Happy New Year, Almost Fabulous Me Community! Personally, I cannot believe we’re already over TWO WHOLE WEEKS into 2022! Reflecting on the first two weeks of the New Year I kind of feel like I haven’t done anything while simultaneously being overwhelmed on a daily basis with everything I have to get done. You know what I mean?!
I will say that while the first dozen or so days of this New Year have absolutely flown by, I’m feeling quite hopeful and optimistic about 2022. I know I know, I’m sure you’re reading this and rolling your eyes or moaning and groaning “doesn’t everyone always feel optimistic at the start of a New Year?! How cliche!“ I mean you’re not wrong but at the same time this year feels different. I know, I know, cue the moans and groans AGAIN. While my words may not adequately portray the overall “vibe” that 2022 is bringing to the table, perhaps this NEW (!!) blog feature will get you in that new energy, new mindset mood.
It’s been almost 7 years since I started Almost Fabulous Me - which means it’s been almost 7 years since I graduated college (!!!) - and this beautiful community has grown, evolved and flourished so much during that time. While Almost Fabulous Me still has a lot of growing and a whole lot of evolving to do, I’m excited to kick off the New Year with a new feature. I’ve always wanted to include some iteration of an interview style post on my blog. On a daily basis I find myself absolutely blown away and inspired by all these amazing creatives and business people who flood my Instagram and Social Media and am grateful that I can call many of them friends. If the last couple of years have taught us anything - personally I think they’ve taught us a lot of things - they’ve taught us how precious life is. As a result, I’ve noticed a tremendous amount of people taking personal and professional risks, whether that may be starting a new career, moving to a new place, picking up a side hustle, inspiration truly is everywhere.
Personally, I’m so grateful for these individuals. Individuals like Nicole Hamburger, today’s interview subject, who took time during the pandemic to re-prioritize her own “goals and priorities” and as a result started her own personal styling business. I’ve had the pleasure of working with Nicole and learning from her, most recently to curate some amazing looks for Austin City Limits, which I attended last year. Nicole is not only all the fashion #inspo you need, but she’s an absolute joy to work with. Perhaps you have a special event coming up in 2022 or you simply want to establish your personal style in the New Year, whatever your individual fashion needs this year, Nicole is your girl.
Ladies and Gents, Boys and Girls, this is Personal Stylist, Fashion and Beauty Guru, Nicole Hamburger…
1. Nicole, thank you so much for agreeing to be my first official interview (!!!) on Almost Fabulous Me. While I know you and have had the pleasure of working with you, I’m excited to introduce you to my Almost Fabulous Me community. Let’s dive right in, shall we?! When did you know you wanted to pursue a career in fashion?
Is since forever a valid answer? Ha ha. But seriously, for as long as I can remember I have always been in love with fashion and more specifically personal style. My earliest memories of my love for fashion include a combination of: my extremely fashionable Jewish grandmother, unlimited marathons of What Not to Wear, Flo-Jo, Lizzie McQuire and a ton of fashion magazines.
2. What Not To Wear was one of my favorite shows growing up and definitely contributed to my love of personal style as well. Can you tell us a little bit more about your career path and how you got to where you are now as a personal stylist?
I graduated summa cum laude from the University of Oregon with a degree in Advertising & Digital Arts. I had every intention to move to NYC after graduation and work as a graphic designer. That never happened. Instead, I unexpectedly fell in love with visual merchandising and styling while working at Nordstrom in-between and during my junior and senior years in college. I spent almost 4 years with Nordstrom during which time I worked as a Management Intern, Visual Merchandiser (VM) Holiday, Social Media Manager, Visual Merchandiser and Visual Merchandising Manager. As a Nordstrom Visual Merchandiser, I wore many hats: stylist, project manager, window propper, painter, carpenter, event planner, merchandiser, lighting expert, photographer, etc. I loved all the new skills I was learning and how different each of my days looked.
After Nordstrom I moved to Nike where I worked as a Senior Stylist for 6 months, before moving into my most recent role as Visual Merchandising Specialist on the Dick's Sporting Goods (DSG) account. As the VM specialist on the DSG account, I led the development of the VM strategy for Nike's Men's and Kid's departments in all 730+ DSG doors. Outside of my day-to-day responsibilities, I also styled athletes for large brand campaigns (Mal Pugh, Chloe Kim and Elena Delle Donne to name a few), I created Nike's first internal seasonal styling tool, and led the North American styling strategy for the 2020 Women's World Cup. I spent a total of 2+ years with Nike before my contract ended with the company in May 2020. During the pandemic I forced myself to slow down and revisit my life’s goals and priorities -- I still loved fashion and styling, but wanted to focus on building my own brand and connecting with clients on a more personal level. So I took the scariest risk and started my own business. And that's how Nicole Hamburger Personal Styling was born.
