The School of Styling- Nashville

A post from our Founder + Creative Director, Niki Stoller

Photo by Shalyn Nelson of Love, The Nelsons

Photo by Shalyn Nelson of Love, The Nelsons

 I am a huge believer that surrounding oneself with other visionaries is truly empowering and essential to fueling your career and creative goals.  We have all heard the phrase “I get by with a little help from my friends”.  Neighboring yourself with people who share in similar pursuits is motivating and inspiring.  

 I have spent over a decade in design and participated in my fair share of creative workshops and design camps, however, The School of Styling (TSOS) workshop in Nashville, Tennessee, has by far been one of the most impactful and pivotal workshops in my journey.

The Cordell //Photo by Shalyn Nelson of Love, The Nelsons

The Cordell //Photo by Shalyn Nelson of Love, The Nelsons

If I am being completely honest, I had heard great things about this workshop but I did carry a bit of skepticism going in.  TSOS was a business investment and I was hoping for big dividends.  So, I arrived in Nashville hopeful but cautiously optimistic.  

Photo by Shalyn Nelson of Love, The Nelsons via TSOS

Photo by Shalyn Nelson of Love, The Nelsons via TSOS

Day One in Nashville started with introductions.  I met a roomful of attendees from food stylists, to photographers, event planners, calligraphers, graphic designers, and creative attorneys.   This was the first workshop that I have attended where the room included a mixture of creative talent across all facets, rather than creatives who fell into my niche only.  

Photo by Shalyn Nelson of Love, The Nelsons via TSOS

Photo by Shalyn Nelson of Love, The Nelsons via TSOS

Katilin Holland, the founder of TSOS, spoke on the fundamentals of design and how to create, capture, and apply these principle guidelines.  

Photo + Styling by Seventh Bixel // Calligraphy and invitation suite by Simply Jessica Marie

Photo + Styling by Seventh Bixel // Calligraphy and invitation suite by Simply Jessica Marie

Day two and three consisted of a centerpiece design workshop with Melissa Broadwell of Vintage Florals, a hands on creative tabletop styling with Veronica Rogers of Type A Society, and tackling the basics of brush calligraphy with Jessica Clinch of Simply Jessica Marie.  

Photo by Shalyn Nelson of Love, The Nelsons via TSOS

Photo by Shalyn Nelson of Love, The Nelsons via TSOS

Floral Design by Seventh Bixel // Photo by Shalyn Nelson of Love, The Nelsons 

Floral Design by Seventh Bixel // Photo by Shalyn Nelson of Love, The Nelsons 

Veronica Rogers of Type A Society // Photo by Shalyn Nelson of Love, The Nelsons via TSOS

Veronica Rogers of Type A Society // Photo by Shalyn Nelson of Love, The Nelsons via TSOS

 Photo by Shalyn Nelson of Love, The Nelsons via TSOS

 Photo by Shalyn Nelson of Love, The Nelsons via TSOS

Photo by Shalyn Nelson of Love, The Nelsons via TSOS

Photo by Shalyn Nelson of Love, The Nelsons via TSOS

Styling by Seventh Bixel // Photo by Shalyn Nelson of Love, The Nelsons 

Styling by Seventh Bixel // Photo by Shalyn Nelson of Love, The Nelsons 

Photo by Shalyn Nelson of Love, The Nelsons via TSOS

Photo by Shalyn Nelson of Love, The Nelsons via TSOS

Jess Connolly spoke about setting goals in this business and how to stay inspired as a creative while remaining emotionally healthy. To polish off our sessions, Shanna Skidmore spoke about something I like to refer to as the “Creative Commandments”: 5 tips for creating a sustainable and profitable business and designing a life we love while pursuing entrepreneurship as a creative.

You might notice that I keep stating “As a creative”.  Staying inspired ‘As a Creative’, sustaining profitability ‘As a Creative’.  This is because many creative types are lively-minded.  Typically, ‘Creatives’ are not slaves to the clock or list makers and they often live partially in a dream reality.  These workshops create a safe circle of vulnerability and they really make you ask yourself if you just want to create to create, or if you want your creations to financially sustain your life. 

Jess Connolly // Photo by Shalyn Nelson of Love, The Nelsons via TSOS

Jess Connolly // Photo by Shalyn Nelson of Love, The Nelsons via TSOS

Shanna Skidmore // Photo by Shalyn Nelson of Love, The Nelsons via TSOS

Shanna Skidmore // Photo by Shalyn Nelson of Love, The Nelsons via TSOS

After 3 days of styling workshops and inspirational speeches I left feeling liberated and inspired, equipped with a vast array of information that left me eager and anxious to apply to my work.  

We wrapped up our three days in Nashville with a farewell Dinner styled by Stephanie Scholl.   My few days spent back in the South were perfect.  Did I mention they showered us with gifts each day and treated us to a mimosa bar with champagne from Le Grand Courtage?   I love gifts, as anyone who knows me can attest, but what I really love is champagne.

Styling by Stephanie Scholl // Photo by Shalyn Nelson of Love, The Nelsons 

Styling by Stephanie Scholl // Photo by Shalyn Nelson of Love, The Nelsons 

Photo by Shalyn Nelson of Love, The Nelsons via TSOS

Photo by Shalyn Nelson of Love, The Nelsons via TSOS

Since Nashville, I have applied these commandments and styling principles to my business and I am learning how to balance my work load without jeopardizing my time with my family in a productive and more efficient manner; thus allowing me more time to stay inspired creatively and set goals.  My work is becoming more streamlined as an entrepreneur, but most of all I have met and am collaborating with fellow attendees of TSOS who have become both friends and supporters of my business.  Click here for my one-on-one interview with Becca Marie of Cooking with Confetti

Photo by Shalyn Nelson of Love, The Nelsons via TSOS

Photo by Shalyn Nelson of Love, The Nelsons via TSOS

Be sure to check out the amazing work of my new friends on Instagram using the hashtags #MyTSOS and #TSOSNashville.