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009:Get Your Pretty On With a Capsule Wardrobe – Alison Lumbatis

Alison Lumbatis is the creator/editor of the blog, Get Your Pretty On, which she started as an accountability partner to chronicle her personal style journey out of the yoga pants mom rut. Over the years, it has evolved into a space for women worldwide to get style and beauty inspiration, gain confidence and live prettier lives.

Alison has created the first of its kind online capsule wardrobe membership program called Style Challenges. Since rolling out the program in 2014, over 25,000 women in 20 countries have participated. She is a personal stylist and former actress and print model with both creative and technical backgrounds and was also a network engineer for several years before leaving corporate America to pursue creative endeavors.

In This Episode, You Will Learn:

  • Why you should care about the clothes you wear.
  • How Alison got out of the yoga pants mom rut.
  • How a capsule wardrobe can make your life so much easier.
  • What basic items are worth investing more money in.
  • How to keep up with seasonal trends without spending a fortune.

Connect with Alison Lumbatis:

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Interview Transcript

Alison, thank you for joining us today.

Thank you so much for having me. I’m excited to be here.

Before you started Get Your Pretty On, what were some of your biggest challenges when it came to fashion?

Well, before I started GYPO, I was working in an office environment. I felt like I had workwear pretty nailed down but my biggest challenge was figuring out what to wear on the weekends or when I got home from work. Casual style was the thing that tripped me up. Later when I was blessed with the opportunity to transition from working in an office to working from home fulltime, my entire career wardrobe became completely obsolete. My wardrobe turned upside down and I resorted to wearing my yoga pants every day because quite honestly, I had nothing else to wear.

Sure, you don’t want to put a suit on every morning and hang out at home.

Exactly, yes. So, I did this for several reasons, but mainly because that’s really all I had. I had to learn how to rebuild my wardrobe and how to dress for working from home. That’s what lead to the creation of my blog Get Your Pretty On and me starting these style programs. Because, I don’t have a background in style but this is something that I just started the journey on alone and then I invited everyone else to come along with me and learn as I went.

What was your background prior to starting this?

I worked for 17 years as an engineer in telecommunications. So, completely, totally different. Now, I’m in more of a creative space and being a creative entrepreneur. I am equal left and right brain, so both appeal to me.

So, let’s talk to the ladies and maybe some guys that are listening today who might be feeling, “Man, it’s just not worth the effort or the finances.” It’s a lot of effort and they might not know what to do. It’s a lot of money and they might not necessarily have the money to do that. Why should someone care about the clothes that they wear?

You just hit the nail on the head. That’s the biggest obstacle, especially most women to overcome. They think that they can’t carve out money in their budget to focus on this. And ask themselves, “Why should this matter?” A lot of us as moms and dads are putting our money into our kids, but we’re not really focusing on ourselves. But the way we show up in the world and the way we dress, for better or worse, it speaks volumes about us. Not only that, but more importantly it’s about how it makes us feel.

There’s plenty of research out there that backs this up. That feeling good in our clothes leads to higher self-confidence, which effects everything in our lives, from relationships, careers and how we show up. Just making one small change, like getting dressed every day in an outfit that makes you feel great, can make all the difference. And it helps you feel that much more put together. That’s really what it’s all about. It’s about what it does on the inside as much as what we’re portraying on the outside.

Part of my background and upbringing says, “It shouldn’t matter,” and that your value is from within. Even the faith background that I have it’s not supposed to be what you look like that counts, its what’s going on inside of you that matters. Even growing up, style wasn’t something that was necessarily highly valued in my home. My parents would always say, “Okay, you get this much for school clothes and you’d have to spend whatever else you have to get the brand that you actually want.” I was always thinking about brands. I was always thinking about style from a young age.

What I found interesting was over the last number of years I gained quite a bit of weight. I was up to 255, something like that. I’m 6’5”, so I’m a bigger guy. Now that I’ve lost 65 pounds, I went and bought a bunch of new clothes. Not only because they fit, but because all of a sudden, they felt good to wear. So, I’m thinking to myself, “It shouldn’t matter,” but it does. It does change things psychologically. What we wear really matters and changes how we interact in the world.

