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Kerry Cordero

Kerry Cordero

Introduce yourself to our audience. Tell us who you are and what you are currently focused on.

I'm a personal stylist and founder of The First Look Image Consulting. I was inspired to become a stylist by my grandmother Pearl, who used to say “a woman should always have a red blazer in her closet so she can wow them no matter what.” And I'll add for my men clients, that goes for you too! It doesn't have to be red or a blazer, but that piece has to make you feel like you are perfect no matter what.

I left my corporate sales position in 2007 and trained at FIT in NYC in image consulting. The program was amazing and I learned how to use principles of art and design to help clients dress for wherever they are going or whatever they want, in an appropriate way. It's the best way to look beautiful!!

The soul of my styling today is about teaching clients how to wear clothes that brings their best talents and authentic selves to all their events and situations. My styling starts with the hopes and dreams of my clients, works it way outward to take into account their own personal beauty and ends with awesome outfits.

Right now, I'm creating a card game that helps you get a glimpse of your true self and reveals some of your talents and dreams by exploring your clothing choices. It's very groovy and chic all at once and we're calling it Fashion Feng Shui At Play!

Tell us about your favorite Ellevate Network memory or success story. Why are you a member?

I recently spoke at a YoPro event about dressing in an authentic way that is also suitable for your specific work environment. Not only are were the women who ran the event total professionals, they were also comfortable with their own power. What do I mean by that? There was real authenticity in the room right along with all the drive, passion and expertise you need to succeed. It was the opposite of what I knew when I worked in a corporate environment. I want that for everyone and it's so much a part of my vision for how I style my clients.

What qualities does it take for someone to be successful in your line of work?

You have to be willing to work hard, learn and stick it for the long term. Also another source of income while you start out is essential. A personal styling business doesn't just start churning out revenue the moment you launch.

What is one of your most memorable career accomplishments?

I finally found a mentor! There is a woman who lives nearby to me in New Jersey and she is a retired consultant from one of the big consulting firms. She is so authoritative and polished and talented and she's also a stay at home mom and an advocate for her autistic son. She brought me into her training sessions at IBM as the stylist who teaches how to dress successfully and authentically. No one ever took me under their wing before in such an honest and powerful way. It was an up-leveling of my career!

What are some career challenges on your radar?

The way people shop is changing. People are starting to realize that the stores don't always have the clothes that are right for them or they're too tired or busy at work to shop. You get better results shopping online now. I have a great system for online shopping - it's a private label and the vendor is Hue and Stripe. My challenge is to shift my business so that I choose items that are great for clients from a screen that suit their colors and fit their bodies. I have to change my message, marketing, focus. It's happening but change is hard for everyone.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?

The best moment is when a client tries something on in the dressing room and they start to pose. Their body language changes into a more powerful and pleased stance. They strut a little bit as they look at themselves in the mirror. They are seeing themselves as beautiful!

What legacy do you hope to leave through your work?

I would love for my clients to know that they are worthy - worthy of time, self care, self-compliments and a goal all their own. I want them to know they are beautiful no matter what. And I don't want that for them just for the fact that they can look beautiful but so they can feel the rush of self-love and power that comes from that vision.

What is it about your job that makes you feel it’s the right fit for you?

Hah! That is the funniest question! My job is perfect for me because it allows me to be creative and use all the coping techniques I've mastered over the years as an ADHDer.

Who are your role models?

My mom and my grandmothers are my role models. My mom works so hard to take care of everything and she's THE smartest person in the room always. And she just gives that to everyone without resentment. I want to be more like that. And my grandmothers were elegant, stylist and flashy. I like a broad who owns the room!

What is your morning ritual?

Well, it takes me a half hour to wake up. Nope, not kidding. I used to feel intimidated by early-risers but who has time for that anymore? When I get up, I wave good-bye to my son with our cat Ollie every morning. He's a Maine Coon and he's really fluffy, sweet and smart. Then I have coffee and a healthy breakfast while I read and loose track of time. Then, I rush around, stop to make the bed, take a shower, stop to sort the laundry, get dressed fast because I always have an awesome outfit, slooooow way down for makeup and then do something quick with my sorta curly hair. My husband has to help me out the door with all my gear.

What is your favorite social media site? Why?

Instagram, because it's instant and it's visual.

What would you say your personal superpower is?

I can see you! I'm highly emphatic and I can usually feel other people's energy or figure out what makes them tick.

What does success look like to you?

It still looks like money in the bank. I'm learning that's not the truth of why we live on this planet but still ... I'd love a mountain of cash.

Is work-life balance a problem for you? What is one no-fail tactic you use to create balance?

My no-fail tactic for creating balance is my husband. We are dual-parents and we both work but he takes on a lot the stuff at home that other women are still doing. Also, I'm pretty honest with my son when we're both home in the afternoon and I'm totaled from work. He helps too.

What is one piece of advice you’d offer working moms?

Someone once told me that it's not my job to make a perfect kid. It's my job to be an imperfect human being that the kids can trust and rely on.

Have more questions? Follow up with the expert herself.

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