Dress me, I’m your mannequin

By Ally Champagne

A passion for fashion led Angela Shurland into the field of wardrobe consultation. She attended Ecole Therese Gauthier Fashion Designs in the ‘70s, which became the stepping stone to her lifetime career and her own business: Angela Shurland Wardrobe Consulting Services.
She remains current on the fashion trends and has years of fashion retail experience. Her clientele spans all walks of life, ranging from professional men and women to teenagers, retirees and travellers. She can assist you in tweaking your image or helping you develop a new one; help revitalize your closet; as well as go shopping with you to pick the perfect apparel for your next big event or to complement that new promotion you just received.
Running for a position in politics? She can help you develop a wardrobe which will promote your successful public image. She is able to assess your body type, work with your career goals and your personality in ways to materialize the look you desire to portray.
Sometimes we do not know what we desire to portray, or we have gotten stuck in a fashion rut by becoming comfortable in our sweats and oversize shirts. And sometimes our bodies have changed size and we have not kept up. Not a problem – Angela’s expertise will have you happy with how great you look in just a few adjustments.
Travelling can be stressful when you have to pack for three weeks, and sometimes you aren’t sure exactly what types of clothing or outfits to bring, and how to make it all fit. “A person can bring a total of 15 pieces and have something different to wear every day,” says Angela. “The trick is to know what your key pieces will be, and work from that.
“One of my clients who needed help for a wardrobe for her trip to Australia found she never had to concern herself with what to wear, because we had pulled together a great colour scheme for her basics and found pieces to complement those which added to her number of outfits.”
Angela’s expertise is not limited to simply clothing; she can find you the best accessories to give you the desired wow factor – and the consultation doesn’t have to be something you endeavour on your own.
“I enjoy working with individuals, whether it requires creating a look for a new job, doing a figure analysis – or fitting an entire bridal party,” says Angela. “I set up an appointment with my clients, meet with them and get all the details as to what their needs are.”
Allowing a fashion specialist into your closet can seem daunting, yet the results will amaze you.
Confidence and fashion are correlated; studies show makeovers on people, no matter what age, give them a boost of confidence.
“I like clients to think of it as an investment in their future,” explains Angela. “Rather than spend money on items which do not work, it’s thriftier to be able to buy the pieces which will fit you and bring out the best in you.”

Have a passion for fashion? Here are some tips on becoming a fashion consultant:

• A high school diploma could suffice, but there are bachelor’s degrees to consider in fashion marketing, merchandising and design
• Consider a well-regarded certification program. Do your research first to make sure it’s credible.
• Begin to work part-time as a fashion consultant, building a client list out of friends and family. Try doing some work even as a volunteer at first, and take before and after photos for promotion.
• Get a job in the retail or fashion industry.
• Cultivate a strong personal style.
• Begin a blog or column on fashion.
• Join groups like the Women’s Business Owners of Manitoba and the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce where you can network and meet potential clients.
• Partner with other agencies that complement your services such as spas and hair salons, or even interior design firms or individuals. This will build you a referral base.
• Take entrepreneurial courses to learn how to set up your business, set prices, as well as learn how to market yourself effectively.

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