Absolutely, it’s not superficial at all. I feel like God gives us an eye for beauty. Being creative with our clothing is another way that we can express our personalities in the world and how we show up. I think getting over that mindset is a big hurdle for a lot of us. A lot of women and men do have to come to this point where, if you undergo some significant life change like a big weight loss or something like that, where you need to rebuild your wardrobe, you want to be a little bit more thoughtful about the choices that you’re making. You’re going to have to spend the money anyways, right? So why not buy things that fit and flatter your body and make you feel great at the same time?

And there’s such a wide price range of clothing that are accessible these days. Even Target used to be kind of cheesy, but now the clothes are amazing there in terms of style.

Yes, I love Target. I have a Target less than a mile from my house and I’m embarrassed that almost every employee there knows me.

So, if somebody wants to get out of that yoga pants rut, but they don’t really know where to start, what are some of the common mistakes that women make?

I think that a lot of women are under this misconception that you need to go out and buy a bunch of clothes. Or worse yet, they go out and buy a bunch of stuff and bring it home. I used to do this too, you dump it out on the bed and you look at it and you go, “Oh, this is cute, but none of this stuff goes with anything that I have in my closet and it doesn’t go with each other either.” So, even though this is kind of an unpopular step, and people understand afterwards why I suggest they do it; I always recommend cleaning out your closet first and getting everything out of there that doesn’t fit, that doesn’t flatter you, is out of style or is something that you haven’t worn in years. By doing this, what you’re going to realize is that we only wear about 20% of what we have in our closets and that other 80% is just sitting there.

Once you do this process and you see what you’re actually wearing and then you put it back in your closet, at first, it’s going to be really shocking. But then you’re also going to have that realization that, “Hmm, this really is all that I’m wearing.” What it does, is it gives you a starting point and then you can walk into a store armed with a list of things that you actually need, not thing things you’re assuming you need or you think you’re going to get home and be able to pair up in a multitude of ways. This is why I love shopping with a purpose and sticking to a capsule wardrobe concept. I think that every piece that you buy, in order to get the most bang for your buck, should be able to be paired up in multiple ways. That’s a great goal to have whenever you’re adding a new piece to your wardrobe.

You just used that term “Capsule Wardrobe”. I was just talking to my wife about our conversation last night and I was telling her how excited I was to talk to you. I told her that you had this whole concept around a capsule wardrobe and she had no idea what I was talking about. Can you explain what a capsule wardrobe is for those who don’t know?

For a little history lesson, this was a term that was coined back in the 60’s by a London boutique owner who created the first “Capsule Wardrobe”. So, a capsule wardrobe is a combination of pieces that you can mix and match into multiple outfits. It could be really tiny. It could consist of ten pieces of black clothing items that you mix and match; like pants and skirts and tops and blouses and t-shirts and everything is just able to be mixed and matched. That is a capsule wardrobe in its purest, simplest form.

But the capsules that I build are a little bit bigger than that. They generally have around 40 pieces, but that includes all the accessories and footwear. It includes everything that you need to create outfits. I strive to create 31 different outfit combinations out of the pieces in my capsules. I think the biggest benefit of doing things this way is that you know every piece you buy is going to be paired up in a multitude of ways. And honestly, this is the most budget friendly way to shop. There is also an appeal if you have a minimalist mindset and you don’t want to have tons of clothes. But you will also know that what you do have, you can wear in a lot of different ways. I think that capsule wardrobes are great for all of those reasons.

You’re suggesting I could buy 40 pieces of clothing including accessories and shoes, either workwear or casual, and you could help me make 31 outfits with just those clothes?

Yes, and again, that includes accessories. So, we’re looking at more like 25 to 30 pieces of clothing that you can create that many outfits from. I strive to put at least four to five different pairs of pants or skirts in each capsule. And you’re right, these are separate capsules. I have a casual one and then I do a workwear one. Although the casual outfits can definitely be dressed up enough for a business casual office environment. And the workwear ones could be dressed down on weekends as well. So, there’s a little bit of wiggle room there between the two capsules. But that’s exactly what it is.

I tell you how to take the pieces on that list and I send you an email every day saying, “Hey, here’s what you’re wearing today.” It’s kind of like meal planning for your closet. You go out and buy the ingredients, you bring them home and somebody says, “Here’s the recipe. This is how you create it.” So that’s how I look at this.

