We are talking to The Beauty & Style Doyenne herself, Mrs. Cherise B Thomas of White Diamond Image Consulting in Atlanta about her "Oh So Moxie" profession getting Atlanta's elite TO-GET-THER!
CM: Cherise B., you are known as The Beauty & Style Doyenne. How did you get that name and what exactly does it mean?
CB: A close friend, client and colleague of mine always referred to me as her Style Doyenne. Definition: " woman who is the most respected or a prominent person in a particular field." Others would hear it and thought it very fitting and just chimed in on it. I didn't initially agree, but I do declare, I'm on my way…so please continue to speak it into existence!
CM: How did you get your start as an image consultant and what's the difference from stylist?
CB: As a young girl, even as a tomboy I loved glamour. I always had a passion for seeing a woman with a polished and complete look from head-to toe, starting with the POWER hair. After many years as a licensed cosmetologist in my hometown Dayton, Ohio I knew it was time to take my skills and expertise to the next level. I was already operating in it but after a strategic move to Atlanta, Ga and some research I had to establish my credentials. That took time, relationship building and more education to bring the vision to reality. So my partner Daneill and I dug in.
An image consultant is someone who consults with individuals pertaining to their overall image. For instance the image consultant may or may not be the hairstylist, the wardrobe stylist, or the makeup artist on a project but he/she may consult with the entire team to make sure that client is comfortable and everyone is on the same page with the message being projected through the client's image. Overall we protect the client and their brand from any mis-communication in regards to building it and projecting the right message to their audience.
A stylist could be hair or wardrobe but their focus should be directed in that particular area of expertise unless they are skilled in overall image consulting.
CM: As someone responsible for creating a person's 'signature' personal brand image, you've had some high profile clients, but yet you remain humble. Yet, styling a person can be very fast paced and one has to be very alert and territorial. How did you handle situations where you had to stand up to others who might have had similar experience and challenged your technique or knowledge?
CB: First, I always respect others and invite different opinions and expertise when needed. By trial and error at White Diamond Image Consulting we now believe in clarifying and over communicating "who is who" and "what is what" based off of experiences with egos. We don't just do this beauty thing we've worked hard, educated and still are investing in our brand to maintain the integrity. We service our clients boldly and confidently with no threats from any angle.
CM: As you were gaining experience and establishing yourself in your current career, were there times you met strong opposition whether personal or professional (even though we are in business sometimes people take aim at us personally)? How did you handle those situations?
CB: This industry is saturated with fierce competition. Early on there was a lot of intimidation. But, I had to stand strong in what I knew and where I knew I was headed no matter what. I always looked my best, presented myself professionally and listened more than I talked. And I kept my "rock" Daneill in my pocket as my accountability. Everyone needs that one person that will walk with you through it all and tell you the truth always.
CM: Some are blessed in their life to have a mentor or someone in their corner that can reaffirm them, but others don't have that someone or at least that someone when one starts to experience promotion in their career. Did you have someone that championed you through your career? If so, how did that help shape you in to the career woman you are today?
CB: I searched early on for a mentor and became disturbed by the feedback I received. So, I left it alone for a while and was on my own. But, God lead to me those who were meant for me. So yes, I've had several powerful women champion me through my career as well as women who have walked in line with me and taught me just as much through their experiences. The wisdom shared absolutely help to shape my career and still is till this day.
CM: If you did not, how did you encourage yourself to stay the course?
CB: If I had not, I would do what I've always done and will always do. I give all I can to help others manifest their dreams and goals through my gift.
CM: What advice would you give to other women who are questioning themselves and experiencing a difficult patch during their pursuit of fulfilling their corporate desire?
CB: Here are five things I do myself and I encourage you to consider as well:
1.Commit to yourself to do the small things daily that will keep your mind on the prize.
2.Affirmations are key. Speak what you want to yourself all day everyday until it's easy for you to speak it to others.
3.If you don't love it and it doesn't love you, LET IT GO!!
4.Commit to Looking and Feeling your Best!
5.Never settle for less. You are worth the best!!
CM: Moxie is the ability to face difficulty with spirit and courage. What gives you courage and strength to keep you motivated to continue in the work that you do?
CB: Seeing the harvest of strength, boldness and confidence awaken in women when they are Looking, Feeling and Doing their Best in life through my God given vision.