With my new site came new pictures, and before that, a new wardrobe. Here’s how I did it: I hired an image consultant, Leslie Davies.
What motivated me to seek out an Image Consultant?
For three years I have trained to become a professional speaker. I recently enrolled in a professional speaking course through the Calgary chapter of the Canadian Association of Professional Speakers (CAPS). One of the “lessons” was about who is on my team? Who could help me get to the next level of my goal?
I looked at other professional speakers. I noticed the most credible are usually well put-together, especially the women. And I know why. We audiences are so critical, especially us women, including me.
I decided that a vital part of my business needed to be a credible visual image that I present on stage. (I know I will never please everybody, but if I present myself professionally, I hope to win the confidence of the majority of my audience).
I’m not totally inept, but I tend to not care much about fashion. I don’t think of shopping as a sport or therapy, but as a necessary evil because running around naked is not an option. Believe me. I’m 55. It’s NOT an option!
I’ve always said if I won a lottery I would hire a personal shopper. I didn’t win the lottery but I recognized the value of having help with this important part of my success.
Why did I choose Leslie?
Part of the speaking course fees covered the CAPS monthly Saturday meeting, where I first noticed Leslie Davies.
It’s hard to not notice Leslie. She is attractive and always well put together. She dresses to suit her body and her make-up enhances her natural beauty. She smiles a lot and is warm and welcoming despite her polished appearance.
When I discovered she is an image consultant and professional speaker (see her web site at: http://www.lesliedaviesimageexpert.com/) it made perfect sense to investigate if Leslie could help me. And she did.
Leslie’s approach is professional with a tender touch. She is respectful of personal choices and is tactful in her presentation of her opinions. Her consultation process was detailed, thorough, and frequently backed up with logic. For example, she pointed out that with my body type, slim legged pants are preferable to the wide and boxy. I was able to prove that theory as I shopped. It was remarkable the difference that one style tip made.
Leslie went out of her way to accommodate my special needs. Because I know what is in cosmetics, I vowed years ago to avoid cosmetic carcinogens. I advised Leslie that I needed to find a line of make-up that was as healthy as possible. She found one that lists all their ingredients online, which is more than most companies do. It contains minimal bad stuff and the bonus is the foundation doesn’t itch me!
She helped me choose the best colours for me, gave me style and make-up lessons and offered to help when I expressed that I am still awkward with applying my eye-shadows.
I had decided to shop for my new wardrobe (which I needed because I lost 30 pounds) in Phoenix. I was nervous about making these important decisions without Leslie, but she provided me with a list of pieces to fill the gaps and advice on how to expand my wardrobe.
I had more fun shopping than I’ve ever had. I was confidently discerning in my choices and I am very pleased with my new look. I came home with 59 pieces (for comparatively little money) that almost all mix and match or complement my limited pre-existing clothing. I could not have done it without Leslie’s guidance and encouragement.
When I returned home with my finds, Leslie helped me put together outfits for my photo shoot with Edward Ross Photography http://edwardrossphotography.com/ She also attended the shoot to mind the details. She touched up make-up, suggested props and perspectives and ensured I looked my best by repositioning stray hairs and wayward collars. Seeing her smiling face with its implied support did much to make me comfortable in front of the camera.
What was the outcome? Result? How do I feel now versus before?
The outcome of all this is a new me, complete with a new wardrobe that I chose with deliberation; a wardrobe that suits my body and personal style and more importantly, will open the door for me professionally. When you know that the clothes you’re wearing bring out your best features, it’s darned hard not to feel dizzyingly confident!
People have been asking me what I’ve done to look so young lately. Dropping the weight helped but buzz really started when I showed up in my new clothes with my new make-up (and the subsequent aura of confidence).
Knowing that my physical image is as good as it can be frees up my attention to more important things like delivering my content professionally and truly concentrating on serving my audience compassionately.
While I feel new, I’m still me. I’m better, but I don’t feel fake. That’s important.
Was my investment in time and money worth it? What would I tell other women who are considering Leslie?
I am inherently frugal but I have learned that you usually get what you paid for.
I likely could have found appropriate clothing and make-up myself, eventually. I’ve been on that hunt before and it has run the gamut of blister-inducing, (roaming malls looking for something that works for me) to outright desolation and complete feelings of inadequacy when I can’t find something that fits my freakish shape.
Leslie helped me see myself as unique and beautiful, but not unusual in my frustration to find suitable off-the-rack clothing. She gave me solutions to some of the problems that had obstructed me in the past. She reminded me about myself and made it easier for me to make comfortable choices.
Leslie was ever sensitive to my budget. I was never pressured or felt like I was being swindled or provided a non-service.
I highly recommend Leslie to any woman who wants to super-size her image, whether for her day to day feelings of self-worth or to improve her credibility as a team leader.
We like to pretend looks don’t matter but the data says otherwise. Our visual presentation influences our successes in business and relationships and even determines our salaries.
As the Mastercard commercial would say: Image Consulting with Leslie Davies: $XXX, new make-up and wardrobe: $XXX; turning heads when you walk into a room: priceless.