Although she is known as Stylist, I have deemed this woman Creative Director extraordinaire. On set and in life, Vivian Kania gets to live out her dreams working and traveling with big name brands and publications worldwide. Some of her clients include Skullcandy, Red Bull, Stance, Swell and Oakley. Her work has been published in GQ Magazine, Stab Magazine, Surfing Magazine and Unleash’d Magazine among many others.
With a home base in San Clemente, CA, Vivian spends time relaxing with her husband Dave and her adorable Chihuahuas just a few blocks away from the beach. Yes, this means she can surf – which makes her extra cool in my books. She balances the importance of her family and success and is someone I have looked up to in the industry since our friendship started in 2012.
From her flawless memory and attention to detail, to competing against amateurs who will work for less, Vivian gives Aura Avenue an insider’s view on her brand and experience as a wardrobe and prop stylist.
AURA: As we are all things beauty, brains and business, give us some background on who you are, what your brand is and when you made the decision to become an entrepreneur.
VIVIAN: I’m a wardrobe and prop stylist. Brands and publications hire me to style their photoshoots, ad campaigns, editorials, commercials. Sometimes I work with apparel, accessories and footwear, other times I am working with props and set styling. I began working for myself in 2010 and I really enjoy the independence.
AURA: Tell us how you find inspiration for your creativity and if your surroundings in Southern CA play a part in that.
VIVIAN: I find inspiration all over. I like to travel and fashion is always so different everywhere I go. My inspiration today was a cute girl that was dressed really well at a cafe on a lunch date with friends at my favorite lunch spot in Soho Nyc. She was so timelessly sophisticated yet young and fresh. I love that.
AURA: When it comes to emerging brands, audiences only tend to see the glamorous side of doing business. Which is great, but in reality, it’s only about 2 percent of what the work actually looks like. Give us a description of a normal day operating as a stylist.
VIVIAN: For every 1 photoshoot – there are about 3 to 4 days of work for me. None of which are glamorous in my eyes. Day 1 & 2 are spent pulling wardrobe, struggling with traffic, and corresponding with the client, there is usually no time to even squeeze a small meal in. Day 3 is the shoot itself which can last anywhere from 8 to 14 hours, and I am on my feet the entire time. Day 4, the least glamorous of them all, is sending or driving back all of the wardrobe that was borrowed from the PR showrooms. Struggling in traffic once again.
AURA: How has social media affected your career and where do you see its importance taking a role in the development of your brand through the next years of business?
VIVIAN: All of my gigs have been through people I know and have already worked with in the past. However, I do get to meet a lot of industry professionals through social media, and I think just keeping up with what other creatives are up to, really inspires myself as well as others to keep working harder and thinking outside the box for that next shoot.
AURA: Outside of online influence, what hurdles have you overcome and what do you foresee in the future that may challenge your brand?
VIVIAN: There will always be someone younger and eager to work for less pay. That could be considered a hurdle for my business. I choose to view it in a different way – you’ll get what you pay for.
AURA: How do you stay organized within your business as well as your personal daily routine?
VIVIAN: I have the craziest memory ever, I remember all my appointments – everything! That really helps with the organization. My iPhone calendar is just there as a backup. Or as a reminder to self that my memory is damn good!
AURA: What are your favorite phone apps?
VIVIAN: Instagram. Lol.
AURA: If there were anything you could change about the industry what would it be?
VIVIAN: Your ego aint your amigo folks.
AURA: What are some of your biggest accomplishments as an entrepreneur?
VIVIAN: The biggest accomplishment in my career so far, is to be able to do my job in my favorite cities for brands I have loved and admired since I was young.
AURA: What mistake(s) have you made with your business? What did you learn from the experience/how did you bounce back?
VIVIAN: Before I was styling, I was doing makeup. Styling kind of just fell in to my lap, which I feel really blessed for. So when I got my first styling gig, I was timid, and unsure of myself. I have learned to take ownership and just trust my instinct.
AURA: What is your most meaningful memory since you’ve started styling?
VIVIAN: Being able to work with people that believe in me, respect what I bring to the table, trust my judgment, and continuously hire me. Can’t get any better than that.
VIVIANKANIASTYLE@GMAIL.COM / 619.876.0918
Check out these Aura Avenue editorials that Vivian Kania Style made flawless!