New Website!

It is with great pride I announce the launch of my new website with an updated logo by New Orleans based BethanyHeadshots2015-8804Sea Level Design and photos of me by Dallas based Christina Childress. This website looks and feels like the woman I am today. Please look around and leave comments here (constructive criticism is welcomed).

For those of you familiar with my former website, you may notice I am paring down my services. Gone are the custom color analysis, the image & style evaluation and makeup lessons. When I moved to Seattle, I wanted my business here to focus on my greatest strengths and the services I most enjoyed, closets and shopping. I have rolled the style evaluation into the wardrobe consultation as it is crucial to understand the client’s style before working with their wardrobe.

I have added photography as a service. It began as an idea to do street style photography for my blog. Then a couple of people used my photos on their website, and the idea to offer this service was birthed. The photos are web-ready for use on social media sites like LinkedIn and Facebook.

I continue to do public speaking as the opportunities arise. I have always enjoyed speaking and educating groups of all sizes, and I would like to see this part of my business grow. Stay tuned!

Last, but certainly not least, my new website features a new blog! I will be adding an e-mail subscription to that blog soon, and once it is complete I will let you know so you can follow me there. Thank you for your support and encouragement. Here’s to the next chapter!—Bethany

Seattle Street Style – Inaugural Edition

Last fall while pondering ways to get involved in the scene here in Seattle and spread the word about my image consulting business, I got the bright idea I would take street style photos. Never mind that I do not know how to take professional photos, let alone have the guts to ask perfect strangers if I may take their photo.  Oh, dear. What’s a girl to do?IMG_0635IMG_0624

Last week I attended a MeetUp of lovely small business owners who were, thankfully, happy to allow me to turn my lens in their direction. I am pleased with how my first street style photos turned out. I still have much to learn, but my professional photographer friends keep telling me to just get out there and practice. That’s what I did.

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Most people imagine that Seattle style is casual, if not sloppy, and not at all stylish. I beg to differ! I see a lot of creative, fashionable people here. Regardless of where you live, dress well for your life! A good image positively impacts your interactions and your outlook.

Zelda Zonk Consignment – West Seattle

IMG_0582I am fairly new to Seattle (just over one year), and even newer to West Seattle (11 months).  I have always prided myself with being a great shopper, and, in particular, being a savvy bargain shopper.  My previous home, Dallas, TX, is not only a mecca of wonderful shopping but also a gold mine of consignment and second hand shops.  So, it was my great delight to discover Zelda Zonk Consignment on California Avenue in the Admiral District of West Seattle on a recent drive by. The shop opened in mid-June of 2015, culminating a long-time dream of shop owner Carrie Zimney to have her own boutique.

IMG_0586Once I stepped inside, I knew I had found one of my spots.  The racks are stocked with quality brands like Vince, Tory Burch, J. Crew, Halogen and DVF in near mint condition. Carrie is friendly and helpful, yet not at all pushy or sales-y.  Much of the space utilizes recycled materials, going hand-in-hand with the consignment concept of clothing recycling.  Carrie recently opened up the back room of the shop, which upon my most recent visit was well stocked with designer jeans and jackets. Overall, the shop is well organized, which if you have shopped at consignment shops as much as I have, you know is not always the case.

IMG_0576I recently consigned with Carrie, and she makes the process easy. She sets an appointment for you to bring in your clean, current items, and she lets you know what she is taking and where she is pricing it while you wait. You can track your sales and credit online, and whatever does not sell by the end of your consignment period is donated to a worthy non-profit organization unless you otherwise arrange for pick up.

