We love introducing you to talented humans.
People, who have a deep passion, identify a gap in the market and then have the fearless resolve to go for that dream and create.
Bridgette Kirk, former TV presenter, founder and creator of Spilt Milk (ladies you need to get your hands on a canister of this miracle 3-in-1 hair powder once it’s back in stock – more on this further below) and celebrity stylist, a little over 8 years ago saw a need for a national, personalised styling service and founded The Style Agency. Since then she has founded Little Black Box, had a gorgeous little girl and is writing a book about the whole process.
Already impressed with her repertoire of businesses, after chatting (which she can do at a million miles an hour may I say), in-between her little girl’s sleeps, I discovered Bridgette has so many other exciting aspirations and a deeper drive to make people feel fabulous.
Following are some of the wonderful stories Bridgette shared from her 8-year journey building her businesses, becoming a mum and a few of the exciting projects on the horizon.
A Little About Bridgette
Bridgette journey started as a model, TV presenter and later hosting on Fox Sports, when she was “the face”/ambassador for The Spring Carnival with one of her many ambassador duties being judging Fashions on the Field. It was the culmination of these experiences and her circle of friends and stylists that lead Bridgette to become a guest celebrity stylist for Westfield. Later as a senior stylist for an established Sydney based agency, she saw the need for an Australian-wide styling solution, with a model focused on personalisation and premium service.
The Style Agency
So, 8 years ago, with the encouragement of her now husband, Bridgette launched The Style Agency across all major Australian cities, (Canberra a few years later) with the desire to work alongside the most talented Stylists, Hair and Makeup creatives around the world. There was a period the service extended to London, however Bridgette was determined to get the best from Australian talent and service Australian clients first and foremost, and decided to only focus locally.
In addition to personal styling services for everyday men and women; The Style Agency offers bridal, editorial, celebrity and corporate styling services. This includes celebrity Hair, and Makeup artists, and photographers to help our clients capture their true beautiful essence.
“We bring a whole new meaning to the word Style… Whether you’re looking to dress to impress for a particular event, or bring something fresh to the mirror each morning – Your personal styling session will ensure that you get the most out of your existing wardrobe along with new purchase options to build upon. We understand that no two people are alike and thus offer the best of a wide variety affordable services.”
Little Black Box
It wasn’t long before Bridgette saw the opportunity for a luxe gifting service to grow alongside the agency…. Little Black Box was born. A premium bespoke gifting service catered to each individual as fashion, beauty, and lifestyle products are handpicked by their team of savvy Celebrity Stylists, as well as Celebrity Hair, and Makeup creatives, hand delivered to your door from $249. They have such a unique model and such a choice of gorgeous packages, there is something for everyone.
The client, or gift giver, fills out a form with their loves and interests, and a gift denomination, then the gift is personalised to include products that are relevant to personal taste, skin type, style, lifestyle etc.
Little Black box offers such a diverse range of products or experiences, from beauty (the very best in indulgent skincare, to fashion (designer heels to hats), to travel accessories, such as digital tracking keyless locks and electric toothbrushes and lifestyle experiences such as tickets to events.
“This is where the demand is today, personalised service and products – dispatched within 24 hours, packaged beautifully and luxe with a hand tied bow. It’s all about introducing new products or experiences to you or the receiver”
All the beauty inclusions are personally tested by the professional team to ensure quality and the premium nature of the products. With the growing trend in the natural beauty market Little Black Box wants to ensure the products do what they say and are as clean as the claims.
Little Black Box has a growing number of requests for ‘Mother and Baby Box‘, which sounds like great push presents, baby showers or maternity gifts.
Generally however, Bridgette says that her clients are very happy to put the choice into the hands of the professionals. We totally agree! Everyone is so time poor, having someone select the ideal gift for you sounds ideal!
Little Black Box also have a ‘Must Have Box’ for $299, with all the seasonal ‘must haves’, filled with bespoke essentials introducing the receiver to the very best of what the season has to offer when it comes to on-trend fashions, beauty and a fun-filled lifestyle.
The Style Agency has over 40 Stylists on-call throughout Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Canberra and Adelaide.
