She’s arguably the biggest stylist in Victoria, and has worked her magic on some of our favourite weddings. We’re talking couples who do all kinds of crazy things here, like getting married in front of a burning car! Seriously… check it out, folks. Then there’s this epic bohemian wedding, complete with a canopy of vintage scarves and it all leads us to ask the question; is there anything Shonel from Nomad Styling can’t do?
Also, with a background in sales of all things, how did Nomad Styling come about anyway? “I am a Nomad at heart,” she explains. “Always wandering, always on the hunt for inspiration, or for the perfect piece. It’s how I work- I will keep researching, designing and searching until I have found, or created exactly what was in my mind. It feels connected and personal with who I am.” And you sure can tell!
What inspired you to start your business? I was unfulfilled in my job and looking for a creative outlet and from there Nomad Styling was born. I have aways had an eye for detail, I had just never thought to combine it with my love of weddings until someone asked me to style their wedding. I took the job and during the process, discovered how much I adored it, and how creative I could be.
What’s a typical work day like for you? I’m an extremely tactile person, so the hands-on days are my favourite. Going out sourcing luscious fabrics, textured candles, unique one-off pieces from markets- it all excites me. I am often meeting up with clients or vendors, going over design briefs, colour palettes and floorpans, looking at hire companies, new collections, or doing site visits at new locations. But this job isn’t all glamourous. There are a lot of late nights, invoicing, budgeting and emailing involved, all of the back end side of things. Set up days are also extremely long and late night pack downs are forever a challenge.
What services do you offer? I focus on my strength, which is in design and styling. The clients who gravitate towards Nomad Styling are focused on design and want something unique- which is exactly how I like it. It’s such an honour to be able to work on one of the most special days of their lives. To showcase their personalities and highlight their love for each other in a visual way is something I am so grateful for.
Where do you find inspiration? Movement is my biggest source of inspiration. The way a soft fabric flows in the breeze, the filtered light flickering in through the window. Artists are a constant source of inspiration for me too. But when I’m working on a wedding design, the main source of inspiration is my couples, the images they share with me, the interaction I witness in front of me while they tell me about themselves, the energy in the room over our coffee dates really sets the tone for their day.
What is your creative process like? Where do you start? After catching up with the couple, I get on Pinterest and start pinning images that I feel sum up the couple. I’m guided by their images they have pinned, but I specifically tell my couples not to pin wedding images, as I don’t replicate weddings, I design them based on what’s right for each couple.
What sets you apart from other stylists in the industry? I feel like I constantly push boundaries and really design, rather than create another beautiful wedding. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with that, but for me, I’m not challenged or excited by doing what I’ve seen done a million times. I don’t feel like that is a true reflection of the couple, more a collection of beautiful things.
How would you describe your style? My personal style is organic, wild and free. But I often work with more modern, cleaner designs. I used to think that I needed to find a ‘look’ for my brand and stick to it. I started doing this and I was bored and didn’t feel as alive. The best thing I have done is let go of that notion.
Why should couples hire a stylist and what should they look for in the perfect stylist? A good stylist is able to articulate your personalities into the design in a subtle and beautiful way, so when your guests walk in, it just feels right. Make sure your comfortable with the quality of their work and look through their portfolio and see how they made each wedding different from the last.
What’s your favourite part of your job? Meeting the couples. I also love the design stage. It’s my favourite part and where I really come alive. There is something electric on set up days, too. A guilty pleasure of mine is sticking around at the start of the reception as the guests arrive, so I can hear the wow’s. It’s like a direct caffeine hit to my soul. It’s what keeps me going.
Do you offer any packages? All of our client’s needs are entirely different, as are our designs, so in turn, each quote must be as well. I send couples starting prices and then once I know more about their needs, I can put together a more accurate quote.
Where are you based? Are you willing to travel? I’m based in Geelong and I get a lot of work all over Victoria, but would definitely be open to travelling and would love the opportunity to create magic for couples all around the globe.
What are some things you consider when helping a couple style their day? How they spend their weekends, what their professions are, hobbies, house style, clothing, fave art, music etc. The list is endless. I have set questions I ask each client, but then I get them to pin images that they like. They don’t need to know what specifically about the image they like (though that helps), but I get them to just pin anything that resonates with them. If it comes from the heart, that’s all I need.
Are there any upcoming trends you’re seeing in the styling world? I try not to follow trends to be honest- each wedding is about representing the couple and their personal style and feel, rather than just being on trend. To some extent, styles are dictated by the hire products that are available, so it’s good that the hire companies constantly update their products accordingly to ensure there is a strong variety of product available.
Are there any epic event set-ups you’ve done that you’ve been super proud of? The wedding of Hails and Matt [the burning car, guys] that due to their extremely relaxed approach and longing for something different and fun, there were no boundaries. It allowed my creative juices to flow in full stream and I was able to 100% design. I mean, has anyone ever gotten married in front of a burning car before?? Haha.