As a personal stylist, Gerlinda Stella has helped thousands of people to rediscover themselves through their clothing style.
She takes her clients on a journey to reinvent their image with expert tips and advice. She helps them celebrate their best bits, look stylish and feel confident.
In her words? “Think of me as your style bestie. Recreating your style can be one of the most powerful life-changing events you experience. Because it gives you the tools, you need to look and feel amazing every day.”
Gerlinda’s Podcast: Find your personal style
- How to develop a personal style and tips to introduce colour into your wardrobe
- Loving yourself from the inside, out
- Common style mistakes people make
- The change she sees in people
- Your biggest learning curves and aha moments
Why do people come to you as a personal stylist, like what’s one of the main reasons that people always seem to be coming to you?
When people come to me, it’s really about going on a bit of a journey. I think that when it comes to choosing a personal stylist, you really want to find somebody that you connect with. And my clients tend to be people that are from all different avenues and areas in their life. So it could be usually people going through some sort of transition. So it could be maybe somebody who’s about to get married. So I’ve helped people with their wedding dresses, it could be people that, you know, the kids are going off to college or, you know, uni or something, and, and so then they’re kind of the lifestyles change a little bit, instead of dropping kids off to soccer, or that sort of mommies type stuff, they’re then going for more lunches with friends. Another thing I help people with a lot is business branding. Recently I was asked some people will change their sort of, you know, the colours of their logos and things like that, and then sort of say, How can I best get something that’s going to suit my new brand, or my new look when it comes to their website. So people come for a variety of reasons. But mainly people want to feel good about themselves. And that’s, that’s something that clothing can do for people, w hen people come to me, they tend to be a little bit unsure about their style in general. So maybe they’ve been wearing the same style of clothes for a long time. And they might feel like they’re in a little bit of a rut, sometimes people have had weight loss or weight gain. And that can be a deciding factor as to, it’s usually a body image issue. People tend to, as far as the people that I work with, they tend to focus on maybe the parts of themselves that they’re not so happy with, and they’re trying to cover those bits up. Whereas my focus is on celebrating the parts that they’ve comfortable with them that they love, and then expressing that to the world. So that’s one of the things I find is very common is our perception of ourselves. A lot of people identify that their bodies and want the person that they look in the mirror is who they are. Whereas I see something on a much deeper level of spiritual or whatever you’d like to call it. But I do believe that we aren’t just our bodies that this is a bit more of a skin suit, and to not be so attached to that. And if we can detach from the way we perceive ourselves, and we can see ourselves in a different way. And I guess that’s what I do. When I sit down with someone I see them differently to how they see themselves and I help bring that part of themselves out.
That is huge. Like for me. Recently, I have put on weight, let’s be honest, majority of us probably having 2020 there’s been a abundance of wine and chocolate and gosh knows what else consumed. But for the first time in my life, I actually feel most comfortable in my skin. And I attribute that purely in utterly to my personal development. And actually yeah, being open to that.
Yeah, personal development is a huge part of it. And that self love though, the way we talk to ourselves on a daily basis has a huge impact to the way that we see ourselves. When we look in the mirror, I talk about doing mirror work with with my clients and and basically to start off with we start saying nice things to ourselves. When we look in the mirror I get people to maybe write with a Nicko where you can write with lipstick or whatever you want. But you put something on the mirror, that’s a reminder of how beautiful you are. And it can be something as simple as saying to yourself, you’re beautiful and you can just write that on your mirror and it makes such a huge difference changing those those words that we might say to ourselves on a daily basis. When we look in the mirror, you know, things like oh, you know, like you said, putting on weight or feeling older or looking at lines or wrinkles or even if it’s your hair, I think focusing on what’s beautiful about people is you know more about the inside. And once you feel good on the inside, it expresses really easily on the outside.
I really love that I really love the thought of focusing on a positive like rather than always sort of seeing the negative or seeing what you perceive as negative, really saying to flip that language that you’re using around certain topics. And I mean, I think when I first met you, I was so nervous about getting a photoshoot. And I met my photographer that day and seeing photos of myself and for the first time I actually opened my eyes to actually “No, it ain’t all bad”.
