V: What is your education/employment background?
J: I’ve been a teacher most of my “adult” life. I waited A TON of tables before that. I hustled my way through school so I could start working. I‘ve got a degree in English (which I buck conventions of whenever possible) and a Master’s Degree in Education. My newest, and dare I say proudest , accomplishment is completing training as an Image Consultant (and soon to be Bridal Consultant!!!) Jennifer Maddern, CBS, I can’t wait!
V: Is being a Stylist/Image Consultant something you’ve always wanted to do?
J: I was already doing it, I just didn’t know it was a career! I have always loved helping my friends and family look and feel their best. In a rare moment of clarity, I realized I could have a career out of something I love.
V: What made you decide to finally go for it and start your own business?
J: Ooh. This one is sort of a downer, but it has a happy ending. I was diagnosed with Cervical Cancer in 2011. During my treatment, I missed too much work and lost my job. When it was time to finally go back to work and start applying for jobs again…I panicked. I felt I was being untrue to my simplest needs and myself. There is something called Post-Traumatic-Growth…it’s incredible. PTG happened to me, it gave me the freedom to give the bird to my “shoulds” and embrace my “needs”.
V: What is your favorite part of your job?
J: When my clients realize they can have control over their wardrobes, a light comes on in their eyes! It’s so amazing giving people the tools to be a little happier. Oh and the shopping, obvi right? I get to shop vicariously through each client.
V: What’s the hardest part of your job?
J: The hardest part right now is balancing home life and work life. I’m blessed to be home with my two-year-old son Max…I’m also “blessed” to be home with my two-year old…very two-year-old Max.
V: What does a regular day for you look like?
J: (I pretended this day didn’t have any interruptions and I was able to accomplish everything I sought out to do, in reality this would be done over 3 or 4 days’ time)…I might spend the morning interviewing a client and analyzing her/his “Style Recipe”, I do some homework , make them a personalized Pinterest page with clothes that I believe would suit their needs, pack up my gear (rolling clothes rack, full length mirror, tubs) and head to the client’s house, go through the closet editing process (which takes about 4 hours) determine which items are needed to “fill in the gaps” of their wardrobe, go “pre-shop” a designated store for client, client arrives and heads straight for dressing room, client falls in love with the clothes I have chosen and chooses his/her favorites, client and I drink coffee and hug because we are so happy, we head back to client’s house and I incorporate new clothes into existing wardrobe, I “shop the closet “ and create 10 – 20 complete outfits for client to wear, I take pictures of these outfits and catalog them for client use and reference. I sleep hard.
V: What advice do you have for someone who wants to get into your field?
J: Check out the AICI website first! It has all the legit info you need to know, research Image Consultants in your area and see what it looks like for them, go to http://mackenzieimage.com and check out their training options. Trust me, this is the place. Don’t let anything stop you. If you are unhappy where you are, make the changes. I’m not saying it’s going to be easy, I’m saying it’s going to be worth it ---(I thought I coined this phrase, but I’m pretty sure someone else said it first).