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Monday, November 7, 2011

Speaking at the Art Institute

Lucky for them!

Oh, to be young and so eager to make your mark in the world. I remember that feeling so well. Maybe I have been around just too darn long and am just seasoned like an avocado that is begging to be peeled and eaten. Wait a minute, am I talking about food or the students I spoke to this past week at the Art Institute of Durham?

I was invited to speak to a class of 15- 20 students ranging in ages from 18-29 years old. That is a lot of years in between! At eighteen, I was just so excited to be graduating from high school and heading to college. Free at last, free at last! As my parents dropped me at college I'm pretty sure I was not crying, but celebrating. I was eager to start working towards what I was most passionate about - fashion, of course!

The instructor at the Art Institute, Jessica Palmer, is a designer I met some months before at an emerging designer show, fashionSPARK. She designs gorgeous wedding dresses and also teaches several classes at the Art Institute. She asked me to speak to the group about what I do as a stylist. No problem for me. I went as far back as my days with dressing Barbies as a child to my first retail job and on and on. I won't bore you with all the details now, wait until my book comes out in 2012.

After I was done speaking to the group, the students each took turns stating their work interest and most recent internship. I marveled at the many accomplishments and was quick to recognize several motivated students. As I offered feedback and the dialogue flowed, I appreciated where they were at this point in their lives. So much ahead of them. I encouraged them to make the most of each internship and although they may find it is not exactly what they want to do for a career, it will offer insight to other possibilities. Recognizing opportunity and then being aggressive in what I call "a nice sort of way". It is the person who applies for a job, then follows up again and again until they hear something one way or another (Jeannie, do recognize this in me)?  Another interesting thing was that one of the students interviewed me last year by phone for one of her projects. Once she mentioned that, I giggled. I do remember that. I also remember telling her similar things to what I did the group. Here are my thoughts and motto's that I try to hold fast to myself in what I do as a stylist:
  • I am hired by people or companies because they do want to make change in their lives from where they are now. So make the change!
  • My goal is to make it a fun and non-stressful process for the client
  • A smile or laugh goes a long way especially when an outfit really doesn't seem to work well for them
  • No sense in complaining about our bodies. Everyone has something that should and can be accentuated. Beauty is truly within
  • Lastly, when I have completed my work with a client, they can expect to be able to jump into their closets daily and have the items they need for their lifestyle!

 It's all about lifestyle dressing!

I had what I call a great experience speaking to the students. Nothing is a bigger compliment in life than to provide experienced guidance to those starting in a similar profession!

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