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Shine Time

Alisha’s Story – A Shine Time Special on Increasing Confidence

By | Shine Time

“Thanks for featuring my story and the theme of Plus Sizes! I want women of all sizes to know that they have the right and deserve to feel good every day! xoxo
Alisha

Alisha was referred to me two years ago by Maura McCarthy, owner of Remedy Wellness, and I could not be more thankful!! Finally, and after lots of hounding by me, Alisha agreed to be a Shine Timefeature. Because we’ve worked together for several years (seasonal closet-edits and personal shopping trips), Alisha and I have discovered there are a lot of stylish plus-size clothing options out thereOptions to help you rock your style and shine like you’re meant to! Alisha, I can’t thank you enough for your real and positive perspectives. THANK YOU!

So without further ado, here’s my incredibly supportive client and even better …. my amazing friend Alisha, answering two important questions for us.

How has discovering (and continued discovery of) your authentic style impacted your life?
I think discovering my authentic style is an evolving process, but I’ve found that it’s definitely boosted my confidence in both my personal and professional life. When I wear something I feel good in that automatically translates to how I hold and present myself to the world, and the world often notices. Before I started expanding my wardrobe, I wore nondescript black v-neck tops and cardigans or blazers, partly because I was frustrated with the limited options out there for plus sizes. While I may have been presentable, these choices weren’t doing much for me. When I was on a date several years ago, my date mentioned the store Torrid to me. He said they had a lot of great clothing options. I’m guessing this was a polite reference to my choice of date outfit. While that date didn’t go anywhere, my love affair with Torrid officially began and I immediately started expanding my wardrobe with flowy, colorful blouses, better-fitting jeans and more form-fitting cardigans, and even a dress!

I branched out with this first step and then when I started working with Wendy, I took more risks. I’m not exaggerating when I say that any item Wendy has helped me choose has always gotten positive feedback from others (even when I was hesitant to choose a particular item!). It’s still an evolving process and I may not get it right every day, but I love how I feel when I’m in something I feel good in! In this past year, I’ve gotten a promotion at work and have recently started dipping back into the online dating world. I think that finding my authentic style has contributed to both of these things. We all deserve to feel great in what we wear, regardless of what our size may be! I encourage everyone to take risks with their wardrobes–I promise it will pay off!

What are your favorite stores?
I’m thrilled that there are more options out there for plus sizes than there used to be and it keeps expanding.  The days of plus sizes being hidden away in dark corners next to the furniture sections of stores are starting to change, thanks in part also to online shopping options.

Some of my favorite stores are:

Amaryllis Handcrafted Jewelry–it’s my absolute favorite, and they give everyone a 25% discount on an item on their birthday every year!
Bra-la-la–finding a good bra is so important!
Torrid–don’t be fooled by the many Disney-themed or skull-themed items, if you look, you’ll find beautiful flower patterns or solids, and great jeans!
Dressbarn  has become a more recent favorite–I wore a t-shirt and boyfriend jeans from there out to dinner with a friend this week and she complimented me on my outfit.
Macy’s–great for capri pants.
DSW–great inexpensive jewelry options that look more expensive than they are. I always get compliments on my DSW purchases.
Land’s End–fantastic bathing suits. I love their tankinis and swim short/skirt options.
Target–I just bought a great AVA raincoat for the fall!
Nordstrom Rack–have found some fantastic tops and cardigans.
Kohl’s–love their Vera Wang tops and Apt. 9 cardigans!

I’m starting to experiment with some online places and recently ordered some items from Simply Be and am also looking at Modcloth. There are more and more options available now so I encourage anyone who is plus size (or any size!) to look into what else is out there by looking into blogs and other online sources.  It takes some work, but in the end it’s worth it to feel confident in what you wear and have a lot of options at your fingertips! You’re worth it!
Alisha

P.S. The current issue (September 2018) of The Oprah Magazine has an excellent feature on Plus-Sizes including: Plus-size history, beautiful style guides, models, role-models and designers.  Check it out!