3. Isn’t it funny that while you’ve worn many different “hats” during your career, fashion and styling has remained a crucial part of each of your roles? And now look at you - you have your own personal styling business! What is it exactly about being a personal stylist that you love? My favorite part of being a personal stylist is helping my clients reconnect with their most authentic, most confident, most bad-ass sense of self. I have always been the biggest fan of Neon Dion's infamous saying "Look good. Feel good. Play good." I know when you look your best, you feel your best. And I love helping my clients feel their best through fashion.
4. Speaking of clients, I know you work with a variety of men and women who are looking for styling help for various events, milestones, etc. Are there any themes that consistently emerge with your clients? For example - they don’t have enough time to shop; they don’t have a sense of their own personal style, etc. How do you help your clients overcome said challenge(s)? A majority of my clients come to me looking for a new wardrobe to match the changes they've made during the pandemic. These changes range anywhere from personal, mental, physical to spiritual, career, etc. I think everyone was forced to slow down and re-evaluate their priorities and set new goals for themselves during quarantine/covid. I'm here to help bridge that space between who people were pre-pandemic and who they want to be post-pandemic. 5. That makes perfect sense and I imagine that has kept you pretty busy! There’s been plenty of changes to my own closet over the course of the last couple of years, namely I own way more sweats and sweatshirts than I ever have in my life. Anywayyy…If you had to give just one piece of styling advice to your clients, what would it be? If I could give only one piece of styling advice to anyone and everyone it would be: Always dress for yourself first. Trends will come and go, people will give you their unwarranted opinions on your outfit, colors will go in and out of style, etc, etc, etc. But, if you dress for yourself first and wear whatever makes you feel happy, strong, and confident you will always be in style. Showing up as your most confident, authentic self is what fashion is all about.
6. Amen! Now that is advice that never goes out of style. Let's talk about your personal style. How would you describe it? Who are your style icons or inspirations? What are the Brands that you love? I would describe my personal sense of style as a combination of: modern, tailored, minimal & a little sporty. I love pulling style inspiration from Kourtney Kardashian, Maeve Reilly, Hailey Bieber, Ziwe Alicia Roddy (@lissyroddyy) and Emma Chamberlain. I love the brands Acne Studios, Dion Lee, Jacquemus, Danielle Guizio, Monse, and Rezek Studio.
7. What is your go-to outfit? The outfit that makes you feel your absolute BEST! As someone who preaches the power of personal style and using clothing to express your most authentic self, my go-to outfit (and honestly this has been my go-to outfit for probably 4+ years) is very, very, VERY simple. For myself, I prioritize elevated, well-tailored, classic pieces in neutral tones. So, my go-to outfit is always a pair of great trousers (I love these ones from Topshop), paired with either a bold graphic tee (like this) or plain hoodie (I own every color of these Aritzia hoodies), lots of gold jewelry (I recommend the brands SHASHI, Brinker & Eliza, and Adina's Jewels) , a shacket (obsessed with this one) and a pair of sneakers (can never go wrong with these).
8. While Christmas and Hanukkah are sadly behind us now, we are officially in a New Year and I’m sure you still have plenty of items on your fashion wishlist. Nicole, what are the items at the top of your wishlist going into 2022? Oh! I love this question! Here are my top 5 fashion items on my wishlist: 1. A new handbag for 2022! A few of my favorites are The Dalton Lady Bag, the beaded Tommy Bag, the Ichimatsu Obi Bag and the Coperni Zip Phone bag. 2. A warm coat. I love this one from Anine Bing. 3. A pair of leather trousers. I recommend these trousers from River Island, Agolde, Abercrombie or Aritzia. 4. Something sparkly like a charm, chain belt, gold, sparkly hoops, a link ring, or even these beautiful heeled sandals. 5. A dress that reminds everyone I am THAT GIRL. I love these dresses from DANNIJO, Retrofête, and WAYF. 9. Okay Nicole, last question, for those who are reading this and interested in working with you - how would you recommend they get in contact with you?
The two best ways to reach me are 1) via email at email@example.com or 2) filling out my contact sheet on my website. I'm also available to answer any questions on my instagram @nicolehamburgerr. And if you're not ready to book a service just yet, follow me on IG @nicolehamburgerr for weekly fashion and beauty recommendations!
Another HUGE thank you to Nicole for agreeing to be my FIRST interviewee on Almost Fabulous Me. If you liked this interview and style of blog post, I would love to hear from you! Or perhaps this inspired you to reach out to Nicole and get after your styling goals in the New Year?! Maybe you have someone whom you think would be a great subject for another Almost Fabulous Me profile?? Either way, please don’t hesitate to reach out via email at firstname.lastname@example.org - I look forward to hearing from you!