That’s exactly what my wife said, she’s like, “That sounds like meal planning. They just tell you what to buy and what to wear? Its genius.” How did you come up with this concept? Where did this come from?

It actually came from my readers. When I first started Get Your Pretty On, it started as my accountability partner. It was a creative outlet for me. It was a fun way for me to share my journey and it was definitely not something I was planning to turn into a business idea. But it started to grow organically and very quickly I realized that there were a lot of women out there who needed something like this. I did a reader survey in 2013 and I said, “If there was something, I could create for you, what would it be? What would make your lives easier?” And the overwhelming response was, “Give me a shopping list. Tell me what to buy and then tell me what to wear.” I thought, “Hmm, that’s a really interesting concept. Can I do that?” So, I put together the first shopping list and then I thought, “This shopping list does you no good if you can’t mix and match and create different outfits from it.” So that’s really how the idea for this was born. It was something that was brought to me by my readers and they have been loving it ever since then.

So, as I think about buying these 40 pieces of clothing, I start to think about the finances. We’ll get into the actual details of how this works with Get Your Pretty On, but are all these 40 pieces going to cost me $100 each? That’s $4,000. How do you think through the finances of that?

I do this in a few different ways. First off, after about a year of doing this style challenge program with me, most women agree that they’re spending if anything per season, a very minimal amount. What I really strive to is help you build a closet full of basic items that you love and that fit and flatter your body. Then the idea is to re-use those pieces throughout the year.

So, we usually start with a concept of “closet staples”. So, you have these pieces in your closet first and if you can’t buy them all upfront at one time when you first start out in the program, it’s okay because you can curate your closet over time. The point is to not feel pressured. Just because an item is on a shopping list, you can make substitutions with other pieces in your closet. We do offer substation ideas for that reason. But I really wanted this to be a very budget friendly program.

I feel like having a personal stylist is a luxury for most women and a lot of them can’t afford $150 an hour and up for somebody to come into your house and say, “Hey, this is what you should be wearing,” or go through your closet or even take you out shopping. I really wanted something that was going to appeal to women that are on a budget and to make it something that they can work with. Even if you only have $50 to spend for a season, you can make this work. We’ve had women who have completely thrifted their entire capsule wardrobes. I was talking to someone on a podcast yesterday and she told me she found one of the dresses for the challenge at a thrift store with $165 price tag on it and she got it 50 cents. So, where there’s a will, there’s a way. It just takes creativity.

What are some of those basic items? What are some of those core items that every woman needs in her wardrobe?

I recommend every woman has a great fitting pair of dark wash jeans. Those are certainly something that you would want to look at as an investment item, although it doesn’t have to be. I’ve found some cheap jeans that have fit me and have held up wonderfully. So, if you’re going to spend a little bit of extra money on things, the things that I recommend doing that with are some nicer leather goods; shoes and boots, belts and handbags, wallets and accessories. Something that’s going to stand the test of time. Because you really want to look at your purchases on a cost per wear basis.

For years I would buy the trendiest purse every season. I was spending a couple hundred bucks a year, until I finally came around to the mindset that I could save up that money, buy one investment bag. I’ve had my investment bag for 4 years now and I have no plans of getting rid of it. I think that you have to think through your purchases on that level a little bit too.

I also recommend having a nice classic coat for every season. Trench coats are great for spring and fall, as are utility jackets. Wool coats and parkas are great options for winter. Those are all great investment items that you’re going to use season after season, year after year. That way you can have fun with the seasonal trends, because most trends are pretty inexpensive. I never recommend spending a lot of money on trends because they usually come and go pretty quickly. Now if a trend has a little bit of staying power and it sticks around for a few years, then that’s certainly an area that you may want to say, “I really like this piece, I’m wearing it a lot. I want to upgrade it to the better quality piece.”

Do you have an example of that? What’s an example of a recent trend item that you might say, “Okay, I had this as the Target version and I want to step it up”?

I have a real life example of this. I bought myself a pair of leopard print flats at target six years ago. I felt that leopard print was having a resurgence at that time and I thought it would probably be a trend that’s just going to kind of come and go. But it didn’t and I wore out those leopard print flats. I think I wore them for about two to three years before I finally decided that I was going to go out and spend a bit more on a nice calf hair pair of leopard flats. I knew that this was something that I wore all the time and that I wanted to get a lot of use out. So that’s a perfect example of how a trend has come into existence and then just hung on for a while.

