Call it a woman thing if you want, but all ladies know the perfect outfit complimented by hot accessories, elegant shoes, a flattering bag and hair perfectly coiffed symbolizes confidence and power.
We are what we wear and according to personal stylist Roxanne Carne, “your image is so integral to everything you do, you have got to get it right”.
And that is exactly what this mover and shaker in Washington D.C. has been helping countless women achieve.
“I really help women to kind of peel back the onion to really understand who they are as individuals and how they can best reflect that through their personal style.
“Your brand pretty much precedes you, so I really work to help women zoom in on who that person is and help them pool together looks that make them not only look good but feel good and be able to visually give the message that they want to give to the world through their own style.”
It’s been seven years since Roxanne made a career change from corporate recruiting.
Her move came at a time of turmoil for women in America and she readily embraced the challenge.
“In 2008/2009, when the US went through a recession because of the mortgage crisis I suddenly was working with a lot of women that were displaced. They were professionals, mainly within the human resources space; they were directors and vice presidents and senior vice presidents that after 15/20 years they were out of work for the first time and they were like lost.
“I would help place them into organizations where my clients were looking for talent. So part of what I would do is prep them for their interviews and prepping them for their interviews not only involved making sure they knew who were the key persons in the organization and the body of work that they would be doing and so on but another aspect of it was what they would wear to the interview.”
This is where most of the women came up short and Roxanne worked her magic using the power of clothes and all the other trimmings to transform them into queens.
“So they would wear things that were either dated – that looked like it came out of the 1990s – or they would wear clothes that were a little bit kind of dishevelled, clothes that were not the best in terms of quality, especially going for a high-level position.
“I think that just happened because they became very comfortable in their environment and they did not necessarily have to put too much thought into it every day.
So I would give them constructive feedback on the outfit that they would wear and after many years of doing this and realizing, ‘gosh, women need help’, I wanted to broaden my scope and I wanted to start a styling business that would help women with various aspects of their style.”
Roxanne, whose parents are Barbadian, headed back to school to hone her skills. She attended the School of Style, the leading programme for stylists in the US, and successfully graduated with certificates in personal styling, fashion styling and menswear.
The rest is history. She has worked with ladies and men at all levels from Los Angeles-based musicians and celebrities to everyday people across the US.
She rubbishes the myth that a personal stylist is only for certain type of women.
Roxanne says all women need a helping hand at some time because most tend to neglect their personal care.
“We are wives, single moms, we are raising children, we are taking care of significant others, our elders; there is so much responsibility that women don’t take enough time for themselves.
“You’ve got the career woman, but what about the woman that recently had her first child or recently had her third or fourth child? What about the woman that become the recent empty nester, what about the woman that has just gone through a divorce and she wants to revamp her look and figure out who she is again?
“I really want women to stop and rediscover themselves and that is what I do. I am there to help them from the beauty aspect,” she said.
Throughout her journey, Roxanne has been fortunate enough to taste success without any major hindrances.
She knows this is not often the case for other women but revealed that she carefully mapped out a plan and stayed on track to achieve her goals.
She advises women to take action to get the lives they want.
“Every step that I take with
my business, even with my first career, I plotted out. I invested my own money in having a personal coach, a business coach, to help me map—this is where I am right now and this is what I want in six months, this is what I want in one year, etcetera. So I always have a vision and because of that I feel like I have created my destiny.”
This International Women’s Day, Roxanne wants women to look good and feel even better about themselves by pressing for progress every day to improve their lives.
“I would also say temper that pressing with grace. Don’t isolate yourself. Women need to absorb but they also need to live. You are learning to pass on to someone outside of your network, outside of your family, outside of your colleagues, pass it on to someone who maybe was referred to you or someone you just met at the conference. Someone that you know could value that nugget of information because it takes nothing to help someone even with uplifting words or kind words or knowledge. Be a vessel to receive but also be a vessel to give,” Roxanne says.