Welcome to my NEW BLOG*.
This is a note to women, young and old, experiencing transition in life:
My first mentor asked me, "Why do you want to be a stylist?"
I answered, “To help other women.”
She said, “Whatever reason you say, it will be your biggest strength and your biggest weakness.”
With each new year that I have gotten deeper into the image industry, I discovered that my gut instinct was spot on. The more women I met, the more I wanted to give them confidence and answers to their questions. I did not just want to help with hair, but with the whole picture of image as it relates to WHO they are. As I sensed client needs beyond the salon chair, I took it a step further and invested in becoming a personal image consultant for individual clients as well. So much about our lives is reflected in our image- so much of how we feel about ourselves. Our image is often a gauge of how healthy we are…inside and out.
Working with women in the salon for the last 12 years, I have lived vicariously through many, many different lives at all different stages.
Each story is different but a common thread exists.
Each woman who needs a helping hand is walking into a new phase of life (whether a happy or sad phase) and the transition from one stage to another can be challenging physically, mentally, emotionally, and often hormonally. These things affect your image and confidence simultaneously.
Certain stories stick with me forever.
I think about Tammy who went through an incredibly public divorce after 30+ years of marriage. We finished our wardrobe work with a photoshoot to commemorate her new identity. I coached her while she progressed from anxious with a partial eating disorder into a happy and healthy weight. She allowed herself to gain weight with mixed feelings, but, you know, the whole experience was about rebuilding confidence and health. It was a personal success and such a joy to watch unfold.
When I last spoke to Penny she had suddenly lost her brother- found him in his home, alone and cold. This was the same month that her husband was having a blood tranfusion to treat his cancer. In this season, her two biggest supporters were suddenly absent from her life. I had no idea when I greeted her that day. It felt so good to see her smile and jive to the music playing in the salon for those fleeting moments while someone else could wait on her. It literally was the best moment of my entire year.
Last year, another client, Lisa, was put on a series of medications that caused her to rapidly gain weight. She had always had the physique of a model and the first time that I met her, I asked, "Has anyone ever told you that you look exactly like Princess Diana?" She laughed, "Yes, I used to get it all the time." (It was not until a few hours later that I noticed she had a collection of Princess Di books lining her bookshelves.) Nonetheless, she needed a new med badly and the weight was coming on at the pace of a pregnant woman (although it was years after her children were grown). Can you imagine the physical and emotional toll that takes after a lifetime of effortless beauty?
I have walked with women- young and old- through losing hair (and confidence) to chemo treatment, breasts to cancer, and children to the fates... and I have seen them build joy and confidence back up again. I have walked with women through the highs of marriage and childbirth and all the changes it brings to their bodies and lifestyles. It doesn’t matter what age- a our image represents WHO we are and reflects a personal sense of identity linked deeply to the seat of our emotion.
It wasn't until recently that I truly felt I had personally experienced some of the depth of transition through which I have watched and supported my clients over the years.
About a year and half ago I lost my father to cancer.
It was a premature death. He was only 56. The same month that he died, I was working on opening my very first salon and image studio.
I experienced an all time high and low simultaneously from that crazy transition. I never knew when I would suddenly need a good cry. In fact there were so many unexpected tearful moments alone in my car, that I decided to get permanent make up (tattoo). I was tired of all my mascara and eye liner washing away! My dad was gone and my young mother was in pieces, unavailable emotionally.
Regardless, I persevered. Things were moving along and I was on track….I got through a whole year with out even losing one paycheck. …Until, one day about 6 months ago... Frustrated by extreme fatigue, I discovered that I was pregnant. In the middle of developing new business and tired from constant perseverance through the emotional ups and downs, I had worked so hard to build a business right after my dad passed. My weight had fluctuated due to stress. After a year of constant re-evaluating and participating in a health support group, I was JUST starting to regain control over my body and my time. The entire reason I had gone off my usual birth control was to allow my hormones to rebalance... I felt it was unfair- I just needed some more time to heal, adjust, and recapture my independent spirit before diving into the selflessness of motherhood.
As it turned out, my husband and I were just starting to hunt for our first house. Again, I found myself driving in tears quite often, feeling alone and misunderstood, frequently frustrated that I couldn't “catch a break”... vacillating between shouting at God and giving myself "grown up" pep talks. Change after change was washing over me, whether or not by choice.
Except this time, I was NOT an observer. I was living it.
I more fully empathized with my clients than ever before.
having unexpected children,
having expected children,
going through menopause,
losing loved ones,
starting new careers
-- all of these things are real life, every day transitions that we ALL experience.
And I understand that with each transition, at some point, you get back on your feet, you have time to take a deep breath, and you start to focus. You begin to heal, take care of yourself, find balance, and get healthy.
The THING is, MOST TIMES, even if you could do it alone, it really makes a difference when you have a helping hand to encourage and navigate you through the process.
How do I know this? I have seen people get through it. And those who THRIVE, seek help when they need it.
I am image professional with a natural intuition and strong interpersonal skills- I can guide you through the muddle. Working together, we create space and environment for you to experience change safely while developing your image and confidence.
How? I truly take the time to listen, get to know you, and help you create and execute a realistic strategy.
I will help you represent yourself the best way possible. In the process, we simplify, de-clutter, and relieve stress. I am honored to offer my thoughts and simple strategies, via this new blog. But, there's more!
For the Month of MAY each YEar,
in honor of Mothers Day and all the hard working women out there seeking balance, I am offering a
FREE FACE-to-FACE WARDROBE CONSULTATION
Let me help you discover what image services are best for you.
(and mention this blog!)