Monday, 5 September 2011
The Call for Courage

When I was in the 6th grade I had a classmate that was always getting in trouble.  Whenever he had the chance to be a distraction he was first to get the teachers attention.  It did not matter how he got her attention - just that he got it.  Over time, he began to be laughed at verses laughed with.  Other kids would tease him and pick on him.  The more they did that the more he would act up in class. Teachers even got in on the act, pointing out his mistakes and whenever something went wrong in class, the teacher was the same toward him, "What have you done now?"  It never mattered if he was guilty or not.  In the beginning of the year, he came to school dressed he cared what he looked like.   Over time he became less and less concerned with how he looked and he began to reflect what others said about him and even worse, how he felt about himself.

I have had the privilege of working with people from all types of backgrounds and incomes, and I have found that many times the way they dress is much like my old schoolmate.  They have adopted what others have said about them and so they do not spend any time trying to look their best.  My classmate was crying out for attention and in his world, any attention was better than no attention…If you are a parent, you know this is true for most children.  Yet as we age, that desire changes.  Many people dress so no one will notice them and they would rather blend in verses standout.  WHY?  Why do we do that?  I truly believe that one of the reasons is when we stand out we are more open to criticism.  When we standout, others around us will want to put us down and point out our failures as we get older.  Sometimes we choose to be hidden and unseen in order to blend in and just accept where we think we are.  How about you?  Are you the older version of my classmate?  

Have you allowed society, a divorce, a failed relationship, a lost job, or the rude comments of gossips and others to push you down so that you dress in a way that you no longer standout?

My classmate came back to school in the 8th grade - he had spent the summer at camp and had a new mentor in his life who believed in him.  Someone who lifted him up and told him he could do anything he put his mind to. He no longer chose to blend in and hide, he no longer decided to act up and be a clown because he wanted attention to make him feel good.  He had gone from class clown to class leader. His attitude was reflected in his image and his behavior.  He knew he was important to his mentor and his family and best of all, he knew he was valuable. He had the courage to step up and step out.  This is true today.  Men and women want to blend in sometimes so that they are NOT noticed.  We are scared that others will see our imperfections and ridicule us.

All that said, I love my job and helping people.  I love helping them see that their image is not what others say it is, but rather what they say it is.  America is in love with reality shows that give this before and after transformation in life. Why? Because we all want to be better, we all want to excel - sometimes we just lack the courage to say I want to improve!  Well, this is my call to courage.  Take the time to reach out to a friend, a mentor, a family member and tell them to help you improve the quality of your life.  Have the courage to change for the better.  Now I see my classmate on Facebook of all places successful in life, business, his marriage and he looks very happy.  I'm certain he will tell you that it is much easier to stay in the mud than it is to have the courage to get up and say, I deserve better and I want to improve…but in the long run, it is so much better to take the harder road than it is to try and disappear.

I hope I can help you respond to the call for courage, and be a mentor and friend who can help you project the image that reflects how amazing you truly are.

Photo courtesy of

Image | Brand | Fashion |
Direct: (615) 218.6831 | Office: (615) 567.6969

Posted on 09/05/2011 3:50 PM by Mila Grigg, President and Founder
Monday, 5 September 2011

I have bought enough clothing over the years to fill an entire department store and thankfully, I have been able to establish some incredible business and personal relationships.  I spend my time helping individuals and companies turn fashion into something more than clothes and colors.  I have learned that companies, like people, get all dressed up and present their best image to the public.  There is always a problem when the image does not match the reality of the person or the business.  I call this SUBSTANCE.  You can be all dressed up and have on right colors, but if your personal beliefs lack character and integrity then the clothes can hide the person but so long.  Eventually, no matter how great you look on the outside, the inside is going to leak through.  The final picture, fashion statement or as I say personal brand is going to ruin the entire outfit. Just like an apple - it can look absolutely beautiful on the outside, but be rotten and have a worm on the inside - typically you find out AFTER you have taken a bite. 

Companies are the same way.  No matter how many great words they use or expensive commercials they produce, no matter how well we can DRESS THEM UP - if the management and the employees of the company do not care about value, quality, integrity and service, the company will eventually fail.  The government has a saying for businesses that is truly incorrect and shows that our leaders do not understand the capitalist entrepreneurial system that builds a great business.  Uncle Sam has come up with a term TOO BIG TO FAIL, and quite honestly we have learned that any company, no matter how big it may be or become, can fail!  Failure is not because of the company itself, but better reflects that the company management lacks SUBSTANCE.

The company may have crystal towers and the world's most innovative websites, but if the inside does not complement the fashion on the outside and does not have some substance, that company can and will eventually fail.  Their customers begin to notice that the company is all flash and no promise!  Just like a dressed up professional or an athlete that can't perform, if the company has no SUBSTANCE it will fail.  Substance is not created; it is not something that amazing marketing and PR produces.  Substance is the character of the company.  It is the management and people that reflect Truth, Honesty, Great Service, Real Quality and Superior Value.  When the buying public knows that the flash and marketing actually is backed up by Substance, we will spend our hard earned dollars turning that company into a profitable organization that can create jobs, grow in size and sales and give them our vote of confidence by sending our friends and family there to do business. 

