I am very new to the writing world, so bear with me as I share two little stories/incidents of my career as an Image Consultant. What they made me learn/unlearn perhaps we will keep for a little later.
The first one goes like this. I have always felt the need to take a bit of extra effort in ‘looking the part’, even if I had to take an early morning flight at 5 a.m. My friends would make fun of me sometimes (including my hubby dearest), but I am glad I didn’t let it bother me much. I always felt I needed to be ready whenever the opportunity came knocking and it did! Even if it was after 30 odd flights.
It was when I was going to board an early morning flight back from Chennai. A mother daughter duo was flying to Mumbai for wedding shopping for their son/brother. We started chatting up at the lounge; they asked me if I could recommend some stores in Mumbai and I replied, “I most definitely can, as this is what I do for a living”. This got them and me excited and after we got into the flight the daughter swapped her seat with the gentleman next to me along with her latest edition of vogue wedding. We spoke and discussed a few things that could work for her, reviews on some stores, designers, etc. The aircraft flew, so did time. We landed, exchanged numbers and bid adieu. Now comes the best part; I get a call from the daughter before even my car reaches home asking me if they could take me on as a personal shopper for the next 2 days while they were in Mumbai. As, you might have guessed, I most definitely said YES!!
Now, coming to the second one. In my son’s school, I met a mother (who I was just acquainted with a little) at the Sports Day and the conversation went like this:
Other Mom: “You know I keep noticing you every now and then and I have always wanted to tell you, I love your accessories and your clothing style in general“
Me: “Thank you! It’s kind of my Job Description now“
Other Mom: “Oh! What do you do?”
And we started talking about what I do etc. for a bit, She said that what I do seems quite interesting and if I could share my card with her she could pass it on to someone who may need something like this. I gracefully thanked her along with my card. (Not having very high hopes, as this sought of a thing I had heard a lot of people say in the past, which didn’t quite materialize into anything)
2 weeks had passed; I was away for my cousin’s wedding in Haryana. Then, one afternoon I get a call from the MD of a large FMCG company, saying I have been highly recommended by her friend (the mother I met at school) and she is looking for someone like me. She already had someone from Delhi as a stylist, who she was not happy with. She also shared that she doesn’t go out anywhere shopping and everything has to come to her for trial. In our country, as you must be aware this is a little challenging with 99% of the stores only having an exchange policy and not a refund. She said we will start with accessories and the first being a watch. Based on how it went we will take it forward. We decided to meet after 4 days once I was back.
Once we met, after chatting up a little about the watch replica she wanted to buy she said “I am so much more comfortable after meeting you in person and speaking to you, so please do my work wardrobe, my casual wardrobe, my events styling everything.” She also added, “I am renovating my house and will give you 4 wardrobes empty for you to fill with the stuff you want me to wear.” In Mumbai where we are so challenged for space this was like a dream. She also complimented me on my accessories and my outfit, and I truly believe they played a big part in me winning the confidence of this client. And Since then, I started working with her on a monthly retainer helping her get compliments.
Certain things I realized/re-realized/learnt/re-learnt:
- Do what you believe in, even if people are laughing at you (that includes friends and family) or even if it means waking up at 3.00 a.m.
- Take no situation for granted, as far as ‘looking the part’ is concerned, you never can tell when an opportunity can come knocking.
- Help people with your knowledge, you have nothing to lose. It will be rewarded in some way. Sometimes immediately, sometimes not so immediately.
- Don’t be cynical, when someone is saying anything positive at all (irrespective of your disappointments in the past). Who knows this might be that one person who gives you the lead of a lifetime!
- Face-to-face meetings have so much more impact than a telephonic talk. Has to be, as we get to use one of the most important resource at our disposal – our appearance!