"Sue has a passion for fashion and style and is one of the most qualified consultants working in the image industry.”
As a child, I loved clothes but, other than my ‘Sunday Best’, I don’t remember having anything beautiful to wear.
I lived my sartorial dreams through the wardrobes of my dolls. Sindy and Barbie would transport me to faraway places, weekends in the country, gala nights and romantic dates with delectable men (aka Ken) in outfits I longed to wear.
Real life could never match up to those heady expectations. I had little money to spend on clothes, a lack of body confidence and never felt like ‘me’ when dressing like my peers. Socially, I felt like an outsider and professionally, I rarely got the promotion I deserved.
A session with an image professional (organised by the company for which I worked) put me on the right path. Taking her advice, I began to ascend the corporate ladder. I also spent a fortune on acquiring the biggest closet in town. Probably not the intention!
Over the intervening years, successful corporate climbing provided me with a great income (and a fabulous wardrobe) but my heart felt bereft. There was no soul in what I was doing and I felt the need to give something back to society, to make a difference in some way. In 2004, I made a life changing decision. I handed in my notice and began my training as an image consultant. Clothes had changed my life. I wanted to offer the same transformational magic to other people.
Perception of me by others is someone who is highly confident and on top of her game. At times, that has been so far from the truth. Eating disorders and body dysmorphia led to levels of such low esteem with how I looked, I sometimes didn’t even want to leave the house. Poking and prodding at wobbly bits, constantly comparing myself to others to see if I was as thin as them and constantly moaning about my body was my way of life.
When you start to feel good in your clothes, you realize that your body is a remarkable vehicle. When what you wear represents who you are inside and out, you become a whole entity, not one where the mind is constantly at war with the body. Once you start to feel good about yourself, your world is your oyster and you can do anything you want. Instead of negative thoughts, you look at your body with love and pride and thank it for what it does for you.
I have learned to embrace change in my life and in my wardrobe. The one thing we can count on is that nothing stays the same. I became curious about how clothes can empower or deflate us at any given time. I challenged the established rules of my initial training and created new (fun) ways to bring style to my clients. I also made mistakes!
Now, my own clothing, reflected in my external physical appearance, aligns with my internal self - emotionally, mentally and spiritually. My wardrobe supports me in everything I do and attracts all that I want to have in my life. Choosing what to wear is an on going journey and an enlightening experience. It has enabled me to empower my clients to make their own choices and to travel the world, teaching my peers what I have learned. I have written books, presented webinars, seminars and keynotes, modelled and written columns for national magazines, appeared as an expert on TV and many other fabulous things – too many to mention.
The decision I made in 2004 to become an image professional is one I will never regret.