Tell us what you did before image consultancy?
Oh, my! What didn’t I do? In high school, university, and afterwards, I worked fashion retail. After that, I ran off and joined the Navy to train as a linguist. I’ve worked as a tax preparer and a bookkeeper. The hardest job, hands down, was military wife and homeschool mom of three sons! After we moved back to the US, I returned to school for my Masters in Teaching and taught Spanish to students in grades Kindergarten through 8. It sounds odd, but that crazy mix of positions truly helped pave the way to my career as an Image Consultant!
What made you choose to become an image consultant? What drew you to it?
You might say it’s the ESFJ in me! I’ve always loved style and fashion. My mother taught me to sew, and I was fascinated by how you could change two seams in a garment and alter the entire shape. Each summer, we visited family in New York and would go window shopping on 5th Avenue. I loved the art that was fashion! I found out that working retail (unfortunately) isn’t about style or fashion; it’s about profit. I loved working with clients and helping them find outfits that made them look and feel fabulous… But I couldn’t lie and tell them something awful was lovely just to make numbers. As an Image Consultant, I have the pleasure of helping my clients look and feel fabulous without compromise! My loyalty lies with my client, not a store.
What made you decide that it was time to do your training and take up this new career?
After teaching, I needed a career with flexibility. One evening, a series of texts came in from friends and family asking for advice: “Which should I buy?” “What am I missing from this suitcase?” “What do you think of this one?” and “Is this right for the party this weekend?” My husband looked at me and said “Why don’t you do that? People will pay for your help.” That idea excited me! Image consulting seemed like a natural extension of my love for fashion, style, teaching, and financial nerdiness. I understood how to help friends and family but couldn’t see how to apply that to people I didn’t yet know well. I knew I needed training to help expand and direct my skills.
What are you passionate about?
I am passionate about helping others discover their style and feel confident. Confidence is the new black!
Who do you most enjoy working with? How do you love to help them?
My favorite clients are women writing a new chapter in their lives! So often, as women, we find ourselves defined by our relationships: Mary’s daughter, Paul’s wife, Johnny’s mother. At some point, we choose to define ourselves. Women in a place of transition—starting a new job or a business, leaving the workplace, downsizing or upsizing, are looking for a new way to show up in the world. Style is a part of that process of (re)discovery and personal definition. It is a privilege and a joy to help on that journey!
We start by discovering what they love (And don’t love!) and explore how they want to look and feel. I love it when we do a deep wardrobe dive to find new outfits and options they never imagined! It helps my clients look fresh and new in what they already own and allows us to discover what strategic purchases should come next to round out their wardrobes and take their style to the next level.
How does having a good image help people in their lives?
We think of good image as something that helps open doors and provide opportunities. It does that, but even more importantly, image and style is personally empowering every day. When we look good, we feel better about ourselves; we are more confident and perform better. It’s so simple and yet life-changing!
How can you help people create a more impactful and relevant image for themselves?
Sometimes when I tell people I am an Image Consultant, the question is “How did I do?” (Accompanied by a sweeping gesture from head to toe!) I typically respond, “That depends, what did you mean to say?” Cue an awkward moment of silence… Clothing is a language. I teach my clients the language of clothing so that they can say what they mean and mean what they say. They can choose. After we work together, they have the knowledge and ability to express themselves and send the message they want. Without speaking a word…
Anything else you’d like to tell us?
Image consulting is about so much more than styling. That may be the first thing people will think of when you say, “I’m an Image Consultant,” but there are myriad ways to take the training and make it work for you. It’s about finding your passion, your niche, and your people!