Dream Job Profile: lululemon Store Manager, Annie Tasker

dreamjobintro.jpg
 image via: @itsacurlylife

image via: @itsacurlylife

Name:
Annie Tasker - my full name is Annelise, which no one except my parents and Kim, one of my favorite bartenders at F Street Station, call me.

Location: 
Anchorage, AK

 image via: @itsacurlylife at lululemon Anchorage

image via: @itsacurlylife at lululemon Anchorage

Occupation:
Store Manager at lululemon Anchorage 5th Ave Mall

What are some of your key responsibilities as Lululemon Store Manager:
I’m responsible for growing our business in Alaska, making key relationships within the community, and supporting our local ambassadors in their endeavors. My biggest responsibility is supporting my team in their goals, personal and career-related.

 image via: @itsacurlylife at lululemon Anchorage

image via: @itsacurlylife at lululemon Anchorage

 image via: @itsacurlylife at lululemon Anchorage

image via: @itsacurlylife at lululemon Anchorage

What drew you to become apart of the Lululemon community and when did you get started?:
I was hired to work in the lululemon showroom by local superstar and badass mom, Julia Von Imhof.  We had been friends for a few years and ran into each other after a yoga class. We grabbed a coffee, caught up and discussed what I had been up to (business classes at UAA to complement my bachelor's degree and leadership concentration) Julia wasted no time and coffee quickly turned into a job interview to work in the showroom! It was amazing timing, I had been waitressing for a few years and needed something that was aligned with my personal values and somewhere I could grow into a leadership position. I started as a part-time Educator and moved into a Key Leader position when we opened the first lululemon store in Alaska in 2015. I was promoted to Assistant Store Manager in March 2016 and then Store Manager in this past January.

Has fitness always been apart of your life?
My family is very athletic, so the majority of my childhood fitness was sports. My dad played professional football and my mom is a lifelong runner. I grew up watching my mom prioritize her health through fitness, so that’s always been a priority for me as well. I definitely love to mix it up, I’ll go on a yoga kick for a few months, I love Vanessa’s class at Orange Theory! Since living in Alaska the past 8 years, trail running has become a huge part of my summers. My current obsession is Anchorage Cycle. I LOVE the vibe there, and how every instructor really brings the entire class together. Fav instructors: David Westlake, Courtney, Jen Evanson and Penny!
 

 image via: @itsacurlylife at Anchorage Cycle

image via: @itsacurlylife at Anchorage Cycle

 image via: @itsacurlylife

image via: @itsacurlylife

Describe a typical day in the work life of Annie:
Most days, I’m usually one of the first people at the store. I almost always start my day looking over our numbers, reading my leadership team’s notes and just getting an overall picture of where we’re at for the week, month, and quarter. I was never a number’s person before this job but now I rely heavily on using my tools to assess how my biz is doing! I often have a conference call or meeting in my morning. Being in a remote market makes conference calls interesting, we utilize Zoom meetings at lululemon which has really helped me get to know my leaders, and peers in a more personal way than just over the phone. After meetings, I spend quite a bit of time writing my team’s schedule. I don’t take scheduling lightly, I try to make sure my employees work a schedule that supports their life outside of work. This really allows them to show up powerfully, increases my team’s engagement and just overall allows them to be happy with their work/life balance. I always schedule myself at least a few hours every day, working on the floor at the store and checking in with my people. I absolutely love my team and this is usually the highlight of my working day.

How do you stay inspired/choose the flow of your store?
I get most of my inspiration from the people around me, especially at work. Right now, my team at the store is a pretty diverse group of women. I rely heavily on my work family to keep me present, objective, and to keep me living in possibility. I work with quite a few women who are younger than me, and it’s been an amazing experience watching their drive and ambition create the lives and careers they dream of. Watching the mom’s on my team balance their schedules, support their families and make sure they take time for themselves…is a daily source of inspiration. Whenever I get bogged down with my to-do list, and get stressed about finding time to exercise, walk my dog, spend time with my boyfriend, grocery shop, cook, manage our store’s hours and budget, schedule performance evaluations, and a million other tasks, I look to the mothers in my life who manage to do all those things while taking care of 2 kids and a spouse. What I’ve learned from them is that perfection is not the goal. If I worked an 80 hour work week, there would still be tasks to accomplish so I prioritize what is urgent and important and make sure to leave time to invest in my people. That’s where I see the biggest return on investment.

 image via: @itsacurlylife

image via: @itsacurlylife

What is essential in your workspace? Ie: mood, music, tea- how do you get into your workflow routine?
I won't lie, coffee is essential. Like…essssssential. I either make my coffee at home (almond milk creamer is crucial) or pick it up from Starbs on my way to the store. I always take time to get clear before starting any task or meeting. Actually, this is something my entire team does before every single shift. Taking a moment to acknowledge what is happening in your life that is keeping you from being present is a game-changer in our ability to perform at work.

