At a time when many of her peers were still figuring out what they wanted to do after college, Brittany Styles had already started her own business.
“I’ve always been very creative,” the Alexandria resident said. “I was always redecorating my room or making handmade decorations for my birthday parties. As I got older, I started seeing people on TV who did this for a living.”
The interior stylist and event designer started making plans for her company, the aptly named Style House by Brittany, in 2019 and launched it in 2020. She was a soon-to-be Northern Kentucky University junior at the time.
So when she started thinking about how she herself might make a living, design was the clear path. She choose graphic design as her major so she’d have the option of working in that field. But as she got into her entrepreneurship classes at NKU, and with the support of her professors there, she took the plunge and launched her design business. Her first step was to offer free event design services for friends’ and family members’ parties so she could build a portfolio.
Once she had the experience and photos, she launched her website and social media pages and got her business licensing in place. After her graduation this past May, she decided to pursue Style House full time.
“It was definitely a scary leap, but I made the decision to leave my part-time job that I was working at that time, my main source of income,” she said. “Once I really embraced that the fear was never going away, I just had to make the leap.”
It was a leap that was worth taking, as she’s getting clients for both event and interior design through social media marketing, networking and word of mouth.
“Like any entrepreneur, I want bigger projects and more clients, but I’m so grateful for the projects I’ve been able to do,” she said.
Style House uses the tagline “Cultivating lavish environments so you can create stunning memories.”
“I think the heart and soul of Style House really focuses on environments that people are together in,” Styles said. “People connect with one another at events, and they do that in their homes … when you come into this space, you should be wowed, and it should be luxurious.
“It’s the difference between staying in a fancy resort versus a standard hotel,” she added “Both get the job done, but I think our experience is so much more elevated when we’re doing it in a well-designed space.”
That tagline and mindset cover two of Style House’s core values – community and luxury. But there’s one more: Kindness.
“Designing things and decorating can be stressful for a lot of people,” Styles said. “I want people to be happy with their space or their event, but I want them to enjoy the process as well.”
That means she and her clients should all be working from a space of kindness, she said. Coming from that place, she also helps offer perspective – and assurances that it will all work out in the end.
“I often remind people that we’re not saving lives; we’re just decorating,” she said. “Life is stressful enough.”
Styles likes to approach projects by asking her clients not how they want a space to look, but how they want it to feel.
“Do you want it to feel modern and sleek and fancy? Do you want it to feel very cozy and warm? Do you want it to be a space that makes people think? … People buy a bunch of things that they like, but it never works because they don’t know how they want it to feel,” she said.
Knowing the answer to that question offers a foundation on which she can build.
As she continues to build her own business – her project wish list includes short-term vacation rentals and beauty suites – she also looks forward to the day when she can work with others who are in the place she was a couple of years ago.
“It was really hard for me to connect with designers through college,” she said. “When the opportunity comes at Style House, I want to have interns or have younger people come and learn … just being of service to younger people in that way is a big thing that I’ve always wanted to do.”