The Stylists, Hair and Makeup creatives are industry leaders prior to being represented by the agency, however most of the team as it stands today have continued their relationship with the Agency since its founding days.
What is so important is matching in synchronicity, the stylist to the client.
“You can’t match a 23-year-old with a Mum of three. You need to match a Mum with a Mum-stylist who is going to empathise with their lifestyle and knows how to elevate her style.”
The Wardrobe Audit with Shop services are accessible and curated for the time-poor…
· The Stylist audits the current wardrobe,
· See’s what can be salvaged and fixed by a seamstress,
· Identifies missing items and creates a solid “hit list”.
· During ‘wardrobe time; the Stylists take flat-lay photographs of the complete wardrobe
“It’s a complete refresh by utilising clothes you already own and injecting some key missing pieces, be it a chic blazer or pair of timeless leather pants to round off the look – It’s about elevating that look more and more every time.
We love it when our services are a gift from someone’s partner. Our Wardrobe Services (starting from $286) are a great way to help our clients through identifying and understanding their body shape and what fits are flatteringly, colours that work with them, and tips on putting an entire ensemble together that they love and elevates them on more than just a physical level.”
Mums Don’t Need To Put Style On The Backburner
“Innately Mum’s put the needs of everyone else before their own. Typical Mums will wait a few years post-baby before they re-look at their wardrobe. They have this idea that they need to work on their post-baby body and often wait months, even years, when they don’t need to! Why delay feeling and looking fabulous!?!”
There are plenty of Men, fashionable or not, who reach out to The Style Agency for some style guidance. The agency help men put their best foot (or look) forward, whether it’s for a new job, a style refresh or if they are back on the dating scene.
Interestingly most men are looking for ways to put together a smart casual look. Something beyond their work attire or suit. Combinations that look natural and effortless, not overdone, and make getting ready easy. Personally I think we all would love some guidance in this area.
5 Designers You Love
SO many brands do so many amazing collections; Bridgette said she would never be able to suggest just five. Bridgette recommends having a style icon that you can get excited by take note of what they wear and how they wear it. You can combine designer with less expensive pieces and create elevated looks.
“Not all designers work for budget and lifestyle… I can say I love Victoria Beckham, but not everyone needs to wear a pencil skirt, or fit into a size 0. My advice is to focus on broadening your horizons and see what styles work on you, who you are inspired by, admire, rather than what label.
Jumping onto The Style Agency’s insta page will help! It features great key pieces that we have on high rotation… Looking at people that can inspire your personal style – people that wear all sorts of brands at differing price points.”
Some examples Bridgette called out included:
· Kate Waterhouse – because she’s a mum and has a very versatile wardrobe that isn’t solely luxury brands
· Kate Middleton – also wears mainstream brands such as Zara… She looks incredible because even her jeans she gets they tailored to fit her frame.
· Olivia Palermo – Chic and polished
· Miranda Kerr – Boho yet has days of pure sophisticated suited elegance
The advice to look at the celebrities or bloggers’ whose style resonates with you is a great starting point. To really think about why you get excited about their style. If you list your top 5, you will probably notice a common trend. This is exactly where social media can act as a great platform for anyone to source inspiration and really guide you. This is where we hope Hills & West can also help, introduce you to people that inspire.
“Looking at my own wardrobe, it’s more of a reflection of my lifestyle, and I’ve built it from there… WHY I want the pieces and products I have, and how they not only make me look my best but enhance my day-to-day… and some play.”
My closet frequents are;
· Witchery, they have fantastic versatile collections
· By Johnny… clean cuts in fun colours
· I love Bulgari – their jewellery and accessories are divine
· Australian designer brands like Rebecca Valance, Dion Lee (even for their swimwear), Camilla & Marc as well as Scanlan and Theodore
“Really break things down. Everyone needs that. You can do this by starting with a “too hard basket”. People often use the phrase “so many clothes, nothing to wear” and wear the same 5 pieces on rotation… So, it’s great to start with an audit… build upon the bare bones of what is timeless and interchangeable for you. Once this is achieved, you can add more trending pieces. “
Can’t Live Without?
