Testimony: A Better Me
Last spring I took a new job as a director in the publishing industry. As excited as I was, about six months in, it became clear to me that I had transitioned my career from manager to young executive. Thrilling and a little scary.
This new job presented me with loads of opportunity, including the chance to gain valuable career advice and insights from our CEO, also a woman. During a mentoring session, one piece of advice she offered me was to up my game from an appearance perspective. While this might sound overwhelming or odd, it came from a place of great respect and care. Woman to woman, she shared with me that it’s not always easy as you progress, and she didn’t want my casual style to be an impediment. As women, we don’t need any additional obstacles in our way.
From years of working with technologists in Silicon Valley, my style had evolved to very casual and downright minimal in the make-up and hair department. While I was processing her advice, my first thought was simply, “Why isn’t being smart, good at what you do, and kind good enough?” But I had to admit, she had a point.
So off to the mall I went with my husband in tow to try to find my work style. We roamed from store to store utterly perplexed. For the life of me, I couldn’t figure it out. In my head I thought, “How is this possible? I am nearing 40 years old and I cannot dress myself.”
The consummate fixer, my husband pulled out his iPhone and came across Stoltz Image Consulting. He offered to take me straight there to see if they could help me. Admittedly, I was hemming and hawing as I was in disbelief that I could not figure this out on my own. What I didn’t know was that I was about to take an amazing journey with Elaine Stoltz as my guide.
I spent three and half hours with Elaine as she did a complete color analysis, taught me better ways to apply my makeup, and offered advice on clothes styles and shapes that would work best for me. I was skeptical at first, but as I learned, listened, and saw with my own eyes the recommendations that she made, I was completely convinced by the end of the day.
However, as they say the proof is in the pudding. So I put all of Elaine’s advice to use, and pulled together a few new outfits in the right colors and styles and bought the Stoltz Image makeup line to complete the look. I was ready. I headed out on my next business trip prepared. Wow, was I amazed. Whereas I had never really received compliments before on my appearance, I was showered with, “Wow you look great,” or “Those colors are amazing.” It was so fun.
I walked into the CEO’s office for a follow-up meeting to our session, and she was thrilled. First, she loved that I listened to her advice and took action. Second, she thought the look was great. Overall, she gave me an A+, and as a classic overachiever nothing could be better for me.
The best thing about Elaine was that she worked with me to make a better me, not a different me. To be honest, I’m a little bit of a quirky girl. I’ve got crazy curly hair and Texas charm. Those things make me who I am, and I didn’t want to be someone different. Rather, she enhanced me and my style so I could be the best me. The best side effect of all was that it boosted my confidence in ways I couldn’t imagine. My boss often praised me for my smarts, but said my confidence needed some work. Elaine helped me make giant strides in this area by simply realizing who I could be and how to feel comfortable in my own skin, and for that I am eternally grateful.
I can’t recommend anyone better than Elaine and Stoltz Image Consulting if you are looking to make a change. She is definitely part of my corporate education plan, and critical to my success. I look forward to continuing to grow and learn with Elaine.