Kimberley Sara is a Canberra stylist, blogger and mama to an adorable and witty little boy. Her blog, The Style Side has quickly become popular in our City not only for it’s gorgeous and well planned out aesthetic, but also for Kim’s high-fashion style and effortless cool mum charm. We’d LOVE to take a peek inside her wardrobe one day!
Tell us a bit about where the inspiration behind launching The Style Side came from?
I have been freelance styling for over 10 years as well as starting a few fashion blogs over the years but I never put 100% into any of it, not because I didn’t want to but because I was stuck in the mindset of “I will wait until I am ready to properly start, who do you think you are you to write a blog and expect people to want your style advice, are you sure that your values truly align with the fashion industry?”. It all came down to fear – fear of failure, fear of being perceived a certain way. It takes guts to stand up and put yourself out there completely. Having moved up and down the east coast of Australia way too many times (8 cities in 10 years to be exact!) I never had a feeling of permanence until I moved back to Canberra from Sydney with my 6 month old son. At this point, my world had fallen apart and I had to begin life from scratch. I decided it was time to bite the bullet and chase my dreams with everything I had. I came up with the name “The Style Side”, began making connections, writing and photographing, immersing myself in everything I am passionate about and truly put myself out there. That was about 2 years ago and I haven’t looked back.
Did you study to become a Fashion Stylist?
I studied Design, but I never had the patience for the process. I realised I could combine my business mind, my love for people and my passion for fashion into a styling career and enrolled in a course in Fashion Business at FBI Fashion College. I didn’t make it to the end of the course due to a car accident but ended up working in various business management roles while still styling on the side when I had time or the opportunity. The business skills I developed over this time were so vital to starting The Style Side.
If you had to describe your own individual style in 5 words, what would they be?
Classic, relaxed, understated, coastal, monochromatic.
What does a typical day in the life look like for you?
My son is at daycare 3 days a week so on those days I try to pack a million things into 8 hours, from styling appointments with clients, my sanity-dependant gym sessions, answering emails, collaborating with brands, writing blog posts and trying to make sure my house doesn’t look like a zoo of toys and mess. I never manage to achieve all of that but I try, I try, I try!
What are your three top tips for juggling motherhood and running your own business?
1. It will never be easy. Something always slips, whether that is the washing, a missed email, forgetting to stop and enjoy the moment – it is a juggling act and you need to allow yourself to not be perfect. Utilise the business tools such as social media, blogging or collaboration which can often be done from home or during the quick breaks you get when your child is momentarily distracted (I say momentarily because it only takes two minutes for a toddler to realise you are not paying them any attention so you gotta be quick!)
2. Find a good support network or if you don’t have one, create one. Offer to help a friend in a similar situation and they may return the favour. Make time for the people around you because they will be your greatest asset.
3. Run a business you are so in love with and so passionate about that you are inspired to do it on no sleep, in the most difficult of circumstances and are willing to sacrifice other things for. I will happily sit up writing until all hours because it makes me so damn happy. I will happily do my groceries in 10 minutes like a mad woman running isle to isle just to fit in one last client on my super busy days. If you don’t love what you are doing with every fibre of your being, it is really difficult to find that motivation.
Where will we find you on the weekends?
Near the ocean – most weekends I am down the coast relaxing with my family and also regularly make trips back to Sydney. If I don’t make it away for the weekend, I like to get outside, run around with my son and catch up with friends.
Do you have a favourite place to zone out and write your blog articles?
I have an office space set up at home which I love to be in because I am surrounded by my favourite books, imagery and inspiration here. Most of the time I am blogging while sitting on the couch next to my son, while Peppa Pig carries on in the background hah.
What’s next for The Style Side?
This year my goal is to continue taking on more clients through my personal styling services as well focusing more heavily on my blog with more collaborations and street style shoots on the way. I am also passionate about helping others achieve their business goals through creative business strategy so I will be focusing on expanding my creative consultancy services. I also have plans for more Style Workshops later this year!
What inspires you?
I am inspired by people who are bold and outspoken in who they are what they believe in, people who back themselves, are not afraid of being judged or ridiculed and are brave enough to be completely true to who they are. I am inspired by beauty, whether that is through nature, photography, fashion, music or writing. I am inspired by social change, the environment, kindness and human connection.
@the_style_side in a flash:
Coffee or Tea?: Coffee 100%!
On your bedside table we’ll find: Magazine, lip gloss, perfume and probably a matchbox car care of my son hah
Favourite flowers: peony roses
Book you’re currently reading: re-reading The Book Thief I absolutely love it
Signature scent: Issey Miyake
5 can’t live without handbag items: floating bank cards, I rarely keep things in a wallet, lip balm, hair ties, 2 different pairs of sunnies incase I change my mind and a kohl pencil!