“Blazer… or 5! It’s the best way to elevate the smart casual look. In winter, blazers can be worn over leather pants or tailored jeans. In summer, they pair well with cotton or linen.
Accessories are often overlooked… I love ‘Junk jewellery’, yes you can mix cheap and cheerful and more premium brands like Mimco who do quality $350 amazing statement pieces to elevate your look. Statement earrings paired with your everyday blazer gives you something unique.
A quality handbag. Well a selection of them of course.”
Favourite Hills & West Bags (You know I had to ask this 😉
“Your belt bags as they can be attached to a belt and worn many other ways. It’s a nice way to elevate the smart causal look and take the essentials with easy and effortless portability. These bags pair well with cotton shorts, linen pants or over your overcoat/trench. I love these bags as they can be worn by anyone and with most anything.
The practical, larger bags are great as they can be a ‘Nappy Essentials Bags’… It’s large and can fit all of the essentials such as a changing mat… Its minimal design is timeless and works across trends which is important as these types of bags are best when they are transcending seasons and purposes… I love when bags have easy access.”
“Keeping my head above water (she laughs)… always room for expansion.”
Bridgette is keen to further grow the corporate gifting side of a Little Black Box, and Men’s, and Bridal Styling. She also wants to explore expanding her organic skincare offerings. She’s noticed that her clients want to preview what is included, and is looking at ways to give her customers a choice yet still be surprised and delighted.
“No two people are alike so none of the boxes are the same and we are constantly looking for unique pieces and products to include that would make a positive impact to the receiver.”
Bridgette also mentioned that she is working on including an Organisation Service within their Wardrobe Audit to launch in the first half of 2020. Partnering with some leading brands to offer a full organisational overhaul on wardrobe maintenance, including equipment and storage. This has come from listening to client feedback and wanting an end-to-end service. Yes please!!!
“We can see the need for something like this to be available, and we believe we can make it happen for them and are excited to deliver something exceptional.”
On the side (how does she have anymore time for on the side??), Bridgette is evolving her brand Spilt Milk, from a wholesale salon exclusive offering to direct to consumer, launching late 2020.
Spilt Milk’s decadent dessert-inspired naturally derived formulas of her mineral hair powder range are infused with heavenly fragrances that freshen-up your hair and ensure you look fabulous, for use between colour appointments or to extend the life of a fab blow-dry or style, whilst adding instant volume and texture.
“Spilt Milk is perfect for the busy and fashionable girl who loves a little luxury. The ethos has always been about creating indulgence and luxury through gorgeous products that are loved by hair salons and busy women across the globe. It’s easy-to-apply and will help minimise the appearance of re-growth (including greys) and absorb excess oil, making your hair lightweight and manageable.”
All of these ongoing projects and a book in the making. Yes there is more!
“Currently I am working through writing a book about how to develop a birthing plan that’s right for the individual. For me I always knew the one I wanted, which was a little controversial. A C-section under general anaesthetic.”
When we chatted about the fear many women have (including myself) and how intimidating exploring options can be, Bridgette just wanted to share her experience and share that there are other options. Which I really admire.
“I want to take away taboo and give women the information that will provide them with the ability to make a plan that suits their and their baby’s needs.”
“So really, everything I do I am passionate. My target market starts with me and I grow from there. If you are passionate and you know your stuff it can be lucrative. My aim is to gift people to be fearlessness in everything they do and wear.”
I just absolutely love that and thank you for sharing, being brave, bold and having the ability to juggle it all.
A $50.00 Gift for You
We also want to give people the gift of confidence of knowing what elevates them uniquely and feeling fabulous. The Style Agency is giving away a $50.00 voucher with every Hills & West bag purchased until Feb 2020.
I am so excited to hear all of the amazing stories of how your wardrobe edit has made your everyday easier… How you feel amazing, confident and love selecting your outfits in the morning. Just like The Style Agency, at Hills & West we want to make your everyday more stylish, easy and effortless.
A Shout Out (cause that is what we do)
I have to give a huge shout-out to Amelia Hughes from My Milliner, who introduced Bridgette and I, as she knew that we would hit it off. She is another inspiring human who you can read more about and her wonderful Australian Made Hats here.