Couldn’t Check Out My Book Because They’re All Checked Out!

Couldn’t Check Out My Book Because They’re All Checked Out!

It’s Day 338 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project and since I had a downtown meeting, I planned to view my debut novel, Seasons of Her Soul, on the shelves of the main library but couldn’t check out my book because they’re all checked out! An early morning meeting across the street provided the perfect opportunity to pop in and see my novel displayed in the Fiction section; instead, I was given a printout showing me the twelve libraries that carry it along with whether the book is on the shelves or due for return. Learning that nine of the fifteen copies, including the ones the main branch carries are out MADE. MY. AUTHOR. DAY! Still, I would have loved to have seen the book with the Dewey Decimal System code on the spine, however, I made due by having Mackenzie – who was a on break from shelving – take a picture of me with the copy I had in my bag from the previous meeting. Besides, how could I possibly be disappointed that I couldn’t check out my book because they’re all checked out?!!!

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Me, Pink Collar Coach, with my proof copy of Seasons of Her Soul, holding it near where it sits on the Inspirational Fiction shelf. Dressed to impress for my meeting, I’m in a Calvin Klein denim wash sheath dress purchased a few years ago with a newer jacket that elevates it to suit status. A silver button cinches it at the waist & dictated I carry a handbag with blue, silver & taupe, picked up by the pumps. All Calvin Klein/TJ Maxx bought over time to build professional wardrobe.

Mackenzie also made the trip worthwhile. I’ve never met an author we shelve!, she enthused as she snapped away. I’m going to read it as soon as it comes back in. I gave her a book card with this website address and she said she’d look for this post. So here’s a shout out Mackenzie! Bolstered by the interactions with her, the librarians and my nostalgic trip down Main Library Memory Lane, where I spent so much of my childhood, I decided to head north to the library in the community where I now reside.

There, I initiated the process of having the West Chester Library carry the book so it can be distributed in its four branches and Library on Wheels program. In addition, I picked up an application to have a table at the Local Author Fair in the fall. Finally, I discovered  the library hosts a writing group once a month, so I might try that out in June! This trip also proved to be worthwhile.

As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose author, there’s no better feeling than to know the book I labored over for twenty years is finally being read and touching women’s lives. This was confirmed yesterday at our Mother’s Day lunch where a family friend with adult twin daughters shared how one read the book and was so moved by it she’s hesitant to have her sister read for fear it will stir up painful emotions regarding being single. Our friend thought I might take the feedback negatively but it’s just the opposite. I want readers to feel something when they read my work. Hopefully that’s the case with all of the copies of my book I couldn’t check out because they were checked out!

Hope you’ll be Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose and check it out below!

Be savvy & chic,

~Pink Collar Coach

To preview/purchase the print or Kindle version of my debut novel, Seasons of Her Soul, please visit Amazon.com at 
 
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Wise Investment in My Work Wardrobe and My Work

Wise Investment in My Work Wardrobe and My Work

It’s Day 307 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project, and I reaped the rewards of wise investments in my work wardrobe and in my work. Though I had a busy day coaching yesterday, it ended fairly early, but I was still too wiped out to post. Today I coached, did a ton of writing, attended my writing group where I served in my new secretarial role,  and am just ending my work day, but I’m invigorated. Knowing it would be a long one, I wanted to be comfortable and turned to an oldie but a goodie gray dress that is several years old but just happens to sport the ruffles that are all the rage right now. One of the first dresses I bought to start building my professional wardrobe back around 2011, I love it just as much today. And our monthly writing group meeting is invaluable and one of my favorite days of the month. The time and energy spent fellowshipping with and learning from other writers is so worth it. Some may look at our writing as a hobby; we view it as the work God has given us here on earth. Considering all of that, it seems my wise investments in my work wardrobe and in my work are yielding some high returns.

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Kristen is writing her first period romance, Angie is holding Book II in her dystopian series, I just published my debut novel, Seasons of Her Soul, and am working on the sequel, Hold on Her Heart, and Kim has won writing contests every year consecutively for nearly two decades. Me, Pink Collar Coach in gray ruffled dress, black hose, & handbag, all Calvin Klein -TJ Maxx.            Boots Calvin Klein from Goodwill – never worn at $11!

As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Maxxinista and novelist, there are few things I enjoy more than putting together a great outfit that works as hard as I do at my writing. Being a good steward of my resources, including my money, my time and my talents is a core value. That’s why I buy pieces that will stand the test of time and would rather spend my night immersed in writing than sitting on the sofa vegging. Don’t get me wrong – I do that, too. But not on writing group night – and this month we have two! Next week is our annual mixer – my first –  where visitors from other writing groups will join us. Good thing I’ve made wise investments in my work wardrobe and in my writing work…

How about you? Are you Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose and make wise investments on your work wardrobe? How about on your actual work?