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Carrie is currently accepting items for spring, which means the fall/winter inventory is being marked down. Now is the time to jump on great deals for next season! Here I am on Instagram modeling a couple of stylish layering pieces I spotted on my last visit. While these items may no longer be available, you can be assured Carrie has many things in-store that are covet-worthy. As always, if you would like assistance finding pieces that are right for you, I am at your service. Happy bargain hunting!—Bethany Siggins

Just Naturally Be Yourself – JNBY Lands in Seattle

IMG_0493Last week I had the pleasure of attending a Chinese New Year celebration at the relatively newly-opened store JNBY in Seattle’s Pacific Place, a premier shopping, dining and entertainment center featuring Tiffany & Co., Michael Kors, Barney’s, J. Crew and others.  Prior to attending the festive soiree, I strolled through the store on a recent pass through Pacific Place.  I was intrigued since the brand was unknown to me, and the cutting-edge designs I saw in the windows drew me inside.

IMG_0492Thankfully, my admiration did not stop at the windows. Many wonderful fashion-forward pieces inside the clean, ultra modern space caught my eye. To my delight, I found it very well-priced for the quality of the fabric, the construction and the unique designs.  This, I would later learn, is one of the cornerstones of the JNBY brand: they desire to be a brand which is accessible to many people while creating unique, innovative designs for the most discerning fashion followers.

During the party, I spoke with Mr. Min Lin, director of SightClassic LLC, which is the general distributor for JNBY sales and operations within the U.S. He carefully explained the brand encourages clients to express their individuality through their clothing, while the JNBY design team always strives to learn and to remain curious about fashion design and our world. Mr. Lin, when speaking about the spring 2016 collection, explained it was inspired by space, and I saw definite signs of the inspiration in the collection (here is one example from Pacific Place’s Instagram feed).

The store staff is very friendly, gently urging clients try on pieces as they must be worn to be fully appreciated. I wisely refrained for fear I would love them too much to pass up.

While the Pacific Place store is the first in the U.S., JNBY (Just Naturally Be Yourself) is not a new company having begun in Hangzhou, China in 1994.  The brand now boasts over 700 stores across China, Russia, France, Japan, Canada and now the U.S. Having the only U.S. store in Seattle is quite a fashion coup for the city, one of many I hope.

As an image consultant, I am always on the lookout for lines and designs which respectfully push fashion boundaries. Discovering JNBY has me doing a happy dance!IMG_0496

The Hallmark of Great Style

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It has been said that fashion is what you buy in the store and style is what you do with it.  Each person has her unique interpretation of what she purchases.  But what separates the nice dresser from the amazing dresser?  I’ll tell you what it is: attitude.

A woman with great style has a wardrobe that celebrates the woman she is today, regardless of her weight or her shape.  She may not love everything about her construction, but she accepts herself just the same.  One cannot be confident and stylish without self-acceptance.

A woman with great style never says, “I’ll shop for new things when I lose 10 lbs.” That type of self-punishment is defeating and baseless. She knows she is an amazing, unique work of art, and she acknowledges that she deserves to have beautiful things she loves right now.

A woman with great style does not keep pieces that do not work into her lifestyle.  She may adore a sparkly handbag at the shop, but if she does not imagine a suitable occasion for it, she does not buy it.  And, she does not allow pieces to occupy space in her wardrobe that remind her of the woman she was.  A woman with great style is forward-looking, not backward glancing.

With self-acceptance comes a shift in your attitude. A shift in your style follows suit. So, let’s start celebrating ourselves, shall we? That is where great style begins!—Bethany Siggins

Canon Camera Practice

Being the new kid on the block in Seattle, and not being super comfortable networking at luncheons and by other traditional methods, I have been thinking of ways to meet people and to spread the word about my business that would feel natural and organic.  I have always enjoyed photography, though I have never taken a class.  And I love street style photos by The Sartorialist and others.  So, why not try street style photography here in the Northwest? The style here is vastly different than what you see in Dallas, and I think it would be cool to try to capture it.  Seattle, as one of the fastest growing cities in America, is quickly becoming a melting pot of cultures and fashions.

