I was recently shopping at City Creek and decided to venture into a few of the high end designer stores. When most of the other stores were having Memorial Day sales, this particular store hadn't discounted anything. Instead, they served pretty macaroons, the ones with a cherry in the middle, and sparkling cider (this is Utah after all). With not a soul in the store, I quickly understood why. Not only were the prices of the clothes out of my league, but so were the salespeople. I felt like a highschooler in the presence of the ultra popular crowd. Before this modelesque salesgirl opened her mouth I could sense the frigid vibe coming from her causing me to laugh! I guess I forgot there are still people like that out there. She did eventually open her mouth to talk about the clothes and lacking the vocabulary fitting of the $400 price tag, I realized why she didn't speak sooner. Feeling like I didn't belong in the presence of such perfection, I grabbed a fancy macaroon (what? I love macaroons!) and moved on to another store. The clothes in the next store were equally as beautiful, and so were the salespeople. The ambiance was completely different though. It was warm, friendly, inviting and encouraging. The people were "real" and so were the clothes and their price tag. The second store conveyed the feeling I want my clients to have when they work with me. Uplifted, encouraged, energized, with the desire to make the world a better place.
This experience reminds me of my sweet, 82 year-old, client named Mary. She now lives in an assisted living center. Her daughter asked me to buy Mary a new wardrobe for Mother's Day. I was immediately impressed by how quick to smile and laugh Mary is....true beauty...the beauty that fancy macaroons and cider can't replace. But she was wearing stretched out clothing that showed her undergarments and I could tell that this just "wasn't her" she was a much more dignified woman than her present appearance reflected. Her daughter said she didn't know where the clothes came from, they weren't Mary's. After a one-hour consultation, shopping, and fitting, Mary smiled again at her small closet full of beautiful clothes (and a few fancy necklaces) that really fit her inside and out. I visited her a few weeks later and spoke to her attending nurse. She mentioned that there has been a change in Mary over the past couple of weeks and said, "She's been a lot different, she lets us do her hair, she loves wearing jewelry, it's as if she feels like a woman again."
This brings me to one of my favorite quotes, from Mary Stopes (unrelated to the Mary above), "You can take no credit for beauty as sixteen. But if you are beautiful at sixty, it will be your own soul's doing." Mary's beauty is burning bright again and she is giving back. Isn't that what's it's all about? To make a difference in the lives of enough people to make a positive difference in the world?
High-end designer store, you can keep your fancy shmancy macaroons. Mary's confidence and smile is much sweeter!
Image consultant and personal stylist. Dani is happily married, the mother of 3 charming children, and an Aussie named Josie Wales.