Networking and dreaming up big things with other creatives is so energizing for me and it was so amazing to hear those words come out of Cameron too when we met to talk about potential collaborations. We both have some big dreams but one of mine is for you to hear her story...
Why and how did you get into personal styling?
I, inadvertently, have been “styling” in some sort of fashion (no pun) since high school. As the youngest of four girls in a middle-class family, shopping excursions were rare and name brands even rarer. So, I found myself revamping my hand-me-downs, stretching my dollars by shopping at places most kids my age would avoid and going thrifting with my shopping buddy, my mom. I loved creating looks and pairing pieces from the back of my closet with the front. Often times I would pick out dresses for special events with friends, put together outfits for family for pictures and enjoyed every minute of it. However, it wasn’t until 2016 that I truly realized that this passion was more of a gift than I had imagined. Stuck in a rut and working in an unfulfillable career, I decided to turn this gift into a business. In December of 2016, Cameron Van Hoose Styling (CVH Styling) officially launched.
You have a beautiful sense of fashion; where did it come from? What has influenced your style?Well, thank you so much! As I mentioned I’m the youngest of four girls and also by far the “girliest.” So, while my sisters were playing video games or getting dirty, my mom would catch me in hot and sweaty August wearing furry boots and shorts. I can’t pinpoint the exact source of where my love of fashion came from...I just feel like it has always been a part of me that has continued to grow, evolve and change as years have gone by. However, there have been countless sources of inspiration and influence. Before social media, I would constantly skim magazines and cut out items that struck me in some way. They weren’t always fashion either. I love interior, quotes, bright colors...so if it caught my eye, I would cut it out and glue the clippings in a notebook or pin them to a bulletin board. Movies such as She’s All That, Clueless, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days and other sappy 90’s comedies definitely influenced my style at that time. Now I look to some of my favorite style bloggers and celebrities, and find things I love about what they’re wearing and peak in my closet to see how I can recreate that look with my own little spin on it.
What is your why?
I’d like to immediately say my why is because I love people and making them feel good about themselves. That is definitely a huge part of it...but my why really came about because I was working in a very toxic environment and needed a way to get out of it – stat. So, I sat down and thought about what I loved and if money weren’t an issue, what I would find fulfilling. It always came back to something having to do with beauty or fashion, but I didn’t know how I could create a career out of either of those. It didn’t really dawn on me until I started doing some research that I could become a stylist. My love of fashion and people could merge, and I could create a career out of it. It was a bit mind blowing, but I knew I had to do it. Now that I am a Stylist, my why has become less about me and more about the people that I work closely with and who invite me to be a part of their lives at a very vulnerable time.
Biggest dream for your clients?
My biggest dream for my clients is to literally forget the rules. Forget about the styling faux pas and rules that you were told as a young child, teenager and young adult. They’ve become so engrained in our brains that it creates so many limitations when creating possibilities out of their closets. As soon as a client sees something that works that was completely “against the rules” to them previously, it opens so many doors. It’s incredible really.
Biggest dream for your business?
My biggest dream for my business is to eventually develop products to sell under my brand or potentially a clothing line. I’m a “creative” and am always coming up with ideas in my head, or getting inspired by others and think about creating a product out of it. A lot of that might have to do with having worked in retail. I would love to find a way to expand my services business to one that also sells meaningful and useful products. As I have a love for interiors as well, it would be amazing to incorporate that passion into my brand as well. I’ve got a lot of dreams!
What concern or complaint do you hear the most from your clients about why they have sought out your services?
The concern/complaint that I hear the most is that someone has simply lost a sense of themselves due to life changes and their wardrobe has taken a major hit because of it. Anything from having children, going through a divorce, losing weight/gaining weight, a new job, etc. Their priorities have changed, and keeping up with their style and wardrobe has been moved to the bottom of their priority list.
What is your favorite part of styling someone’s complete closet?
