Career

An Image Consultant Shares How to Build a Post-College Wardrobe

July 27, 2016

This past weekend we had the pleasure of meeting up with Ginger Burr of Total Image Consultants, one of the most popular image consultants in the Boston area. I had first learned of Ginger while doing extensive market research on starting my own image consulting business when I was in college. Now, years later, we finally had the chance to meet in person! Laura and I drove to Ginger’s studio late Saturday afternoon and spent hours chatting about image consulting, style, what it means to be a female entrepreneur and so much more. Laura and I instantly felt at home in her space and began talking with Ginger as if we had known her forever.

We were taken aback by how humble and honest Ginger was in recounting her personal story. It’s not every day (especially in the fashion industry) where a person will openly share how they built their business and give you insider tips. When sharing stories of working with her plethora of clients it was evident that she deeply values empowering women of all backgrounds. This was one of the many ways that Ginger demonstrated her true authenticity and warmth. As soon as you walk through her door, you enter into a comfortable sitting space composed of cozy furniture with touches of teals and golds.

We are very eager to share with you some of the questions we talked to Ginger about. If you are also in a transitional point in your life, then you may find her words truly uplifting. As any young adult beginning your career, it is crucial that you understand more about yourself and identify what you want out of life. What we loved most about our conversation with Ginger was that she also did not have her whole life put together by her mid-twenties. Her story reminds us that no one does. These years can be tough, but they can also be immensely transformative. Becoming a top image consultant, or obtaining any impressive job title, really, is not achieved overnight. It is a journey. 

totalimageconsultantsTell us a little about yourself. If anyone had suggested when I was in my 20’s that I would be an image consultant I would have laughed. I grew up in a little town called Feeding Hills. No one there knew what an image consultant was let alone used one. Add to that the fact that I felt totally clueless about how to dress myself so how could I help someone else dress! I did, however, have a great desire to learn about fashion, but it was a different world back then – no internet, no makeover television shows and no one I knew could help me. Thankfully, when I was just about to turn 30 I met a woman, Nevena, who changed my life forever. I attended a 3-day workshop she offered called, Fashion, Color & Image. I knew immediately that it was exactly what I wanted to do with my life and that Nevena was the one to teach me. As a result, for the past 29 years I have been doing something I love that helps empower women to feel great about who they are and how they look. I feel blessed to do what I do every day!

gingerburrWhat can people expect when working with an image consultant? First of all, image consultant services are not just for someone who is famous or wealthy. They are for everyone. Most of my clients are regular women who understand the power of their image but feel they need help making that happen. When I work with my clients there are several things they will receive:

  1. Help creating a wardrobe that truly reflects who they are and meets their lifestyle needs.
  2. A plan that honors their budget. A great wardrobe can be had at any budget and knowing where to shop to maximize their budget is important. I remember asking one young client what her budget was for our shopping spree. She said $300. I asked her how many items she wanted to get for that amount and she said 10. This helped me make suggestions for where to go and we did well at H&M.
  3. Styling tools so they can feel more confident shopping and making choices for themselves. There is no exact science to creating a wardrobe and there is plenty of conflicting information available about what you should or shouldn’t wear. The tools (a personalized color palette, Fashion Fit Formula and their own inner beauty words) will help them navigate the stores with more ease and success.

imageconsultantmentor copy copytotalimageconsultantsgingerWhat advice do you have for young women who are looking to build a career wardrobe post college? Find out what others more senior in the profession you are pursuing wear to work. Yes, we live in a more casual world than we used to, but an employer wants to see that you have made an effort to appear professional – it is an act of respect. Once you have a job you represent the company while you are working and you want your image to reflect positively on that company. Employers and managers notice these things so if you want to advance in your profession this will go a long way to help that happen.

What advice do you have in general for young people who are in such a transitional point in their lives? What do you wish you could go back and tell your 23 year old self? I would tell myself two things:

  1. Stop trying to dress like everyone else just to fit in. It is your uniqueness that is beautiful and you should celebrate that not try to hide it.
  2. Get help if you need it. I wish that I had not spent so much time floundering with what looked good on me. I wasted a lot of money and never felt empowered in my clothes because my efforts were all hit or miss (mostly miss!). If I knew then what I know now about how to dress I would have had so much more self-confidence at a younger age.

accessorizeLastly, what things can young women do to help build their overall confidence? 

