Interview with Leanne from Sweet Style

You know those stylists who when their parties/events come up in your facebook newsfeed you just cannot wait to see the photos? Well – that is me when I see an event by Leanne Ambrogio from Sweet Style! I just adore her style and cannot fault her dessert tables.

Not only is she an amazing stylist, but she also runs the beautiful Sweet Style online store as well as her online blog (again one of my favourites). She is a wife, mum to four girls, involved with the Stillbirth Foundation Australia…yes you can imagine she is one busy lady! I have had the pleasure to meet Leanne in person and she is just lovely, warm and down to earth.

In this interview she shares her thoughts and tips for styling a dessert table, managing a work/life balance and having an event styling business. All the gorgeous images I’ve included in this post are Leanne’s work and are a true testament to her talent.

1) Describe your style when it comes to party styling
I describe my style as clean, fuss free with a few special details.  A number of people have said to me over the past year that they know when they see a dessert table I have put together – I love that I have a style that is mine.
2) How do you keep inspired to ensure your creativity keeps flowing?
I am constantly browsing blogs and online magazines for inspiration.  I have also been taking part in loads of online and e-courses that just help you think outside the box and give you access to other talented peoples thought processes.  They challenge you to try different things and recognise what you love best & making that creativity flow.
3) With a party styling business, online store, young family, husband as well as your work with the Stillbirth Foundation- how do you manage your time to ensure your priorities stay in order & you achieve all you want to? Do you have any advice to other working mums on achieving this?
 I am a big list writer – I am constantly writing new lists to make sure I keep on top if it all.  I also have had to get realistic about how much I can achieve in a day, asking for help and learning to say no.  Over the past 2 years I really feel as though I have grown so much as a person and I have become comfortable with saying no to jobs that really do not fit with my style.
4) What are your golden rules when it comes to styling a dessert table?
For me I like things to be balanced.  This doesn’t need to mean it is symmetrical (although I do love a symmetrically balanced table), it just means that you need to balance the various components of the table – jar heights, cake stands and flat items need to all work well together to make the table flow well. The other thing to remember is that you don’t need to put too much on a table – or every piece of food you want to serve on the table – keep some in the fridge or cupboard so you can fill the gaps later in the party.
5) What are some tips you have for the day of your child’s party to ensure it all runs smoothly?
Tip 1 is get a great party entertainer – a good party entertainer will make a party run so smoothly.  I would also send them an email explaining when you would like the kids to eat and cut the cake prior to the day, that way they can arrive and now exactly what is expected of them.
Tip 2 is make sure you order all of your party goodies a few weeks in advance so that it has plenty of time to arrive and allow for that change of mind if you don’t think the item is exactly right.
Tip 3 If you are putting together a dessert table, set up it up and ready to go as far in advance as possible (without the food of course).  I usually put my table together with all my cake stands and bowls at least a week in advance so I can play around with it.  On the day of the party put all the food out on the table early and take your photos and then put everything back in the fridge or away from little people and then get it all back out just before your guests arrive – it is far too stressful to try and take photos of a dessert table when other people are around.
6) Is there a party theme you would love to style for that you haven’t done as yet?
There are lots of themes I would love to try although a lot of what I want to do is currently based around my favourite colour combinations.
7) You have such gorgeous products in your store. What are your favourite and “must have” items?
My favourite must have item will always be the milk glass cake stand – they just set off any cake in any situation. They look good by themselves or group or stacked with others.  I also love all the drinks dispensers in the store!  They can be dressed up for a fancy wedding or dressed down for a casual bbq – guests just love them!

Milk glass cake stand in blue - Sweet Style


8.  There are so many new party styling businesses starting up – what advice could you share that has helped you with your own success
My advice to new people is don’t underestimate the time it will take to plan and execute a beautiful table.  I know that new businesses are desperate to get the job so they will give a cheaper price – in the long run it does not help your business as your next client is usually a referral from the previous client and they will want the same price.  Work out how long you think it will take to plan, put together and importantly pack up, take home, clean and put away.
9) What do you hope your daughters learn from you as they see you run a successful business from home?
 I would like to think that they are learning that having a passion for something is a fantastic way to ensure your work is enjoyable.  My dad was a huge inspiration to me as he left school very young and by 18 had started his own business and never looked back – he was an entrepreneur that just got out there and tried new things – some worked and some didn’t but he gave everything a go – he was my hero so I would love to think my girls realise that they just need to get out there and give everything their best.
10) What is your own favourite dessert ?
It is so hard to pick my favourite dessert as I have such a sweet tooth – it is either something with chocolate or a lemon meringue tart!  Mmmm
Thank you so much Leanne for all your tips and advice!
You can view Leanne’s work, her online store as well as her blog all from the Sweet Style site.