we worked through the final decisions. We picked our yes's, many of which were styles I had never thought to try and ended up loving, and walked to the cash register to find out we spent $97--$3 short of my budget!
Susan amazed me with her patience, kindness, and also her ability to really take someone who hasn't practiced self-care in her wardrobe and style for a while and give me a great day where I didn't have to make my style decisions alone.
We walked out of H&M and grabbed some coffee and I appreciated my bag full of clothes--that didn't break the bank--and also my newfound friendship with Susan. Her skills in really looking at a person and how to dress up their wardrobe without giving them things they won't enjoy or forcing their favorites on was refreshing and also a true look at her approach to her business, which is about her clients and what they want and love.
Susan's services include the above stated, as well as styling for photo shoots, style on-demand check-ins when you aren't so sure if an outfit works, and even follow-up shopping sessions once she knows your style and budget. These are just a few offerings though and you can find her pricing and services on her website. She is wonderful, you will leave with some new clothes and a new friend, and the experience will be wonderful.
I cannot stress enough the importance of self-care and having a wardrobe you are proud of and that makes you want to leave the house is key to keeping mentally sharp and happy. It may seem materialistic, but not being proud of your wardrobe or panicking over not having anything to wear can lead to self-esteem battles within yourself or just foregoing plans that can benefit your mental health, so please take the time to care for yourself by having a wardrobe you are proud of.
Check out the outfits Susan and I purchased below. Note, I am a freelancer and not a model :)
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