My favorite part of styling someone’s closet is getting a glimpse into their personalities and who they are as person. A person's closet isn’t as straightforward as it might sound. You’ll find costumes, sentimental and legacy pieces, and random things they haven’t seen in years. Going through every single piece is a daunting task, but there a lot of laughs along the way and plenty of stories. That has got to be my favorite part. The stories about why pieces are still in their closet, who gave them to my client, or maybe why they fit a certain occasion. I learn so much and can relate on a person-to-person level when going through each item.
What is the most repeated tip that you give to clients?
The most repeated tip that I give to clients would have to be to dress for the body that you have right at this very moment. Not the body that you once had or the body you’re going to have once you start doing “X”. If you don’t dress for the body you have currently, you’re literally waiting and depending on the self-declared perfect version of yourself to appear to start feeling good about the way you look. It’s not practical and it’s often not a very quick process.
If you could share one tip for shopping for yourself, what would it be?
One shopping tip that I would share would be to grab multiple sizes of each item before you head to the dressing room. One of the most common forms of dressing room discouragement comes when items don’t fit and that sends people into a negative head space. If you’re between sizes, grab the size that you believe you are, as well as a size up, to avoid immediate dressing room shut down. Brand sizing varies and is hardly consistent, so it’s important to keep that in mind!
If you could share three tips on putting a family photo session wardrobe together, what would they be?
To quote yourself from your website, your goal is "to enhance, refine and polish your current self.” When anyone purchases a piece of clothing, they generally will ask what someone thinks of how they look in it. It seems like there are a lot of questions that may be overlooked when spending hard earned money on your wardrobe - is this piece right for my body type? Is it good for my complexion and skin tone? Is it a classic piece that will stand the test of time with changing fashions, seasons, and transitioning through different roles throughout the day? Tell me why someone - anyone - could benefit from your services?
One thing I always emphasize is individuality. I’m not in the business of pushing my own personal style onto anyone else... even if I feel they have the potential to wear something that I enjoy wearing. If the puzzle piece fits – awesome! But I don’t like to force it. I also have the people that I work with fill out a questionnaire prior to us working together. It’s not only a style questionnaire, but it’s also a “get to know you” tool for me. People have a tendency of treating a questionnaire like a resume in a sense that they tend to glamorize things a bit more than what they actually are. So by inserting a few personal questions in there, I get a better idea of who someone truly is. Followed up by an in-person meeting, I get a real opportunity to dig a bit deeper before we spend time together. I think a lot of people assume that my role is similar to Stacy’s on the TLC show What Not To Wear. I would say my approach is very different. I will be straight with clients and will give honest feedback and critique, but I don’t believe in berating people or making them feel bad for the clothing they wear or the choices they made when purchasing clothing. Who am I to do that? Clients may not like what I have to say, but rest assured, I am a human with errors as well. I’ll be sure to help clients realize that! And finally, we’ll have fun. This is a process that can span over weeks, or sometimes months of time, giving us lots of 1:1 time and opportunities to converse beyond clothing. The best part of my job has been making friends that I truly never would’ve made without having started this business!
Favorite store for yourself? Local and chain?
A favorite store is so hard for me to pinpoint! Specifically because I’m a thrifty gal and also because I run an online women’s boutique, so I wear the clothing that I source and sell a lot. When I’m not thrifting or shopping through our inventory, I always hit up ASOS online as well as Zara. Those are probably my two go-to’s. When it comes to local, I of course have to rep Stella Collective (Lincoln). I also love Hello Holiday (Omaha) and Scout (Omaha)!
Favorite book, movie, sweet treat and date spot?
It’s awful...so awful. But I don’t do a whole lot of reading. It’s on my 2019 goals list, though! The last book I purchased was Cleo Wade’s Heart Talk and it has been an incredible source of inspiration, positivity and just words to live by. I highly recommend it and often give it as gifts to friends and family. I’m also not a big movie-goer, but one of my favorite movies will ALWAYS be Legends of the Falls. It’s just a classic. My favorite date spot would have to be at La Buvette in DT Omaha. It’s just one of those places that you step into and feel like you’re somewhere else. Another city, maybe even a European country. Great wine, great food, nice and quaint and romantic.