From image consultant to motivational speaker to confidence coach and even to loving wife and mother, full-time entrepreneur Michele Gustafson carries many titles. No day looks the same for Gustafson, who is also an author, marketing professional and branding champion…Oh my!
Recently, when a client requested a wardrobe makeover, the style expert put on her “image consultant hat.” Gustafson immediately went to work selecting on-trend pieces for her client’s closet, including patterned blouses, a leather jacket and skinny jeans. When it came to footwear, Gustafson recommended Dana
from the Pasadena collection
—a sandal that flawlessly matched her client’s “romantic and bohemian” style.
We caught up with Gustafson to discuss her eclectic career—and learn more about her Dansko recommendation.
Q: Because you wear so many hats in your professional career, what does your day-to-day look like?
A: I am an entrepreneur who works from home and balances client appointments with life as a wife and mom. My mornings and early afternoons are filled with client and charity meetings, while my afternoon is spent welcoming my daughter home and preparing fresh meals.
Q: What does your motto “giving confidence away” mean to you and your clients?
A: This motto just came to me one day when I was trying narrow down all that my job entails. My clients are all transitioning into a better version of themselves, and my job is to walk them through the process of finding the best in themselves.
Q: Would you be willing to share your favorite client “success story?”
A: I once consulted a professional who wanted to define and refine her style while moving away from the boring stereotype that surrounds her profession. She found out her natural and personal expression could be displayed through clothing—and she looked anything but boring. Those inner-revelations make the best success stories!
In your recent Polyvore collage
, you featured our Dana sandal (thanks!). Why did Dana fit the bill?A:
The Dana sandal was perfect for this client because she needed supportive footwear. She has a number of Dansko pairs already and, because I try to work with brands that already suit my clients' needs, I wanted to give her a style that would simply update her wardrobe.
Q: How do you determine which styles will work for each client?
A: I work with a defined process of discovery. We explore the best colors, body type and style profile for each client, and then start auditing her wardrobe. The client from my collage expressed herself best in classic lines and shapes but likes to add Bohemian and Romantic elements to her outfit. Dana fit her style profile—and her need for comfort!
Q: How would you describe your own style?
A: I’m a dramatic-eclectic type. I find something dramatic in every outfit—color, pattern or scale—and pair it with classic and urban styles. I am an artist at heart and a solution-finder by practice, so that mix helps me style wardrobes for clients.
How has your book Angel in Your Heart
benefitted your ability to reach women, children and families?A:
My book was a "heart-project" written for my daughter. Having lost my father in my early twenties, I knew I wanted to pass on what he taught me about faith, confidence and trust in myself. Sharing my book’s message has opened the door to help parents and children feel good about discussing life's hopes and dreams.
Q: What advice would you offer to those looking for a confidence boost?
A: Start by looking inside yourself and asking the question "who am I really?" You can answer this question with many types of personal journeys - a new exercise routine, weekend sabbatical, art class, or even consultation with an image consultant. Then note where your revelations happen, and try to apply them to your current situation. The result: instant confidence!
[Photo Credit: Michele Gustafson]