One fun thing that is new to my workspace is a Japanese Maneki Neko cat. My Asst. Store Manager brought it back from Tokyo and it now lives above our office computer. Maneki Neko cats are supposed to bring good fortune to businesses, it’s a quirky little addition but I’ll never turn down a little help towards success!

How have your surroundings helped develop you as a leader?  
I feel very fortunate to have grown and worked in a progressive corporation that is mostly lead by women. Our culture is really empowering, we’ve created an environment where speaking up and being an entrepreneur is not only encouraged, it’s required. Previous to working at lululemon, I had never been in a work environment where giving (and receiving) feedback was such an integral part of the everyday. I’ve learned over the last 3 years that by sharing with a teammate when you see a way they could improve, isn’t being mean or cruel, it’s giving them the opportunity to improve and ultimately perform to their potential. It took me a long time to learn that as long as the constructive criticism comes from a place of love, you’re being a stand for greatness. One of my managers once told me “Annie, if you don’t share that feedback, you are holding your peer back and not allowing the chance to get better and to have the knowledge of where they can improve.”

We train our entire team, from the moment they get hired, to share what they’re noticing, to communicate in a powerful way and to stand for greatness. I take a lot of pride in our store in AK, I really think we do a great job at being genuine, inclusive, and brightening our guests day.

 image via: @itsacurlylife

image via: @itsacurlylife

What do you look forward to most when leading a team?
I love being witness to people who are in the work of bettering themselves as human beings. Watching my team go through our vision and goals workshop and get clarity around their personal core values, set goals to get them to where they want to be and ultimately become more empathic people is my favorite part of being a leader at lululemon.

 image via: @chiclyclayton at lululemon Anchorage

image via: @chiclyclayton at lululemon Anchorage

 image via: @xotessiestyle at lululemon Anchorage

image via: @xotessiestyle at lululemon Anchorage

lululemon is so community and lifestyle driven - what are some events + partnerships you have coming up that you are looking forward to:
Well, first of, we’re really excited about hosting Tess and Beautycounter in-store for the 2nd time this summer. I’ve been testing out a few of Beautycounter’s products over the last week, and I’m super impressed. I’ve always said, when I find a chemical free, more natural product that works BETTER than what I’ve been using, I’ll make the switch. I’m REALLY in love with the tinted moisturizer and their face mask!

We’re also highlighting local athletes every week on our facebook page, lululemon Anchorage. This has been a fun new way to bring attention to some member of our community who is up to some really cool things.

I have to share a bit about our store’s ambassadors, they really are the embodiment of what we stand for at lululemon.

  • Megan Piersma is the owner of Deha Yoga, in south Anchorage. Megan is probably one of the coolest human beings on the planet, she is my favorite yoga instructor and I leave her studio feeling my best.  Megan has created a warm, welcoming environment at Deha.

  • David Westlake is a yoga instructor and Motivator at Anchorage Cycle. He recently started Turiya Alaska, which is a non-profit that brings yoga to the downtown Anchorage Jail. He recently took my team through a meditation workshop, designed to help my employees battle the holiday stress. He really met my team where they were at and gave us some simple useful techniques to help us chill out.

  • Ryder Spadafore is the owner of Anchorage Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. He’s just an overall bad-ass. His honestly and genuine attitude inspires the loyalty of his students. My team has been frequenting this gym and hitting up the kickboxing classes at ABJJ….these are not your mom's kickboxing classes. You feel super empowered and strong (also sweaty and tired!) after these classes. Stay tuned for a ABJJ and lululemon Women’s Self Defense Workshop in the near future!

  • David Norris is our ski racing ambassador. He’s currently somewhere in Europe on the ski racing circuit. He’s from Fairbanks and has the most humble, down to earth personality. He frequents the mountains and trails outside of Anchorage and loves working with young, aspiring skiers.

What is some advice you would give to someone starting out that you wish someone gave to you?
Your instincts are usually correct, so trust them. Have facts that support you and, humbly, stand your ground. Being the loudest isn’t the best way to win people over.

 image via: @chiclyclayton at lululemon Anchorage

image via: @chiclyclayton at lululemon Anchorage

 image via: @chiclyclayton at lululemon Anchorage

image via: @chiclyclayton at lululemon Anchorage

What are your favorite lululemon essential items you think everyone should check out?
Where to start????