This actually reminds me of an incident that happened with my daughter the other day. So she’s 19. And obviously, I’ve been sprouting body positivity since the day that my children were born. And the other day, I caught her looking at a photograph on her phone, and she just had the biggest grin on her face. And I saw, I saw her looking at her phone, just smiling and almost giggling. And I said to her, sweetheart, what are you looking at? And she turned the phone around and said, Mom, look, it’s a picture of me, how good do I look. And I just thought it was the most beautiful, beautiful expression of ourselves, when we can love ourselves to that extent, and it’s not up yourself, you know, it’s not ego, it’s actually celebration of the good in yourself, and, and I inquired, and I said, Oh, sweetheart, if everybody just loved themselves that you do what a while that would be. And she said, Oh, I’ve been waiting to have a photo like this taken with me for so long. I just, I’m so impressed. And having a professional photographer makes all the difference, let me say because they can get the right angles. And you learn so much just by having your photograph taken by a professional. Like, I know my best side, I know how to hold my arms, how to position my body. And that makes a big difference when it comes to having photographs taken. And in terms of your confidence, when you’re looking back at those photos. Definitely, the way we look can have a huge impact on how we feel. But again, I do say it goes back to how you feel, firstly, to be able to then express it on the outside. And, and that’s a lot of what my job I see is actually more like a self love coach where I help people to really delve in and start to find all the good about them. And then we use those things to express themselves on the outside.
Tell us about one of your biggest 180’s that someone has has done from when they came to see you and what’s coming out the other side.
Oh my gosh, I have so many amazing stories. I love every day I get the most beautiful pictures through where people are showing me what they’re wearing this weekend and the compliments that they’re getting. Something that I think really stands out to me is one really about age. So I worked with a lady who was 74 years old and she came to me because her husband had told her that she looked old. And for me as a woman, I sort of got that really aggressive woman power like right, we’re going to show him, how dare he say anything negative about you sexy lady. So when we got together, she took me through her wardrobe. And it did look a little bit dated and I did explain that to her. I said yes, I can see where you’re sort of going astray here. I think you’re picking clothing from, and this is something that we often do, picking clothing from places that we think is our age bracket. So she was going to stores that were for a more mature market. And I tend to think that we can shop anywhere, there is no age bracket. And so we went off to Myer and we’re walking through the the shops, and she pointed to a red leather jacket and said if “I was younger, I would wear that” “You can wear that now”. And she she got the biggest beaming smile on her face and said, “Really, I can wear a red leather jacket”. Yeah, grab it, let’s let’s try it on. And we got these beautiful dresses, and she put the red leather jacket on. And she was staring at herself in the mirror. And the smile it was like she was a kid again. You know, I almost imagined her with, you know, on the back of a motorbike that was the impression that I got of just, you know, being free and and I said to her, “This is you. So where is this woman? Where? Where has she been hiding all this time”. And she said to me, she looked me dead straight in the eyes and she said “You didn’t see my underwear drawer”. She had like sexy lingerie. But she was she was hiding it. And she said, I get lots of compliments after like, from people like or comments after I get compliments from the husband saying what did you do to my wife, whatever it was, thank you. But also I get comments to the women. So they’re saying oh my gosh, my husband didn’t know what to do with himself. It’s just it’s fabulous. I think that those stories are fantastic when not just the client benefits, but all of the people around them.
Just that elevation, and that re-perception of who you are. And sometimes I feel like we get so stuck in the day to day, and those day to days blur one into another. And sometimes it’s taking that time to just stop and just kind of really reassess how you’re feeling and what you can do about that. And I feel like it’s all within our grasp, like all of us are in control of that. That’s the one thing we can stop and control is how how we feel and the circumstances we’re in, be at clothes, be it a business thing that’s gone awry. No matter what, there’s an answer. There’s a solution.
Yeah, I always think with any problem, there’s always a spiritual solution. That’s one of the things that I always have in my mind. But also when we think about just that awareness, just bring the awareness to it. Because when we really get down to it, like I said before, we’re we’re not our body. We’re not even our mind. We’re not even our feelings but often we get caught up in those day to day feelings and think that’s who we are. But it was so much more than that. And when I choose clothing, even for myself, and I choose it based on the way I feel that day, so, or how I want to feel that day, it could be that I’m wanting to feel bright or happier, it might be some days, you know, I’m not feeling overly amazing and I just want to hide. So I’ll actually pick things that are going to help me blend into the crowd a little bit more. But I think acknowledging that, and that’s the power when we’re choosing things with knowledge and awareness and understanding as opposed to just doing things for the sake of it.
Or because it’s a have, or a should,
Yes, no shoulds.
No shoulds. What are some common style mistakes that you see people make, that you could give them some tips to our audience?
A really common mistake I think people make when it comes to their style is playing it safe, not being adventurous, I think often people will choose like the item that maybe is going to make them hide into the crowd instead of maybe stand out. And certainly if you are in business, or you’re needing to stand out a little bit more, what you wear can have a huge impact on that. So maybe thinking about ways that you can introduce colour is a really great example of how you can actually, you know, some visual impact straightaway colour is a great thing for that. And that’s that’s probably a really easy fix is maybe just think about where you could add a little bit of colour into your wardrobe.
I’ve done that over the years, I definitely when I lived in a colder climate, I gravitated towards what was like winter colours. And then you had your summer colours. And I remember when I started putting pops of colour in that, how much more me I felt my mood lifted, my the way I walked sometimes would change and you would just elevate everything away from the fact that it was pouring down with rain, zero degrees outside.
