We rise by lifting others
Women empowering women
This week saw the launch of my Shop Your Wardrobe 21 Day Style Challenge. Each day there is a different challenge and I’m providing tips, mini video tutorials etc. As well as me sharing tips and tricks each day it’s interesting to see other people’s responses to that day’s challenge. You get loads of inspiration and ideas of things to try yourself that might jazz up your outfits.
As with all my work it’s about women empowering women – we rise by lifting others.
I ran my first 21 Day Style Challenge in 2016 and it was a great way to brighten up a gloomy January. I’ve gone on to run several challenges since then and what blows me away every time is the way that the community comes together.
I love how the challenge helps everyone connect with likeminded women in a safe, supportive environment in the Style Sisterhood Facebook group, which is an amazing, energised community of fabulous women – highly recommended whether it’s challenge time or not!
Us women forget just how much we can support and inspire each other just by being together with a common purpose. We understand each other and the power of coming together as a community can be incredible. There’s always a lovely feeling of camaraderie generated between everyone who takes part.
Compassion more than fashion
By working through the daily challenges over the 21 days you learn so much about yourself, what you like and why you like it – it really helps you focus on understanding your personal style but it’s about so much more than that.
My whole business is about empowering women. I teach them how to dress with confidence and enjoy self-expression through colour and clothes; to reclaim their identity. It’s about compassion more than fashion. When you stand in front of your wardrobe, frustrated because you have nothing to wear, often it’s not just about the clothes.
So many women feel like they’re in a rut, especially when they get to 40 or 50 years old. The kids are getting older but they’re possibly looking after elderly parents now; their body shape has changed, and menopause is knocking, and they’re sometimes experiencing divorce, redundancy or workplace trauma, like I did.
These life experiences conspire to knock your confidence, but by harnessing the power of colour and clothes you can alter so much about who you are, how you feel and how you show up in the world. You can absolutely be who you want to be and express yourself, whatever your age, shape or size.
You might not realise that you can improve your boundaries – I didn’t.
Improving your self worth
Looking back over my life, I can now see how I’ve allowed circumstances and events to impact on my feelings of self-worth. Like the disfiguring scars from all the surgery I’ve had on my hip, which look like a shark bit a chunk out of the left-hand side of my body. Or the limp I’ve had most of my life. Or the fact that I’ve been conscious of my weight since the age of nine and spent a long time worrying about being fat (even when I wasn’t). And then the two car accidents – the catalyst for my clinical depression in later years.
Because of this, amongst other things, I’ve had boyfriends who didn’t deserve me, put up with bosses and colleagues who treated me badly and worn clothes just because they fit me.
I spent a lot of time being the statue more often than the pigeon instead of the flamingo I was born to be.
Statues are not colourful, stuck in one place and get shit on. Pigeons are grey with a bit of colour around their neck but nothing too adventurous, they blend into the crowd. Whereas the flamingo is bold, colourful and proud, standing out from the crowd.
I allowed myself to make do and put up with stuff. Not anymore!
Making a difference
My work is based on the fact that I recognised I could use the power of my story, plus all my knowledge and experience with colour, clothes, makeup and teaching skills, and bring it all together into a rewarding, fulfilling business that makes a difference to the lives of other women who are also making do in some way.
I graduated from Loughborough College of Art with a BA Hons in textiles and fashion in 1988. I then worked as a designer, creating printed fabric for the fashion industry and in the specialist area of the colour forecasting industry, predicting trends. My work was distributed in many High Street stores including Miss Selfridge, Oasis, Burtons, Dorothy Perkins, Marks & Spencer, BHS, Littlewoods, Monsoon and Next, as well as many American brands. It was always fun seeing things I’d designed in the actual shops.
I moved on to teaching others how to design during my time as a college lecturer working in further and higher education. When I became a mum, I went back to my first love of make-up, joined the world of party plan and became an area manager for Virgin Cosmetics. Eventually followed by a stint in prison education until 2013 when I set up my business.
Project your best, most fabulous self
As founder of the 4 step Project FAB! System I now draw on my background in textiles and fashion design and experience as a lecturer to deliver presentations, workshops, consultations and online programs. It’s my passion to help other women reclaim their identity and boost their self-worth and confidence; no more making do.
My Project FAB! framework is about putting you at the centre of your own project with a view to projecting your best, most fabulous self. Think back to your school days and being set a homework project for the summer holidays. You probably had to do some research, planning and reflecting.
My book, online courses and coaching packages have been created to get you started on the most important project you will ever work on – yourself. I’m no psychologist, but I know for sure that your personal appearance can impact on how you feel.
To be successful, my framework relies on you taking action in the following areas:
Being more you – this is about exploring your identity and being more yourself than you’ve ever been before
Believing you’re worth it – this is about being willing to set boundaries and putting yourself at the front of the queue
Believing you can do it – this is about having the self-belief and confidence to make the transformation you desire
The Shop Your Wardrobe 21 Day Style Challenge is a free, fun taster of what it might be like to work with me. I’d love you to join us – it’s not too late. Jump in here. It’s my absolute mission to help women shift from feeling drab to fab, okay to awesome and help them become the flamingo amongst the flock of pigeons this free challenge could be the start of your journey.
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