Bottoms:

-Wunder Under High Rise Tights in Luxtreme – AMAZING for cycle, everyday wear and doesn’t attract dog hair.

-Fast and Free 7/8 Tight – These are a must for anyone who works out no matter what you’re doing. #nakedsensation for the win!

-On The Fly Pants – my travel pants! These have an athletic, jogger look that makes me feel comfortable but polished on the plane.

Tops:

-Energy Bra – perfect for high-intensity workouts but still has the strappy cute look I want!

-Free to Be Zen Bra – my every day/yoga bra, I haven’t worn a real bra in years. Seriously.

-All Tied Up Tank in Pima Cotton – my go-to summer top, perfect for jeans, yoga pants, shorts

In my opinion, lululemon crushes jackets and bags. I’m loving all of this seasons backpacks and our bomber jackets in springy colors like porcelain pink and teal shadow.

 Me as a *Model* during my ultra fit sesh at lululemon Anchorage with ANNIE!

Me as a *Model* during my ultra fit sesh at lululemon Anchorage with ANNIE!

 Me as a *Model* during my ultra fit sesh at lululemon Anchorage with ANNIE!

Me as a *Model* during my ultra fit sesh at lululemon Anchorage with ANNIE!

 Me as a *Model* during my ultra fit sesh at lululemon Anchorage with ANNIE!

Me as a *Model* during my ultra fit sesh at lululemon Anchorage with ANNIE!

 Me as a *Model* during my ultra fit sesh at lululemon Anchorage with ANNIE!

Me as a *Model* during my ultra fit sesh at lululemon Anchorage with ANNIE!

How can people sign up for fit session at your location?
Email me! atasker@lululemon.com. My entire team thrives off getting our guests in their best fit, so I can connect you to an expert educator who with HOOK IT UP!

 image via: @itsacurlylife

image via: @itsacurlylife

What is your mantra?!
Hmmm I’m not sure I have a mantra but 2 quotes I’m bringing to 2018 are:

People won’t remember what you said/did, they remember how you made them feel.

“I am expanding in love, success, and abundance and encouraging others to do the same.”
-Elena Brower (super cool NYC yogi, check out her IG)

Keep up with the oh so inspiring and lovely, Annie via her instagram @itsacurlylifeKeep up with our Anchorage lululemon store, their events (including TessieStyle + Beautycounter Pop-ups) via their facebook page and website!  Call #907.677.1346 or stop by their Anchorage 5th Ave Mall location at 320 W 5th Ave on the 2nd floor next to Starbucks to find your perfect fit or schedule a fit session! 
 

Dream Job Profile: Holistic Health Coach + Creative Director, Jessica Zanotti

dreamjobintro.jpg
 image c/o: @jess_zanotti

image c/o: @jess_zanotti

Name:
Jessica Zanotti

Location:
Los Angeles, CA

Occupation:
Holistic Health Coach + Creative Director

 image c/o: @jess_zanotti

image c/o: @jess_zanotti

Describe what a Holistic Health Coach is:
A Holistic Health Coach takes a holistic approach when working with individual clients to help them implement food and lifestyle changes specific to their body and needs to feel their best from the inside out.

In my practice, I help clients get clear on areas in their lives that feel out of balance; whether that be physical, environmental or emotional. Once we identify what is causing these areas to feel out of balance, we work together to break down habits and create actionable steps to build them back up again, often times using creativity as a key to reaching alignment within. 

We work to implement positive behavior modifications, alter their diet and exercise regimen and I offer a holistic approach to all of the above. Holistic Health Coaches act as accountability coaches and are different and more effective than your typical doctor or psychiatrist, because we work together step by step as a team, and I think that connection is special! 

You have a creative background including fashion styling + directing - what drew you to become a HHC and when did you get started?
What drew me to become a Holistic Health Coach was my own healing journey. After working in the fashion industry for 8 years, though incredibly fun and exciting, it became very stressful, exhausting and unhealthy. I started to feel very depressed and disconnected from the work I was doing, and I had no time or energy to take care of myself. I experienced an alarming burnout and at that time started looking into holistic healing, since the medications I had been given to deal with my anxiety only made things worse in the end. I started meditating, got into yoga, started seeing healers and basically became obsessed with everything that involved holistic wellness. I was learning so much while experiencing my own healing, and since I had always felt like meaningful work and helping others was missing from my life, I felt that I had to share all of this knowledge with others. I had been hearing about Integrative Nutrition School and decided to sign up to get formal training to become a Health Coach. The healing journey itself began two years ago and I just launched my practice two months ago. 

