Thursday, April 19, 2012

Fresh Perspective: An Interview With Ranosha Coffelt of Style Architects

Ranosha Coffelt  was nice enough to contact me back after I cold tweeted (is that a thing?) her one day. Even though the 140 characters I sent her, which were not enough to adequately explain my purpose for contact but just enough to possibly make me sound like a spammer or creeper, were out of the blue – she thankfully gave me the benefit of the doubt and I was able to set up a meeting to talk with her about her super cool job.
 Ranosha is the Wardrobe Styling Coordinator at Minnesota based Style Architects, a lifestyle services company that provides event planning and execution, public relations and branding services, and styling help to business looking to have a polished presentation and image.  They work with everything from interior design companies to couples planning their weddings to fashion magazines  to a myriad of other creative people and services. Sounds awesome right? That’s because it pretty much is.

Ranosha describes her personal style as involving a lot of pattern and color and boho with edge.

As I arrived at the downtown  office and walked through the doors to Style Architects, I was greeted by an open and airy space. Clean lines. No clutter. And a killer view. This alone convinced me it is a cool place to work.

As Ranosha and I sat down in the equally cool conference room, I got to hear a bit about how she got started in the industry:

With a penchant for dressing Barbies (she had a shoe box full of the little shoes. That’s a lot of shoes  ya’ll) and interest in singing, dance and all things creative, Ranosha grew up in Iowa City, Iowa. Though she always had a love for fashion and artistic endeavors, her love for children spurred her to take up a Child Psychology major in College.

You might be asking yourself, “how do you go from child psych to fashion?” Good question! I was very intrigued by what prompted the switch too:

“Growing up I always talked about being a doctor and wanted to do speech pathology and that kind of thing. It sounds crazy now but I saw a movie, a Jennifer Aniston move – I think it’s “Picture Perfect” where she worked for an ad agency- and I saw the movie and I was thinking to myself, “that’s the kind of job I want” in my head, but it felt like I was supposed to be doing child psychology because it was my goal for so long.”

After seeing the type of meetings depicted in the movie, the brainstorming and creative environment, and realizing that’s what she was really passionate about Ranosha thought a switch was in order “If it’s something that I really love,” she said, “ I need to do it because I’ll be doing it forever.”

Do video stores still exist? If they do, apparently you need to rent this.

And thus she switched her major and graduated with a degree in Advertising with an emphasis in Fashion Merchandizing, Design and Production.
Upon graduation, with the job market (especially for creative realm jobs) unfavorable, Ranosha took a job  in the marketing department in Iowa public television for 3 years because it was a good cause and she was able to see what went on behind the scenes there, which interested her. She then moved to Minnesota taking jobs that, while they weren’t exactly what she wanted, she knew she would gain valuable experience.

Eventually, she ended up being an associate stylist for the now defunct Twin Cities Luxury and Fashion magazine where she met Christina Holm-Sandok –beauty editor of the magazine turned president and creative director of Style Architects.  Holm-Sadok began including her help on the freelance photo shoots she did along with other marketing and branding endeavors that were the seeds from which SA grew.

Of her job now Ranosha says, “My job is my perfect dream job…it never feels like work.” 

The “blend of the left and right brain” is something Ranosha really enjoys as she gets to use her business savvy and creative aptitude in tandem for her tasks. Finding out what makes clients special and figuring out how to communicate their story while remaining true to them and appealing to others at the same time is one of the challenges of the job she welcomes. 

Working in both styling and public relations, I was curious as to what a typical day for her looked like. She shared with me that on this particular day, an interior design firm was having an event in which they were blending furniture and fashion – the models in different design scenarios would be dressed to reflect the period respective surroundings. She had the responsibility of sending out press releases for the event as well as scouting the looks the model would wear. In addition, she is an author of the “stylish person” segment on SA’s blog – constructing questions for the person to be featured. She writes a lot of the blogs and many press releases on the fashion and design side.  Cool and double cool if you ask me. You didn’t, but now you know.

If you’re wondering how you, too can obtain a position like this, Ms Colffelt says that one of the best skills you can have for something of this nature is listening, “The biggest thing I do with wardrobe styling and PR clients is listening – being able to hear what they say and read between the lines as well.”
In addition, going to school for Journalism or studying something in the general area with a writing foundation is helpful. “Grammar is humongous,” she said, “we’re communicating with editors. They get so many stories every day you have to have everything in a clear and concise manner.” 
She also stressed the importance of doing internships at any stage of life.  “Things look different before you get in there and find your strengths and you find what your good at. And you might be amazed and love something that you never thought you would."

And so, friends, to conclude I asked Ranosha Coffelt (yes, I whole-named it. This is that important.) the biggest question of all:
What makes you FRESH?
 “I love doing wardrobe styling for individuals; I like to make people feel better about themselves and we’ve all had our times that we felt less than worthy, so telling people how wonderful  they are, showing them things about themselves that they wouldn’t normally think is an asset  just makes me really happy.”

In the short time I got to spend with her, I can definitely say she is incredibly nice and welcoming and just a dope person all around.  I love the fact that she got her inspiration to follow her passion through the art of film – a 90s RomCom at that! Inspiration can truly come from anywhere if you let it. She is really following her passion and living her gift. 

Does this sound like something you'd like to do? Did you enjoy this feature - would you like to see more of it? Sound off in the comments party peeps!


  1. Loved it. I could definitely see myself doing something like this.

  2. What a great post! I love being introduced to industry insiders :)

  3. Great post!
    I could do this as well...
    Great pix as well..


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