Shine Time – Bev’s Story

By | Shine Time

“I think if you’re comfortable in your style, you’re going to shine no matter what.”
Bev Smith

Bev Smith is a quiet power house. She’s smart, warm, impactful and oh-so-funny.  I had the pleasure of meeting Bev in the 1990’s when I was a trainer at the Bel Air Athletic Club. In 2011, after running into Bev on the Ma & Pa trail, I told her about my fledging Personal Styling Business – The Wright Fit.  Bev, already a member of The Chesapeake Professional Women’s Network, told me about the organization and it’s many benefits.

I joined CPWN later that week and it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made, thanks to Bev.  CPWN has been instrumental in the growth of The Wright Fit, and I’ve met amazing mentors and lifelong friends through the organization, thanks to Bev.  I think we have a recurring theme here.  And did I mention Bev is now the President of CPWN? Well, she is. Pretty cool.

Bev has been in the Real Estate business for 14 years and works as a Realtor and “Listing Specialist” with Tessier Real Estate.  She works hard and smart for her clients and they all appreciate her calm demeanor and sassy sense of humor. Because let’s face it, buying and/or selling a home is a huge and stressful life event!

Not long after I joined CPWN, Bev decided she wanted to “up” her professional style and hired me for a Personal Shopping trip.  Admittedly, not a dress wearer, Bev saw the light that day and became somewhat of a dress convert.  Over the years with a closet-edit and occasional, seasonal Personal Shopping trips, Bev has truly come into her AUTHENTIC STYLE.  A style that exudes quiet confidence with nothing to prove.

These days you’ll find Bev stylin’ in her favorite distressed jeans, skinny white crops, bohemian inspired tops and casual summer dresses.  She has a knack for looking polished in all of her personal uniforms.  Bev has also decided (at least for now) to embrace her naturally wavy hair, cutting down on her “getting ready” time.

Authentic style, embracing the waves…The Bev has definitely learned to take the stress out of getting dressed while coming into her own.

Learn more about Bev’s Story in this short video.

xoxo
Wendy

Shine Time – Heather’s Story

By | Shine Time

“I’m a stay at home mom, frequent entertainer and trying to stay hip and fit to keep up with my three kids. I recently had Wendy come and do a closet edit. She was so helpful and encouraging. She weeded through my “never been worn” and “haven’t worn in a while” clothing. She helped me get rid of what did not suit me and gave me new inspiration with what I already own.
I now have a better idea of how to put together pieces that I wouldn’t have thought about in the past. It was like shopping in my own closet!!”
Heather Woody

Heather was one of my favorite co-workers when we worked at The Bel Air Athletic Club in the late 1990’s.  So when she contacted me in February to help her edit her wardrobe, I was excited to see my old (you know what I mean, she’s obviously not old) friend.

Heather has an ethereal beauty.  One in which I envision her starring in a period piece like “Pride and Prejudice” or “Poldark” on Masterpiece.  But her beauty runs deep, in her warmth of heart and kindness.

She wanted to make sure she was getting the most of her current wardrobe, so we re-styled many of her basic pieces with items less worn (denim vest), to create fun, “new” outfits.

I love the olive green vest Heather paired with the cream, lacy top, jeans and boots,  kind of  military meets feminine. Heather also created a stylishly, simple outfit by pairing her denim jacket with a casual, black dress. Easy-peasy-polished.

The main goal was to create those “in-between” outfits (polished casual) for everyday errand running, as well as casual entertaining.I believe Heather’s inner and outer beauty shine through in these non-complicated ensembles. Mission accomplished!