So when you are starting a business, or looking to dress one up, remember that the Style is only important when it is backed up by substance!  Management can turn around a business or create a new one that will succeed, all they need to do is provide great STYLE and INNOVATION and back it up with SUBSTANCE.  Growing companies, just like improved relationships, are built on the value of relationships, quality of product, integrity, truth and a desire to serve!!!

Success is planned and it is when Style and Substance come together and create a winning combination!  The opposite is true as well If you have incredible substance but lack the outside that says you do; many people will never have the honor of working with you because they may not believe, simply from the outside, that you can do the job you say you can do.  First impressions are everything if you have the substance, let's work on the outside together to create a winning combination!

Photo courtesy of

Image | Brand | Fashion |
Direct: (615) 218.6831 | Office: (615) 567.6969

Posted on 09/05/2011 1:50 PM by Mila Grigg, President and Founder
Saturday, 3 September 2011
September Newsletter - You are Always Making a Statement

You make a statement everyday with your image alone...

Do you know what kind of statement you are making?

Truth is, this is a visual world and you are making a statement, no matter what.  

What separates you from your competition?  If nobody sees your resume, your image determines your first impression.

Does your image inspire YOU, your husband or wife, your friends, colleagues and children?

Does your image say success, trust, competence, respect, confidence, intelligence, joy?

I have enjoyed a busy summer of meeting with individuals and companies, sharing the value of fashion, style and creating a Professional or Personal Brand that says something about what a company believes or a person wants to share.  In a recent seminar I conducted, it was suggested that not everyone needs to dress in a manner that makes a statement.  In fact, some would suggest that image means nothing, and to think about your image is only to cater to a superficial world based on looks and not more important values such as integrity, justice and quality of life. Truth is, this is a visual world and you are making a statement, no matter what.  Human beings form opinions based on what we see and hear, and to suggest anything less is to be dishonest with ourselves.  For example; if I say the color GREEN, you already see the color in your mind, just as if I say the color RED, you already see red no matter how much you try to make your mind see another color.  The same is true about our image.  

What if I told you that the pictures you see below were the offices of two successful accountants
and you had to hire one based only on what you SEE.
Clearly, image matters.  You would ASSUME that the person who worked at the organized desk was more competent and you might even 'trust' them more - the same is true for our image.  I had someone tell me that image was not important for a person in the construction business.  If this is true, then a construction worker can dress in any attire and still make the same statement as any other construction worker, right? Wrong.  When we apply this thought to its practical application, we find that the construction worker who does not care about his or her appearance is indeed helping others form an opinion about them and opinions that are most likely negative which hurt their income, future, reputation and so on.  

Let's work through this scenario: Two workers show up for work and they both work with mud and concrete.

The first one has on clothes that are stained and certainly fit the occupation, but they are as clean as they can be and FIT properly, the shirt is properly tucked in or buttoned up, their hair is clean and combed and their shoes are not neglected.

The second appears with holes in their pants, shoes are dirty and not taken care of, and their shirt is dirty and sloppily hanging on their body.

Which one would you hire based upon image alone?  Better yet, which would you feel is more concerned with details and has a sense of respect not only for themselves, but for you as their client and in the work they will perform?

Now once the work has begun, you may find that the second worker actually does more complete work and is the better employee.  I can assure you, no image that can take place of performance, but that is not the issue.  The issue is; which worker gave you a better first impression?  The sad fact is that the second may not have been hired EVEN THOUGH HE OR SHE HAD MORE EXPERIENCE AND WAS BETTER FOR THE JOB.  So in today's competitive world, who stands the better chance of success? The person who cares about their image and does a great job, or the person who does a great job but could care less about their image? You see, sometimes we dress down or say image is not important for our industry, but in reality, our image can turn out to be the most important factor.  The very fact you choose to care less about your image does indeed make a statement.  The statement says, "I do not care how about I look or what you think of me."  Or in the case of this particular seminar, you are saying that an entire industry is not worthy of looking good because their work does not require a better looking image.  

Saying I don't care how I look' is dangerous, personally and professionally. 

  • It is difficult to make up for a bad first impression.
  • When you look good, you feel good and you produce greater results.
  • A poor image can hurt others trust not only in you as a person but also in your ability.
  • People may choose to work with others who are less qualified simply because they are perceived to be more competent.
  • You might be the best at what you do - but many people will never have the privilege of working wtih you becuase you do not represent yourself in the best way possible.

We are ALWAYS making a statement when we dress for work, leisure or play.  The question comes down to this…What kind of statement are you making?  I believe you should always strive to make a statement that counts and one that says you care not only for yourself, but for others.  

I am here to help you create the statement that you want to make, every time you walk into a room.  Fall is the perfect time to rethink your image, wardrobe or personal brand.  I would be honored to help you.  Consultations are always complimentary.  


Image | Brand | Fashion |
Direct: (615) 218.6831 | Office: (615) 567.6969

Consultations are always complimentary!

Posted on 09/03/2011 12:00 AM by Mila Grigg, CEO
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