Has holistic healing always been apart of your life?
Honestly, it never was. I didn’t even know it existed until two years ago when I started getting into all of this. I used to be the person making fun of those that took spirituality seriously and I didn’t understand why people would spend money on massages or take the time to take baths at night. I had no concept of self-care and no idea that there were other ways to cope with my anxiety besides medications. Of course, now I’ve become the person I used to make fun of; I get all the massages, take all the baths and am a major advocate for meditation. ;)

 image c/o: @jess_zanotti

image c/o: @jess_zanotti

Describe a typical day as a HHC:
I’ve been a freelance stylist + creative director for 8 years and now as a Holistic Health Coach, 

I have found that when you are a solopreneur, no matter what field you are in, no day is ever really the same.

That being said, my morning routine is one thing that stays consistent. My days always start with meditation and tea in the morning. Then I move onto either a yoga session or a walk, and I eat a nourishing breakfast. As far as work, each day is different. I may be meeting with clients for sessions, taking them on farmers market tours or helping them detox their kitchens and closets. Email correspondence with clients when they have questions is part of the job. Every once and a while I try to make time to write posts for my website, send out newsletters and do some social media upkeep. I may be writing or curating guest posts for other wellness, travel or creative focused sites/magazines. Some days I may be attending workshops to continue learning, to benefit my own personal growth and my practice. I am constantly researching and experimenting with new natural beauty brands, foods, recipes, healthy restaurants, farmers markets, etc. to inform my practice and what I recommend to my clients. Planning future projects is ongoing. 

Within all of this, I try to find time to meditate in the middle of the day or have a moment in nature. Connecting with people for lunch, dinner or midday walks is always nice when working from home starts to feel isolating. 

Never a typical day, but that’s the way I prefer to work! 

Have you completely left fashion behind or do you still work as a Creative Director and Content Curator?
I still do projects that speak to me and are in alignment with my values. Creativity is such a big part of my life and always will be. I get so much joy from creating a mood and telling a visual story. Now, I aim to work with fashion, lifestyle and wellness brands with intention, who support sustainability, or that incorporate spirituality into their work.

For me, creativity and spirituality go hand in hand. Meditation and nourishing myself mind, body, soul helps me tap into my creativity on a deeper, more authentic level, and creating is an outlet for me to express what I want to say, and what I dream of, through art.

I have found that as a Health Coach, helping others with what I have been through is incredibly fulfilling and rewarding and so far serves as a perfect compliment to my creative direction work, especially because all of my clients are in the creative industry. I understand the way their mind works and the incredible demands and pressures they face. 

 image + styling c/o: @jess_zanotti

image + styling c/o: @jess_zanotti

How do you stay inspired?
I stay inspired by immersing myself in nature, art, and film. When I’m feeling uninspired I like to create something, whether that be writing, visual content, or cooking a new dish. Pinterest always visually inspires me. Seeing, learning and experiencing new things as often as possible keeps the inspiration flowing, which is why I love attending workshops and have many on my list for 2018.

What is essential in your workspace? Ie: mood, music, tea- how do you get into your creative and healing flow?
Tea. Palo Santo. Jazz Music. Inspiring photos/quotes that are visible. 
When I need to tap into my healing flow I’ll drink tea, light some incense, and sit, focusing on my breathe to ground down. When I need to tap into a more uplifting creative energy, I’ll turn on Bossa Nova or Taylor Swift, light some Palo Santo and dance around the room!

How have your surroundings helped develop you as a HHC?  
LA is basically the hub of wellness, it’s all the rage in this town right now. It provides access to all kinds of meditations, healers, yoga, reiki, infrared saunas, workshops- you name it. So that makes it easy to continue to learn about health and wellness and to have a community of like-minded individuals. Traveling for wellness retreats has given me a lot of insights as well, and those experiences allow me to bring a unique approach to what I do. I attended a wellness retreat in Tulum, where I was immersed in the incredibly spiritual culture and was able to work with native Mayan healers. I am deeply interested in learning from other cultures and working with / learning from indigenous healers, and I aim to continue to immerse myself in more cultural experiences like this, that shape who I am as a person, therefore who I am and what I have to offer as a coach.

 image c/o: @jess_zanotti

image c/o: @jess_zanotti

What do you look forward to most when coaching a session?
When clients have “a-ha” moments, and write their own prescription for what they need at the moment. I believe that everyone is their own healer, and sometimes they just need prompts, someone to ask the right questions or to be truly seen and heard to discover the answers on their own. I’m here to guide, not to tell them what to do. And of course, feedback of healing that is happening for them is incredibly exciting and healing for me as well. 