I could not agree more on the jeans, even for guys. I’m wearing Seven jeans today that probably cost me $125 at Nordstrom Rack. They were on sale, probably half price but I wear these things all the time. They fit so well compared to the $40 or $50 pair that I get at Gap. Those are fine, but they don’t feel the same. So that feeling of the higher priced item, it’s amazing. It’s worth it.

It’s absolutely worth it. A lot of times I tell women not to confuse price with quality, because they’re not the same thing. Sometimes you could go out and spend a couple hundred dollars on something or you buy it because it’s a name brand and it’s not the best quality. More often than not, when you do make investments in those types of pieces, they’re the ones that make you feel like a million bucks. I’m going to be totally honest, whenever I put on any of my investment items, I feel like I can conquer the world. There’s that feeling of confidence that comes from that as well.

I love this language you’re using; an investment item. Give me examples of those and some of the name brands that make you think, “This piece for me. I love it. It makes me feel great.”

Well, I’ll tell you about a few of my investments, but please understand that I’ve curated these over the years. My first big splurge on myself was a Louis Vuitton Neverfull, the big, big tote bag. I love that thing and it has served me so well. I take it when I travel. I stuff it full of stuff. It serves as a laptop bag because its lightweight enough that I can take most of the stuff out of there and carry it all the time. So that is definitely been one of my biggest and best investments. I also treated myself to a Burberry trench coat a few years back. I found it though through a re-sale site. I ended up getting it for about a third of what I would have paid retail for it and it still had the tags on it. So that was my big win in that regard.

I think Nordstrom is a great place to buy investment type pieces that are classic items like jeans. It is so hard to find a really nice, well-made t-shirt that you can wear every day and that’s going to hold up and look great wash after wash. Nordstrom is a great place to get those basics. Also, button down shirts like oxfords, definitely Nordstrom for those pieces. I also think everybody should have a nice belt. They are totally worth the investment and belts are making a comeback. The past few years they sort of fell out of being in vogue, but now they’re back and they’re huge. I would definitely recommend that. And of course, shoes. I bought a pair of riding boots that I spent close to $400 on and I’ve been wearing them for six years. I plan to wear them for the rest of my life I’m able to. I’ll get them re-soled and I’ve taken good care of them. When you put that kind of money into something, it makes you want to take care of it. It makes you want to wear it and preserve it and have it longer term too.

Right, the issue there is the cost per wear, as you said.

Right.

If you’ve worn those for multiple seasons, now you’re getting your usage out of it. I love that. I do still go back to the external factor of the Burberry jacket or the Louis Vuitton bag and think, “Okay, how much of that is creativity? How much of that is culture? How much of is that it’s in style? How much of its quality?” I wrestle with that a little bit.

How much am I buying into a capitalistic culture versus something being really enjoyable, comfortable or fun? I wrestle with it being something that my identity is wrapped up in as well. Do you wrestle with that at all?

I do, and I think it goes back to the fact that brands and quality are not exactly synonymous with one another. For me, I feel like I connect with certain brands on a gut level. And I think that that guides a lot of my decisions and purchases and also my style choices. I love the history of both Louis Vuitton and Burberry. I like to research the history of brands, especially fashion brands and both of these have both been around forever. They have consistent quality with their products too. So, for me, I feel like it’s more of a gut instinct type of thing. But certainly, those are items that are very much in style and obviously I wouldn’t want to spend a lot of money on something if I felt it was out dated or wasn’t going to have some longevity. I think the cultural stuff does come into play a little bit, but you’ll have to give yourself that gut check with that also.

A lot of women might be looking at their husband’s or partner’s wardrobe and they’re cringing. Whether its all the funky t-shirts from the 5K runs or the sweatpants in the closet, how do you as a woman or wife approach that? How would you suggest women talk to their husband about these things without being nagging or offensive?

I have a person story to share in this area as well. My husband was a bit resistant to my style tips and last year I had to really twist his arm and say, “Hey honey, I think it’s time to update your wardrobe.” He would go shopping with me and he would kind of grumble around and say, “Oh, you’re just trying to turn me into something that I’m not.”

