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with ice-cream on his face, and that’s how I started making
friends in the world again.
You were saying that you felt depressed and anxious at
the time, but Instagram shows everyone’s lives as being
perfect and amazing. How do you reconcile that?
When I was doing the mummy blogging thing, I didn’t cope.
I was renowned for shutting down my Facebook all the time,
because it does put people’s perfect worlds in your face.
When you’re covered in baby spew and poo, and you look
Refreshingly honest stylist and mother-of-three Stacey Clark chats about maintaining a glam image with baby spew
down her front, attracting high-profile clients, and the life-changing event that started her styling career.
Interview by Anna Christensen
What made you decide to start your
own styling business?
I think I always had post-natal depression but I never
addressed it. Then, leading into my thirties, I freaked out.
I had a meltdown and was diagnosed with severe
depression and anxiety, and tried killing myself with my
kids in the car. I was closing my eyes and seeing how long
I could keep them closed without the car swerving, really
playing with fate. I broke down in a girlfriend’s lounge
room one day and just went, ‘I don’t know what I want to
be when I grow up – and I’m two years away from thirty!’
I’ve always loved styling – well, more making things look
pretty – and she said, ‘You know, you can do that as a living.’
I didn’t even know there was such thing as a stylist. That
was four years ago – I’d been stay-at-home for ten years.
You obviously had kids very young.
Yes. We got married at nineteen, and my first daughter
was three months old at my twenty-first.
That must have been strange!
It was crazy, it still feels so strange to think back on. But
I think there are pros and cons either way – you’re either
doing what I did and waiting until you’re thirty to start
your career, or you’re starting straight from school then
stopping halfway through. But I prefer doing it this way.
Do your kids have any idea of what you do at work?
They call me Stacey Clark Stylist (laughs). That’s really
cute. My daughters, my two oldest ones, say things
like, ‘Mummy, I want you to style my wedding,’ and
they love being extra hands on the shoots. But I’ve got
two weddings on the weekend of my daughter’s birthday,
and I won’t be able to spend the day with her. They
don’t understand the intensity of [the business],
they just see me as not being around.
Is there a styling misconception that pisses you off?
Styling is really underrated. People look at a magazine and
they go, ‘That photographer is amazing,’ but they forget
there’s a whole team behind it. Even with me, there’s a team
handing me wet wipes to clean up the edge of a plate, or
bits of parsley to put on top. The other thing is that it’s
not a beautiful job. It looks glorious, but if you don’t leave
a wedding or an event feeling like you’ve got gross food
under your fingernails and wine in your hair and shit all over
you, then you haven’t styled an
event properly. It’s hard work.
My girls spend half their time
on ladders, hanging stuff.
You’re a big Instagram user –
do you ever find new clients
About 80 per cent of
my clients come from
come to me, people who
are launching shops... I’d
say Instagram is why I’m
where I’m at now. I should
really still be clawing my
way to the top.
Did it take long for your
social media presence to
Well, the first few years
I was on social media, I
was really struggling
with depression. I was
a mummy blogger at first, so
I’d do pictures of, like, my kid
“People look at a magazine and they go, ‘That photographer
is amazing,’ but they forget there’s a whole team behind it.”
A long table dinner for Kinfolk.
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