What can people expect from a session and how can they prepare?
Every session is different! The goal is always to help clients find balance in areas where they are lacking fulfillment. I have a number of tools and exercises we use to get clear on what is causing these areas in their life to feel out of balance. I’ll typically give them “homework” after each session, and we just continue to walk towards their goals together, adjusting as needed, session by session. 

There is nothing you really need to do to prepare, except maybe go into it knowing that this IS work and you have to be willing to do the work! I’ve been lucky enough to have clients that are ready and willing to take on the challenges, which is amazing. In my opinion, the inner work is the most important work there is! 

What is some advice you would give to someone starting out that you wish someone gave to you?
If you start to lose faith, just trust that pull you feel towards what you are building, you are being guided. 

 image c/o: @jess_zanotti

image c/o: @jess_zanotti

What are some of your favorite healing remedies?

  1. Mineral Hot Springs- the minerals are SO nourishing, on such a deep level.
  2. Aromatherapy- I love using essential oils as natural remedies for pretty much anything. Peppermint Oil for headaches, Lavender to relax, Palo Santo to ground. I use this book that offers tons of recipes for essential oil treatments.
  3.  Herbs- plants are so powerful! Like essential oils, herbs can treat just about anything. I want to further my studies and learn more about herbalism in the future.

How can people sign up for a session with you?
They can email me at jessica.t.zanotti@gmail.com

If someone is new to HHC and a bit intimidated to reach out for a session - what encouragement do you have for them?!
I’ve been there, I get it! I was intimidated, nervous and 100% a skeptic about holistic health, spirituality, meditation, all of it. It may seem a little out there. But if you feel the pull, have any interest, or have tried other Western remedies that just aren’t working out, it’s worth a shot. 

 image c/o: @jess_zanotti

image c/o: @jess_zanotti

What is your mantra?!
“Feel the fear and do it anyway.”

“Grow through what you go through.”

“This too shall pass.”

And my fave quote that got me through some really tough times: 

“Be easy, take your time. You are coming home to yourself.”  -Nayyirah Waheed 

 image c/o: @jess_zanotti

image c/o: @jess_zanotti

Keep up with Jessica via her instagram: @jess_zanotti
Stay inspired with her via her Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/jesszanotti/pins/
Connect with Jessica and her Holistic Health Coaching services via: www.jessicazanotti.com

Dream Job Profile: Image Consultant Mickela Lamb of Polished

dreamjobintro.jpg
 image c/o: www.polishedak.com

image c/o: www.polishedak.com

Name:
Mickela Lamb

Occupation:
Image Consultant (a.k.a. guru for helping others look and feel their best!) Personal Branding Coach, Personal Shopper

Location:
Anchorage, Alaska

 image c/o: www.polishedak.com

image c/o: www.polishedak.com

What inspired you to start Polished?
I have always LOVED helping others succeed by ensuring they feel empowered and confident.

I have always have been “that girlfriend” who received the text messages late at night to give guidance if the outfit coordinated, prepare someone for a hot date, coach them through interview prep or review a resume last minute. When the shopping trips expanded from my close circle to friends of friends, I figured there was a need and I naturally had a gift to help others! I am an Alaskan – growing up on St. Paul Island, moving to Fairbanks in Elementary school and transferred down to warmer Anchorage 6 years ago. 

Alaska is an amazing place, full of people who come from all walks of life but we do not ALWAYS have the best image.  One of my favorite things about Alaska is we come as we are, but we forget when we need to “up the bar.” I work to help close that gap from how an individual currently views themselves to how they want to be perceived by others in the workplace for example.

What was your major in school and how did it help you with starting your own business?
I earned my B.A. in Finance and an MBA at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.  The MBA helped perfect my leadership and communication skills.

