Your professional style sets the tone for your first encounter, from how you feel once you put on that final accessory and grab your shoes to the impression you leave with each person you encounter. Personal image makes an impact. Meet style and image consultant Lori Barber. Lori is the founder and president of Elements Image Consulting. She provides her clients with the elements of style, confidence and success to enrich their daily lives and align their public image with their personal and professional goals.
1. Tell us a bit about you and your background.
I spent 12 years working at Fortune 100 companies, promoted every 2 years from sales engineer to marketing manager to national accounts manager. I was the only female on a team of 50 male managers. Understanding the importance of image and professional presence helped me succeed in a male-dominated industry.
2. How did you get started in your career?
After I started my image consulting business, I started networking right away to friends, neighbors and local community members. I asked everyone I knew if I could speak at their place of business (coffee shops, country clubs, churches), work in their closet, determine their colors and help determine their brand. With each presentation and individual client, I gained more confidence, knowledge and referrals. As my business grew, I developed a website, sent out monthly newsletters and spoke anywhere and everywhere that I could. Each new opportunity led to more opportunities and learning experiences.
3. Did you take time off for your family? If so, was it difficult to restart your career? What was your biggest challenge and how did you overcome it?
After my first child was born, I left my job to stay home. I was commuting over an hour a day to my corporate job and the logistics were not sustainable. We then had two more children, my husband started two companies, and we moved two times while I was a stay at home mom. Once we finally settled in our new home in Atlanta, I was able to slow down enough to address the feelings that I had been suppressing for years - I wanted to go back to work. The biggest challenge was figuring out what to do. I considered retail sales (as I always loved to shop), but the hours weren't conducive to my family schedule and I wanted to have somewhat of a connection to corporate (without the restrictive schedule). While researching a vacation plan, I came across a brochure for an image consultant that I had collected almost fifteen years before. Once I determined that this was a legitimate field, I immediately registered for a two week training course, started my business and began speaking and working with clients.
4. Who’s one of your favorite female role models. (famous or not!)
Robin Roberts. I always admired how she stayed true to herself after joining Diane Sawyer at Good Morning America. They became the first all-female anchor team on the news. She did not try to emulate Diane’s elegant, classical style, instead choosing bright colors, natural jewelry and sweaters sets. She exudes presence, authenticity, integrity and ease.
5. What’s the best career advice you’ve ever received?
Put yourself out there - you will always learn from it. Sometimes knowing what you don't want to do is more powerful than knowing what you do want to do.
Elements Image Consulting is a personal image consulting company whose work revolves around the principles of style, confidence and success. They help you discover and create your unique and personal style leading to more confidence, self-esteem, and both personal and professional success.Read More