FROM SOLICITOR TO STYLIST – MY STORY

It’s little-known that I haven’t always worked a personal stylist – although I’ve always been creative and interested in fashion.  This then is my story of how I came to be doing what I’m doing and why.

For over fifteen years, law was my career. I started my training with a lovely law firm and worked my way up the career ladder (with two mini-breaks for children) along the way. At length I achieved my long-held ambition to get to the top by becoming the only female partner in the firm.

I’m an ambitious person, I’ve always been career driven and motivated to push onward and upwards. You’d have thought then that reaching my end goal after years of hard work and sacrifice would have delighted me. But no. To my surprise it didn’t feel that amazing. Yes, I felt happy to have reached my goal. Yet, no sooner had I got to the finishing line than my mind turned to the ‘what next’ question rather than enjoying my success.

Anyway, I carried on and enjoyed my role mentoring younger women at earlier stages of their career. I enjoyed too, working with my clients – that had always been the greatest part of my job. In addition, I loved networking and hosted several events on behalf of the firm for women.  This is where I met two stylists who, unbeknownst to me, would help me to change my life.

At this stage in the story I should point out that I had long suffered from imposter syndrome  – common amongst high achievers of either sex. As the years passed, I felt my confidence failing and became self-critical of myself and my body. Finding myself in a working environment that had become less than congenial compounded the situation. It doesn’t take a lot to drain the confidence out of someone when they are already so self-critical.  And that’s exactly what happened to me.

So it was then, with my confidence at rock bottom two trigger events happened.  In the first instance, Lynne Meek, a personal stylist friend, asked me to take part in a charity fashion show. I said yes at once without thinking about it even though I know this was way out of my comfort zone.

Then, Katie Day of RDPI, a second personal stylist friend, asked me to train to become a personal stylist.  Again, I said yes at once seeing it as a welcome distraction from work rather than any form of career change.

So, I did these two things and felt my work worries fade away.  I enjoyed the science behind the training and the girly fun of the fashion show.  And then the final trigger event came with an opportunity to return to Swindon – where my husband and I both hail from.  We both agreed it would be a great move that offered me a chance to put all my training as a personal stylist into practice.

I haven’t given up my legal career altogether. Alongside Ishbel’s Wardrobe, I work as a Will Writer.  I love the mix of the two businesses.  It’s odd I know, but they complement each other and I do get a cross over of clients.  Maybe I should offer a discount if you book a style consultation and have your Wills drafted with me?!

I cannot describe how happy I am now and how different my view is of myself.  I’m confident, successful, and irritatingly happy a lot of the time. What’s more I am beautiful.  I no longer have imposter syndrome and I realise now that my femininity is my absolute strength.

Even better I get to see my children now and they see a mother who is not consumed by stress and work distractions and therefore impatient all the time.  Now I’m so in love with my work that it doesn’t feel like work.  I mean, who wouldn’t love to get paid to go shopping?!

Happy Girl

So that’s my story so far. If you’d like to be a part of my continuing journey, I would love to hear from you.  I’m also quite social and somewhat addicted to Instagram, so please do follow me on that platform. You’ll also find me on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. But if you’re not a social media fan fear not – you can drop me a line at info@ishbelswardrobe.o.uk or call me on 07538946839.