Well, there’s an there’s colour therapy. I mean, colours are incredible. Not only is there a psychological background, I mean, even when you look at big companies use these strategies. I mean, everybody’s heard of how, but I think most people have heard about things like McDonald’s and Hungry Jacks, all of those places using like oranges and reds, because it incites action and movement and those sorts of restaurants, they want you to be in and out. So they don’t want you to be hanging around. Whereas if you’re going to say maybe more of a cafe style, a place, they’re gonna have maybe have some greenery, so maybe more, you know, browns and natural colours, and it makes you want to immerse yourself and stay there for longer, which means you’re probably buying more cups of coffee, and more cake as you’re eating there.
This is a question that I want to know, I remember reading Dolly and Girlfriend Magazine. And then as I got older, like similar fashion, fashion magazines and stuff. How did you become a personal stylist? Like, how did you get to this point, like, what was your career progression?
I started, it’s really interesting. I had my children when I was quite young. So I was 17 turning 18 when I had my my first child, and I had three children within the space of four years. And when I was I would have been 21 I think when we decided to buy a house, and then that meant that I had to go back to work in order to start to, you know, bring in some income and I wanted to I really just wanted to be at home with my babies. And I went to work at a department store. And after 12 months, I was just exhausted and I and I’ve kept it was like a natural thing. I kept helping people in the change room and they would go off to other shop like other stores and come back with the clothing that they bought and would ask my opinion on it. And I thought this is really interesting that I’ve got a sort of a natural instinct towards this, maybe I can learn how that is. So I, I looked up a an image consulting course down in Melbourne, and I flew down and was trained and then I literally that that week, I quit my job and went into it. I just became an image consultant and it gave me the flexibility that I wanted to have with my children. But it also allowed me to fulfil my creative passions in terms of styling people is just for me is just one of the biggest joys and and it does come more from the sense that when somebody feels really good, and they’re looking at themselves in the mirror, just the joy that that brings them I feel the exact same joy through them. And it’s an amazing, it’s I just love what I do. It’s I’m so passionate about it.
As a branding designer, I feel that moment I feel the same thing when somebody finds like a logo or a brand that represents them so truly, they just go, “It’s me”.
And that’s exactly what happens in clothing. People look in the mirror and they say that’s me. And it’s a beautiful moment. And, and it does it works in all in all aspects. And branding is so powerful. I mean having having a logo. And it doesn’t sound like a big deal. But it really gives when something represents you. You’re proud of it and you’re going to go off and show that off. So whether it’s yet whether it’s your logo or what you’re wearing, you’re going to walk into the room, you’re going to hold yourself a little bit differently when you’re either handing out a business card or you’re just saying hello to someone because you feel confident. Yeah, it’s just it’s such a powerful thing because I see that it’s kind of like that little drop in the ocean, the ripple effect is incredible when, when one person feels good about themselves that just resonates through everything else. So I love shining a light on on my clients and, and then that allows them to shine the light on other people as well, because they’re feeling really good about themselves. And if the flow is just incredible, I love it.
In your own words, what would you define as a personal brand?
A personal brand is something that is about how you express yourself to the world. And that’s you as you as a person. And sometimes I think when it comes to business, we want to make sure that those two whilst they are connected, they’re actually quite separate. So I’ve worked with people before, I’ve seen some people where let’s say they’re an eye specialist, and maybe they sell glasses or something like that. And then they think it’s important to like wear little eyes or have some kind of eye reference on them. And people can get hung up on the the logo being them. And they’re two totally separate things. So what your personal brand is what it brings to the business, not how the business makes you. So if I’m, if I’m a stylist, I think when I first started, I used to have this image in my mind around what a stylish should wear, how stylish should talk how stylish should walk, we can be whoever we want to be, if I want to be crazy out there style is to wear pink and purple hair. And that makes me feel really good. All for that, you know, a personal brand is meant to be about who you are and how you express yourself, you don’t have to make it fit into somebody else’s, theme overall.
And I think that’s very, very true. And it’s it’s very much an essence and in the centre of what Brand You Magazine is about. It’s about people having the power and almost like the permission, because let’s be honest with a lot of societal pressures to be a certain way. And we grow up with that. And I feel like at a certain point in our lives, we start breaking those back down and getting back to who we are, and realising that’s exactly who you’re supposed to be like the most unique thing you can be is you. Yes, there’s no point in stepping out like someone else. Because these two people that do the same thing. What’s the point in that?
The one thing I found is, the more that you can strip away from yourself, meaning your roles and your responsibilities and the things that you think those shoulds that we were talking about before. When you strip all that away, you’ll you’re left with who you are. And what I believe we all are is actually just unconditional love. That’s that’s our essence. And that’s our core. And how we express that to the world can be really different. And that’s the exciting part. We’re creative beings, we’re creation, we’re from creation, we’re here to create. And that means that you can create whatever identity it is that feels good for you. Not everybody is going to love pink lace. Not everybody is going to love animal print. And that’s the most amazing thing about us is that we have this free will and this choice to find what sparks joy within us and then express that part.
