What is an Image Consultant and Why is it Important?

Why I Chose to Become An Image Consultant

Image ConsultantA couple of years ago, before I decided on Personal Styling and becoming an Image Consultant, I realized my makeup career would not go anywhere unless I learned to style hair – not just style, but know all about it by going to cosmetology school. At this point in my life, I did not want to devote nearly every Saturday and at least four days a week to attending school and studying.

Since I noticed many makeup artists out there also called themselves Personal Stylists, I thought that would be a natural progression. As always, I wanted to have as much education and training as I could find, so I found the School of Style training programs, run by two former corporate and celebrity stylists based in West Hollywood, California. I took three of their programs: Personal Stylist, Fashion Stylist Certification, and Men’s Wear styling. All of the programs were excellent, and I especially learned to stretch my artistic views when selecting clothing. It was good to have that viewpoint.

While I thought I wanted to work on commercial sets and do styling, once again, I found the Indianapolis market was very small and without regular work. While I did some really nice jobs on some commercial sets, I found the bulk of my business were individuals who wanted personal stylists to help with their wardrobe and clean out their closets.

The Moment Where I Knew I Wanted to Become An Image Consultant

A couple of years ago someone called me and asked if I was a trained Image Consultant, and when I said no, he hired another person. At that point, I thought I needed to at the very least join the Association of Image Consultants International, and the local Chicago Midwest Chapter. Very fast I learned this was an excellent organization because of the Continuing Education it required and the skill base of the speakers I began to learn from.

Image ConsultantVery quickly I knew I wanted to get certification as an Image Consultant. That meant taking an online image consulting class, pouring over several books about business etiquette, color and line theory, shape analysis and communication theory. I took the certification test—passed it the first time—and then started to put together my portfolio. I had to prove I had paying clients; five of them had to review me; I had show I was involved in my local AICI chapter and many other qualifications. It was a thorough endeavor, and when I learned I had my CIC (Certified Image Consultant), I was overjoyed at accomplishing one of the hardest goals I’ve ever pursued.

I am now on the board of our local AICI chapter as vice president of membership and the President-elect.

What I like about being able to say I am a Certified Image Consultant is to let others know I have training, had to pass several criteria and continue to learn more about this fascinating field.

Believe it or not, AICI is an international organization; in fact, there are more image consultants in other countries than here in the United States.

It’s exciting to be one of these emerging professionals who help people realize how great they can be – inside and out, as well as the fact that you are in control of your “personal” brand – not someone else.

Image ConsultantIt’s even more exciting to know I am the only Certified Image Consultant in the Indianapolis area who is a member of AICI. My goal is to recruit more people to join us! Image consultants are varied and skilled in different areas, and they include some of the following…Wardrobe Stylists, Personal Shoppers, Protocol/Etiquette Trainers, Color Consultants, Executive Presence Coaches, Makeup Artists, Hair Stylists, Presentation Skills Coaches, Personal Branding Experts, Celebrity Stylists, and Keynote Speakers.

For more information about the Association of Image Consultants International go to AICI.org; to learn more about the Chicago Midwest Chapter, go to aicihttps://www.aici.org/?chicagomidwest.com.

Keep it sassy, Indy.

Beth Divine, MA, CIM

AICI Certified Image Consultant and Personal Stylist