How would describe his style prior to this point? Does he go to an office environment where people wear ties? Or is it more business casual?

His office is anything goes. This is going to sound so mean, but I would describe his previous style as washed up surfer. You know what really helped with this? Last year we were on vacation and we were on our way back and he had on this outfit that I would describe as somewhere in the surfer realm. So, our kids – you know how kids are brutally honest? Thank goodness for them.

How old are they?

We have older kids, so this helps a lot. Our oldest, our son is 22, our middle daughter is 19 and our youngest is 14. So, the two older kids’ kind of ganged up and decided that they’ve had it with Dad’s style. They’re kind of over being seen with him. One day our son said to me, “Why do you let him dress like that?” I told him I didn’t have control over that. But I told my husband what he said and honestly, I think that was a lightbulb moment for him. He’d been hearing it from me long enough that it didn’t really matter. But hearing it from someone else and hearing it from the kids, that was the time that finally stuck with him and resonated.

He said, “Okay, let’s go. Let’s go out.” We went to Nordstrom Rack and that’s where we started. We got him some great fitting jeans, a nice pair of Frye boots, some nice shirts and a nice belt. And that’s where we started. We maybe spent around $400 that first time out, but we were able to get him a good selection of classic items that he’s still wearing to this day. I think with women, you really do need to approach it carefully because they may feel like you’re nagging at them or that you’re trying to change their style or make them into something they’re not. It’s really not about that, it’s about opening their minds and maybe just saying, “Are you open to doing this shopping trip with me? Are you open to maybe trying some new styles?” They’ll come around eventually.

It’s funny because as I was looking at the items that you are putting in your capsules, they seem to be pretty middle of the road in terms of accessibility for women. I live in Southern California, so there are a lot of different styles. Even for women, there can be a punk rock style or surfer/skate style or there’s super modern. How would you describe your style and the style that you present via Get Your Pretty On?

It starts out with really classic basics and very traditional styling. Even if you decide to take a boho, preppy, modern or an edgy twist to the outfits, you’re still able to do that if you start out with some classic basics. A pair of great fitting jeans and a white t-shirt can be the base of so many different looks. You can put on a black moto jacket if you like edgier style. You could wear some funky shoes. You can add anything to those basic outfit pieces. You could throw on a jacket and make it edgy or you can put on some funky shoes if you’re more modern. Or you could do something preppy with that. You could add on a denim jacket or whatever it takes to make the pieces your own. That’s really what I encourage in this. I really want women to experiment with their style.

By giving you a template to start with, it gives you a starting point to say, “Okay, I like this basic outfit, but maybe I can take it to this place or that place.” It really gives them that leverage. We do also give them some tips. We seriously have every type of style imaginable represented in our private Facebook community, which makes things so much easier. We have women from California, we have women from Canada, we have women from Europe and they’re all bringing in their different takes on these outfits. I love seeing how many different representations they can create from them just by putting a little bit of creative spin on it.

Describe to me what a “Style Challenge” is and how does it work?

The Style Challenge is my online personal styling program and its only called a challenge because I’m challenging you to get out of your comfort zone. There’s no competition involved whatsoever. It started whenever the GYPO readers came to me and said, “Can you do this for us?” I was like, “Hey, I’m in. Let’s do this.” When I first created it, I thought I’ll be happy if 50 women sign up for this. Five hundred women signed up right out of the gate, so I knew that this was something that they were really looking for and excited about. Since we started it over 25,000 women in 20 different countries have participated in it and have built capsule wardrobes for every season of the year.

So, the first thing you get is a shopping list and on that list are some classic items, which I call “Closet Staples”. Items that every woman should have in her closet and you can check off any of those items you already have that are on your shopping list. It also has some seasonal trends, so you get to try out a few different trends every season. I try to be really mindful of the trends and look at things that are really wearable in everyday life. If you look at runway trends, you’re probably saying, “Oh my gosh, there’s no way I could ever translate that into something that’s every day wearable.” That’s really the challenge, finding the trends that I feel women can actually wear in their everyday lives.