Be savvy & chic,

~Pink Collar Coach

Worn Out from Working It Out – “Kick Start Your High Heeled Success” Workshop

Worn Out from Working It Out – “Kick Start Your High Heeled Success” Workshop

It’s Day 289 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project, and I’m worn out from working it out at our “Kick Start Your High Heeled Success” workshop. Planning and executing all day women’s events is always draining for Kay Fittes and me – in the best way because we give it our all – however, with a snow advisory for 5-11″ in effect for early this morning into tomorrow morning, we felt an extra degree of stress. Once we’d committed to moving forward unless we a Level 3 emergency, concerns about attrition while wanting our participants to be safe plagued us. All of this necessitated lots of additional communication. Then we went to bed not knowing what we’d find when the time came to head to the venue. Given all the hype, you can imagine our surprise and relief when we awoke to not a drop of precipitation! As is often the case, Kay and I concurred – What a case of much ado about nothing! Even so, we experienced attribution due to the unwarranted fears about what we and the participants called the erroneous weather prediction – a Nor’easter, white death, Snowmagedon, etc. Though we missed having those who understandably decided not to risk it, we had a wonderful workshop with the intrepid participants who dared attend despite forecast snow fall in the afternoon. That forecast was accurate and created a bit of a distraction…Considering the weather issues, it’s no wonder we’re worn out from working it out at our Kick Start workshop!

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Kay Fittes, CEO and Founder, High Heeled Success & me, Pink Collar Coach.                                      Calvin Klein color block dress, blazer, and suede open-toe heels. All TJ Maxx. 

Good thing to kick start something literally means to give it new energy! And that’s exactly what happened while we presented on powering personal esteem, professional esteem, verbal language, non-verbal language, presentations and packaging. The packaging segment is especially enjoyable for me since I get to tie all the pieces together – If you’re already doing all the other things, why let your packaging sabotage your efforts? Also, two of my image coaching clients gave heartfelt testimonials about their experience with me, and I finally got to tell one of them how coaching her through a D – distorted self concept/Ugly Duckling Syndrome – to total transformation/realizing she’s always been a Swan, helped me clarify my mission and tagline, to hone in further on my unique value, and gave me the idea for my swan logo. Immensely gratifying doesn’t begin to describe how I felt seeing and hearing how far she’s come now that the internal changes she’s worked on are reflected in her external packaging. And what a joy to have a table displaying my debut novel, Seasons of Her Soul! It seems while I was there to help Swans kick start their careers, I got a kick start for mine as well.

As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Life Coach, Author and Speaker, it doesn’t get much better than a day like today. Although I’m exhausted, it’s the best kind. Kay read today that we are created in God’s image – to make manifest His glory in us. Just as He worked hard for seven days to create the world, saw it was all very good and then rested, likewise we do our best work, feel a sense of accomplishment, and then crave rest. I’m going to sleep now because I’m wonderfully worn out after working it out at our Kick Start Your High Heeled Success workshop.

Are you Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose and work to the degree that it wears you out at times? Hopefully, you also feel as sense of accomplishment at having done it well and then give your self permission to rest.

Be savvy  & chic,

~Pink Collar Coach

Professional Packaging Supports or Sabotages

Professional Packaging Supports or Sabotages

It’s Day 286 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project and preparing a proposal for a presentation reminds me how our professional packaging either supports or sabotages us. When I did my student teaching at a small uber conservative Christian school, despite having always used fashion as a form of self-expression, I began packaging myself similar to the other teachers. Dresses to my ankles, long hair pulled into a bun and little to no makeup. Even though I conformed a bit, I wouldn’t have been caught dead in something with the alphabet, animals or the Ark on it! Still, we teachers didn’t make much and I wore the least expensive items I could find. That is until my mother’s threat if she ever saw me carrying another ratty handbag from Walmart scared me out of buying any more! Imitating the fashion choices of others didn’t work for me then, and as I’ve matured, it really doesn’t now. Rather than following trends, I own what works for my personal sense of style – and pocketbook. Today I understand the truth of quality vs. quantity and dressing your best now – no matter your budget, body, busy schedule, or even beliefs. Though those women’s hearts were in the right place – they believed they were being modest and good stewards –  however, their dowdy attire did nothing for them. In fact, I suspect it hurt some. Those ladies worked hard. All Pink Collar Swans work do. Why not invest in purposeful packaging? After all, it either supports or sabotages us – personally and professionally.

