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By Connie Matthews, The Stylish Director, Personal Stylist, Brisbane Australia
Ever thought of becoming a Personal Stylist? Many have and this is how I arrived.
I grew up in the world of discipline and sport. Of course, I picked a sport that just wasn’t even heard of in the 70’s and, even worse, in Adelaide. Ice-Skating, and in particular – Figure Skating. The best way to describe the size of our rink was a postage stamp on an envelope.
My family was the typical European family where I was pegged as the star. I had been encouraged, beyond what a small child should, to perform at her pianoforte, to delight the entire European community. I loved the piano immensely, and to this day miss it terribly. However I did not love having to be consistently told when and what to play – and in particular Strauss. Maybe I was a little rebellious! Who’s to say when you are 5 and Elvis is rocking in the background. I do remember being particularly good at piano because I was in the newspaper – picture and all.
At some point, I had had enough. From there I moved to Ballet … as every little girl does. Once again, I was the apple of everyone’s eye.
Really, I just wanted to work at my pace, have fun and enjoy the ride. Needless to say, the process was repeated.
Then we changed suburbs, school and I was opened to a different and whole new community. That community took me Ice-Skating in the school holidays. And, I was hooked! I went every Wednesday evening and Saturday afternoon – around my postage stamp and it was bliss.
Without instruction, I could move quickly, spin and jump. A few bumps and bruises of course, but in the main I was mobile and best of all no-one could come onto the Ice and tell me what to do. Nor was the rest of the European community going to give up their time and come to a very cold place to watch a little girl skate. Clearly, I just loved that.
It was a couple years along before I could talk Mum into letting me have lessons – why am I not surprised! But as a Mum now, and qualified Coach, this isn’t something I would recommend. Two years of being self-taught is not a good thing. My Coach had such a hard time undoing all the terrible self-taught techniques. Having said this, it was another process and a journey that spanned 26 years. OMG … did I just say that out loud? I’m 21, really, I am!!! And my Granddaughter right now is yelling – NO YOU’RE NOT!!!
Yes, sport is an amazing journey. It teaches you things you don’t get from the educational system: Goal Setting, Planning, Determination, Mind over Matter, Attitude, Great Values and Behaviour, along with the drive to Succeed. All on my postage stamp.
When I started to compete interstate I nearly fell over backwards, this is where you laugh – ‘backwards’ – sorry it’s a pun … as I had no idea there was more in this world. If I had a regret, it would be that I did not realize the world of Ice-Skating was as big as it was and that I didn’t have the opportunity to train overseas.
Keep in mind, in the 70’s there was no Torvill and Dean. Nothing was publicized on the old black and white TV, I had no knowledge of what was out there. Truth be told, I couldn’t even speak English properly until I was 7 years old. That’s how engrained the European culture was with me. I was very sheltered.
By the time Torvill and Dean hit the scene, 1984, I had been coaching for a few years.
That was a long-winded story in bringing you to ‘How did I get here?’
Don’t you love it when someone says ‘back in my day’… I’ll try not to say it, however back then the scoring system for Ice-Skating was vastly different. In competition, we received 2 marks: Technical Merit and Artistic Impression. Shutttuppp!!! A score for looking pretty. No … not quite! But on the surface – close. The mark was ultimately given for Presentation. Now you see where I’m going.
Let’s think about this. If a whole mark is given for presentation does that reflect back into real life. Well I’m here to tell you – YEAH, it does.
I went from coaching Ice-skating to teaching Aerobics (I had the best leotards in the world), to gym instructor, PA to the MD of a major fitness chain at the time, then accidentally selling gym memberships, accidentally selling insurance and the last 20 years heavily involved in the corporate world selling advertising with a client base of $ 2.4M. Not bad for a little European chick that couldn’t speak English. That’s the short version by the way.
And yes, the way you look has a direct effect on your results. FULL STOP.
The world is a theatre, dress up every single day and perform. Your best performances will produce the best results. Live it, love it and enjoy it.
I recognised early on that the way you look impacts people – either negatively or positively. Which would you prefer to do? It’s: cause and effect, black and white, right and wrong. We all know which brings out the best in everyone so why on earth fight it. If you look great, dress well, are courteous you will move forward, people will want to be with you and work alongside you. You don’t have to have the most glaring personality either. Clothes give you the ability to stand out from the crowd before you even say a word.
For many, clothing may be a mask, but if you use it wisely you move forward in leaps and bounds.
If you have been following my blogs I’ve said ‘put yourself in the drivers’ seat and take control’. Only you have that power.
So … yes, here I am – a Personal Stylist in Brisbane, Australia. I understand the power of clothes. They have the ability to lift your self-esteem, attitude and to get attention.
If this is something you struggle with or just need a little tweeking, come to my Half Day Hands On Shopping Experience/Workshop which I hold each month – BOOK HERE. It’s always a small group. We start with the most important thing and that is – coffee and a chat. We work out a few logistics and off we go!
If you do think that a one on one is something that you would prefer, then let’s do that.
In the meantime, I do have monthly business meetings as well which you can get the details from HERE.
For the rest of the day, live in…
Style…as Individual as YOU!