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  • Dawn Bender

Called 2 Confidence

My favorite childhood toy, beside Barbie of course, was Fashion Plates. If you grew up in the 80’s you know what I’m talking about. I could sit for hours and “design” outfit after outfit. And my love of fashion wasn’t limited to play. I have always loved being “dressed up”. My family is the kind that wears sweatpants on Thanksgiving and Christmas (no judgment!) but I can remember attending family gatherings on holidays and wishing that my family was like the ones in the movies – you know, the ones in which the mom and daughters were in high heels, silk blouses, dresses, and pearls, and where the guys wore ties or nice sweaters with their khaki pants and loafers. But no, my family was dressed in jeans and t-shirts. So when I showed up in a skirt or dress to a family event I would always get asked “why are you so dressed up?” Can anyone else relate?

Pair that with growing up and living in Small Town, USA. There people wear pajamas to Walmart and think putting on a pair of leggings and a flannel shirt is dressed up. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not making fun of anyone’s fashion sense, I’m just talking about myself, and how I love nothing more than an awesome pair of heels, a killer pencil skirt, and an edgy leather jacket. But when dressed that way, I feel like I’m sticking out like a sore thumb in a atmosphere where everyone else is super casual the majority of the time. Even some of the work places I’ve been employed at over the past ten years have had very casual dress codes or the job itself required me to wear something more practical than stilettos and a wrap dress.

As much as I’ve always loved fashion, I have spent the majority of my adult life picking up clothing items on a quick trip to the mall or Target or worse, grabbing the most random things off the clearance rack. I wouldn’t say I’ve had a strategic plan for my wardrobe. I just buy a bunch of things and get them home and hope they work together. The last few years I’ve been diving into the idea of the Capsule Wardrobe. I’ve been leaning more and more toward a somewhat minimalist lifestyle. Moving 7 times in 10 years will do that to you. As will gaining 50+ pounds. I have repeatedly purged my wardrobe. But I haven’t been able to figure out the capsule wardrobe that’s right for me. So I just keep purging, then shopping and adding more pieces to my closet. It’s like a never ending cycle.

I would say my biggest challenge with knowing what to do has been color. I literally dumped the entire contents of my closet on my bed one day and proceeded to try on every single thing I owned (it took the whole day by the way) and took a selfie in front of a window in each item. I was trying to determine if I was cool or warm. I couldn’t even decide which colors looked the best – I knew some were not great, but I was trying to decide based on a color code system which I really didn’t understand. I know some of you are probably thinking that is too much work. But in order to pare my closet down to a capsule wardrobe I really needed to know which colors look best on me. Because as much as I love black & white I really do need some color in my closet. I was able to purge a lot of items based on how they fit, but I still had no clue about color. Not only was it exhausting, I was frustrated!

To try and make sense of it, I started watching some fashion bloggers on YouTube and while I got some great tips, clothing hacks, and outfit ideas, the ones I found that discussed color left me even more confused. And don’t even get me started on the rabbit-hole of body type systems! So here I am trying to simplify my wardrobe and my life and I’m running in circles trying to make sense of all the information I’m hearing and reading. Not only that, but while the bloggers I found were entertaining and somewhat helpful in terms of style, it was clear that many of them know very little about color as they were often dressed in hues that were not flattering.

Enter Shari, by way of Kathie. Last year I met a colleague which led to a new friendship. During one of our conversations she started telling me about her friend Shari who owns a business called Fashion Meets Faith. She marries her faith with her knowledge and expertise of over 30 years in fashion. She has been a personal stylist among many other things and has created her own color analysis system as well as a capsule wardrobe planner. Kathie mentioned that Shari would be coming to our town and asked if I would like to meet her. Absolutely I would! Meanwhile, I started researching Shari’s program – looking at her website, YouTube channel, and social media pages. I was intrigued. In December 2020 I met Shari in person and she immediately confirmed my color code, I bought the wardrobe planner in my colors, and got to work on my closet. I was feeling more confident than I had in years!

During our meeting Shari also mentioned that she was going to be doing a training in early 2021 for women to become trained in color analysis. I asked her to send me more information as I thought it would not only help me personally with my own style journey, but I would be able to use that knowledge in my Mary Kay business. A few weeks ago I attended the training and learned a ton. The best part? Shari’s system is so easy! And I’m now qualified to offer color analysis appointments, both virtually and in-person.

What’s even more exciting is I decided not to stop there. Shari also has a program for women to become Christian Image Consultants. I prayed about whether or not this was something God was calling me to do and whether I would be able to make the investment. As much as I love my full-time job, I’ve always loved having a “side-hustle”. I love learning new things and sharing that knowledge with others. And I’m not the type of person to just come home after work and sit on the couch til bedtime. So adding something new in addition to, and that complements my other part-time business was intriguing. After thinking and praying for a few weeks, I decided to take the leap of faith and sign up for Shari’s training program. We started this week. I am learning all about body shape analysis, clothing personality styles, and more. And when we are finished at the end of March, I will begin offering personal styling appointments in addition to the color analysis.

I’m definitely stepping out of my comfort zone to complete these trainings and start a new venture, but even as I’m nervous I’m also very excited. I truly feel that God has called me to this and I am choosing to follow Him in obedience to his calling. It is my desire to help women become more confident in their own skin. Whether that’s with their clothing, makeup, skin care, or anything else. That is why my business will be named Called to Confidence. I believe God is calling me to help women find their confidence. And I humbly accept. I have so many ideas for where this can go. But since we serve a God that can blow our minds, I’m sure that my ideas are nothing compared to what He will do!

Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us,” Ephesians‬ ‭3:20‬ ‭NKJV‬‬
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