photo: AnaMarisa Juarez
Name: Cristina Facundo
Current Title/Company: Cristina Facundo Wardrobe Stylist
How did you get started as a wardrobe stylist? I was living in New York City, teaching kindergarten in Harlem, and I desperately needed a creative outlet. On my subway ride home, I saw an ad for FIT. I enrolled in one class, which led to two more classes, which led to a two-year program. When I moved back to Austin, I was lucky enough to intern and later assist wardrobe stylist, Brandy Joy Smith.
What qualities do you think it takes to be successful at your job and why? Being innovative, original, fearless, and kind. I find inspiration in everything and am constantly looking for ways to make our shoots interesting. Sometimes those ideas are bold but I have learned to trust my gut.
What does a typical workday look like for you? I often joke that my job consists of three activities: pull, shoot, and return! I usually spend an hour writing and returning emails followed by updating social media platforms. After confirming my pull appointments, I am on the road by 9:30am. I typically pull from 10-14 stores in one day, with a short lunch penciled in, usually at Snap. By 6pm, I’m home unpacking and outfit pairing followed by organizing my styling kit. I like to have as much prepared the night before a shoot as possible.
What’s the biggest challenge of owning your own business? In the beginning, it was security and self-doubt. Did I have enough to live on if I didn’t book jobs this week? Am I any good at what I do? Now, almost 2 years in, I worry more about growth and how to balance my personal life with work life.
What’s the biggest misconception about your job? I think people see my job as glamorous all the time. I do spend a lot of time in amazing boutiques and have styled the occasional celebrity, but my job is also hard work. Once the shoot is finished, my team and I are just getting started checking inventory back in and returning.
Best moment in your career? Ahhh—so many but styling Norah Jones still tops the chart. I may or may not have shed a tear watching Norah Jones singing the song of the music video I styled her for, while wearing an outfit I styled her in for her ACL Live performance. Not only was it a real pinch-me moment but also I got to share it with my family because she got them all tickets.
What advice would you give to a person trying to make it as a wardrobe stylist or starting his or her own business? Just go for it! When I started out, I emailed anybody and everybody in the industry that I could get a hold of. That is how I got my internship with Brandy and how I got many of my clients I still have today.
How do see your business evolving in the next five years? Great question! I’d love to be in a position to hire a few stylists to join my team. This would free up more of my time to work as a creative consultant, a role I love! I often put together the team behind the shoot, sometimes the concept, and style the wardrobe so it would be amazing to have a team to lean on and brainstorm ideas.
You can’t leave the house without this in your purse: Lara Bars, Almond Butter packs, Fresh Sugar lip treatment, and my iphone. The snacks save the day when I can’t seem to find a minute to grab lunch and without my phone, I’m lost! I have no idea where I’m going, who I’m meeting or what day it is. I have the worst memory and I rely on that thing far too much!