Don’t take on a business name. You are the brand — stick with your name until you are ready to add something to it. One of my favorite books is The Brand Called You: Create a personal brand that wins attention and grows your business by Peter Montoya with Tim Vandehey.
As a part of my series about strong female leaders, I had the pleasure of interviewing Kristie Jorfald. Kristie is a trilingual, multi-cultural, wardrobe stylist, and fashion expert who has worked in NYC, LA, and is now working in her native city: Chicago. Her professional expertise runs from working with celebrities for fashion editorials, advertising, and commercials to styling women on the two-time Emmy Nominated makeover show: How Do I Look? on E! In 2016 Kristie started her own personal styling business where she teaches women how to shop for their shape, develop their personal style and build self-confidence through wardrobe styling. Kristie graduated with Bachelor of Arts in English Literature and emphasis in Creative Writing from the University of Colorado, Boulder, and subsequently received a Master of Arts in Teaching at Columbia College Chicago.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
I had been working as a celebrity wardrobe stylist in Los Angeles and was hired to be the new assistant wardrobe stylist on the two-time Emmy Nominated makeover TV show How Do I Look? on the Style Network / E!. Although I was working 15–18 hours a day and styling on that show, I learned the importance of teaching women how to love themselves, and how in order to look good and feel good, it’s all about knowing how to dress for your body shape and express yourself.
My company’s mission is focused on teaching women how to love, accept and shop for their body shape, discover their personal style, and build self-confidence through wardrobe styling.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
One of the funniest mistakes I made while starting out as a stylist — and I say one because when you are starting out its certainly all about trial and error — however, one time I was hired to style a private runway show in Chicago at the Langham Hotel for all of the beauty editors that were in town for their hair convention. I arrived at the VIP suite early to set up for the model fitting. Prior to any fitting and wardrobe demo, I steam the clothing I’ve pulled to show the director the clothing options for each model. I of course, wasn’t paying attention and plugged in my steamer underneath the hotel bedroom’s fire alarm. Within 10 minutes of unloading, the fire alarm went off and the hotel guests start to evacuate the building all because of the steam coming from my clothing steamer! I am sure you can imagine how completely mortified I was, BUT it was an honest mistake and I was lucky that everyone was very sympathetic to my silly mistake. LESSON LEARNED! J
What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?
I don’t ever compare my company with anyone else’s. I’ve always done things to better my client’s lives and my own, and one of the things I do differently that I think stands out to those who have worked with me is that I require all my new clients to shop with me as we’re beginning to work together. I believe everyone should know how to shop for themselves. As much as I would love to shop for someone for the rest of their lives, the truth is that I won’t always be available for them, so I believe it’s important for me to teach them how to shop for their body shape and give them the tools they need to dominate shopping without it feeling daunting or like a big time commitment.
Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?
I have recently been hired to consult the morning and evening anchors for Chicago’s CBS Channel 2 and WBBM News wardrobe guidelines. I think it will help the news anchors and station build a strong brand and image to standout and set them apart from their competitors, but mostly help their viewers and fans feel connected to them and their values. How you dress says so much more than who you are.
What advice would you give to other female leaders to help their team to thrive?
Hire a personal wardrobe stylist to help you and your professional brand visually communicate your mission, so you can focus on doing what you do best and get what you want out of life.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
I met my fashion mentor, celebrity stylist Edgar Revilla, 10 years ago. I took a class of his to learn the back end of the styling business — all the financial and business elements — and he has been there to push, help, listen and inspire me to be the best stylist that I can be.
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?
A lot of what I do is confidence coaching. I don’t advertise it, but it’s the extra goodness you get when we work together, as there is A LOT of education behind the scenes. I love watching my clients grow and spark during their “aha” moments. When you own your self-worth and confidence you can have and do anything you want in your lifetime, I promise you. That is my mission and gift I give back to my clients — help them realize their worth.
What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started” and why? (Please share a story or example for each.)
1. If you believe in yourself you’re half way there
2. Read Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself
3. You are the driver of your life. No one can tell you “NO” except for yourself.
4. Don’t take on a business name. You are the brand — stick with your name until you are ready to add something to it. One of my favorite books is The Brand Called You: Create a personal brand that wins attention and grows your business by Peter Montoya with Tim Vandehey.
5. Forget business cards. It’s a waste of money. Take their card so that you can be in control of reaching out to them. If they don’t have one either, ask for their name, email and number and plug it into your phone.
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
Building Confidence and kindness to those that need it.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
If you win you will be happy
If you lose you will be wise
Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them 🙂
Dr. Joe Dispenza
Thank you for all of these great insights!
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About the author:
Chaya Weiner is the Director of branding and photography at Authority Magazine’s Thought Leader Incubator. TLI is a thought leadership program that helps leaders establish a brand as a trusted authority in their field. Please click here to learn more about Thought Leader Incubator.