stylist tara sloggett

One of my favourite homes from the current issue of real living is the one that belongs to stylist Tara Sloggett. It's much like her work - and answers below - unpretentious, honest and quite a lot of fun. Tara worked for many years in London and now calls Cape Town home.

Which five words best describe you? Obsessive, hmm, wait! Wait!... impatient - but both in a good way, well, that’s what I’d say, but when I get a bee in my bonnet, maybe it’s best to leave me to get on with it! Honest. Loving. Surprising.

How did you get your career start and what path have you taken since? I first started working in magazines as the editorial assistant on Prima magazine in London at the tender age of 17. Not as glam, but it was a Devil wears Prada sort of position (but with a much nicer ed and thankfully no running in heels, although there was lots of running!!!) on a women’s magazine and I got to experiment in different departments. Helping out the home department on a shoot I discovered a natural talent for making not-so-great stuff look like you couldn’t live without it! Years of working on various home interest titles and a stint running an interiors décor boutique, I’m now freelance and love the freedom, variety and creativity that comes with being your own boss.

What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt along the way? Hmmm, can I say two? Always keep your sense of humour, it’s undoubtedly the one thing that has got me through tough times, and go with your gut, if it doesn’t feel right it probably isn’t.

What’s your proudest career achievement? I’m not sure that there is really one achievement that sticks out. To me, it’s my whole career. With no university education, (I went to work straight from school and although I laugh it off when conversations with friends or colleagues turn to "what did you study" or what "degree did you take", I have truthfully always felt a bit embarrassed about that) just several degrees in life experience, I’ve worked my way up in a career that when I was at school I didn’t even know existed! I’m extremely lucky to make a living and live my life doing something I really love. Oh, and admittedly I was secretly chuffed at winning one of Crown Paints stylist of the year categories back in 2003. Problem was I’d decided to wear particularly high heels for the first time in ages and when the work they were describing sounded familiar I felt my heart start to race with terror, panicking about how the hell I was gonna get up those stairs to collect my award without doing an SJP and ended up not hearing any of the speech, I’ve always wondered what they said.

What’s been your best decision? Getting on a plane September 2007 from London to Cape Town and never looking back.

Who inspires you? Friends. Not one in particular, but many. I’m surrounded by amazingly creative, inspiring, energetic beings, from all walks of life - career-obsessed never-stop-for-a-second singletons and smug (but deservedly so) marrieds, incredible working super-mums and superdads who even in their hectic lives always get their kids to school on time, hold down a full time job, always remember your birthday, look fantastic and have time to write a blog. Phew, now that’s inspiring!

What are you passionate about? My home. Cape Town. Those closest to me. And coffee!

Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? Oh wow, this is one of those questions that you think will be easy to answer and that you’ll say, "gosh, so many"... and then can’t think of any.

What dream do you still want to fulfil? Without sounding like an old beauty pageant queen. I’d like to travel more. No, seriously, I especially want to come to your beautiful country, have a family if it’s meant to be, publish a book (any Seinfeld fans out there - I still think the coffee table book about coffee books could work, don’t you???!), be able to sit at a piano and play any request, but most of all, no matter what life throws my way, my dream is to feel wonderfully content with my lot. Oh and start reading and become a literary boffin. See below.

What are you reading? Well apart from the breeding piles of interior magazines, yes sounds like a cliché, but it’s true, er (head hanging in shame) NOTHING. The intention is there, but never seem to get past the first few pages.

images courtesy of tara sloggett