And I think it’s opening yourself up to realising that once you strip away those shoulds, embracing those things that make you different and what you love like that, that passion that you mentioned, that passion is core, to why people want to be around you and why they want to be in business with you. And it’s so essential, you know, relationships, whether they’re personal or professional, being true to who you are, it can make such a fundamental difference in personal and professional life.
Yes, and I’ve worked, I’ve worked with so many different business owners from an array of industries. And one thing I when I’ve done workshops with, for businesses before is what I’ll get them to do is I’ll get them to write down all of the ways that they think that their type of profession should look like. So once I was working with somebody who was a French travel agent, there was a professional organiser. And it was very funny what each person in the group thought the other person so somebody wrote like stripes in a beret for this. You know, like what’s the extreme stereotype and then for the professional organiser, you know, it was a little suit and a notepad and, and these amazing stereotypes, when we break free of the stereotypes and let those things go, that’s when we can truly, truly be ourselves. So like he said, there’s shoulds, there are no shoulds you could be dressing how ever brings you joy. That’s the main thing when it comes to branding. If you look good, and you feel good in what you’re wearing, that’s what’s gonna shine through. People are too busy looking at themselves to actually even look at you. That’s the truth of it. whoever you’re talking to is probably going to be standing there going, Oh my gosh, am I in the right outfit today? They’re not necessarily looking at you going, that skirt doesn’t suit her.
I did a very similar sort of test, and I do it with my clients now but it’s even greater when I got to do it in a room full of people very much like you’re talking about. And I asked a roomful of real estate agents, what their brand values were, and everything came out stereotypical what they would think they should be saying.
Like authentic authenticity, trust…
And all those sorts of things, you can get a have a real estate agent that has all of those things, they could be the coldest person in the entire world. But you could have a person that, for instance, they believe in family, and they have these very strong family values, and so that they really passionate about helping people find their family forever home. That’s what makes you special. That’s what makes you unique in an industry that’s full of stereotypes. If you can bring that to the table, in whatever way you can, it’s going to always, always play to your advantage, because it’s something you truly believe it’s something you truly value.
And the really clever thing about that what you’ve just said, is quite amazing, because I think often we don’t know what’s unique about us. And usually the thing that’s most unique is the thing that is the most easy or comes the most naturally to us, like you said, like the person that is really family orientated, they might not necessarily see that is a gift, but it works really well for them. And that plays a part in what you wear as well. Because if you’re a family person, you’re going to need more clothes that are going to be flexible to take your kids to different events, or hang out with, you know, their families and go to barbecues and things like that. So it really comes down to nutting down to who you are and the types of values and what you love in life, not necessarily what’s expected of you, but what you truly makes your heart sing.
And it’s not always comfortable. It’s not supposed to be like I feel like stripping back those layers can be really confronting for people I get it in branding a lot, like it can be can be really scary. And a lot of ways a lot of those things where we try to blend in, it’s putting up a wall. But those walls are actually potentially trapping in the really amazing view and not letting that shine out. And it’s the same personal branding or business branding, or a logo or an amazing red leather jacket, really figuring out who you are. And that can be really daunting for people. So for people that are hesitant or nervous to take that step into themselves, what kinds of small ways can people start to sort of dip their toe into the water.
I’m a huge fan of Pinterest. The reason I love Pinterest is it’s very visual and what I do, and when we’re talking about branding, it’s a very visual thing. So if people create a Pinterest board, you can actually make them private, so no one else has to see them. But start to gather the things that you like. And often when my when I start working with a client, they’ll say to me, I don’t know what I like. But straight away, they can tell me what they don’t like. So you can always start there. So if you start to narrow down the things that you don’t like, then you’ll be left with the things that you do these days with, with everything that’s going on with people working from home. So business and corporate isn’t what it used to be. So there’s a lot more flexibility to be a little bit more relaxed in your style. So we’re probably looking at more for most businesses. It’s a more business casual type look, which could consist of nice chino pants and a blouse. If you’re in you know, a cooler climate, you might want to add a jacket but your jacket doesn’t have to be a black jacket, it could be a grey blazer or you could add a colour if you are feeling really brave. So I would I would start to look at the types of things that you like and then start introducing them in small ways. It could be through an accessory like a handbag, a pair of shoes or some earrings or a necklace. Something like that is a good way
Unknown Speaker 23:21
And shoes, they will always fit you. That’s the thing I love about shoes.
Very true. And make sure that they’re comfortable straightaway there is there is no such thing as wearing a shoe in there does not happen. I’ve tried this a million times, it needs to be comfortable right away when you put it on your foot.