Image consulting is much more than cleaning out someone's personal closet.  What sets image consulting apart from a personal shopping appointment offered at a retail location?
Image Consulting is SO MUCH MORE than cleaning out someone’s closet! Image is the WHOLE PERSON – appearance, behavior, and communication.  The client’s face shape, body shape, career, lifestyle, budget, goals, etc..all play into their image.  Image Consulting will give the client the tools to execute their best look on their own.  Clients learn how to pair clothes that fit their body, have a color analysis which will tell them which colors balance out their skin tone, make them look younger, makeup colors, etc…  Image consulting takes into account the client’s overall goals, budget, current life situation to where they are wanting to go, it is a thorough view of a client in their entirety! A personal shopping appointment at a retail location will only help someone shop and recommend outfits for them in that particular brand and season.  Many personal shoppers do not have any formal training and work on commission, the more they sell the more they earn.  I am ALL about stretching that dollar further via consignment shopping, coupons, sales, etc..give me a budget and see me maximize it to address all the client’s needs.

 image c/o: www.polishedak.com

image c/o: www.polishedak.com

How much time is needed for a personal styling session and what can one expect when scheduling their initial session with you:
Most female consultations take 2 – 2.5 hours, as there are a few more items to cover vs a male consultation that is 1.5 – 2 hours.  A consultation will give me a thorough picture of the client’s current goals, struggles, lifestyle, and budget which will help guide me.  Clients receive a color analysis which is SUPER beneficial for everyone!  Alaskan’s LOVE to wear black and black does not do a lot of people favors! We then move onto a vertical body analysis to understand the client’s proportions which will help guide me in giving them tips and tricks to INSTANTLY looking thinner and younger.  We also address body shapes, jewelry placement, make-up, levels of refinement, jewelry, hair styling, etc…essentially nothing is off limits! We cover it all!  It is extremely beneficial, has it will help clients save time and money as it will simplify their life and know what to buy and what to avoid.

In addition to working one on one with clients, you also offer products that help refine their style and get ready routines.  What are some of your favorite products / "essentials" you have available for clients?
I LOVE Monat for hair care products! I personally love love love MONAT!  I use it and it has changed my hair dramatically, simplifying my routine – I think I only wash my hair now once a week! I also highly recommend Beautycounter for skin care and makeup! I have a flawless in five make-up routine from Beautycounter.  I do not want women to think it has to be complicated, complex or time-consuming!

 Shop Monat products with Mickela here:   mickelalamb.mymonat.com

Shop Monat products with Mickela here: mickelalamb.mymonat.com

 Shop Beautycounter products with Mickela here:   beautycounter.com/mickelalamb

Shop Beautycounter products with Mickela here: beautycounter.com/mickelalamb

You offer Corporate Styling services as well as Workshops, what are some of the main benefits businesses and groups can experience after working with you:
Personal Branding is a HOT topic these days.  I also really enjoy educating other business professionals on what really is “business casual” in Alaska, best colors to wear networking, things to avoid that instantly discredit oneself, how to strategically prepare for an interview and land that next job, Social Media Image…the list can go on and on honestly!  There are a lot of topics that are relevant to the workplace, as Alaska is a casual state and many need to be reminded they need to step it up in the workplace. 

 image c/o: www.polishedak.com

image c/o: www.polishedak.com

I truly believe there is a great deal of personal growth and empowerment that comes from investing in oneself through personal style.  Can you share a winning testimony or an "aha" moment a client experienced after working with you?
Oh yes!  This is my FAVORITE part, I love helping people feel more confident, empowered and be more effective as it radiates out to others.

I highly recommend making this investment in yourself! I can’t tell you how much I appreciated going through this process with a professional and very knowledgeable consultant. Mickela’s approach was perfect. She didn’t make me feel bad at all and was very matter-of-fact but warm. I feel so much more confident knowing what styles, colors, and cuts work with my complexion and body style. Eye-opening!!! Best of all, I’m not overwhelmed with my closet. That was such an added stress looking and thinking “I have nothing to wear”. I even did my own purge before this appointment. 4 large bags all together!! Now I walk in my closet knowing everything is just right. Such a time-saver in the morning!! Since this appointment, I’ve had a little more pep in my step. Thank you Mickela!!

Mickela’s expertise was evident as she quickly yet thoroughly identified a range of colors suitable for my complexion and body type. She walked me through a variety of points to consider when shopping for nice clothes, in my case, primarily for dating and casual dress. I normally prioritize function and comfort over style, so I can’t say enough how grateful I am that she was able to work with what I’ve got to polish my image. She is easy to work with, quick to spot areas of improvement and made the thought of going to buy clothes fun, which is not something I’ve ever said before

Extremely enriching experience. I learned so much to better present my professional and everyday image. I recommend Mickela wholeheartedly to anyone looking to make a positive change in their lives.

