So it’s winter, and last year’s slightly moth-eaten Country Road maxi cardigan ain’t cutting the mustard. You look through your overstuffed wardrobe and only see ridiculous maxi-dresses and colour blocked heels that don’t spell out autumn style. Argh! What to do? Improvise artfully with maxi skirt, maxi wedge and cardi – or attend Melbourne stylist extraordinaire Cindy Newstead’s upcoming Style Review Runway Show? Today’s Ruby Assembly Business Ninja feature is Melbourne stylist Cindy, who has been running a successful styling empire for more than a decade.

Down to earth and responsive, Cindy could be just the style shake-up you need for the coming season (or, you could gift some time with her to your Mum, who may also be in a maxi-dress maxi-wedge motheaten cardi situation) (plus Mother’s day is coming up, y’all). Her Style Review Runway Show will be held at Leonda by the Yarra on the 23rd of April – featuring real women in accessible high-street fashion – plus some cheeky champagne and canapes to boot. I think I need say no more – except to introduce Cindy!

1. What makes ‘Style with Cindy’ so successful, setting you apart from other stylists in your field?

I have given over 6,000 personal consultations with people from all walks of life and ages from 13 to 79. This has given me the invaluable knowledge that you will not find in any textbook or styling course. Together with two qualifications as a colour consultant, a certification as a NLP Master Practitioner and a natural caring nature, I believe I have a comprehensive set of tools that enables me to consistently deliver information and advice that can literally turn someone’s life around. I have created a business that can suit all kinds of client needs. For instance I do personal one-on-one consultations, workshops for both personal and corporate, twice yearly runway parades, quarterly magazines and videos on YouTube that give information about everyday affordable fashion and how to wear it. This is all to help my clients and followers with continued inspiration and encouragement to look after themselves both physically and mentally. I’m about helping clients to develop a healthy attitude towards themselves and to present to the world in a way that is true to their values, beliefs, personality, age, body shape and lifestyle.

2. What are your strongest skills when it comes to styling a client? 

My empathy to be able to strongly relate to clients on most personal levels and having an innate understanding of how to dress for body shape and personality that allows me to throw out the text books that do not work for so many people and draw on my own experience to achieve a positive outcome.

Cindy at work, styling up a storm at Highpoint.

3. How did your lightbulb moment in creating your business come about?

I was told that my talent was wasted and that I had an ability to shine in this life. I decided to prove to myself that I could achieve my goal, so I went and did it!

4. What is your earliest memory?

My earliest memory was being about 5 and telling a boy in kinder that I was going to marry him!

5. What have you noticed about the changing face of personal styling in the past five years?

I have noticed a huge increase of the general public’s awareness that this service exists along with the benefits it can have for people. I remember early in my career the blank look on people’s faces when they would ask what I do, now I see the light go on immediately when I say I am a personal stylist. Also I have noticed a huge increase in women and young girls wanting to be a stylist.

6. What is your best tip for winter trends 2012?

This season is a great time to take advantage of the amazing colour palate available this winter, no need to be black and drab during the colder months this year, there is a combination of colours to suit most complexions. Try and work less with black, or at least use black on the lower half and less on the top and use colours that enhance your complexion closer to your face.

7. What is your favourite sound?

My favourite sound is the ocean, we spend allot of time at Torquay outside of Melbourne and Byron Bay in New South Wales, so for me nothing is more therapeutic than the sound of waves crashing.

8. Who would you like to invite to dinner?

I have always been inspired by the Minogue sisters, so Kylie or Dannii as I admire them both and they are Australian!

9. What is something unexpected that has come from your work?

Unexpected? On a personally moving level for me, I would say the overwhelming honour of women and men trusting me enough to take me into their personal space in regard to their wardrobe and dressing them. My unexpected thrilling moment was meeting Sarah Jessica Parker last year!!

10. What’s the most fulfilling experience you’ve ever had as a stylist?

First I have to mention the overwhelming benefit that my job as a stylist gives me daily, and that is the sense of fulfilment when I see a women with tears of joy from loving who they are seeing in the mirror for the first time in a long time. This inspires me to continue day after day in this job, I want to help as many women as I can. On a personal exhilaration note I would have to say my first major fashion runway event that we held at the Malvern Town Hall to over 300 woman (plus a few men), it was such a success and I know I didn’t sleep all night just because of the huge adrenalin rush.

Think you could do with a little of Cindy’s magic?  Find out more about the coming season’s trends and Cindy’s services by attending the Style Review Runway Show. $65.00 per ticket, including champagne and canapes – plus gift bag to the value of $50. For further details or to get in touch with Cindy, email