After studying classical ballet and dance, and working in marketing for the music industry, Kerrie-Ann Jones decided to take a leap of faith two years ago and change jobs and industries. She started out taking a styling assistant role for Sarah Ellison [interview], Real Living magazine’s style editor. After working on a series of shoots, K-A, as she's known, was given the chance to style a feature for the recently launched Homes+. Her work garnered her a regular gig on the magazine and the chance to style the pages of Real Living too. “Being published in Real Living was a huge turning point for me,” K-A says. “I’ve read and respected Real Living for years, and to have my work published in the magazine for the first time was a special moment.” After taking a break at the end of 2014 to have a baby, K-A, who lives in Sydney, is back styling and working on a range of projects. “My career in the styling world is still relatively green but I’ve been so fortunate that it’s gained momentum very quickly,” she says. “It has been a very welcoming and collaborative industry. I feel very much in my element.”

Which five words best describe you? Creative, passionate, dedicated, easy-going, dreamer.

How did you get your career start and what path have you taken since? I started my styling career by assisting Sarah Ellison, the Real Living style editor on a shoot two years ago. From there I became her assistant. Each shoot taught me more and more about the job and skill set of a stylist. The creativity, preparation, organisation and the fun spirit on a shoot day really got me excited to pursue styling as a career. The more shoots I worked on, the more I knew this was the right career for me. Sarah is an incredibly creative talent and such a lovely person. She took me under her wing and helped me get a start in the industry. At the time I was trying to make the jump from assistant to stylist, Deb Bibby [interview] the editor of Real Living took a chance on me and let me style a shoot for a new magazine called Homes+. That snowballed into being a stylist for the magazine, styling all the DIY pages and some house shoots for the magazine. I took a break at the end of 2014 to enter the realm of motherhood and give birth to my baby girl, Poppy - coolest little person ever! She lights up my life. I’ve only recently returned to styling and now enjoy the challenges of balancing of motherhood with a career. I’m really looking forward to this next chapter. Already there are many exciting projects in the pipeline that I can’t wait to sink my teeth into. I’m ready to take it up a notch.

What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt along the way? In general - work hard, like really hard. And be nice to people. In styling – always have a back-up plan. And a back-up plan for your back-up plan.

What’s your proudest career achievement? Having my work published in Real Living. In particular, my most recent work in the current July issue of Real Living. I shot a beautiful and simple home down the South Coast. That shoot is my first story submission. I’m really proud of the feel and styling of that story. It’s very me and true to my style. 

What’s been your best decision? Marrying my amazing husband. Starting a family. Taking the leap of faith to leave a fun and established career in the music industry to give the styling world a go. 

Who inspires you? Without sounding totally sappy here, my family. Especially my husband. We were a great team when we worked together. Whatever his vision or goal - and they can be pretty big and adventurous - he alway executes them beyond expectations. He tackles any challenge with a very creative, intelligent and fair approach. I find those qualities very inspiring. Apart from my family, anyone who makes others laugh and contributes to the world in a positive way. 

What are you passionate about? Interiors. Styling, art, music, chocolate. Sleep! I’m very passionate about sleep, it’s the one thing I long for at the moment. 

Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? Ellen DeGeneres. She’s hilarious, kind and genuine. The kind of person I like to be around. 

What dream do you still want to fulfil? My styling career has only just begun and I have an exciting journey ahead. When the time is right, a cover! It would be a dream come true to style a magazine cover. I’d also love my work to be published in the British interiors magazine Living Etc. That’s a very ambitious goal. It’s one of my favourite magazines; every issue floors me. To have work published in that magazine would be the holy grail.  

What are you reading? At the moment, baby story books. I don’t have time to read properly anymore but I flick through the pages of every interior mag I can get my hands on. I love to see the amazing work of fellow creatives.

images courtesy of kerrie-ann jonesreal living and homes+ (image 3); photography (excluding portrait) maree homer