Can you believe it, as I was scrolling through LinkedIn the other day, it reminded me that I have been helping people with their style for 36 years and having done a quick count I realised 'OMG it’s true!' I opened my first store, Alicia Kite, on the 19th of January 1983 when I had just turned 20; well I was 20 and 2 weeks.
13 years later to the day, after having 5 top end fashion stores in the midlands, I went bankrupt for over a million pounds and lost everything. That was 23 years ago. Being left with no money and having only ever dressed people, I didn’t know what I was going to do next.
To keep a long story shortish, I opened a second hand clothes shop and asked my old customers if I could sell the clothes they no longer wore. After a while when I had started to see these items selling for a fraction of what they cost, I began to think 'these are too good to sell and get such little money for'. Especially when I knew I could re-invent the items so that they would enjoy wearing them again.
My customers had missed the Alicia Kite boutiques and too many had started wasting money on clothes that they never wore. Many even started wearing clothes that didn’t make them feel good yet they didn’t know why, so in I stepped.
I hated the traditional way image consultants analysed and categorised people. Too many customers would come into my stores and say “I can’t wear that colour, I have had my colours done” to which I would reply “colour looks so different depending on what fabric it’s in, what makeup you wear, what time of year it is let alone what part of your body you are wearing that colour on. Style is so much more than colour. Style is about making sure a garment flatters your body shape, of course the colour needs to suit you and make you feel good but the clothes you wear should reflect your personality."
No one should be put in any box, we are all individuals and need to celebrate that. I help people identify who they are and who they want to be through what they wear and help them to decide how they want to be seen. They might not know this at the time but after a consultation with me, their confidence is on a all time high. They love being them again and end the session knowing exactly what they want from their clothes. No more wasting money on clothes they will never wear. No more wasting time trying to find that perfect item; they have me!
On the 20th January, 13 years ago the Alicia Kite Academy was born, a training school for image consultants who have the same philosophy on image as I do. Two fabulous ladies from Iceland and one from America joined me on my very first training course along with other incredible women from all across the UK.
Up to this day I have trained 100’s of women (and one guy!) to help them build successful image businesses. This year I even have a lady from Australia who is learning this amazing skill. I have just re-written my home study course and it is now available online so I really can help style the world!
What a journey it's been. So yes, thank you LinkedIn for reminding me that I have been in the image industry for 36 years. I have never done anything else besides style people (well apart from when I had 2 weeks off to have my son!) I am proud of what I have achieved so far and i'm even more excited about the future. I really believe that I have the best job in the world, I am living the dream. So please, never stop dreaming because dreams do come true, I am living proof.