What kinds of pieces do you feel like people can invest in that are always going to be worth it. And I know that a lot of this comes down to your shape knowing your shape and getting the right cut for you. But what sorts of items do you always see that when people invest, it’s worthwhile?
I think definitely when it comes to your everyday basic so everybody, I talked to you about having a capsule wardrobe. It sounds boring. But the idea is is that your your staple pieces now what goes into a capsule wardrobe, things that you’re going to be wearing on a regular basis and they’re usually based on a set of core colours, which means we go for either things like a black base, a navy base, and some people might choose a blush base, they’re just three there’s heaps and heaps of types of colours. You can go for like khaki or chocolate when it’s on trend or grey. Then what happens is you choose other pieces to accent those. So for instance, if you’ve chosen a navy base of colours, then you would say okay, well I want a navy skirt, and a navy pair of pants and navy jacket and navy dress and then all of your accessories and clothing would would start to blend with that and I wouldn’t necessarily pick one colour I would usually pick a couple and your colours. The way that you choose colour is actually based on your hair, skin and eyes so everybody has either a warm or colour undertone and this will depict the type of core colours that you’re going to choose. There’s lots of online things you can do like little online tests to find out where you can find a stylist, and who’s trained in colour and they can help you with that as well to choose colours that suit you. But having those core bases is really important. So you’re never going to go wrong with a really good pair of chino pants. And the reason I say chino and not jeans or business pants is because they’re that nice in between. CountryRoad.com.au they have an amazing satin pair that works for everybody. Pants are a big one for people. Often the biggest piece that women struggle with is skirts, they’re often not the easiest thing to style or dress up or even find the correct fit of. But I find that for most shapes are the majority of people shapes a great pencil skirt is really good for that. So there are a couple of essentials, but their jeans, chinos, a nice pencil skirt, you’re good.
I always get overwhelmed walking into a shop and going, Oh my god, especially when I’ve put on a little weight I’m unsure if my shapes changed or my sizes changed. What kinds of things can people do to walk into a shop and start to have that confidence? Is it getting into a changing room? Is it having a stylist? What can people do to start to feel comfortable in those situations?
With a stylist is a really great way. I mean, of course I’m going to spout styles, but it is a really great way to see yourself differently. That’s sort of the role of a stylist will help you to maybe try different things that you’ve never tried before and get you out of your comfort zone, but not necessarily putting you in things that you’re never going to wear. So and again, choosing the right type of styles, have a phone conversation, see if you gel, that’s a really good thing, you really want to make sure this is somebody that you’re letting into your life. So you want to make sure that they’re the right fit for you they’re going to be you potentially be spending a lot of money as well in terms of clothing and you want to be wearing those pieces. The other thing you can do is go to a local boutique, they are normally very helpful. And they’re going to help you try some different things and don’t feel compelled to buy if you’re not comfortable in the items. It’s just a matter of trying some different shapes on that’s the biggest thing. And you’ll know when you look in the mirror that you like it, because you’ll you’ll get that feeling that this is me and you really got to trust that intuition. I would hope that everybody out there listening has had those moments where they put something on and gone, “Wow, this is me”. And every single piece in your wardrobe should do that for you. So if you can narrow down in your wardrobe, those pieces, maybe start to have a look at the shape. So what shapes do you feel most comfortable in? What colours have you got the majority of in your wardrobe. So when you’re going shopping, you can literally pick something up off a hanger and just go actually, I think this is really going to work for me. I tend to when I shop with people, we have armfuls of clothing, don’t just walk in the change room with one item grab, you know, grab 10, grab 20. If they’ve got to hold five out and that outside waiting bit, let them do it. Spend the time to try on some different shapes and styles. And don’t get hung up on the part of yourself, because we all have that one part that we look at and focus on whether it’s your hips or your boobs, whatever it is, we want to focus on your whole body. That’s a really important thing when you’re trying on clothing to look at your whole body and your whole shape in the mirror. And don’t be afraid to try different things. And some things look terrible. And you know what? Send it to a best friend and laugh about it. Send it to your husband and go I’m gonna buy this and he’ll be like no do not. Well, your children, which I love doing to my kids, like how good do I look at this outfit? Like no mum. So yeah, try find some hideous stuff on purpose and try that on it, it really does boost your spirit because you go “Oh, well, like who would this even suit? It’s really horrible”.
You’ve obviously been in business for a long time, and this is it for you. What was that moment that you suddenly when, “Yeah, like this is it.”?
