It was New Year’s Eve 2013 and my boys and I were meeting up with another high school friend to celebrate.  Weeks before I had been mulling over the idea of how I would be become a wardrobe stylist.  Since I never had any previous styling experience other than dressing myself and the only retail experience was gained from a hat store in high school; this seemed like a preposterous idea.  Notwithstanding as I was introduced to an aspiring bowtie designer that night I made the claim that I was going to become a stylist. 

Looking back, I’m not sure if anyone believed me.  Hell, I’m not sure if I believed myself.  But what started as an idea is now becoming a reality. 

Fast forward 10 months later…  

I almost quit before I got started

Brandon Gaston

Here I am standing on stage in an auditorium with 100+ friends and colleagues witnessing my first ever fashion show.  I don’t know what provoked me to begin my career by putting on such a large production. It included catered food, business vendors setup in a trade show like atmosphere, followed by a fashion show including approximately 30 different looks with 10 friends and colleagues cast as first time models!!!

I had absolutely no idea what I was doing.  From the chaos of putting on my first ever production I didn’t even have time to prepare the dialogue I was going to present.  Nonetheless I was able to speak on my experience of branding myself as a professional.  I understood the importance and psychology of fashion and could provide tips on what should be included in a professional’s wardrobe. 

Portland Fashion Show

LifeSTYLest

Yet still, at the end of the night I was utterly disappointed.  I had grander expectations of myself and how the show would be executed.  But little did I know at the time was how much the audience enjoyed the content that was delivered.  They were unaware of the order of the models or wardrobe inadequacies. They simply had been entertained and provided valuable insight on what to wear and how to wear it. 

Apparently I knew more than I thought!

Lights, camera, action

AM Northwest

22 July 2015! This is my first ever segment on AM Northwest providing men’s fashion tips.  This also happens to be just a couple weeks before I officially launch my consulting business in conjunction with helping produce the fashion show at The Street of Dreams. (I also fulfilled my dreams as a model)

Style at the Street

Initially I had planned to launch my company by producing another fashion show.  However, when I was offered the opportunity to align myself with the Street of Dreams and gain experience on such a large production I seized the opportunity. 

Since that initial segment I’ve been on every month for the past year providing men’s and also now women’s fashion tips.  I’ve also been lucky enough to produce a second show with the Street of Dreams amongst styling clients and producing other shows.

AM Northwest

Style at the Street 2016

One of the toughest decisions during this time was removing myself from the day to day operations of my previous company.  However, I knew this was something that had to be done if I was to ever achieve success to the levels I hope to attain with LifeSTYLest.  Sometimes it’s better to just rip off the band aid and “go all in.” I’d actually argue that it’s a requirement and the sooner you do it the better.

Looking ahead

Going into the fourth quarter this year I’ll readily admit I have some rather lofty goals and expectations.  With the upcoming launch of new products/services, workshops, and strategic brand alignments; I’m thrilled at what the future holds. 

However, this article is much less about me and more about what’s possible.  Although I don’t even consider myself successful thus far. I do consider myself blessed to have been able to create a career out of thin air so to speak.  If a male in Portland, Oregon can become an image consultant with no direct previous retail or styling experience, truly anything is possible.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the amount of support and encouragement I’ve received. However, I also feel the need to forewarn you. I’m writing this article on a Sunday afternoon and haven’t seen a full quarter of football this season.  I didn’t see an entire basketball game until the NBA finals and thus far I’ve already read 26 books this year!  Albeit my goal is 52.  

Wardrobe Consultant

But none of that matters when you’re doing what you love.  There is no other career I’d rather be doing.  I’m proof that you can turn a preposterous idea into reality as long as you actually believe that that idea is possible!

FYI: There may be a LifeSTYLest produced fashion show summer 2017!

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