When I was growing up, my grandmother Pearl told me, “a woman should always have a red blazer in her closet so she can wow them no matter what.” My grandmother was tall with an elegant silhouette, her hair was platinum white and she loved to sparkle and spark up a bit of controversy. She wore necklaces, oversize rings and gold bangles both fake and real and she smelled of Happy, the late Nineties classic perfume by Clinique. Pearl, whom I called Mommom, was my style mentor for all the years we had together.
When I was eight, she sent me a floor-length, white muslin dress with an enormous blue satin bow in the back to wear for my solo violin performance. I was an awful violinist and instead of playing, I turned my back to the audience, boldly showed off my draped satin bow and literally screeched out a few lines. And the audience loved me, my blue bow and the fact that I was finished!
Mommom didn’t just send beautiful things though. As I grew up, she allowed me the freedom to choose what I wanted, within the confines of her good taste. One Christmas, when I told her I wanted bell bottoms instead of a dress in a black toile print with a sheer overlay and velvet waistband, she took it back and sent me money instead. When I asked her for tube tops, she drew the line though and told me no. Today, when I think of that dress I cringe for wanting to wear it now. And when I think of my ten-year old self saved from a falling-down tube top, I bless her!
My first career was in corporate sales and it was great, but it didn’t stick because I wanted to be outside or shopping. So in 2007, I founded The First Look Image Consulting and Personal Styling. By then, Mommom had moved to assisted living, or what she liked to call the old folks home, and I started to shop for her. She used to say, can you believe it Kerry, I’m ninety! Now it was my turn and I sent her a white jacquard blazer with high, rounded lapels, black patent leather flats and a smart, red handbag. She said she was only going downstairs to chat but we both knew she had to have sparkle no matter what. Mommom has passed on now but left me with her dazzling spirit, a few excellent hand-me-downs from her own closet and her words in my ear, “you take care of you now Kerry.”
Art, design, personal style, sparkle and joy – not to mention the basics of color theory, the importance of a polished first impression, the ability of the mind to further one’s success through enclothed cognition and a love for learning all things style related – that’s what Mommom left me and I’ve built The First Look Image upon.
Are you interested in scheduling an exploratory ten minute talk about your personal style? Email kerry@thefirstlookimage to set it up.
Clients live all across the US and we work online or they live in NYC, NJ, Westchester, Eastern PA or they travel to Silicon Valley in California. I have been in the style business for ten years now (whew!) and I bring a host of life experiences to your styling. I have a BA and MA in English Literature, I’ve rowed for Rutgers Women’s <a href=”http://www.rucrew.com”>Crew</a>, built a successful career in corporate sales, earned certifications in color, theory, image and makeup from <a href=”http://www.fitnyc.edu”>FIT</a> in NYC and the <a href=”http://www.aici.org”>AICI</a>. I led the AICI NY <a href=”http://www.aicinytristate.org”>Tri-State Chapter</a>, I take CEU’ed courses each year and I’ve developed new concepts and content for <a href=”http://workyourelement.com/”>WYE</a> training. I speak and train for GE, IBM, KPMG and BMW and work backstage each season for NY Fashion Week. My family evenings at home with my husband, son and our tuxedo cat Henry are a highlight of my day. We sit and chat in the kitchen, cook and sip a little something, let the cat in and out a few hundred times and talk over dinner. That’s where I go to each day to reinvigorate my radiance!