I think being in flow is a really great example. There’s that moment where all time just disappears and you’re just in the moment. And I have those so often and so frequently. And I think there’s so many times in business when when you know, maybe we’re struggling to get clients or maybe we’re not having the right type of clients. I think we’ve all had those experiences as well. And every time I’ve ever thought, oh, maybe I need to do something else. I just I get another beautiful client. And just recently I was standing in a change room with someone and they walked out and they looked amazing. And I looked at them and they looked at me and we gave each other a big hug, it was just like gosh, this is it’s because the timeframe. I think I’ve been doing it for over 16 years now. And when I think about the way I’ve envisioned myself, working with people and being in the change room before it even happened, I was there having that moment going wow, this is I chose this for myself. I picked this and here it is coming to fruition and there’s not a day that goes by I’m never sick of what I do. It’s It’s so varied and so different. I mean I run fashion parades. I regularly am on a local radio station as a guest every day. I run workshops, I get asked to speak at different events and every day is something new and I really love it.
Every time I see you being a part of a local event, I always want to be there. After meeting you, you’re such a ray of sunshine. And at a time when I was feeling really uncertain of myself, you really do bring that confidence out on people. And remove layers of self doubt with the simplest of comments that I can understand how your clients feel. And I haven’t even had the privilege of working with you like that.
Oh, thank you. That’s a really beautiful thing to say, I really, really am humbled by that. And I’ve always think that it’s not me doing the work, there’s a higher power that I believe that works through me. And that’s what I’m giving to other people is that love and light through through the universal whatever you want to call it. But I always take it that I just say what I meant to say at the time and and hopefully it resonates for that person and makes a difference and they can take it however they like. But most of the time, it’s it really is about just really finding that love of self, I find that that’s the most powerful thing in the whole world, anybody can ever do is just really trust and have faith and love themselves.
Obviously, business has changed a lot over the period of 16 years, you’ve been in business for yourself, what would you say is your biggest learning curve that you have gone through in the last 16 years?
Ah, gosh, I remember doing this job that I signed up for I said I would do I was running events. And it was almost the death of me, I over-scheduled. So not only was I running this big event, but I was getting asked to style shoots, and I just tried to pack everything in, I nearly had a break down, it was a really tough, tough time. And I remember coming home to my husband and saying I can’t do this anymore. I don’t want to go to work tomorrow. And he’s like, you have to like, your it, like, you can’t call him sick, like you have to go. And I remember thinking I was just doing it for the money. So now I will I don’t do anything for the money, I don’t for the love of it. And that was a huge, huge learning curve, because I couldn’t believe that I’d run myself into the ground that hard all for the sake of trying to bring in some extra money, it just money isn’t anything, it doesn’t mean anything in that regard. It’s just an exchange, I mean, in the back in the day would have been, you know, offering a goat or a cow or something else. For our services, you know, I say soul destroying, but when you exhaust yourself to the point that you have nothing left to give, and you’re giving it to somebody else’s business and you’re not actually getting the reward in in terms of the joy or the happiness that we all go into business for. It’s just not worth it. I don’t know, if you have you done things like that.
I have, I’ve learned to use each of them as a learning curve. And I find that reflection is probably one of the most powerful skills I’ve had to learn in business by actually sitting with stuff in a moment. And instead of having that first childish inkling of blaming the world, yes, actually taking responsibility that this was my choice. Okay, and how can I avoid this happening again? And what is it about the situation that I didn’t like? Or was there some way that I could have prevented this from happening, and so really starting to take control and actually using it as a growth point. So really, you know, it’s been everything from, you know, not having a contract signed, therefore, I wasn’t covered when things went pear shaped, not following my gut. I’ve had two instances this year where I have, one of them was with an external contractor and one of them was with a client, where I didn’t quite follow my gut, one of them was a big, like, this isn’t a smart idea. And one of them was hmmmm let’s just see how this goes. And I ended up regretting both situations. It wasn’t anything personal. It was just I wasn’t being true to myself.
And I think you’re right, the gut instinct is spot on and being true to yourself. And that’s what I realised I wasn’t being true to myself, I was actually the opposite. I was just working myself into the ground for some money, when that wasn’t really what was important to me. And like you said, instead of at the time, 100% I felt like a victim. I felt like it was the world was out to get me and why is this happening to me? And then of course, looking back, it’s like it was happening for me. And that that has never happened to me again, I’m very picky about the clients that I work with. I choose things because it resonates with who I am. And we’re on the same sort of page.
Yeah. And the thing is, is that having both the big, big one and the little one this year like, trust your gut no matter what. And I feel like it really is helped me to set my own boundaries and really narrow down on my values, narrow down my niche, narrow down on all of those things. Because like you said, it’s like when people put on clothes and they know what they don’t like. It gives you a thing that goes okay, cool. I won’t do that again. Another thing I had to do was redefine my definition of success, not making it anyone else’s definition of success. But what does success look like for me?