The reason I suspect those women were hurt by the seeming lack of effort they put into their packaging is that most of them were viewed and treated as doormats. More together on the inside than their male counterparts, they also functioned at a higher level overall. Yet somehow they were looked down upon based on their outward appearance.  Unfortunately, I’ve seen this in other workplaces. While men usually stick to a standard uniform of at least a button down, khakis, and loafers, women show up in shapeless dresses and skirts, stretchy pants that could double as fitness wear, and shoes that are only a step up from house slippers. With hair scraped back in a ponytail and faces devoid of even a bit of lipgloss, it can appear as if they just rolled out of bed. And although women who work hard full-time on the home front may not need to go to the extreme of business casual attire, those who don’t bother to at least get dressed aren’t doing themselves any favors. In both scenarios, what women sometimes don’t really get is that rather than supporting the positive image they wish to project, their packaging sabotages it. Lest I sound overly critical, there have been times when I was that hot mess woman myself!

It Doesn't Matter if You're Black or White
Professional Packaging takes effort Swans! And we’re SO WORTH IT! 

As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Life Coach, one of the Ds (challenges women face) I coach around is Dressing. Consequently, I am excited to have been contacted by the sponsor of this women’s event. The participants will be women who have reached a certain level in their careers but who have hit a wall – because of their packaging. Having  recently faced more of my own dressing barriers  (a full hysterectomy, pelvic floor surgery, and a lumpectomy, all of which resulted in hormonal weight gain and significant body changes), I’m learning to let go of my old super skinny body to embrace and properly fit my new super shapely one. It’s an ongoing challenge! But I’m minimizing those barriers (Olga makes some great minimizer bras – HaHa!), and am maximizing the ability to relate to the women I coach in order for them to maximize their beauty. Overcoming my own obstacles has equipped me with the experience needed to not only dress these women, but to address their issues…I’m looking forward to doing that so their packaging no longer sabotages them but supports them living their best professional lives.

How Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose are you about your professional packaging? Is it supporting or sabotaging you? I’d love to help. If you’re interested in a complimentary Image Assessment, just email me at pinkcollarcoach@outlook.com, with Image Assessment in the Subject Line. Thanks!

Be savvy & chic,

~Pink Collar Coach

Chic Collaboration Color – Purple Packs a Punch Like Black

Chic Collaboration Color – Purple Packs a Punch Like Black

It’s Day 245 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project and I chose to wear a chic  color – purple – that packs a professional punch like black – to a collaboration meeting. As a Life Coach who facilitates The Swan Experience: Minimizing barriers; Maximizing women’s beauty and best personal and professional lives – through total transformation, I specialize in the Ds. Dressing or professional packaging is one of them. Considering the truth of Pauline Frederick’s quote, “When a man gets up  to speak, people listen then look. When a woman gets up, people look, then, if they like what they see, they listen.”, I knew I needed to minimize my petite 5’1″ stature and maximize my professional packaging. But contrary to the erroneous belief that a professional woman has to dress like a man to be taken seriously, I wore a chic color that packs as much punch as black, while still being chic.

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Purple sweater dress, two button blazer, and handbag. A black camisole, tights, and shooties are professional and chic.                          All Calvin Klein bought at TJ Maxx and Marshall’s over time.

Shortly after I began my Master’s in Leadership and Coaching graduate work, Pink Collar Savvy & Chic, my holistic coaching agency was launched. It enables me to serve as a change agent for individuals as they transition from mess to sustained success, just as I did. Upon graduating, I soon became the director of a holistic life coaching program that provided a continuum of care services to individuals facing barriers to sustainable success, including addiction. Today’s meeting explored the possibility of using my education, experience and entrepreneurial enterprise to benefit those in recovery. Possibly serving as a life coach, consultant, and motivational speaker at a residential treatment facility aligns with my purpose and agency’s mission. Add to that the fact that my debut novel, Seasons of Her Soul, could be utilized as a resource elevated the meeting from collaboration status to a “God thing”. Even with all of the above, connecting with a savvy businessman who’s utilizing his own pain for purpose and who recognized that in me was such a blessing! And I believe that would have happened regardless of what I wore.

Nevertheless, as a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Image Coach who tries to practice what I preach, I’m still an advocate for women packaging themselves in a way that enhances their professionalism rather than detracting from it. That doesn’t mean being masculine. Rather, it’s using a light feminine touch with our professional wardrobe. If you want to be Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose and adhere to the following 3Cs, like me, you’ll not only find yourself in chic colors that pack a punch like black, your package will match your professionalism so people will pay attention to what you have to say.