I have bitten off more than I can chew, honestly.  Professional photographers make it look easy, and these days everyone with an iPhone thinks they are a pro. But there is no going back now.  I bought a nice starter camera by Canon and a 50mm prime lens that was recommended by two professionals.  Below are a few photos I have snapped recently in practice sessions.

I will definitely need your encouragement and a lot of courage to approach strangers on the street once I feel I can capture some decent photos.  Wish me luck!  Have a great weekend!

Day Nails and Spa – West Seattle

ToesI have been desperate for a pedicure for weeks now, maybe since the start of spring.  The move from Dallas to Seattle not only took a toll on my emotions but also my feet.  They have been screaming for pampering.  Finally, I had to pull the trigger.  I needed a pedicure, and I needed it NOW.  Enter, the wonderful people of West Seattle to help me out.  I posted a question on a Facebook group called West Seattle Giving Tree, asking where to get a good pedicure.  And, boy, did the recommendations come rolling in!  So many choices, so little time.

The response gave me an idea!  I have been so busy settling my family in the northwest, that my business (Bethany Siggins Image Consulting) has taken a back seat.  I may not have many clients presently, but the least I can do is blog about my experiences in my new hometown!

That said, let’s get on with my first review.  Today I visited Day Nails and Spa (9444 35th Ave SW, just north of the intersection of 35th and Roxbury).  It is a tidy little place with four pedicure chairs and two nail stations, along with a spa room for other services like waxing and eye lash extensions.  I was the first customer of the day at 9:15 a.m. (they open at 9:00 a.m. Monday – Saturday).  Tina was the only employee there, sweeping and getting the spa ship shape for the day.

PolishShe directed me to the second chair after I chose my toenail color (OPI’s A Good Mandarin is Hard to Find, a fabulous orange that isn’t too bright).  After establishing the service I wanted (a deluxe pedicure, competitively priced at just $30), Tina made me an iced Vietnamese coffee.  Oh, how delicious!  I noted the 70’s music playing on the speakers (not too loud).  A little Earth Wind and Fire always makes me smile.

Tina was very courteous, asking me my name and telling me hers.  The pedicure started with a powder treatment in the water which she made sure was a temperature to my liking. The deluxe pedicure includes an exfoliating scrub of the feet and calves, along with a deep conditioning mask on the feet and calves, which she covered with warm towels for a short while.  This was followed by the standard massage of the feet and calves, which was not rushed and just the right pressure.

A little more than an hour later, I was on my way with very happy feet and a relaxed body thanks to the massage chair.  All in all, I like this little shop, and I recommend you visit it for a change of pace from the larger, louder establishments.  If possible, go in the morning when it is most quiet.  I did not make a reservation; walk ins are welcome.  On your 10th visit, you receive $10 off.  By the way, a standard mani/pedi combo is also $30, a real bargain if you ask me.

Give it a try and let me know what you think!  Thanks for reading!  And happy spaing!

Siggins in Seattle

FamilyPhotoHi, everyone.  My apologies for not keeping up with my blog, newsletters, etc.  The move from Dallas to Seattle on January 23, 2015 was harder on my body, my mind and my soul than I had anticipated.  But here I am, still standing (better than I ever did – to copy a phrase from Elton John).

As most of you have likely learned by now, John (my husband) took a job in executive recruiting for Amazon Web Services which necessitated a move to Seattle.  It was a very difficult decision for us as we weighed many pros and cons for moving to Seattle versus staying in Dallas.  Ultimately, we had to look at the much bigger picture.  This job would provide John with a great career challenge and opportunity, which benefits our family.  So, here we are!

We had not been told before the move how difficult it is to buy a home in Seattle (low supply, high demand).  Despite the odds, I trekked out almost daily to see homes all over the city and on the east side as they call it here.  Many people were praying for us, and it showed.  God was in control.  In 30 days’ time (miraculous by Seattle standards), we had a contract on a home in West Seattle.  We took the above family photo on the back deck of our home in April.  At least John and I appear happy about it!

