Introduce yourself to our audience. Tell us who you are and what you are currently focused on.
A born-and-raised Austinite with a life long love of personal style, I have worked with hundreds of women to develop a style that is inherently unique and deeply personal. I began my career as an image consultant in 2012, but even from a young age, clothing was my emblem of personal freedom and creativity. The more I knew about style, the more I dissected it and wanted to know. This curiosity collided with my desire to empower women after college, while I was living in NYC.
After gaining managerial experience at a chain of Manhattan boutiques that handled millions in annual sales, I decided to further my education. While attending the Fashion Institute of Technology’s Image Consulting program, I began working for Dominique Isbecque, the founder of the Image Resource Center of New York and an originator of the industry. After graduating from FIT and working closely with Dominique for a few years, my entrepreneurial spirit took me, and I returned home to build Greer Image Consulting.
The work I do now and from the beginning has been about one simple thing: celebrating women through personal style. Style is about creativity and self-expression, not labels and trends. It is about communicating yourself every day to the people around you, about being seen and heard.
What my clients have always discovered — from my time in New York City to my current practice in Austin — is that style is your creative connection to other people. Too many of my clients have been misled to believe they don't have style; everyone does. I help women uncover it, and feel naturally beautiful, visible and empowered by it. Style is your proof of purpose. I break it down. I make it attainable, achievable, and fun. Style is my passion. Helping women understand their natural beauty is my purpose.
How would you define your professional mission?
My mission is to empower women by making style understandable and attainable for every day occasions. Through a combination of styling, education and coaching, I give women the foundational tools to continuously develop a wardrobe that suits her unique personality and busy lifestyle.
What qualities does it take for someone to be successful in your line of work?
Like any job, it's about working harder than you ever have. But don’t be afraid to mess up. I know it’s cliche, but messing up seriously is one of the biggest ways you learn. It’s good to get knocked off your high horse, but also painful. And you may feel like an idiot. But take it as a gift. You always get the opportunity to correct your mistakes in future situations, which means in the end, you get to make a lot of people really happy. You’ve always got more ideas, more creativity to share, more love to give to your clients. Push yourself every day and while you may have failures along the way, you’ll succeed in the end.
What is one of your most memorable career accomplishments?
A memorable career accomplishment was when I started writing a monthly column for the Austin Business Journal called "The Austin Look." I never expected to do something like that! Even though I wrote the content of my website, my marketing copy and my blog "The Greer Guide to Style," I don't consider myself a writer. It's always just been a necessary part of life, business, school. After the success of my first article, the managing editor of the business journal asked me to write a monthly column. This has given me a new way to look at myself, my capabilities and know that when I'm writing about my passion (style), it's not so scary. It's very doable and when I dive into writing, it's actually something I really enjoy.
We’d love to hear more about your career path. What led you to where you are today?
I’ve always loved style. At a young age, I recognized that it’s really your way to control how you’re perceived in any social situation. You can feel average or you can be a bad ass, and as I said, I always want that bad bitch mentality. My parents are also both really stylish people. My dad actually has more Pinterest followers than me and a board dedicated to things he wants my mom to wear. They both exuded a natural confidence that comes along with owning your style, and way before I understood what that was, I wanted it. That love of style collided with my desire to help women in college.That was the first time I called myself a feminist. After college, I managed boutiques in Manhattan, which eventually led me to image consulting and Greer Image Consulting!
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
My work is about one thing: making women feel powerful. Our culture is saturated with misogyny, so body positivity is an uphill battle for most women. What I aim to do with my clients is have them understand their worth by recognizing they aren’t flawed. They are perfect the way they are, because that’s how they are! End of story. Developing a wardrobe that represents them and highlights their natural beauty helps them see that and embrace that “Hey, maybe I’m not so _____ after all.” I show my clients the rules of what clothes work for their body type, style and color palette, thus giving them freedom to embrace who they are and who they want to be through style.
Who are your role models?
I have two role models who inspire me in my business. The first is my aunt, Maria Gordian. While my mother and grandmothers have all positively impacted my life, they were all stay-at-home mom's. My aunt Maria has inspired me by her incredibly career successes and constant drive to do more and give 100% to her clients. I didn't really understand what she did as a kid, but as I've grown as an adult and in my business, I look at her and think, "Wow! She took a hard road and she really kicked ass at it". She makes me feel like anything is possible. My second role model is Marie Forleo. While I don't know her personally, her weekly YouTube show "MarieTV" feeds my professional soul. She addresses a new topic each week to "create a business and life you love" and somehow every single one speaks to me and my constant hurdles. She cuts to the core of topics and gives you real, applicable tips to improve your business and wellbeing.
What is your favorite social media site? Why?
Instagram is by far my favorite site. Because my career is highly visual, Instagram is the best way for me to show potential clients my work. My job is also very intimate, since I work in people's closets, so potential clients need to get to know me. On Instagram, I balance business content with who I am behind the scenes and what I wear. While the style I develop for clients is always different from mine, potential clients perceive who I am through my style. You can find me at @raquelgreergordian.
What does success look like to you?
I think success is knowing you’re enough. You can only do so much, you are only one person, so just be okay with that. I think it’s also about knowing it’s okay to be wrong. It’s okay to apologize and genuinely mean it. It’s okay to admit fault and be vulnerable to people. Without allowing myself to be vulnerable with people, I could never have accomplished what I have. I’m still working on it everyday, but I think it all boils down to loving yourself and giving people really good hugs and accepting a really good hug in return.
Tell us about your favorite Ellevate Network memory or success story. Why are you a member?
My favorite Ellevate memory was being able to present to my chapter. My talk was called "Style and Staples," and I specifically created it for my Ellevate group. I wanted to prepare something special for the group, because everyone is so upbeat and supportive of one another. The presentation was about creating a wardrobe that's made of "staples" aka pieces you love, not pieces someone told you to have. I designed it to speak to the individuality of each woman in the room and had a blast doing it! Speaking among my peers made me so comfortable and further developed my love of our local chapter.