When I officially “launched” my business, it seemed, according to statistical research, the only way to put yourself out there is through social media. I didn’t even think of social media as a noun until the last year or so.
So here’s the quick scoop. Years and years and years ago I graduated from college with a degree in Finance. I worked very, very hard for that degree and have no regrets. I got a job in the booming late 90’s and pre Y2K years in mutual funds. I was doing well. But my interest and passion for my job was slipping away faster than a reality star’s fifteen minutes of fame.
You know how you have that guy that you dated and you wanted to break up with him, but were too lazy to go through with it, and then suddenly he dumps you and then you are all like “Wait a minute! I was so gonna dump you first!”? That is kind of what happened with my career in Finance. After September 11, 2001 the bank markets I serviced took a serious nose dive. I showed up for work about a couple of weeks before Christmas on what started as a normal day. Around 2pm that afternoon a select group of us were called into an unscheduled meeting. We were handed severance package folders and asked to hand over our company id’s immediately. There was no going back to our desks, we would have to make a separate appointment to “collect our things.” I felt like a criminal. If you have ever been laid off you have a mixture of anger and confusion streaming through your body, kind of like when you have pms only to discover that someone put the ice cream container back in the freezer with only a half a spoonful left in the carton. WTF???? I’m either going to kill someone or cry. Maybe both.
They paid to send us to off-site career counseling, a grown-up version of the high school guidance counselor. Back in the day they still had money to burn, even on laid-off employees, I am sure they figured it helped with the “angry” factor. What do you want to be? Who do you want to be? What do you like? My answers were dogs and clothes. I actually contemplated combining the two.
After I picked my pathetic self up off of the ground I heard of a lead from a good friend of a boutique owner opening her second location. She was looking for a manager. I went in to the interview and told her I had no retail experience but I had been subscribing to and reading Vogue magazine since I was 12. She gave me a chance. (Thanks Nellie!!) And I had the support of a fabulous hubby that told me to go for it.
Almost 11 years later I am still there. It was where I hit my stride. When I managed the store and worked very long hours and customers could make your head spin it still felt like the day was flying by. And what was once my hobby reading was now my required reading. I had a career that fit with my life. AMEN.
I managed the store for a few years and was lucky enough to be home for my two munchkins. Each time after becoming a mother I would go back to working in the store, having a whole new level of appreciation as to what women needed and wanted in their wardrobes. Many of our customers complained of floundering in their closets, buying more clothes but not really making any outfits. Many of them said they need Garanimals, adult style. They also said they needed motivation to clean out and declutter. I had a solution.
With friends and family my favorite hobby of sorts was to delve into the deepest darkest depths of their closets, having them reemerge anew and refreshed. Kind of like in the Poltergeist movie when that tennis ball goes through the tv set in poltergeist and comes out through the closet, but without the blood or the creepy stuff. Okay kinda not like that but you get the general idea. My point being that I LOVE MY JOB. I love it so much I seriously want to shout it from the rooftops, or just the third story of Nordstroms.
The best part about my job is that most of my customers, even if strangers to start, hug me at the end. It is cathartic. They stand a little bit taller, they smile. You know how Santa comes in with a big black sack? I am the opposite in that I leave with sacks filled with emotional and physical baggage. I take the old clothes away and out of your home so that you can start a new life and a new you. We get rid of the stuff, evaluate who you are, your needs and your wants. That is why each consult is unique. I usually start with a Q&A form that I have created to get to know you better and help to determine what you want out of your session. It’s your money and your time so short of you asking me to teach you Zumba for 3 hours I will pretty much help you with anything.
I have grand plans to update my services offered section in the near future to provide some more details. Until then here are some things to keep in mind.
1. Get to know me. Going through your closet is a relationship operating on a two-way street. Read my website, call me on the phone, set up a mini date. I want you to be comfortable enough to have me in your home. One of the main reasons I write this blog is so that you can get a feel for what kind of person I am.
2. If you think you want me in your home please know that WE WILL HAVE FUN! I want you to relax. I have clients answer their door nervous and others answer in their underwear ready to try on clothes. I am down for whatever as long as you are happy. I can’t say as much for the UPS man.
3. You don’t have to clean up before I come over. Think of me as your friendly family foot doctor who has seen every wart and bunion. I have seen it all and then some. Nothing shocks me, nothing phases me.
4. The time is yours, so you need to decide how we spend it. If you prefer to clean out your closet first so that we spend more time creating outfits, “shopping” from your own closet that’s great! If you don’t even want to be a part of the process and you want to sit downstairs with your feet up, coffee in one hand and tabloid mags in the other that’s great too! I will go in, clean out, straighten up, and rearrange for you.
The other main reason I blog is because handing out styling tips is like throwing candy at a parade to little kids. It makes people happy!! Selfishly of course, this in turn makes me happy. I think people feel better about themselves when they dress to reflect who they want to be.
I know my updates have been sporadic on when exactly I post. I blame the two little people who are sleeping upstairs right now and their increasingly hectic schedules. My goal is to aim for once a week, usually midweek. Want to stay in the loop?
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Thanks for your support!
*Insider Tip –