Explore Who You Are
I grew up on a cattle ranch, the county had a population of 6,000. My mother was not fashionable or interested in fashion at all. I did not have any guidance in the art of fashion.
It was after college, marriage and a move to Los Angeles when I discovered my love of image. Classes on tailoring and dressmaking lead to a year-long class at UCLA on the Psychology of Line and Design that truly awakened my passion. Even though I was the mother of two young children and had to get up early the next morning to teach school, I would come home from class so excited that I could not get to sleep.
The ensuing years brought divorce and the responsibility of raising my children but I managed to continue to study whenever possible. People would ask me to help them choose a wardrobe to return back to work, to help them with their closet or to speak at their church or ladies’ group. Even after relocating to Atlanta, remarrying and joining my husband in his business, there was always a thread of staying active in my love of image.
Style with Aplomb. Aplomb is a French word. I don’t like the ordinary. I’m taking French. Studying French. Love going to France. Taking advance composition conversation in French. I like the word. Confidence with flair. Confident and not arrogant. Look comfortable in their skin and look extraordinary. I think the dictionary says confidence.
What made you decide to finally realize your lifelong dream?
About eight years ago, my husband decided to transition out of his business, affording me the opportunity to pursue my own dreams. My daughter said, ‘Mom, this has been your passion as long as I can remember. Do something with it!’ She discovered AICI (Association of Image Consultants International) and found that their international meeting was in Atlanta. With her urging, my family surprised me with a ticket to attend this conference. There, I learned AICI offered certification so I took the test and became certified. Recognizing that I needed more formal training, I researched the different programs available and chose to study with one of the top image consultants/trainers in the world, Carla Mathis of Body Beautiful in Los Angeles. I am certified in all levels of her training. Ongoing studies through workshops and webinars is an important part of being able to stay fresh and up to date.
My new business was launched when I was over 60 years old. I have a website and a weekly blog. I specialize in women over forty in transition. This could be a job search or seeking a promotion, change in a relationship, having become an empty nester, weight gain or loss or any number of transitions life seems to present. Clients learn to identify their personal style – who they are deep down inside. They discover which styles best complement their body shape and the colors that work best with their natural coloring as well as their personality.
What were the specific obstacles that you faced?
Recognition. It’s hard to educate people about what I do and that it can be valuable to them. It’s education.
I was in a workshop where a lady was wearing orange. She was a cool-toned woman and a beautiful rich pink or magenta would have looked much better. When I mentioned that yellows, lime greens are not the best colors for you, she responded, ‘I don’t care. I like to wear them I’m going to wear them.’
It has to come from the inside, they don’t know what they don’t know. They don’t realize that they are not being the most beautiful person they can be.
Were there people who tried to discourage you?
No. My husband and children were very supportive.
How did you feel when you finally accomplished your lifelong dream?
What a joy to see light bulbs go off when someone really understands why one garment will bring many compliments and others do not. It has been a special privilege to present annual workshops in the South of France. My husband often comments when he hears me working with a client, ‘You can’t be working. You are having too much fun!’
What advice would you give to others contemplating finally living their dream?
Go for it, but do some research. Know what you’re doing and why you are doing it. Do you have the right gifting to be in that field? If it’s a passion, you will want to learn and continue to gain expertise. Keep learning and growing so that you keep new, fresh ideas.
Don’t be afraid to get out there, make mistakes, get experience, do free workshops, whatever makes sense. If you enjoy writing, start out with a blog. Work with somebody that can help you write a book.
To learn more about Beryl and Style with a Plomb, visit here.