The Image of Success
Entrepreneur’s career takes off while
still taking classes
Nickolette Reid was looking for a way to turn her knack for knowing what made people look good and her fascination with fashion into a livelihood. Luckily she found exactly what she was looking for amongst a pile of course calendars from colleges and universities: George Brown College’s Image
Consulting Certificate program.
“At the time, I didn’t realize the full extent of image consulting as a career,” Nickolette recalls. “And I didn’t know what would happen in the end; I just wanted to take those courses.”
The first few classes provided Nickolette with a solid understanding of what she always knew by instinct and inspired her to jump, head first, into a career as an image consultant.
Even before completing the required six courses, she had started her own company, BL Image Communications, and was generating so much business she had to take time off from school. But the time she had already invested in the certificate was beginning to pay off: Nickolette considers one course in particular to be the catalyst to her success.
“The Image and Personal Development class changed my life and opened up my potential,” she says. “It’s not just about wishing for things. It’s about being precise, creating a plan and giving it your all. That’s what that class taught me and it has reverberated in all areas of my life ever since.”
A full service industry
BL Image Communications offered a wide range of services, including image and style management, wardrobe audit, colour analysis, closet organization and personal purchasing. It also gave Nickolette the opportunity to travel across North America to conduct seminars and workshops for audiences ranging from 20 to 300 people, often using the skills and techniques she learned in the Effective Presentations course.
“That course taught us how to project ourselves, how to formulate and execute a presentation, how to convey thought, excitement and suspense,” she says. “That has helped me immensely in my work and in my life.”
In fact, Nickolette used the lessons of Effective Presentations as the focus of her work shifted slightly – a shift that was reflected in a new job title: image developer.
“I moved in the direction of public speaking,” Nickolette says. “I was spreading the message that image can produce clientele and can increase income.”
And it was a message that people definitely wanted to hear. Nickolette’s booklet, Six Steps to Visual Success, is essentially the first workshop she presented throughout North America – and it sold out completely; her full-length book, Fashion Quotables, is available on request; and she was a headlining speaker at both the Ultimate Women’s Show and the Women in Business Expo.
True to her nature, Nickolette has continued to evolve. After a battle with cancer in 2009, Nickolette had to step away from the business – but it was during the process of healing that she made a career-changing discovery.
“I noticed that my thoughts on image and fashion and style had evolved,” she says. “Many thought patterns that I held in concrete were beginning to transform. I moved from singular thoughts to a global awareness level.”
That discovery lead Nickolette to a decision she didn’t think would be a possibility just two years earlier: she shut down BL Image Communications. But Nickolette wasn’t leaving the industry. Instead, she launched a new website (www.NickoletteReid.com) and began spreading a new message.
“I used to focus on dressing people for work, but now I focus on true empowerment and self awareness in your life,” she says. “It’s important to know who you really are and what you really want your image to be – and not necessarily what it should be.”
With her new message and outlook, Nickolette picked up right where she left off. She has written four new books (and is searching for the right publisher); she has released an collection of her works on CD (The Power of Image is available on her site and on Amazon); she continues to be a prolific public speaker; and she has blogs that range from beauty on a budget to image therapy.
But she always remembers the beginnings of her career at George Brown.
Nickolette recommends many of the courses to others – regardless of their interest in image consulting as a career. Classes like Image and Personal Development, Style, and Colour and Wardrobe offer students valuable tips and advice that can be applied to all aspects of their lives.
“It doesn’t matter if you want to be an image consultant or if you work in a bank, the classes teach you how to create visual success,” says Reid.
Getting to know the business
But she is quick to identify Business of Image Consulting as instrumental to the success of her business.
“If I didn’t take that class, I wouldn’t know anything about the financial side of the business; I wouldn’t know about taxes, the GST, setting up your business, who to call, where to call, when to call and a whole lot more,” she says. “If I didn’t have that knowledge, and that textbook, I would have been lost. In fact, I still look at that book everyday for something different.”