Could you please share a common mistake people are making with personal image that most people don't even realize they are making?
I see two sides of the spectrum; people are either trying too hard or don’t seem to care at all!  For my fellow Alaskan’s I wish people spent more time being mindful of how they show up, we forget we are role models to the younger generations, our friends, and family.

Something I truly want people to know about working with you as an image consultant is you are totally sophisticated and educated in your craft - but also completely approachable and your services are attainable for most people's budgets.  What words of encouragement do you have for those who may feel a bit intimidated by scheduling a consult with you?
Image does not have to be expensive, in fact, I PROMISE it will save you money immediately and in the long run, it truly is an investment in you! 

 image c/o: www.polishedak.com

image c/o: www.polishedak.com

What is the best way for people to connect with you to book a consult?
Phone call, text message (907-750-7633), or an email (mickela@polishedak.com)

What are your never leave the house without essentials?
Lipstick, mascara, gum and a good pair of shoes. 😊

What advice would you give to someone interested in owning a business that you wish someone gave to you?
Go for it! Don’t even think twice, there are so many resources available!

 image c/o: www.polishedak.com

image c/o: www.polishedak.com

Check out more about Mickela and Polished's service offerings via her website: www.polishedak.com
+ Keep up with all things Polished on instagram via: @polishedimageak

 

Dream Job Profile: Kim Stalder of Circular Boutique

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Name:
Kim Stalder

Occupation:
Owner, Circular Boutique

Location:
6th Avenue between C Street and D Street

 image c/o: @circularboutique

image c/o: @circularboutique

How long has Circular been in business?
Amazingly, we’ve been open for 10 years!

What inspired you to start Circular?
Initially, I was interested in providing an eco-friendly option for Anchorage shoppers. I offered clothing for men, women and children, furnishings, and home décor, etc. When that message fell flat, I realized I would have to refocus on timeless and high quality products that didn’t contribute to the landfills and that helped people live a safer and healthier life.

What was your major in school and how did it help you with owning Circular?
My major in school was English. That helped me in my first business, Wordsmith, through which I provided a variety of writing services to private, corporate and governmental entities. My experience operating that business for 30 years prepared me for owning and operating another business, although retail was completely foreign to me.

 image c/o: @circularboutique

image c/o: @circularboutique

What has been the biggest challenge in establishing your business?
This is tough. I would probably say the biggest challenge is getting people through my door so my brand became known. Advertising is a hit-or-miss endeavor and expensive. Word-of-mouth has been the surest way to gain customers, but it is limited. And often people hear something about the store—such as the cost of the products we carry—and this makes them scared to stop in and take a look (although we carry a variety of price points). This remains a difficult challenge for me to this day.

Owning a boutique is so much more than selecting beautiful clothing and product to sell.  For example, so much of buying goes back to math/budgeting/inventory planning and control. Have you always been business minded or is it something you developed and continue to learn?
My father owned his own businesses so it was my environment growing up. He had both a home-operated business (Muzak) and a storefront (an electronics store). I realized fairly early on that it was much more rewarding and comfortable for me to be my own boss. A friend who also owned a business and I used to joke that we were “certifiably unemployable” because it was so difficult to not be the one making decisions!

Describe Circular's style aesthetic:
I would say we are a purveyor of beautifully designed and thoughtfully curated fashion and products. We look for unique and timeless fashion and premium products that enhance your life.

 image c/o: @circularboutique

image c/o: @circularboutique

Describe a typical day at market:
It’s BUSY!!!! I create a very strict schedule when I go to market, with a little time left open for exploration. Some of the most loved brands in the store were found by just wandering through showrooms. I begin at around 9:00 am and finish about 6 pm each day with appointments every 15-30 minutes (depending on how much time I need with a brand). It’s exhausting, but fun.

What is your favorite season to shop for and how do you get trend forecasting inspiration?
My favorite season is everyone’s favorite season—Fall. I get ready for buying by watching runway shows from the various Fashion Weeks around the world and reviewing the collections of major design houses (often smaller design houses will take their cues from the large design houses, so I am able to find similar styles at much lower prices). This provides information on color palettes, silhouettes, and aesthetics that will be forefront in most designers’ collections. Several of my designers show at Fashion Weeks, so I’m aware of pieces I find interesting before I go to Market.

