(As seen in On The Coast Families) It is not everyday a Business & Brand gets head into its 21st year of trading but VibrantConcepts reached this milestone with excitement last year!
In May 2022 VC celebrated over 20 years of helping people “enhance their natural beauty with colour and style” with some of their clients, colleagues and special people that have been part of the VC story since the beginning. They also remembered their “VC Angels” who are still watching over them today.
VibrantConcepts started when Sam decided to combine her fashion and cosmetic experience with her love of helping people feel fabulous. Her motivation in the very beginning was to have a “job” that would allow her to also pursue her “other” life passion – being a “hands on” Mum to her two children – Daughter, Jordan who was 8 years old at the time and Son, Max who was 5 years old.
Fast forward 20 years and her passions have become a successful Style & Image Company – VibrantConcepts Aust Pty Ltd operating nationally from the Central Coast with unique styling systems that ensure individuals and companies “bring out their best with confidence”.
In this article we wanted to help Sam and Jordi celebrate and also give our readers a behind the scenes look at their company and what motivates and inspires them.
You’ve written about your mum being super stylish and creative, you obviously come from a creative family. Was your creative flair always directed towards fashion/styling?
Absolutely, I am told that even from a very young age I liked to have my hair ribbons match my dress! Very different to Jordi’s style I have to say! 🙂
In my teens and young adult life I was always intrigued with fashion, colour and style, I use to admire people who “had it together”. My Mum taught me how to sew and we use to love to adapt the latest overseas trends to something that would suit us and we could afford. Back in the early 80’s there wasn’t a lot of chain stores that embraced fashion at affordable prices so Mum and I would make our own clothes. I loved fashion, colour, art, sewing and creating but what I learnt later in my career is I loved helping people feel good about themselves just as much.
In my private life I also love styling my home and creating spaces that are filled with beauty and love. I am quite sentimental so many pieces in my home have been upcycled from family heirlooms or pieces I have found when travelling or been given as presents from loved ones. I adopt the same philosophy to my home as I do to my personal styling and that is the quote “Have nothing in your home that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.” – William Morris.
Out of all the jobs you’ve done in your stellar 35yr career, what was the one that left you breathless with excitement?
In 2011, I auditioned and was selected by Westfield and their advertising agency at the time to be the only Stylist in Australia that they flew to London for 3 days to work on set and film a TV Commercial with London Celebrity Stylist – Gok Wan!
I was treated like an A class celebrity where I had my hair cut, coloured and styled at a salon that catered for the likes of Julia Roberts. I dined at The Wolseley in Mayfair with the CEO of Westfield and International film crew and advertising team that had worked with the likes of Martin Scorsese. My makeup artist for the filming had even toured with George Michael as his makeup artist! This girl from Oz was living a career dream and to be honest, I actually found I had a love for working in front of the camera when surrounded by such talented professionals.
Then to add to this honour and career highlight, when Gok toured Australia later that year I was the only Stylist allowed on stage with him, where he personally endorsed my styling skills to the audience – real life pinch me moments!
What’s your favourite piece of clothing? Why? How long have you had it?
An animal print faux fur coat. It is over 10 years old and was an extravagant purchase at the time. I was hosting a red carpet event and the outfit I was having custom made ended up being a disaster. Therefore, at the last minute I had to find an outfit. I found a stunning lace and animal print silky, slip dress however, I would freeze in it without a coat hence, I had to purchase the matching animal print coat. Over the past decade I have worn this coat to many events and branding photo shoots, in fact I still wear it today! Proof that when you make a purchase that is in your correct style, colour and shape even if it is expensive at the time, it will soon become a “bargain buy” when you divide the cost by how many times it has been worn.
Which celebrity client left the biggest impact on you and why?
NBN’s Natasha Beysdorf was one of my favourite celebrities to work with. Why? Firstly, she is a lovely human and secondly she respected my talents, ideas and entrusted me with her style when I had to dress her for certain events. There is nothing better than when a client lets you “do your thing” as this allows you to really be creative and authentic in your work. As a Stylist and a creative soul who really cares about getting the best result for everyone, this means the world.
A rainy Sunday at home, lounging around – what is Sam wearing?
Hahaha if I know I am not going out the front door at all and no one is coming over; loose linen pants, animal print slides and a tank top (with no bra) – ALL in my energy colours of course!
Coming from a creative family and having fashion was all around you, were there any other career paths that sparked your interest before you went into styling?
It’s funny, I was never one of those kids who “wanted to be this or do that” when I grew up… I got my first casual job in a hair salon when I was 13 y.o and when it came to the end of year 10 I didn’t know what I want to do with my future, but I knew I didn’t want to stay at school. At the time Sam was in need of an assistant and I was in need of work; the reason I chose to assist in the family business opposed to any other P.A role was I loved how VC helped people feel confident and I wanted to be apart of that. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would be where I am today, achieving what I have achieved almost 15 years on.
You are such a grounded, down-to-earth, ocean loving, ute driving, gypsy – what is the attraction to styling considering the contrast from ‘weekend Jordi’?
Haha I love this! For me, true personal style is embracing who you are, figuring out your “style words” and then showing the world what is within by styling the outside. Even though a lot of people see a huge contrast, for me it just feels like second nature. I have always loved wearing “fashion” and playing in the mud at the same time; so for me it’s the synergy of my soul, without one the other feels out of balance. I want clients to feel this way too! I don’t want someone to think they have to look a certain way because of societal standards if that doesn’t align with their soul. I want to help a client figure out what ignites their soul and style them so they feel comfortable, confident, stylish but staying true to themselves!
What’s your favourite piece of clothing? Why? How long have you had it?
Ooooh I have a stunning wardrobe that I have collected over the last decade and a half but I think my favourite piece (even though I don’t wear them anymore) would have to be my cherry red Doc Martens. They are currently packed up in storage (scuffed, well worn with a multitude of stories in their soles) but I could never part with them and hope to maybe give them to my kids or a friend‘s kids one day.
They were the first pair of shoes I ever bought myself at 14 years old, they were $300 back then and I remember saving a portion of my hair dressing money (the other half went to a car) to buy these incredible boots! I still remember, Dad drove me to the Rock Shop in Newcastle one day while Mum was working and as soon as I walked in I saw them and fell in love!! I wore them with EVERYTHING, year round!! They never came off and that is when the boot obsession began.
What drew you to working with your mum over other stylist or being out on your own?
It’s funny, if I wasn’t styling with Mum & VC I actually don’t think I would be styling at all. The reason I love working with Sam is the empire she has built and what VC stands for! The illusions of the fashion industry actually repulse me and the damage it causes is heart breaking but at VC it’s all about enhancing natural beauty with colour and style so it sits really well with my personal ethos. I am not one to praise others about looking thin, young, rich, fashionable… I praise someone when you can see their personality shining through, you can see their soul in their style, that they are confident in who they are and that is why I choose everyday to style with Mum and VC because its not about money and fashion, it’s about confidence and personal style.
What advice would you give to someone who has a love and natural flair for fashion that would like to start a career in styling?
Be honest with yourself and ask yourself why you want to be a stylist? This will guide you into what sort of styling you are best suited for as there is a huge range of styling roles from personal styling, merchandising styling, photoshoot styling, TV styling and each one has their own driving factors. For me, it was about helping the individual feel confident and embrace their personality so for me to do merchandise styling 24/7 that wouldn’t be authentic to my soul… So figure out WHY you want to be a stylist and then work, work, work. Also, remember styling is about others, not you.