“My work is about one thing: making women feel powerful. Our culture is saturated with misogyny, so body positivity is an uphill battle for most women.”
When we think about image consulting we probably only think about helping people to improve their appearance. In our society women tend to feel insecure and attacked by a lot of different sources, we are scared of truly accepting who we are and scream it to the world. The main idea is to surrender to who we truly are and not to what we are told by the world we should be. Let me tell you about the time I met Raquel for coffee, I loved that when asked about the work that she does, she says she help women to feel empowered. Raquel Gordian is the creator of Greer Image Consulting, and her approach to her clients is very much based on teaching them how to embrace their perfect imperfections and use that to their advantage. There is so much power in loving yourself and your femininity, feeling beautiful is a matter of self-acceptance, and when we accept and love our flaws they stop ruling our lives. Raquel will help women transform their perceptions about clothing by creating a positive visual image, reflecting at the same time who they are inside. I’m a firm believer of change and improvement, so go ahead and take the risk, think outside the box, surround yourselves with positive creative people, and embrace your uniqueness, and if you need a little help translating that to your wardrobe call Raquel. Please read on to her interview and learn more about the amazing creative work this lovely Austinite is rocking.
Who are you and what do you do?
Raquel Greer Gordian, Founder and Image Consultant at Greer Image Consulting
I help women become more confident by teaching them how to work with what’s in their closet in more creative ways, while opening them up to new styles that highlight their natural beauty and personality.
Where did you grow up and how does that shape what you do today?
I was born and raised in Austin, so when I was figuring out where I wanted to move after leaving NYC, Austin was an easy option. It’s definitely home to me, and luckily it was also the perfect place to grow Greer Image Consulting.
Name something you love, and why?
My puginese Norma Jeane, she’s my love. I adopted her a month after I graduated from college, so we’ve been through alot together. When everything around me is chaotic, being able to snuggle up to her or hear her snore makes everything okay.
What skills or talents do you think would make you even more successful?
This is easy. Coding! I’m proud to have built my own website through a very user-friendly template :), but if I knew how to code, I’m pretty sure I’d never have another question for another human again.
How is it owning a business as a woman?
It’s simultaneously awesome and extremely difficult. The highs are really high and the lows can be really low. I’m not sure there’s any other job though that, for me, could compare to the power I feel in being my own boss. I have to push myself even when I want to walk away from a project, question myself when I’m going against my gut, and erase and start over when something doesn’t work. That can be exhausting, but when something does work, and you created it from the ground up, it’s the most amazing feeling ever.
What is your Ideology as an entrepreneur?
Work harder than you ever have. Don’t be afraid to mess up. I know it’s cliche, but messing up seriously is one of the biggest ways you learn. It’s good to get knocked off your high horse, but also painful. And you may feel like an idiot. But take it as a gift. You always get the opportunity to correct your mistakes in future situations, which means in the end, you get to make a lot of people really happy. You’ve always got more ideas, more creativity to share, more love to give to your clients. Push yourself every day and while you may have failures along the way, you’ll succeed in the end.
What was the main inspiration behind the work that you do?
My work is about one thing: making women feel powerful. Our culture is saturated with misogyny, so body positivity is an uphill battle for most women. What I aim to do with my clients is have them understand their worth by recognizing they aren’t flawed. They are perfect the way they are, because that’s how they are! End of story. Developing a wardrobe that represents them and highlights their natural beauty helps them see that and embrace that “Hey, maybe I’m not so _____ after all.” I show my clients the rules of what clothes work for their body type, style and color palette, thus giving them freedom to embrace who they are and who they want to be through style.
How do you describe your style?
Oh dear, it’s more of a mindset. Let’s say it’s bad bitch mentality. At least that’s my goal for myself and all my clients. Style is incredibly nuanced, just like women, so it changes from day-to-day. One day it could be a retro fit n’ flare dresses, the next jean shorts and thigh-high boots, the next a power blazer and flare jeans. Being in touch with your mood is really key to embracing your style, because this will dictate what clothes make you feel comfortable on any given day.
Why is it so important that a woman feels comfortable with what she wears ?
Style is a woman’s daily dose of self-expression. It’s how she’s able to say who she is in no words. When we don’t feel good in what we’re wearing, a piece of us is missing. Not feeling good in your clothing can distract you from your job, give you anxiety at a party or discourage you from speaking your mind. Style is our creative outlet, which provides support we need to get through any day feeling confident. It’s the outside expression of who we are on the inside. Style allows us to be seen and heard in every facet of our lives.
What is your dream project?
I really don’t know. A few years ago, I would’ve said running a successful image consulting business, but even when I imagined that, it wasn’t as big as it is now. So yay for dreams coming true! I guess having a tv show like What Not to Wear would be really awesome. When people ask me what I do, and I’m feeling lazy, I reference that show. It would be cool to help people on tv, because then I could reach even more women, which is always the goal — help as many women as possible.
How did you find your passion?
I’ve always loved style. At a young age, I recognized that it’s really your way to control how you’re perceived in any social situation. You can feel average or you can be a bad ass, and as I said, I always want that bad bitch mentality. My parents are also both really stylish people. My dad actually has more Pinterest followers than me and a board dedicated to things he wants my mom to wear. They both exuded a natural confidence that comes along with owning your style, and way before I understood what that was, I wanted it. That love of style collided with my desire to help women in college.That was the first time I called myself a feminist. After college, I managed boutiques in Manhattan, which eventually led me to image consulting and Greer Image Consulting!
What is a must-have piece in every woman’s wardrobe?
I’m averse to saying there are must-haves, but I will say you need a good bra. That can change the fit of an outfit from okay to on point. Every woman’s style and staples are unique. I don’t own a white t-shirt, and I don’t own black pants, because I don’t feel good in those things. Your closet should be made up of staples, but I define a staple as something you love to wear no matter how out there or impractical it is. Now you always want to be mindful of where you’re going, like don’t wear thigh-high boots to an important meeting, but I believe the shift dress that works for your unique image becomes a staple when you truly love the fit, color and style.
Does Austin weirdness influence your aesthetic?
Definitely. Even in that important meeting, you should be able to express your personality through details. This isn’t DC or Dallas, so you often have freedom to use color and accessories in more creative ways in business.
How did creativity change your life?
Creativity takes away my anxiety. When I’m creating, it removes everything else from the picture and allows me to 100% focus on the task. I’m not patient enough to meditate, but I feel like creativity is kind of a form of meditation. You are so focused in the moment, that you’re almost thinking without thinking.
What is the best piece of advice you will give to a gal that wants to improve her personal style?
Trust your gut. That’s the biggest issue a lot of my clients have is that they wear what they think they should wear rather than what they love to wear. Go with that, know the rules (which is where I come in) and you won’t be steered wrong.
What does being free means to you?
I think freedom is knowing you’re enough. You can only do so much, you are only one person, so just be okay with that. I think it’s also about knowing it’s okay to be wrong. It’s okay to apologize and genuinely mean it. It’s okay to admit fault and be vulnerable to people. Without allowing myself to be vulnerable with people, I could never have accomplished what I have. I’m still working on it everyday, but I think it all boils down to loving yourself and giving people really good hugs and accepting a really good hug in return. 🙂