Scarlett DeBease – Image Consultant

When her friend had a two-for-one coupon to a consultant who could tell her what colors and clothes to wear in order to look fab, she went. Scarlett DeBease had no idea that people got paid to help others with their image. Before having children, she worked on the corporate side of the cosmetics and fashion industries. But after her second child was born, she started using the techniques she had learned in her cosmetics career to help women with their make-up on a consulting basis.

In addition to make-up help, Scarlett’s fashion advice was in high demand with friends and family and she often helped them put together outfits for special occasions. She could be found going through someone’s closet weeding out the old items and putting together completely new outfits with what was left. Having a talent for thrifty shopping, she was also great at helping her circle of friends find fashion bargains.

Scarlett started to think about her consulting venture. Doing a bit of research, she decided to get some serious training and went to the source – FIT. “It was a lot of money and my husband wasn’t 100% on board,” she says, when Scarlett told him she was going to get her certification as an image consultant at the Fashion Institute of New York. “He didn’t get it.” She bartered with her friends to have them babysit in exchange for an image consulting session when she completed the course.

It was an eight day commitment from 8:00am to 6:00 pm every day. “I wanted something I could do while my children were in school and I wanted my own income.” She says the class included training in body shapes, face shapes, colors, necklines, clothing styles, some secrets of the trade, and even marketing. When she completed her certification, that’s when the real work began. She told everyone she knew, sent out emails and started attending women’s networking events.

“It was so scary at first, to walk into a room of women and not know anyone, but that’s how I got my first clients.” In fact, going one of these events was the best thing for her business because she met a woman who turned out to be her best form of advertising. “She tells everyone that I’m her image consultant and I get so many referrals from word-of-mouth.”

Scarlett now regularly attends EWN( Entrepreneurial Women’s Network), plus other networking groups. Working mostly with women in over 40 and entrepreneurial women, she can show a client what works best with their body type. “So often women don’t wear clothes that fit them properly and it makes a huge difference in how they look.”

With a three hour closet editing session, Scarlett takes inventory of what a client has and what they need to dress for their lifestyle. Taking photos of outfits that are complete from shoes to jewelry to handbags, a client is left with a guide book of what to wear for various activities. This can be partnered with a shopping trip to one of Scarlett’s favorite shops, “I have store that most clients have never been to before and clients find they love the clothes I pick out for them.” She arrives an hour ahead of time, so the dressing room is full when her client gets there. “All they have to do is try on outfits. I try to use what someone has and fill in with things they need.”

Her tag line is, “Do you keep buying clothes and still have nothing to wear?” Scarlett says most women don’t like to shop and need guidance and a plan. “In the current economy, the job market is so competitive and your image is your virtual business card.” Her goal is to make my clients look sharp and feel confident and all on a budget. She says, “The first word I taught my daughter how to read was sale.”

Contact: scarlett@scarlettnewyork.com, www.scarlettnewyork.com

VentureMom Tip
Find a way to get the training or certification that you need to start your venture.

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