5 minutes with Featured Styling

5 minutes with … Bonnie Kay the Stylist

Bonnie Kay

Bonnie Kay, Melbourne-based stylist and visual merchandiser, is the clever talent behind many exquisite retail displays and imagery – her true love for colours, shapes and textures shining through her everyday work.

With projects for top brand such as Sportsgirl, kikki.K, Diva and more under her belt, Bonnie also played host to Reed Gift Fairs’ Styling for Social session in Melbourne last month.

We recently caught up with Bonnie to nut out her top trend picks for the season, what inspires her, and how she fits everything in to her busy schedule. Read on …


How did you get into styling?

I studied interior design, I met my now best friend in that course and she studied visual merchandising and told me to do that course after we finished. I then studied my diploma of visual merchandising and did hundreds of hours of work experience with fashion and interior stylists … and the rest is history.

What does a typical day in the life of Bonnie Kay look like?

Each day is different but these tasks happen every day;

  • Instagram
  • Sourcing inspiration from Instagram, Pinterest, blogs etc
  • Sourcing products initially from jobs on Instagram or the web
  • Emails!  Lots of them
  • On the road sourcing or returning products from shoots to suppliers
  • Meetings with suppliers / designers to view current collections

What colours, shapes, patterns and texture trends are you seeing at the moment?

I feel like 2017 is a year for eclectic colours, patterns, textures. There are a lot of soft, earthy, neutral colours going on at the moment, but then there are also some really bold colours and textures, like the year of the green has really taken off with some beautiful emerald tones through out fashion and interiors.


Where do you think trends are heading for the remainder of 2017 and start of 2018?

I feel like over the next year, we will continue seeing beautiful soft tones as well as the bold tones. I hope this is the case, cause I’m really loving the mix when I’m sourcing for jobs and my personal projects.

Who are some of your favourite clients and projects you’ve worked on so far? Have you got any current or upcoming projects you’re particularly excited about?

I have had some awesome projects and clients so far, it’s hard to name just one. I mean every job is super exciting to me, I’m very lucky, as every job is totally different to the last.  I’m going on a personal trip to Japan soon, but I’ll be spending a lot of time looking at the trends and sourcing funky products. I also may be shooting some bridal soon, which is totally new to me, so that will be fun!


What are your 5 top tips for creating the perfect Instagram flatlay?

  1. Lighting: Light is most important.  Set yourself up next to a window or somewhere with no direct sunlight, but a nice flood of light. (Also grab a white foam board to reflect light on the shadier side of your flatlay – this makes all the difference.)
  1. Backdrop: Choosing a good background is essential! Try a coloured piece of cardboard, a white flat sheet or even some floor boards.
  1. Products and props: Choose appropriate propping to place within your flatlay. Make sure your product is the central focus!
  1. Click click: Most people just take a couple of shots of your overall flatlay. If you’ve got a couple of minutes spare, use your iPhone or camera to take different angled shots, close ups etc. – you might surprise yourself on what imagery you’ll get out of one flatlay.
  1. Edit: I personally use Photoshop and the VSCO app to edit my photos. However there is so many apps and programs to use. It depends on your skill level and what you feel comfortable using. I love to have that full control to bring my brightness way way up!

Enjoy your flatlays! They are supposed to be a fun way to showcase your product either with propping or a lifestyle approach. Don’t take it too seriously! Just do you 😉


Why do you think social media is so important for the retail industry?

Social media is the best platform for the retail industry as it has proven to show customers your brand and what’s currently happening in store or online.  Not that I’m a numbers girl, but there have been articles on statistics that show social media is best used for the retail industry.  So get on the bandwagon! It will be worth it, I promise. 😉

You can find out more about Bonnie Kay the Stylist by visiting her website here.

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About the author
Charlotte Michalanney
Charlotte Michalanney