Shine Time – Suzie’s Story

By | Shine Time

“I had my own sense of who I was and my own vibe, but I didn’t feel confident. You’re the one who pushed me over the edge and gave me my wings. You’re my catalyst-angel.” 
Suz Letschin

Suz and I became friends in 1995 when she hired me as her personal trainer. We quickly became Soul-Sisters. Together we’ve been through thick and thin, good and bad, and I love her dearly. Here are a few examples of how she’s impacted my life these last 23 years:

*She introduced me to my husband Will
*We were married in her backyard
*We were shopping together when I had my “dark-wash, boot-cut jeans epiphany,”  enabling me to follow a new passion – personal styling
*She’s been, and still is, a mentor
*She’s taught me so much about one of her passions – holistic health
*She was a style-guinea-pig for me as I went through my certification process  (see pic above)

Suz  was the subject of 3 different assignments during my certification, those being:  a) color analysis, b) body silhouette analysis (she’s got a short waist and long rise -lol) and c) personal shopping.  I couldn’t have done it without her help.  And it’s pretty cool that during this journey, she found a fun and sporty style that she owns and makes no apologies for. I love that!

Over the years, as Suzie has evolved, so has her personal training business.  She asks potential clients if they are ready to live their lives fully.  And if they are, she guides them through strength training, mindful movements, meditation, gentle yoga, stretching, seeing food through a different lens, amongst other hidden treasures.  And….did I mention she’s a Certified Organic Farmer with the State of MD? Well, she is, and her small farm is called Stillwater Gardens.  She sells her garlic and other produce to individuals, area farms and restaurants as she’s able (a lot depends on Mother Nature).

I could go on for days about this amazing woman, but you’d  probably stop reading, so I’ll finish now.  If you’re seeking a fresh approach to your overall health and wellness, you want to contact Suz Letschin, your WHOLE-listic Navigator at suzletschin@gmail.com.

Want to learn more about Suzie’s personal styling experience or about Suz Letschin – The WHOLE-Listic Navigator? You’re in luck – you can do both by watching this fun video!

xoxo
Wendy

Shine Time – Maura’s Story

By | Shine Time

“I want people to understand that a closet-edit or personal shopping is not some high maintenance thing.  It’s to make your life easier.”
Maura McCarthy

Welcome to my Shine Time blog series, featuring amazing women with whom I’ve had the privilege to work, and who’ve definitely found their shine. You’ll discover who they are, what they do, what styling services they utilized, and where they are now.  One thing they all have in common is a passion for something other than fashion.  Many own their own businesses, some are moms and some may be retired, but they were all looking for a style spark. First up is the lovely Maura McCarthy, Licensed Massage Therapist, Licensed Esthetician, Reiki Master and owner of Remedy Wellness.

Maura hired The Wright Fit exactly 2 years ago for an in-home closet edit.  We had not yet met, so when I arrived at her house, we sat down to chat (Maura’s mom Pat watched the kids). I remember this incredible smoothie she was drinking, peanut butter was involved… sorry, I digress. I also remember how warm, easy-going and friendly she was, with this awesome curly brown hair! Maura answered some important questions about her style needs and then we started the closet cleanse.

I’ve seen some crazy closets (with love), but this was not one of them.  Maura had some great pieces, as well as pieces that she no longer loved or even liked.  They of course, made it to the “donate pile.”  We made brand new outfits (skinny jeans and green vest pic) with some of the pieces she wasn’t sure how to wear.  I think that’s my favorite part of a closet-edit, the creation of new outfits from the current wardrobe.

Two weeks later Maura hired me for a personal shopping trip. We had so much fun because this woman is a low-key blast.  We found several kick-ass dresses (print dress pic), a few staples, and a few fun pieces, all enabling Maura to mix -n-match with the clothes she owned.

Maura and I still stay in touch, utilize each other’s services (killer “in the good way” massages) and refer clients to one another.  From where I stand, that’s a big ole win-win.

Ready for the best part? Maura and Remedy Wellness are shining so brightly that they have expanded and moved to a beautiful new location.  One of their exciting new services is FLOAT THERAPY! I can’t wait to try it!

Maura, I’m so proud of you! Keep shining and thank you for your friendship and support.

Want to learn more about Maura’s personal styling experience or about Remedy Wellness? You’re in luck – you can do both by watching this fun video!