  1. Don’t compare yourself to others. Celebrate your uniqueness. For many years in my youth I compared myself to others both in terms of how I looked and my accomplishments. I never felt like I measured up and that thinking never helped me feel good about myself. When you cultivate what makes you special and believe in yourself, your positive energy is contagious and others will believe in you, too.
  1. Appreciate what you have. It is so easy to let negativity infiltrate our lives. Years ago I watched a video called ‘The Strangest Secret.’ It was a precursor to today’s popular law of attraction philosophy. The takeaway was that, ‘you become what you think about most.’ In our world, where bad news is everywhere it’s so easy to get bogged down in that. But, that negativity is not what you want to cultivate in your life. Spend some time each day—maybe during your morning shower or before you fall asleep at night—expressing all the ways in which you appreciate what you have. Even simple things like being thankful for your hot shower or the sun shining will make you smile. This one small act can help draw more good things to you.

imageconsultantsThank you so much again Ginger!


If you are interested in learning more about Ginger Burr, or about her services, you can reach her here


Love,

Blog-Signature-Hannah

+ Laura

A #GirlBoss Weekend – Planning Your Perfect Girls’ Weekend

July 9, 2016

girlsweekendseaglassin The problem with being a #girlboss is that we lead crazy, hectic, fulfilling, demanding, stressful, and exciting lives. Whether you’re juggling work and school, putting in extra hours in the office, putting in extra hours outside of the office on a business venture or passion, raising kids, or some combination of these things, it isn’t easy keeping up with these unrelenting demands. But girl bosses are always up for the challenge, often sacrificing their own health and sanity to make it work. seaglassinncape Recently, I watched the movie The Intern (how could I resist an Anne Hathaway and Robert De Niro joint appearance?) In the first half hour of this movie I was having major Devil Wears Prada feels. Anne Hathaway plays a badass CEO of a startup online retailer. She lives in a gorgeous NY brownstone and she’s a mom and wife on top of it all. Well…*spoiler alert* she’s also seriously burnt out.  I say all that to say this – there’s nothing wrong with trying to “have it all.” But prioritizing yourself, your happiness and well-being, is ultimately paramount. You can only give so much of yourself to your job or others before you literally run out, and that moment when you hit empty is often a jarring one. You eventually crash into the realization that you’re not physically or emotionally able to keep the juggling act going. So before you reach that place, stop whatever your doing and take some “me” time. And don’t feel guilty about it. You’ve earned this. seaglassinnbathroomseaglassinn
Hannah and I recently took a much needed girls’ weekend in beautiful Provincetown, where we stayed at the Seaglass Inn – a quaint hotel and resort just a short walk away from the city center or the ocean. After five years of school and new full time jobs we were so ready for a vacation. But we wanted to go somewhere that was both relaxing and had plenty of to do – so staying in Ptown was perfect. Our hotel had a gorgeous pool, complimentary breakfast, and a spa which definitely checked off the relaxation box. And the crisp white linens, dark wood furniture, and gorgeous bathroom (complete with my fave…subway tiles!) created a perfect oasis.

But perhaps what made Seaglass the perfect home away from home were the people. From Nadine, the owner, to Steve, the general manager, and Pat (a  fellow Patricia) we felt extremely welcomed and comfortable. Unlike being at a giant hotel you really feel an intimacy and homelike quality staying at an inn like Seaglass.

