Image Ability | Blog: The beauty and strength of new beginnings
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Four years ago, we just escaped by the skin of our teeth from the rapid spread of COVID-19 in Northern Italy while skiing in the Dolomites. Nobody knew what it was at that time; we were so lucky to get on that plane and safely back home! 

By then, I had graduated from an international Image school. I had my first two customers – a lady forced to leave her high-profile job due to a massive cultural discrepancy between herself and the business owner, even as she was transforming it with visible results. And a young mum who was trying hard to get her mojo back and restart work after having her first baby.

They had critical things in common: both were brilliant leaders who cared and valued their image and their impact on others. At a time of personal and professional crossroads, we had quite a ball discovering what was essential knowledge and what mattered for their confidence and their way of living (style).

Inspired by their challenge(s) and resolve, I pursued a new business idea: Image Ability was born at an intersection of domains. Then, while we were stuck indoors, we figured out what women wanted to know more about and about themselves – which wasn’t just about their ‘covers’, although this is what they instinctively thought about to start with! Looking back, that was the beginning of the new age of feminism and inclusion, which, by all accounts, is here to stay and amplify its reach.

With great enthusiasm, we developed a system for complete, online delivery of the fundamentals of (feminine) image for self-paced learning. The motivation was straightforward: female celebration and recognition. Our professional customers gave us generous feedback about how this bite-size reflection and action turned out to be a breath of fresh air at a time when gentleness, agelessness and slowness (i.e. semi-invisibility) were seen as the only way forward. 

We have learned many things – then and ever since. Perhaps one of the clearest of all is that significant events will never stop women from relating to how they think, how they learn to be present, how to own a room even if they work from home or mostly online, how they transform and what they feel good wearing and mainly, taking note about how their choices influence the way they act. I have concluded that it is at these crossroad moments in one’s life stages, and those of others, that women are at their very best in making sense of the bigger picture – both from within and without. 

Once we developed our first, perfectly imperfect, bite-size course, it became our core brick in the ‘origin story’. It was never intended to be a definitive treatise but to draw attention to what really matters: what women know and think of their personality and aspirations, what they prefer to wear – even if constrained by their less-than-dynamic experiences. Also, how do they relate to their bodies and colour for good effect? More than anything, it is about the power of their presence and inherent wish to make an impact.

In hindsight, the beauty of those new beginnings sums up five classic lessons of leadership: 

  • Building your image is like building a house; the foundation and the structure are where you start – not the roof.
  • Personal values lead your construction: start with integrity, courage and curiosity.
  • Unless you know who you are, you are wasting time and resources on a façade — i.e. you may be dressing the wrong person!
  • Your style is visible, and you cannot hide it. It is how you are and how you go about doing everything you do. Notice and give yourself feedback graciously.
  • Focus more on how you communicate rather than what you communicate. Are you agile and enthusiastic or a closed expert?

In celebration of the beauty of those new beginnings, we are re-opening this programme for access by every woman who wants to learn and reflect on her image fundamentals. Designed as a warm-up pre-cursor to more in-depth stuff that we have created in the meantime, it will continue to be a reference for those essential bits of knowledge that every woman can apply immediately. Some things never change, and in the whirlwind of re-setting on so many fronts, recognising what is stable (those fundamentals) is re-energising!

Hop in, be gentle, take it in your stride, and see it yourself. And we love feedback!

Read more and enrol here in Image Fundamentals.

Apply this code IFMARCH24 for a special price during March 2024 (i.e. £97 from £176).

If you wish to read more about our journey (and why we rebranded once), take a look at our purpose, vision, mission, the meaning of our name, and the outcome for our customers.

Some of our customers’ classic challenges:

And stay tuned for more feedback, which you might not have yet seen!