What are ways you have seen growth as a business owner over the years?
When I first opened Circular, I bought what I liked rather than what others found appealing, primarily because I just didn’t know yet what they wanted! This wasn’t necessarily a total misstep, but over time I learned what my customers like, what is right for their lifestyles, and what price points are comfortable for them. I am also more careful about my buying; I often have to turn away from things that I love because they just won’t sell in Anchorage.

 image c/o: @circularboutique

image c/o: @circularboutique

How do you set yourself apart from other boutiques and how important was researching your boutiques market/demographic?
On our sign you will see “love your choices” which guides us in our sales approach.  Circular prides itself on NEVER forcing a sale or encouraging someone to buy something if they’re unsure. Our customer service is strong, we are honest, and we stand behind our products. The last thing I want is for someone to regret buying something from Circular.

In terms of researching our market/demographic, I have to admit that we didn’t! I have lived my entire life of 62 years in Alaska and I think I have a fairly good feel for what people here want. Although I’m sure almost everyone will say that I can “get away with” wearing things that are different from the “norm”, I understand what it is to LIVE here. Although that doesn’t mean you can’t look and feel amazing!

Circular is much more than beautiful clothing and accessories - what services and products do you offer that people might not know about when stopping at your boutique?
Thanks for this question. This goes back to us getting out the word about the store. We offer wish lists (so you get what you want when people shop for you), gift cards, styling services, closet revamps, private parties in the store, and personal shopping.

For someone making their initial visit to Circular, what are some labels / products you suggest they must check out?
There are a few labels and products that are my favorites. I always want people to at least take a look at Maison Scotch, the female division of Dutch brand Scotch and Soda, which boasts a head designer from Anchorage, Tracy Reese and Rachel Zoe, both American designers with a definite point of view, Alexis Bittar jewelry because it’s amazing, and Little Barn Apothecary, which was founded and is operated by two amazing partners who have created a premium effective product.

 image c/o: @circularboutique

image c/o: @circularboutique

You have always been an inspiration to me in so many ways thanks to your genuine kind heart, stunning style, and your deep commitment to our environment.  What are some things Circular does to be as green and eco-conscious as possible?
I’ll mention Little Barn Apothecary again. All of these amazing products are vegan and organic—as well as being the BEST that I’ve used on my skin! I also carry Agent Nateur deodorant for men and women, which is the highest ranking natural deodorant in terms of effectiveness, and PRITINYC, an eco nail polish that has staying power and comes in great colors (many large design houses commission colors for their runway shows from PRITI).

The clothing I carry is high quality and will last. Some customers resell their pieces, while others keep them for many years, but either way they are not ending up in a landfill. And lastly, we recycle literally EVERYTHING we can in the store. Every scrap of paper. Every coffee sleeve. Every toilet roll :). Every bit of cardboard. You get the picture. I’m lucky to have curbside recycling in my neighborhood, so I take the recycling home from the store each week. I worked with the 5th Avenue Mall to get cardboard recycling and now they have TWO cardboard bins and only one garbage bin to service the Mall.  

What advice would you give to someone interested in owning a boutique and buying that you wish someone gave to you?
I would advise that anyone considering owning a boutique define what it is they plan to provide that is DIFFERENT from what others provide. Even if the most unique aspect of your business is your personality, you need to know what you will present to the public that makes them want to shop with you.

Ask yourself WHY you are opening a boutique. Are you providing a different product? A different experience? Filling a niche that you know exists? You love fashion and want to share that love? Know what it is that drives you.

Be sure you’re aware of ALL of your costs (rent, utilities, product, shipping, etc.) and what your income will need to be to cover those each month. Try to start with at least 3-6 months of funding so you don’t find yourself in an uncomfortable position with your landlord or vendors.

What are your never leave the house essentials?
I HAVE to have lipstick. My natural lip color is super red lip and so I always have a nude lipstick in my purse to tone it down. And my phone because I have so much information in it!

 image c/o: @circularboutique

image c/o: @circularboutique

What five items do you believe every woman should have in her closet?
A great pair of black pants, a GOOD black blouse (I must have at least 6 but my new favorite is from L’Agence!), a GOOD white/ivory blouse (again, I have at least 6), a chic medium weight coat (mine is a black straight coat with notched collar), and a truly unique piece that screams YOU! Basics are necessary, but having something that is really different and that speaks to your soul is a must in my mind.

What is your mantra?
Love your choices! Really, that’s all life boils down to and it is what directs your path. Choose with your heart.

Keep up with Kim and Circular via their instagram: @circularboutique +
Even better stop by the store to meet Kim and her incredibly knowledgable and inviting staff -----* Preferably during my Beautycounter Pop Up this Saturday - January 13th from 3-5:30pm! ;) *

 www.beautycounter.com/tessweaver

www.beautycounter.com/tessweaver