I know many of you are eager to know how my boot camp experience went with J. Bolin. Well, let me tell you, it was PHENOMENAL! I am beyond happy that I went with my gut feeling and took advantage of this amazing opportunity. We all know entering into this world of fashion styling is very competitive, it’s not as easy as it looks, it takes discipline, organization, positive energy, and most importantly a great sense of style.
Recently, I attended J. Bolin’s Fashion Stylist Boot camp in Dallas, Texas. Before walking into that boot camp, I was extremely nervous because I did not know what to expect. As soon as I walked through that door, I registered, walked in and was welcomed by J. Bolin with a hug. After that hug, I felt calm and relaxed. J. Bolin was so friendly, open-minded, and personable with everyone who attended this boot camp. I along with 25 other apprentices from all parts of the country including London, California, Los Angeles, Florida and so on came to be poured with knowledge from this talented man. This was an 8 hour class that wasn’t strictly about fashion but he also covered the business aspects of fashion as well.
Coming from Roxie, Mississippi, Jason knew he was not meant for mediocrity and he knew that there was something beyond his Advanced Technology degree from Alcorn State University. So what did Jason do? He went with what he loved which is styling other people. His talent offers him the ability to be happy while making others happy. Jason went from hosting and styling ratchet (in his mind) fashion shows to becoming a well-known celebrity stylist. Jason’s journey started with a single step, he took that first step, and business started vigorously.
Before attending boot camp all of us were responsible for bringing three to five of our favorite magazines, as well as six of our favorite clothing items. The first session of the boot camp was Project Switch-a-Roo. We had five minutes to complete the project with all 6 pieces we were responsible for bringing that day. We were paired with another individual and each team had to pull a strip of paper with a style printed on it and create a look from the style described. The strip my partner and I had was daytime red carpet outfit. We both created a look using the pieces I brought and presented the style in front of the class.
The second session of boot camp was about building our own personal style. Each of us had to build our own style board that accurately portrays who we are and how it is incorporated into our style. We had 10 minutes to look through our magazines and cut out as many styles that described who we were and tape them on to the poster board. After completing our style board, each of us presented what our style board represented to us. Since I like to put my own twist into a common look, my board represented colors, bold statement necklaces, and scarves.
The third session of the boot camp strictly involved the business aspects of being a fashion stylist which many of us needed to hear about. Some of the topics included creating a press kit for yourself, how to properly market yourself using that press kit, how to accurately write pull letters to brands, how to gain clients, pay rate for styling clients, developing an agreement contract for all your clients and building confidence and professionalism.
The last session of the boot camp was about presenting your client makeover. Each of us had to pull a strip of paper from the bowl with the name of a celebrity printed on it and recreate their look on the poser board and present that look in front of the class. The celebrity name I pulled from the bowl was Pharrell Williams. Pharrell’s has a preppy, suit, and tie sense of style. After researching Pharrell’s style, I notice he wears a lot of black, white, and gray suits so I suggested that he wear more suits with color, maybe a red suit, or a blue suit.
After the last session, we were able to pick J. Bolin and his staff’s brain about questions or concerns we had. We used our time to develop relationships and create potential partnerships with one another. I got a chance to network with so many talented individuals at this boot camp. J. Bolin and his staff did an excellent job organizing that day for us. Some of the things that I learned and took away from this boot camp are self-confidence, how to market myself accurately, how to study your client (make sure you learn what they do and don’t like, watch every move they make, observe there body, and listen to them). And most importantly knowing your fashion terminology!
If you want to keep up with what J. Bolin is doing next, follow his Instagram, Twitter and Facebook page at @StylistJBolin