Once they have the pieces in the capsule, then every day I send them a different outfit idea to their inbox. So, like I said before, this is really like meal planning. We’re all faced with decision fatigue and this is just one less decision you have to make. You’ll login to your email, open it up and, “There’s my outfit today.” You have the pieces in your closet already, you put them on and “Voila”, you’re dressed for the day. We also provide resources like masterclasses on how to find the best fit for your body type. We provide color palettes options for women, so that you’re not just tied to the color palette that I create with the capsule if those colors don’t flatter you or you like other colors.  You’ll have the option of swapping those out.

And lastly, the Facebook community. This was a biproduct to the challenge that I never expected to be the best part of it, but it truly is. The women in there are so kind, so supportive and its funny because they’ll go into fitting rooms and post a message saying, “I’m at Old Navy, which pair of pants should I buy?” They put pictures in there and they’ll have an immediate response from 20 people. Our group is extremely active. They post selfies of their outfits. They share shopping tips. We have every size represented from zero to 24 plus. We have women in there from their late 20’s to their early 70’s and it’s so much fun how these outfits come to life on such a wide variety of body types and ages. I think the biggest piece of feedback I get from women who do the challenge is that they’ve discovered confidence and they feel empowered to make style decisions now. Even though I’m providing them with the tools and resources at first, it’s really about teaching them to be able to go out and do this on their own as well.

I know you get it all the time; how does this differ from something like a Stitch Fix or a Wantable? Those companies where they’re sending you clothes, a couple of items or something?

Yes, that’s the most asked question that I get and I think it’s the biggest point of confusion. People sign up and say, “Are you going to send me my box of clothes?” We don’t do that. However, The Style Challenge works really, really well with those programs like Stich Fix and Wantable. I’m a Stich Fix subscriber. I will communicate with my stylist and say, “Hey, I’m looking for these certain pieces,” and then she’ll send them to me in a box. The way that this differs is that you get to work within your own budget and shop at the stores that you love. So, I’m still giving you the styling ideas, but you’re not forced into purchasing something that maybe doesn’t fit your budget or your lifestyle.

You have that flexibility to go out and curate the pieces on your own. I think that’s the beauty of this program. We’re not tying you into any one particular brand and that’s how we can make it work for so many different ages and body types and sizes. Don’t get me wrong, I do give you suggestions. We have a whole catalogue of recommended items and links to online retailers, you can shop online and you can shop in store. These are pieces that my team and I pre-vet for quality and fit and all that good stuff. So, if you want to go out and buy those pieces, then you certainly can, but you also have the freedom to purchase whatever works best for you.

I love that part of your platform. I think I probably saw eight links for a pair of black jeans. I thought that was very helpful and maybe I could go and I look online at the options and then I actually go to the store if I wanted to try them on. It’s obvious that you’ve invested a lot of time to help women think through this. One thing I was asking myself was, “When is Alison going to do this for men? Come on, step up!”

Well, the answer is, I am going to do this for men. I have done a few Style Challenges for men in the past and I am also working on creating a Closet Staples Wardrobe Builder for men. I’m really excited about that. I’m going to collaborate with some other men in the fashion field so that I’m sure that we’re on track with this.

I’ve done so much women’s style, but I’ve had a lot of women come to me and ask for this resource. I think a lot of wives are out shopping for their husbands and they’re not sure where to start. We’ve gotten some really, really positive feedback from the past seasonal capsules we’ve done for men. So, I would definitely like to expand into this category a little bit further in the future.

Was your husband disappointed that he wasn’t your partner in that effort?

I’m sure that he’ll help out. If we need somebody to go out and try on the pieces and vet out some of the decisions that are made, he’s always game and I’m sure that he’ll be on board with that too.

The pricing for these Style Challenges and for the capsule wardrobes, it’s very inexpensive. It’s like $39 or something like that, is that right?

Yes, it is. I wanted this to be a product that I felt could be accessible for any woman with any budget. You are going to have to buy some clothing and there’s going to be some investment that you’re going to be making after the initial purchase. But for the style advise itself, I wanted this to be something that we could reach a massive number of women with. The idea was to make personal style really accessible for everyone because I think that it’s so important for us to feel good in our clothes and I don’t think that it’s something that should be reserved for the wealthy or people that can afford to have a stylist come in and do this for them. So that’s really why I wanted to keep that price point low and keep it accessible.