We moved into our lovely blue craftsman home Easter weekend.  We love West Seattle, which has a gritty, urban feel mixed with a friendly, small-town vibe.  In addition, we live 1-1/2 miles from Alki Beach, which is where many Seattlites congregate in the warm sunny days of summer.  So, along with being new residents of the Pacific northwest, it looks as though we are also going to be “beach” people!  Who would have thought?

In the coming days, weeks and months, I would like to introduce you to some of the places I’m visiting in Seattle and in West Seattle, and keep you in the loop on the things I am doing here.  I hope you will enjoy the posts.  Thank you for reading!  I miss you, Dallas! xo

Aligning Body Language With Your Message

twistinghairYour body language, your facial expressions and your posture are often subconscious. You are likely not aware if you play with your hair in meetings, look down during conversation or pick lint off your clothing while standing around at parties. Ask a trusted friend or colleague to assess you during your next social outing or meeting, and don’t take it personally if the feedback you receive is less than glowing. Being aware of your body language pitfalls is your first step in correcting them, right?

Correcting your posture, if needed, is your first assignment. The first three things others notice about us are our face, our hair and posture. Good posture (standing up with shoulders back yet relaxed) says I am confident, and I am paying attention. Bad posture communicates insecurity or boredom. If you are taller than most, your good posture assignment will be difficult because you have likely adopted a slouching posture as you lean over to hear what is being said or as a way of appearing shorter if your height is an area of insecurity. Stand tall and proud. Others will project up to you during conversation, and being looked up to is never a bad thing.

Next, consider your message and align your facial expression with what you are communicating. If stern expressions come naturally to you, you may find yourself delivering good or happy news while scowling. Trust me, the recipient of the good news will be confused. We are hard-wired to read someone’s face and body, believing those signals, before we take in the words we are hearing. A smile or a positive expression says you are relaxed, assured and happy. As you know, a frown communicates displeasure. Be careful your face is saying the same thing your words are!

Lastly, pay attention to your hands as you are speaking. Do you point or hold your palms down while directing others? If so, they will be hesitant to follow your direction. Why? When you point fingers, they feel like you do not value their intellectual abilities. Taking orders from someone whose palms are down feels like orders rather than direction. The right approach is of course to give direction with palms up. This makes them more open to your words and less threatened by what is being said.

These tips are just the tip of the iceberg. There are many other body language pitfalls to consider, but we can address those in another piece. In the meantime, work on these areas. (My palms are up!) They are the first steps to enhancing your influence.

Dance Like No One Is Watching

womanheadphonesLast summer my then 2-1/2 year old son Nathan was standing beside his twin sister Vivien as she rode on the mechanical horse at a local Mexican restaurant.  As the horse began to move and the music started to play, Nathan bobbed his head and gyrated to the tune unaware of and unaffected by others around him.  Behind Nathan was a young boy older than Nathan who was waiting with his family for their table.  He gave Nathan an odd look as if he were thinking, “What are you doing?”  Nathan never saw him, and I wished with all my heart he would never know the scrutiny of others and never feel like he had to conform to what was expected or “normal.”

Eventually, all of us become aware of how we look to others, and we make adjustments to fit in.  In the process, we often lose a bit of ourselves in an attempt to be like everyone else.  The problem is, none of us is like anyone else, and we were not created to be like anyone else.  Even identical twins have physical differences and each twin has a unique personality. My wish for you and for myself in the New Year is to better connect with who we are and then present ourselves in a way that is an authentic reflection of it, regardless of others’ opinions (good and bad).  Let’s stop making adjustments to our personalities, our manners and our dress that are not genuinely reflective of our values and our core being.

Let’s make a pact.  You be you, and I’ll be me.  No questions asked, no judgment.  Deal?  Happy New Year!  Here’s to much joy, success, happiness and a lot less judgment of ourselves and of others in 2014.  Much love to you all!