Yes, that is so true. And that’s what it all comes down to everything that we see. The world that we see is only through our own eyes and our perception and recognising that things aren’t happening to us, but they’re happening for us is such a big, beautiful lesson that we can have to go. Okay, what is? Yes? what is success for me, you can look up any blog or any thing on the internet to try and find what the right thing is to do for you. But trusting your intuition is the most amazing gift you can give yourself. And there’s a big difference. I think, too, with understanding when it comes to our gut instincts, when you really understand your feelings, and you start to know, acknowledge them and know what they are. There’s a big difference between having a gut instinct saying, I don’t want to do that, because something’s not right. And I’m fearful, I don’t want to do it. And recognising the difference between the two is a skill, because often we’ll talk ourselves out of something, because we think it’s too big or too hard or too scary. But often more often than not, we can we can nail it. And those moments are incredible. I know the first time I had to do fashion parades and things, I thought, “Oh my gosh, how am I going to coordinate all this”. And now I literally can go into a store the morning of a parade and grab the clothes and know they’re going to work on the models and get up and do this talk. And to me it’s second nature. But the first few times I did that, holy smoke, I was shaking. Even when I had my first few clients, I remember I would get so nervous, I would be shaking before I would have them. And I’d be praying that I would be able to help them. And now I just know, I just have such strong intuition, they’ll be fine. But those moments of knowing when it’s your gut telling you no. And when it’s your fear, saying no, they’re two very different things that you want to be aware of.
One of my favourite books that I’ve read is Marie Forleo’s, Everything is Figureoutable. I’m one of those people that one, it’s great because it literally has the key summary takeaway on the front cover of the book, so that was useful for me. But when I was reading through it, one of the things was that fear is actually a signpost that something matters and that you’re going in the right direction. If it didn’t matter, you wouldn’t be scared.
Yes, that’s very true. I love that.
It’s like when it’s a little kid. And you know, this scared of something. And then when they realise, actually nothing to be scared of the fear is gone. And it’s been replaced with bravery or courage or something like that. Instead, you only build on those things. Because then when you start to recognise that feeling of fear, and then you also can look back and go, actually, it wasn’t that scary. I did it. I’m brave, I’m strong, I can do this. It’s like flexing a muscle. It’s like going to the gym and working out a muscle, you’ve got to work it out. You’ve got to care, love that push, pushing those things in those little fears. And I find that often with clients, it can be a big thing or a massive step. But once they start taking those steps, they start going, you were right. We were right, oh my god, I did that. And it starts to grow and build. I imagine it’s probably the same with when, you know building people’s confidence in their style and their clothes and things like that, once they start to overcome those small fears, the world is their oyster
That’s spot on. Because even myself, I know when I started wearing clothes that I didn’t feel comfortable in or that I thought were really new, you can actually become the item which is very cool. So often will be in the room and I’m really nervous with this one. I’m like, “Yeah, but trust me, you wear it and you wait to see what happens”, and overcoming that fear as well. Trying something that you haven’t won before and then actually going home and wearing it out in public can be quite daunting. But as soon as you get that first compliment, you’re like, “Ah, yeah, Gerlinda was right”.
Speaking of compliments, this is my favourite thing that I’ve learnt recently, the best answer to a compliment is two words. Thank you. No justification. So just say thank you and accepted at face value. It’s so true. Like, I used to justify things away, I’d say “Oh this old thing” .
Yep. It’s really simple and difficult if you haven’t been practicing it. And it’s so simple to say thank you and receive. Because if we can’t receive a compliment, what else are we blocking? I mean, that’s just a really simple thing. So that’s just about Yeah, being able to be open to receiving and you don’t even have to give a compliment back. I think that’s one thing when people feel really awkward. It’s like, “Oh my gosh, I love your eyes. They’re so beautiful”. I do this a lot when I’m out, I compliment for days. Oh my gosh, I probably do like 20 compliments a day. But I will often point out like to people when I see somebody with beautiful eyes or a nice piece of jewellery, or one of the things I love is when women that are quite a lot older, they dress up for the shops and it’s just I just think good on them. They’ve spent hours doing their hair and makeup and maybe getting a perm or something but they look amazing. And so I’m often the one to give a compliment and is interesting to see people’s reactions but thank you is one of the most beautiful things that you can reply with and accept it for yourself. How good do you feel when you give someone a compliment?
I love doing it. I’m that person that compliments the person at the bank or ask where you got that dress from or they speak up and say something like yeah, you go girl. Like, that’s the kind of community I want to live in.
Yes, beautiful. Like that makes people’s day. I mean, I know when people have given me a compliment. It’s beautiful. You’ve given me some already so I’ll be off today. For that, we got a high for the rest of the day.
Now, you were mentioning also that obviously, we’ve got fashion shows like in one part of what you do, you’ve got your personal stylist stuff, you’ve been on radios to talk about stuff. But you also do these internal wardrobe webinars, can you tell us a little bit about what those are?
