Style economy emerges in the Illawarra

Jade Sardon of Styled by Jade shows Mahlah Grey some of the CUE range in Myer at Stockland Shellharbour. Picture: GREG ELLIS
Jade Sardon of Styled by Jade shows Mahlah Grey some of the CUE range in Myer at Stockland Shellharbour. Picture: GREG ELLIS

You may have heard of the lipstick economy, where many women buy more lipstick and make-up in economic downturns because they still want to be able to feel good about the world when they look in the mirror.

The Illawarra is taking that one step further in the good times and the bad with the emergence of a style economy.

Among them is Styled by Jade, which offers personal fashion styling and image consulting services.

The business is run by Jade Sardon, who started it in Sydney five years ago. But when Sardon started offering her services to Illawarra clients after moving to Kiama two years ago, she quickly attracted a loyal following.

"I wanted a lifestyle change," she said. "I wanted to live near the ocean and have a home instead of an apartment and just have some more peace and quiet.

"I still travel to Sydney on a weekly basis, but the business is starting to branch out here."

But Sardon would like to spend less time travelling to Sydney.

Every week she attends local networking events, spreading the word about the services she offers which are different for every client.

"I am part of Inspiring Women Kiama," she said. "And Business in Heels was founded by a dear friend of mine."

Sardon said her target market was "everyday people".

"Probably the majority of my clients are 35-plus and it is a real mix of individuals. I have had younger clients though."

Everyone is treated as an individual and styling is tailored to suit their style, time, budget and lifestyle requirements.

Before starting the business, she also worked as a personal fashion stylist and image consultant who styled everyone from celebrities to everyday people who just wanted to improve the way they looked and feel good about themselves.

Her goal is to provide a personalised service to help people dress for any occasion and build their confidence and self-esteem.

She works as an independent operator who has no affiliation or partnership with any shopping centre or stores.

"There are two main elements to my business," she said.

"There is the wardrobe makeover, where I go into someone's home and go through their clothes and get rid of anything that does not suit them.

"I create new outfits from what they have got and then write a shopping list of what is missing. That shopping list can just be given to them or can be used on a day of shopping where I take them.

"People are starting to realise now that the way they present themselves has an impact on the business and relationships," she said.

Kiama client Mahlah Grey said she was very happy with the new service.

"Jade took me shopping for a special event outfit. Having previously endured painful and frustrating shopping trips on my own, I was hoping for a better experience.

"Jade made the whole process seem so easy and fun. Not only did I walk away with the perfect ensemble, I had the confidence to wear it well."