While I was chatting with a few ladies at the #HowSheHustlesSocial in late July, Val Andrews walked right up to me, studied my face and then said that I looked familiar. I told her that we met many, many, years ago – I was a friend of one of her sisters, but we have since drifted and haven’t spoken to each other in several years. I thought Val might’ve held that against me, but instead we continued our friendly chat.
I didn’t know that much about Val, but I did remember that back in the day she loved clothes and seemed really fashiony – for lack of a better word. So I wasn’t too surprised to find out that night that she is a designer and stylist.
Donning one of her vibrantly coloured designs, she was asked by Emily Mills (also wearing a design by Val) to speak to the attendees about her growing business – Stylin’ By Val. She seemed genuinely passionate about her work, so we exchanged contact info, and I told her that we should talk.
It was exciting getting to know more about Val’s story. But when she answered my very last question, she revealed that there was more to her story.
A few years ago Val was employed as a Technical Designer at a well-known company. She liked her job, but had a strong desire to do more creative work.
After listening to a sermon at church and watching the War Room (a film about having faith and writing down your prayers), she was compelled to write down her prayers.
She wrote, “Father, thank you for blessing me with work, but when you see fit, please move me on to a better opportunity.” She wrote that on a Sunday night, and 2 days later she was let go of her job.
Some might see that as a scary thing and startled by losing a stable job, but when Val told me that, I was happy for her and knew that the universe was listening and putting her in a place where she is doing exactly what she wants to do – using her creative gifts.
Since leaving her job, Val has followed her path and made her business a priority. She also continues to be creative by working as a Wardrobe Assistant and Stylist.
To find out more about Val, keep reading.
Hometown: Born in Antigua, lives in Toronto
Astrological Sign: Virgo
Years designing: Started at 16 years old
Fun Fact: Val used to hand sew denim outfits for her Barbie dolls!
She’s dressed: Karlyn Percil, Emily Mills, Joy Lapps-Lewis, Larnell Lewis among others.
When did you first start Stylin By Val?
It developed after leaving my job – after Sept 2015. I was already doing Stylin’ By Val, but it was mainly Wardrobe Consulting – I was developing a business with a friend of mine to offer wardrobe consulting and personal shopping. I used to put pieces together and label them Stylin’ By Val. That’s how it developed. Then I got into custom pieces and styling people. I had more time to devote to my business.
What is Stylin’ By Val?
If you get a customized (designed) piece by me, it will be under that label. If you ask me to come up with an outfit for you for an event, that would be considered Stylin’ By Val. It could be sewing as well as wardrobe consulting.
What’s the process like if someone wanted a custom piece?
The client would give me an idea of what they want and I would send them a quote before I start. If they are okay with the quote, they would buy the fabric and they’ll come for a visit for measurements. I’ll give them some advice – so that we work together to make the piece come together.
A lot of clients know what they want, but if they don’t, I would suggest items that suit their body type, so they will have things that are not just in style, but fits their body so they have longer use of it.
In terms of your designs, what are some of your major influences?
I like very simple, clean, classic things that are transitional. I don’t like fashion…I don’t follow trends. If I do, I switch it up, I always twist whatever’s in, and I would make it more a classic piece that you can use from season to season.
Who’s your target market?
Me! That girl who has simple tastes but yet still stylish. She’s casual chic. She wants to stand out from the rest…she stands out by being authentic.
How do you promote Stylin By Val?
Word of mouth. With the event that Emily had (#HowSheHustlesSocial) I received a few more clients. I have some fashions on Instagram.
In addition to designing, you work as a Wardrobe Assistant. What’s involved with that?
I’m on call for film and television sets. I mainly work with the background crew. I also assist the Background Co-ordinator.
The main thing is basic sewing, hemming, and doing stitches. I also give out the clothes and making sure they are returned.
What are your future plans for Stylin’ By Val?
To fully develop my business, website, to brand myself and to hit my target market.
I want to also hold annual clothing swaps where you can bring your gently worn clothing and exchange it for something else. I want to have a set date for it every year.
I also want to find a charity that is meaningful to me to donate the clothes.
Oooh, I’m a true believer of everything happens for a reason. I love that the universe gave Val an opportunity to do something more suited for her, which led to her becoming an entrepreneur.
I am so happy that your prayers were answered and you’re putting your creativity to great use. Thanks for chatting with me, Val!
For more information on Val and her designs, please visit the following site: