One job is not enough for hard-working Fyona Bassett from South Manchester who has a successful business as a personal stylist with House of Colour, as well as running her own change communications consultancy, working with large multi-national businesses. Fyona is vowing in 2019 to help scores of people across the region by showing them what styles and colours truly suit them and how this can impact their confidence, their visibility at work and even their relationships.
"Both my jobs involve helping people to feel good, whether it be on the inside, the outside or both! I particularly enjoy helping those who are reaching tricky stages in their lives where they feel a little adrift, such as becoming a new mum, starting work, redundancy, retiring or just getting older and feeling less visible in the world! I feel so passionate about it that I'm seeing 2019 as the year to help as many people across the region as possible!"
Fyona remembers a time when she heard a male tv presenter question why women in their 40s bothered getting out of bed in the morning. "After shouting at the TV for a few minutes, I realised I was upset because I was feeling far less confident than I had in my thirties. Conversations with my friends confirmed they were all feeling like this too – changing shapes, changing jobs, ageing parents and children moving on – leaving us less sure of ourselves, stuck and struggling with our confidence.
"A very good friend from House of Colour analysed my colours when I was in my forties; I went along curious but not expecting any surprises. My mum had her 'colours done' when I was a teenager and promptly decided I was a spring! I always loved my sister's autumn colours more and begged to borrow her clothes, which I thought looked much better than my own. Over the intervening years I had quite a patchy relationship with colour – from 80's neon to corporate black, which I thought was compulsory if I wanted be taken seriously at work! Finding out as an adult I was an autumn was therefore a lovely surprise – not only did I look so much better, but I realised I could look expensive too, rather than a paler less attractive version!
"My style class was a real game changer. Like many people I had always tended to dress like people I admired but never felt like I'd got it right. At work, I had worn the same corporate black suits as other people, but always felt a little like a burst pillow if I'm honest, which didn't really do wonders for my confidence or my personal impact! Understanding my style was rather like coming home – I could finally dress like and be myself in all areas of my life. As a woman in my forties I'd never felt better or more comfortable and confident in my own skin.
"Having my colours analysed enabled me to shed many of the insecurities and self-doubt I'd carried with me for half a lifetime, which made me realise I wanted to do all I could to help other women and men realise that age doesn't define you. I joked to my friend that if she were ever considering selling her business to call me first and sure enough in a few years she did! Now I have two jobs that I absolutely love, which both involve improving confidence, well-being and overall happiness. My clients and I have so much fun in my personal stylist sessions that it's not like working. I'm sure the guys in the office next door to my studio wonder why there's so much laughter coming from my room!"
Janet, a client of Fyona's says: "I have felt unattractive most of my life. I felt so embarrassed going into clothes shops because I looked a sight until a lovely lady encouraged me to go and have my colours done. I went to Fyona and my life was transformed, I gained confidence that I had never had. I felt as good as the next person, I would never have believed it. It is the best thing I have ever done for myself and I wish with all my heart that I had done it when I was younger."
Fyona's Top Tips To Help You Look & Feel Your Best Everyday
- Wear Colour – Colour is vital to our lives! Find the right colours that make you look fresher, healthier and more dynamic. Try wearing at least three different colours together - colour is memorable and conveys confidence.
- Be Free To Be You – When you dress purely for the roles you play you can lose who you are, so dress in a way which expresses your personality and own it. I was so much happier once I'd given up channeling Grace Kelly and embraced my inner boho. This also includes not letting your age define you – you don't have to look like Helen Mirren if you are over 50. She looks great and so can you by dressing like yourself!
- Keep Evolving – Have courage to keep trying something new and avoid going stale - even just one new garment can help build your wardrobe, like a new shoe shape or a new accessory you've never tried before.
Fyona offers personal styling across South Manchester and Cheshire (Bramhall, Wilmslow, Alderley Edge, Macclesfield, Congleton). firstname.lastname@example.org
Fyona Bassett is one of a network of consultants with House of Colour, offering colour analysis, personal styling and image consultancy across the UK. www.houseofcolour.co.uk.