Friday, September 18, 2015

Feature | Lessons on Always Looking your best from founder & CEO of LOOKLIVELUXE

The other day I sat down with a friend to have breakfast.    We met a couple of years ago at a local event but my hectic travel schedule and her active social calendar prevented us from reconnecting.  Last week, I reached out to her out of the blue because she's somewhat of an expert on one of our favorite topics here at the blog.  One of her many skill sets is image consulting.  Her flair for personal style is obvious, the moment you lay eyes on her.  She is certainly someone who takes pride in her appearance and enjoys the tangible results of doing so.

I stepped out of the elevator on the 18th floor in a high rise located in the heart of downtown.  Val works on her business LOOKLIVELUXE while looking over the city in one of the most prestigious, member only business clubs, in the country.   I immediately was taken aback by the upscale ambiance and the breathtaking views.  The friendly receptionist pointed me to the direction of where I could find Val who was staring intently at her laptop while enjoying their complimentary breakfast.
As always, she well dressed in her signature, style icon meets business professional, attire.  I'd been following her progress via social media but couldn't wait to catch up face to face.  For the first few minutes of my time with her, I was getting acclimated to the environment.  Well dressed business professionals and entrepreneurs were scattered around the establishment discussing strategic moves and creating new partnerships.  Definitely a change of scenery from my usual working at home while reality shows play in the background.

I told Val that she was the first person that came to mind when I thought about the topic of personal presentation.  Even at our first meeting, she stood out.  To me, she was an international woman of mystery and I wanted to get to know her story.  When asked about her personal philosophy on looking your best,  she responded, "I believe if you look good and feel good. Looking your best directly affects your confidence.  I try to make sure that I present my best self at all times, but when I can't, I compensate in other areas.  For example, if my hair isn't on point, then I balance by making sure my makeup is perfect or my outfit looks amazing.  When my hair is flawless, that can compensate for what I'm wearing.   But having the whole package is always better."

I wanted to know if she ever dresses down or if she was always "on."   Val's response didn't surprise me.  "I enjoy dressing down. Sometimes I want to wear soft cotton tees, a pair of sweats and converse, but I don't because I feel more comfortable when I'm more put together.  Even for things like going to the grocery store or visiting the spa, I still want to look presentable.  Not looking my best might cost me potential clients."   As we reconnected over breakfast, several young professionals stopped by our table to say good morning to Val.  She had this attractive presence that seemed to draw others to her. In fact, several of her past clients relationships began when they introduced themselves to her to inquire about her personal style and of ask for helpful tips.

via LOOKLIVELUXE Instagram
"One of the advantages of living downtown is that one can bump into a potential business partner or client at any time.  So it's really important that I look great because I don't get a chance to tell that person "I don't normally look like this." When I asked Val to share an experience when her personal presentation has paid off, she recalled a time when a young, female lawyer approached her to obtain details about her outfit.   That impromptu conversation turned into a business relationship with LOOKLIVELUXE in which Val helped to transform her image into one that supported the lawyer's success.  After completing Val's signature "closet consultation" she realized that the lawyer's personal style was a bit too young.  "Now her look is now cohesive and there's continuity. I believe that one should cary their personal brand at all times, not just for work or when you go out."

Val also reiterated how important health and fitness is to looking and feeling your best.  "The fastest thing that kills your confidence is weight gain."  Putting on a few extra pounds causes your to have to adjust what you normally wear to compensate for the extra pounds.  She stays active by doing cardio intense boxing sessions 3-4 times a week to maintain her curvy hourglass figure.

When asked to share advice about elevating one's personal style, Val encouraged everyone to seek out inspiration.  Inspiration is everywhere, from magazines to tv and even Instagram. "Make it your mission to find the perfect little black dress.  If possible have several variations of a great black dress to wear depending on the event.   Pay attention to the details because others will notice."

My thanks to Val for reminding us why it's important to invest a little extra time to present the best version of ourselves.  Val and I have been meeting regularly over the past several days and some of her flair for personal style is definitely starting to rub off on me.   More to come on that....

If you'd like to connect with Val and her team at LOOKLIVELUXE group for help with personal styling, business branding or interior design, feel free to send her an email.  Be sure to follow her LOOKLIVELUXE blog  and their Instagram for more style and design inspiration.
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  2. I love this. Very informative and something that I've been an evangelist of forever. I will say that maintaining your ideal weight, whatever that is, allows you to look your absolute best in your clothes.