The Style Challenge goes beyond a month even though you’re providing the outfits for the 31 days. If you think about it that way, I’m paying you less than a dollar a day to be my personal stylist.

Exactly, yes. That’s what I say. It’s less than Netflix for a year and you get this personal style advice. I think that’s the lightbulb that goes off in a lot of women’s minds. They’re thinking, “Oh, okay. This is something that I can do for a small amount of money and it’s something that makes me feel really good about myself.” Some women don’t go out at first and buy all the pieces on the list, they just join it, get the advice, join the Facebook group and they sit back and watch, listen and learn. I think that’s a great approach to take to this as well, because there’s so much that you’re going to gain just from watching how the other women are doing it. That’s going to help guide your decisions as well.

One of the really important things I know, when talking to entrepreneurs, is their “why”. Yes, there’s a financial reason. You need to monetize what you’re doing because you have to be able to pay for your time to continue to do it, but your “why” goes deeper than that. Last question, give it to me and help me understand your “why”. Because as people hear your “why”, I want them to also be asking themselves, “What is my ‘why’? Why am I doing what I’m doing?”

It’s funny. It goes all the way back to when I was 15 years old. I talk about my faith a lot; through my coffee chats I do on Facebook Live and through my blog, but I felt like God was telling me at a very young age that I was going to influence the lives of women but I never really knew what that meant or how it would manifest. I spent many years in a corporate career that paid the bills, but I wasn’t passionate about it at all. I started to explore other options and I went down the path of life coaching which was really powerful and I loved it, but I still felt like there was something else in there. I just didn’t know what it was.

Through doing this Style Challenge, I’m able to not only make women’s lives easier, but I think the best part is just seeing the confidence and seeing that it acts as a springboard in their lives for so many other things. We’ve had women who’ve done The Style Challenge and said it was the thing that kicked off a career change for them or it was the thing that made them decide that they wanted to go back and finish their degree. I get chills just sharing this, because I can’t even believe that just the simple act of refocusing on ourselves, building a wardrobe and helping someone feel good in their clothing again can do so much for someone.

We’ve had a lot of women who have done The Style Challenge who have embarked on a major weight loss journey or who have worked on their relationships. When the comments say, “My husband is paying attention to me again. He’s complimenting my outfits. He wants me to go out and shop and I feel good. It’s making a difference in my relationship,” I think that’s really what this is all about. It’s one small tangible thing that I can put out into the world that is actually making a difference. It’s not the way I ever thought it would be or could have ever imagined or dreamed, but it’s even better than that. That’s my “why”.

That’s beautiful. I’m very inspired by what you’re doing and I love that you’re making a difference in people’s lives. I can totally see how it can make a difference and I can see how the Facebook group becomes this massive community of people just cheering each other on as they’re making those changes. Thanks for sharing your story. Your website is www.getyourprettyon.com; GYPO as you said.

Yes, and we also have a freebie for your listeners too. They can download a sample capsule wardrobe at www.getyourprettyon.com/launchyourselftoday. And if they want to sign up for that they can get a taste of what it’s all about.

Absolutely, you guys, you have to check this out. I logged in. I felt awkward. I’m not a gal, but I signed up. I resisted joining the Facebook group, because I thought you might deny me or think I was some weird stalker or something. But I jumped in and I got some of your freebies because I really wanted to get behind the scenes on what you’re doing.

You guys have go to check that out, www.getyourprettyon.com/launchyourselftoday. Make sure you sign up for that and check out a sample capsule wardrobe. You guys, you should watch the YouTube video of this, because Alison’s room, the color behind her, it’s like a mint green. How would you describe that?

It’s a very pale, light blue. I was in between choosing this color and a pink ballet slippers color. I wanted to make it super girly, I’m just going to be totally honest. But I ended up settling on the blue and I think that it worked really, really well with all the other décor in the office too.

I love it, it’s beautiful. It’s a little different than my office. I’m into kind of a mid-century modern, eclectic antique kind of vibe.

Yes, I see your typewriter back there. That’s awesome.

I’ve got 15 of them, they’re amazing. Alison, it’s been great to spend time with you today.

Thanks David, I appreciate this opportunity and I loved sharing some style tips with you.


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thank you!

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