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So without further ado…

The TFC Recipe for the Ultimate Girls’ Weekend

1. Lounge by the pool

2. Wade in the ocean

3. Make friends with the locals

4. Run through sand dunes

5. Treat yourself to an extravagant dinner

6. Eat all of the oysters you can handle

7. Enjoy a wine tasting

8. Bond with your best girlfriends

9. Dance, laugh, and dance some more


Our Cape Favorites

Best Home Away from Home: The Seaglass Inn & Spa

Best Seafood: Moby Dick’s Restaurant

Best Winery: Truro Vineyards

Best Extravagant Dinner: Twenty Eight Atlantic

Love,

Love Hannah + Patricia, Blog Signature

 This post was created in collaboration with The Seaglass Inn & Spa

Yes, You Too Can Be a Creative

June 2, 2016

armyjacket

Hi, I’m Patricia and I’m a type A perfectionist. I work at an insurance company by day and graduated with my MBA. I’m the opposite of what you’d call a “creative” type. So you can imagine what happened when I started blogging. I corrected every comma. Seriously, every single comma. I’d type up a sentence…delete it…continue typing…look up a synonym on google…take a break from banging my head against the computer…and so the saga continued. I’m sure you’re wondering how often that has happening in this post, aren’t you? Well, I’m not telling.

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Anyway, then I got this fancy DSLR (Hannah’s camera) and became obsessed with beautiful photography. But also completely and utterly frustrated at the quality of my photography. The worst part was that I didn’t even know where to begin with manual mode and don’t even get me started on photo editing. I would spend countless hours staring at the computer screen trying to figure out the exact brightness and contrast of each photo. I’d often think to myself, I am just not cut out for this creative stuff. Let me go back to my spreadsheets and emails and call it a day.

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But I’m persistent so I just kept playing with this thing until finally by sheer trial and error I started getting half decent pictures. Still, I was dissatisfied. And that’s when my lovely friends Nina and Alicia at Bluefly Lens were all like, “hey we’ll teach you!” It pays to have equally talented and generous friends. They put me through a super fun crash course in all things photography – aperture, shutter speed, ISO, composition… you name it. And guess what? We got some pretty cool pictures out of it too. In fact, the photos in this blog post were shot by Hannah with direction from Nina and Alicia and I’m OBSESSED.

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So moral of the story is this – don’t count yourself out. Of anything. While no one is good at everything and we all have our strengths and weaknesses this doesn’t mean you can’t develop new skills and pick up new passions. Be teachable and accept the fact that you may frankly suck at it to start. However, if you love it and stick with it you can achieve your goals (it helps to have supportive friends too).

So go on you type As get crazy and never forget that your type “a-ness” is a gift and you too can be a creative.

P.S. I’m currently rocking caramel highlights and natural curls – I definitely owe you all an update so stay tuned. Thank you for your continued patience and support! xoxo


Special thank you to my friends and amazing photographers at Bluefly Lens and M. Pope Jewelers for that gorgeous bracelet!

 

Love,

Blog Signature Patricia

Shattering Stereotypes in Menswear Part II

January 28, 2016

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The Dark Knight

Our superhero saga continues. In my last post I introduced you to my fiancé, Zachary, a pro powerlifter who’s shattering stereotypes with his many daring style choices. I started off the series with a nod to the new movie Batman v Superman. In the last post we showcased a Superman worthy look – a preppy all American outfit with your classic bow tie, polo, and pocket square. This time we’re switching things up and bringing you an all black look fit for the dark knight.

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The thing about personal style is that it is an outward expression of who we are. Our favorite pieces always tell a story or speak to a facet of our personality. For Zachary, this unexpected take on casual wear pays homage to the city streets he grew up in. The sweatpants with their metal hardware are reminiscent of these industrial surroundings.

The sneakers and snapback are must haves,  streetwear staples that have roots in his 90’s childhood.

But never one to allow himself to be restricted he accessorizes the look with a sporty Burberry watch and a pair of geeky chic frames more fit for Clark Kent.

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This urban chic side of Zack’s personal style is integral to both his past and present. They speak to his past and the 90’s hip hop era which first sparked his love for fashion.

They are reminders of the great hip hop war between East and West (Tupac is still not allowed to play in our car) and will always be a part of his style identity.

There is nothing wrong with holding on to elements of your past just as along as they evolve with you and the changing fashion trends. He’s traded in his baggy sweat pants for something that speaks to his more grown up and streamlined fashion sense while still paying homage to where he came from.

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Ingredients:

Hat: Crew Love

Sweater: Zara

Sweatpants: Zara

Glasses: Zara

Shoes: Air Force One Fusions

Watch: Burberry

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LOVE,

Blog Signature Patricia

+ Zachary

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