TBH: The Difference Between a Stylist and a Store Sales Person

I was listening to a fashion podcast a few months back and it really stuck with me. The speaker, brand and strategy guru, Bull D’Arienzo, said, “We are not in the business of selling, we are in the business of solving.

Selling vs. Solving. It had me thinking about what my team and I do. And, how our services help. People come to us with a dilemma. Whether it is a closet overhaul or event styling, for example, it’s up to us to solve their issue. We are not there to sell them a bunch of products. With that, I started thinking about the difference between a wardrobe stylist and what a store calls a “stylist”.

There is a difference. And, one of us is in the business of selling, while the other is in the business of solving. A few key difference including the following:

Store Sales Person

  1. Should not be called a stylist. Many have little experience, just need a job, and don’t understand fit on a variety of women.
  2. You are not their “client”. You’re not paying the sales person for their services. You are a “customer” of the store. So, their help is a free service.
  3. A store salesperson works on commission, has goals, or has a quota to meet. I’ve been in quite a few stores as a shopper and I’ve also had sales people tell me they’ve sold something to a customer even when it looked ridiculous. I’ve even had a sales person locally tell me to lie to a client of mine.
  4. A store salesperson will only dress you with what’s available in store.
  5. A store salesperson won’t tell you they’ve sold that dress to all your friends. (refer to #3)
  6. A store salesperson, at the end of the day it comes down to is this: THEY HAVE TO SELL PRODUCT. THAT’S THEIR JOB.
Now, after saying all that, I’d like to say that these are facts. No tea, no shade, no pink lemonade, it’s just how stores work, whether you’re in Charlotte or somewhere else.
I’ll also say I don’t know how other freelance stylists work. I’ve heard many things from stores on other stylists, but I can only speak on how my team works.

Team Hanks

  1. We don’t work for any store. And, we don’t take commission from any store.
  2. We work for you, and only you. We get paid by you. You our our client. YOU ARE OUR BOSS.
  3. We tell you the honest truth. If something looks bad, you will probably will hear us tell you to take it off even before you can look into the mirror.
  4. We work with a massive local, national and international network of stores and designers to ensure we get the best options and products out there for our clients. Our connections are your connections.
  5. None of our clients dress alike. We work hard to keep everyone an individual. We don’t repeat patterns or prints between clients. Many of our clients run in similar circles, so we work hard to ensure everyone has something unique style footprint.
  6. Over the last 6 years, we’ve worked with a variety of body shapes, ages, heights, demands. We know which brands will work best for you and will help you create a closet that is versatile and one you’ll love.