Again, it’s a platform of self love. So it’s a community of people that can get together and share in this journey to uncovering and discovering who they really are. And I interview different guests each month. So I’ve had an astrologer, I’ve had a psychic. The next one I’ll be doing is with a yoga instructor, a hypnotherapist like all different types of modalities, just as little ways for you to start to really look at who you are, and just little ways in because I think that there’s lots of different things that work for different people and trying lots of these out, you’ll find what resonates and works for you. It’s not a one size fits all. And you’ll see people that do go into different industries like this is the thing that works. But I think exploring all avenues is really, really helpful. So people can jump on for the live webinars, and they can ask questions to the people at the end, the guests that I’ve got on, but they are also up on YouTube. So watch the replays.
I know what some of my earliest memories and what some of the earliest signposts were that this was the path for me like looking back now. It’s like, duh. But what’s one of your earliest memories of colour being that this is the Colourful issue? What’s one of your earliest memories of colour?
Oh, wow. When I was a little girl I know. So my mom was a singer and entertainer. And she used to do bet Bette Midler impersonations. We lived on the Gold Coast and there was this place called Twin Towns and it was back in the days of cabaret in the early 90s. And she dressed up and she would spend hours like putting rollers in her hair and getting her makeup done. And I still remember she had the most incredible royal blue, off the shoulder satin dress. And I just remember being a little girl thinking when I grow up, I want to wear that dress. And colour is definitely been something that’s been quite interesting and even in my household like I know that people tend to choose colours that they like. So that’s one big thing. So if you’re listening, don’t fear, just look around the house at the things you’ve chosen that are most likely going to be your colours. And I remember my mom used to dress my dad in brown, and my dad hates brown because it’s not even his colours. Like it’s very, not his colours at all. But it’s my mom, my mom loves brown and orange. But for my dad not so great. So I do remember lots of fights as a child about mom picking dad clothing and dad not liking it. It was so funny when I became a stylist in my early 20s. I was like, now I know why you to divorce.
Now when it comes to colour, are there things that people should avoid?
Hmm, that’s a good question. When I think of colour, I think of it like a rainbow. You imagine a rainbow. Everybody has their own set of rainbow colours. So some people are gonna suit like a super bright rainbow. Some people are gonna suit a pastel rainbow, some people are gonna see an earthy tone rainbow and other people are going to see a warmer, bright rainbow. If you’re wearing colours that aren’t sitting well next to your skin, you can actually look really ill, for example, a colour that quite on trend is this mustard colour at the moment, but it really doesn’t suit a big range of the population. So it can actually make you look a little bit sickly in the face. But there’s lots of ways to combat things that if you love that colour, then I would say maybe wear blue or you know you can wear colours to counteract it. But definitely wearing colours that aren’t suiting your skin tone can actually really make you look awful. A common one is black. So only about 30% of the population actually suit black. And as we get older black can actually visually make wrinkles look the depths look deeper. It can actually draw the eyes down and make us look more fallow and make under our eyes look deeper as well. So often choosing an alternative to that, I think black such a safe colour for a lot of people. So when I tell them that they’re like, Oh, I’m not going to see her she won’t let me wear black. Not true, I don’t mind a little bit of black in there, but it is good to express yourself with other colours.
What are your favourite colourful items in your wardrobe at the moment?
Oh gosh, I’m always buying new things. I bought a new yellow polka dot top recently that makes me feel very fun and happy. I literally love every single piece of my wardrobe. And that’s a lie, like every single thing and as soon as I don’t really like it that much anymore. It’s gone.
I need to get into that zone. I love that idea that you don’t have to just keep around for the rainy day. When you lose the weight or whatever, if you don’t like it, and you’re not wearing then there’s no point in it being there.
And there’s all these rules people put out there about if you’re short, you can’t wear a maxi dress or if you’re this, or if your that. I am such a rule breaker. So wherever I can break a rule, I will.
Now what’s the most one item in your wardrobe?
I get favourite shoes. And so I tend to wear the same sort of pair every day. I wouldn’t wear the same two pieces in a week.
Is there a particular item that you are like, get it all I really want it.
I don’t want it to sound facetious. If I love something, I buy it because I know I’ll wear it. And that’s why I think that there’s less waste when you’re choosing things that you love. You’re gonna wear them so if they’re not just sitting there on the hanger.
Yeah. And the very last question I’m asking everyone in this series of podcasts, what is your favourite colour?
Gosh, this is I’m such a bad person to ask for this because I love every single colour.
I love all colours equally.
I love all colours equally. I do I have unconditional love for all colours. The reason I brought up the rainbow is because I am a massive rainbow fan. When I can spot a rainbow outside it makes my day because I really do find that all colours are so beautiful. They are meant to have positives and negatives but I just say all the positives within each colour. For example like blue it can be really calming and yellow it can be super happy and purple is super spiritual and just every colour has its own magic.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai
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