Fae Jagdon was settling into her new role as nurse manager when she realised she was far too stylish to spend her life in scrubs! Instead, Fae said an emotional goodbye to nursing and began pursuing a career as a personal stylist.
Fae experienced the psychological impact of dress firsthand which inspired her creation of a bespoke service, grounded in education and empowerment. Fae's clients are equipped with an understanding that whilst clothes can make you look good, their true power is in making you feel good. Fae recounts her personal awakening to the power of dress, shares her gratitude for her loved ones' support and explains why her personal style can be likened to a hearty helping of tiramisu...
The right pair of shoes
I believe my love for styling came from my dad, he would always ask me what shoes looked better for his outfit! At the time, I didn't realise how important that decision was but as I grew and began creating outfits myself, I realised there's definitely an art to dressing.
Don't want no scrubs
As I stepped into my role as a nurse manager, I started spending more time in scrubs and less time in my wardrobe. Over time, I lost my sense of style completely—I would struggle to create outfits, I'd spend hours going through item after item, and I'd feel insecure and unhappy with every outfit I made. So, I took it upon myself to rediscover my personal style and I felt completely transformed! My journey taught me why clothing matters, and that's what inspired me to pursue a career in styling. I experienced the transformational power of dress firsthand and now I am passionate about guiding my clients through that same journey.
Breaking the news
My pivot into styling didn't come as much of a surprise. Even during my nursing career, I would use Instagram as a creative outlet to share outfit inspiration and collaborate with different brands. I would regularly give my friends style advice, so they already knew how passionate I was. My mum was a little apprehensive, as she didn't quite understand what the role of a stylist entailed, and she was also fearful of me leaving such a secure job. But my husband was very supportive of my decision, he always knew where my passions lay. As we were about to relocate to a different city, I naturally searched for nursing careers but it was my partner who encouraged me to take the leap and enrol in a styling course.
I found leaving nursing very difficult, especially having just landed my role as a manager. I got emotional at the thought of all the years I spent studying and completing my Master's degree to achieve my goal as a nurse unit manager. It was scary to think that I was letting it all go. I was moving to a new city and starting a new career that I wasn't entirely sure was going to work out for me. Every day I felt like I was starting from scratch because, technically, I was. I was learning new skills and constantly pushing myself out of my comfort zone.
Back to school
Returning to studying was intimidating! I came from a completely different career and I was surrounded by so much talent and creativity, it was a challenge to re-engage the creative side of my brain that I had to suppress during my time as a nurse. But once I started, I knew that's where I belonged!
It also helped that there were many students in the same boat as me, switching careers at different ages. That made my experience very special and it meant I never felt as though I was playing catch up. I believe that there is no time limit to our journeys.
Lessons from the ward
One of the main skills I learned as a nurse, and as a manager, is communication. You have to be able to communicate well with patients, their families, and the multidisciplinary team. I believe open communication is key to providing a seamless client experience. Also, the importance of adapting to change! Every day and every client is different. But beyond that, nursing has fundamentally shaped who I am today. I love connecting with people on a deeper level and I am really driven by the desire to change peoples' lives. My experience as a nurse heightened my emotional awareness and empathetic nature, both of which I feel can really make a difference in a client's experience and their decision to work with you.
Words of wisdom
It takes more than just doing what you love to run a business. Throughout my journey, I've learnt how much is actually involved in setting up and maintaining a business: sales, marketing, branding, legalities, mindset and the list goes on! Also, that entrepreneurship is a continuous learning curve—I am almost always investing in myself and my business.
During my style consultations, I dig deep into understanding my client at a core level—who they are, their beliefs, values, mindset, vision, and goals. I then help them discover their personal style through my 4-factor formula: exploring colour, lifestyle, body shape and personal taste. By combining these elements, we build a clear understanding of my client and how they can best present themselves through style. My service provides a mixture of personalisation and education. I'm very passionate about offering the most tailored experiences for my clients, ensuring they receive advice that is made specifically for them. I hope to educate and empower my clients, leaving them with an understanding of how to become the best version of themselves.
The power of dress
Your personal style is a reflection of who you are. The more sure you are of your style, the more you're able to express your most authentic self. There's also a psychological theory called "enclothed cognition" which explores the symbolic meaning of the clothes to the wearer and the physical experience of wearing them. This means your clothing can have a significant impact on how you feel, how you behave, your productivity levels, as well as how others perceive you.
Right now, my favourite item in my wardrobe is my wedding dress. It isn't your traditional wedding gown, so I can definitely wear it again! I found it on Farfetch, two weeks before my wedding, and it's everything I imagined wearing on my special day. It has puff sleeves that are enough to make a statement without overpowering the entire look, beautiful lace detailing, a v-neck cut to achieve balance and flatter my frame, and pockets! Need I say more?
Sense(s) of style
My style would smell like cardamom and sandalwood, warm and understated, yet enough to leave an impression. It would probably taste like a tiramisu—classic and subtle, yet striking. And it would sound like classic jazz—no words, just pure melody.