It started early for me, this love for style! Probably when I got my first Barbie. Or, playing paper dolls. I’d sit there for hours, constantly changing the outfits on my dolls, completely absorbed.
Ever since, I’ve been someone who is very keyed into style.
In sixth grade, my mother sent my sister and me to finishing school at the Patricia Stevens modeling agency in Kansas City! We learned how to sit, stand, eat and dress. Most importantly, Patricia taught us the invaluable art of creating outfits.
Only a few years later, in high school, I always held part time jobs at clothing stores or women’s specialty retailers. In college, I sometimes skipped class to work in the women’s boutique downtown! Even then, I loved helping women style outfits. It gave me a high.
After college, I was hired by Eddie Bauer, who had opened a large concept store in Kansas City. The store sold tailored separates to men and women to meet the relaxed business casual dress codes corporations were adopting at the time.
I started as part time sales and did so well, I was promoted to assistant manager. Then, a few months later, I was relocated to Houston, Texas to open a brand new store!
The style and quality of the goods was sensational, but unfamiliar to the established and loyal Eddie Bauer client, particularly in Texas. We opened the store on a sweltering September day with a broken air conditioner. Someone thought to rent big industrial fans and that is how we introduced our new concept to an upscale enclave in Houston!
To attract traffic to our location, I sniffed around and obtained a feature spot on the local news to showcase our store as the leader for business casual! That night, as the cameras prepared to roll, I got busy dressing all the employees, men and women, in outfits from the store.
Someone’s wife made a videotape of the story and sent it to the president of Eddie Bauer. A few weeks later, he flew out from Seattle to find out how we were experiencing so much success in a new market. That quarter, our store generated second highest sales in the district.
None of this is that important to you, except to know I have been around clothing and fashion for a very long time. It’s truly my love.
After Eddie Bauer, I moved on to sales at Neiman Marcus, where I accelerated my knowledge of couture and high-end designer garments for both women and men.
Though I loved retail, in my thirties, I decided to pursue a more lucrative career in financial services and suddenly, my focus became dressing the part, rather than dressing others!
My twenty years of outside financial sales to large corporations gave me a whole new level of fashion knowledge and sophistication. I was transferred from Houston to Chicago by one of the Fortune 500 firms I worked for, and then onto Southern California by another global firm.
Each new city taught me more about fashion and the styles trending in different locales. For instance, in Houston, women did and still do wear outfits everywhere! They have an ensemble for every occasion. It is not uncommon for Houstonian women to change several times a day, depending upon where they’re going.
In Chicago, it’s all about urbane classics and upscale, yet subtle style. Understated rules. As well as anything black. You pack up each morning in your stylish and sturdy outfit. One that can brave wildly fluctuating weather and public transportation.
I traveled about 80% of the time for my corporate positions, so I also learned how to make a few basic pieces do the heavy lifting for a full week of business meetings, often toting only a basic roll-on that had to fit into the overhead bins as I went from city to city.
When I moved to Southern California and began pole dancing for exercise, it kick- started my long-simmering craving to dress in more feminine ways. I finally ditched my black corporate uniform to explore the uncharted territory of softer fabrics, textures and colors. I loved feeling more womanly, even in my corporate life.
My new softer and more creative look began showing up in my paycheck too! Clients responded positively to my authentic appearance.
Southern California is also where I’ve learned the art of studied casual and working with color. Which is probably where I can help you the most. Putting casual, yet sharp outfits together in shades that most suit you, in the styles that work wonders for your body type.
I’ll admit, it took me a long time to master the California cool look. At first, I just didn’t get the whole layering thing, or how to appear as though I hadn’t tried very hard. To truly hone my casual style, I’ve hired many stylists over the years and learned from each of them.
And, I’ve studied. Boy, have I studied. Books, TV shows, style gurus. At the moment, I’m also working with a style coach as I launch this business to bring you the very best experience.
None of this eclipses the keen eye I have for colors and the composition of an outfit. Everywhere I’ve lived, women and a few men have asked me to help them with wardrobing and creating outfits from their own closets for the best looks. I love helping them because it allows me to return to my beloved retail days without the responsibility of running a store.
So, there you have it. My style story. I still get so excited about fashion and style. It’s the one enduring passion that’s never left me.
I can’t wait to share my style expertise with you. If you’re interested in up-leveling, changing or perfecting your style — which truly, will impact every area of your life, please reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org.