3 Cs for Pink Collar Savvy & Chic Professional Packaging 

Contoured Cuts (blazers, blouses, dresses, shirts, skirts, slacks, and suits) – These pieces, when they fit properly, set you apart from male counterparts. You won’t look like them, but you will look like you can get the job done!

Current Colors (i.e. maroon, rust, loden green, navy, and of course purple) – Shades that reflect the season make you look fresh and updated and are stylish alternatives to black and gray. Furthermore, a current look is associated with current knowledge and skills.

Coordinated Accessories (handbags, shoes, belts, scarves, jewelry) – Carefully chosen accessories add the finishing touch and enhance your polished appearance. They also demonstrate your attention to detail – A quality you’ll bring to the work!

Be savvy & chic,

~Pink Collar Coach

 

Purposeful in Pink & Pondering Mary Kay Cosmetics as a Product

Purposeful in Pink & Pondering Mary Kay Cosmetics as a Product

Day 154 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project started early with a meeting to explore an idea I’ve toyed with on and off for a while. As a girly girl who loves pink and makeup, I’ve always been drawn to Mary Kay Cosmetics. That being the case, when I met a Mary Kay Sales Director at my Evolve networking event, I voiced my interest in learning more about how Mary Kay might work for my image coaching and we scheduled to meet this morning. I decided to be purposeful in pink to honor one of America’s greatest entrepreneurs and I’ve been pondering whether to offer Mary Kay Cosmetics as a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic product ever since.

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Pink Collar Coach, purposeful in pink. Calvin Klein fuchsia shirt dress, bone pumps and pink bag.

In graduate school, I researched Mary Kay Ash as part of my capstone project. My final paper was entitled: “Pink Collar Strategy to Shatter the Glass Ceiling: Entrepreneurialism as a Sledgehammer”. Mary Kay left the male dominated corporate world and founded the company as a way to help other women be successful. Its principles are God first, family second and career third. This so aligns with my values and the image coaching facet of my business. And the freedom and flexibility the company offers fit into my dream “portfolio career” where I’m doing all the things I love on my terms vs. working for others. While all of this is good for me, I believe it could be great for the women I coach, personally and professionally.

Thus far, when I’ve done image coaching sessions, I’ve taken clients to Sephora (and Target in a pinch because the request was added on to go with an out of town client’s new wardrobe!). It seems to make sense that I’d carry products so the image coaching sessions can take place in my home/office, the client’s home, or at the Mary Kay Studio here in town (I didn’t know that existed until today!). That would provide more opportunity for proper makeup application so the look can be replicated at home. And I’m hopeful that doing the demonstrations and providing the products in a more relaxed setting will put clients more at ease.

Really, I’m trying to be purposeful about what I now call, “The Swan Experience”. For those who request a stand alone cosmetics makeover or one to complement the wardrobe makeover, the transformation would simply include cosmetics I carry rather than clients purchasing products from a retailer and paying the marked up prices to cover their overhead expenses. In addition, I’d be able to offer complimentary products and services. It seems like a win win! And, surprisingly, my hubby volunteered that he’s on board should I decide to move forward.

As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Chick who is building her business to serve you,   I’d love your input. I’m not asking if you think I should “sell” Mary Kay. My question is more if if you were interested in an image coaching session, would you enjoy having the products on hand to try in a comfortable, private setting? I’m trying to be purposeful and provide your preferences, so I appreciate you helping me ponder whether to offer Mary Kay Cosmetics as a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic product. Thank you!

P.S. If you weigh in and I move forward, there may be some giveaways!

Be savvy & chic,

~Pink Collar Coach

Prepping to Kick Up Women’s Assertiveness Quotient to Maximize Their Success ( & Looking Professional Doing It)

Prepping to Kick Up Women’s Assertiveness Quotient to Maximize Their Success ( & Looking Professional Doing It)

It’s actually Day 138 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project. I’d posted micro-posts on social media but realized I had the day wrong so am coming back to correct it. I also realized those who enjoy the posts about fashion would miss this if I’m not connected with them via FB or LinkedIn…The day was amazing: networking at H7 Connect, having a meeting with my book editor, and setting up at our venue for tomorrow’s all day event. We like to look professional while prepping to present.

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Calvin Klein sheath dress & gray cardigan with suede patchwork elbows. Suede peep toes & bag. 
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I came out of the cards and the heels during set up!

As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic chick with a full day ahead of me, I’m going to wrap up preparations. So excited and can’t wait to share about the day tomorrow.

Be savvy & chic,

~Pink Collar Coach