So, to most of you that regularly visit my site, you know that I was privileged enough to receive an invite to the City Club of Buckhead in Atlanta a couple of weeks back. It was an incredible event and I am so glad that I was offered the chance to go. While there, I networked with quite a few people and can honestly say that I made some sound connections that evening.
One of the highlights that evening was Mrs. Beryl Pleasants. Before we were formally introduced, I watched her “work” the room in amazement. Her effortless flow from corner to corner was amazing to me and I knew that I had to know more about this woman. After speaking with Mr. Austin, he introduced us and from there the rest is history…
Mrs. Beryl Pleasants was born on a cattle ranch in Oregon in a town that had only
a mere 6000 people. Growing up, she had very limited access to the styles of her youth, but was very fond of fashion nonetheless. Once completing high school Mrs. Pleasants attended Eastern Oregon College where she received a degree in Education. From there she moved to southern California to teach and here she was able to fully embrace her love of fashion. After leaving California she “city-hopped” a bit and landed in Atlanta in 1979. She initially worked for Chase Manhattan for a few years but once she met and married her current husband, Joe, she began to work with the family business. Joe, a restaurateur, owned several and she did much of the administrative work. After many successful years in the food industry, they sold their restaurants and entered into the world of real estate. Here, Mrs. Pleasants was able to continually foster her love of fashion through interior decorating. She also proudly spoke of the fact that she has 2 children; a son and a daughter and 3 wonderful grandchildren.
Delving deeper into the psyche of one of the country’s premier consultants, we began to talk more about when she discovered her original love of fashion. She describes to me one of her first fashion-forward memories; making her very own dress at the age of eight, which was huge for her. Once she got older and moved to California to teach, that passion erupted more. While frequently visiting Beverly Hills, she would patronize this one particular store that sold very unusual fabrics which she used to continue to make her own clothing. While entertaining her love and maintaining life as a mother and career woman, she decided to take some classes to help mold her understanding and love for everything fashion. I would say that is extreme dedication to your passion! The first of 2 classes that she took was at UCLA. Psychology of lines and design was a very intense class that she admits broaden her entire perspective on her love for it and how far it could actually take her. With main discussions about style, cut, lines, and colors Ms. Beryl was in heaven! She vividly remembers the weekly projects given to her by her professor. One in particular was to come up with the most dramatic ensemble with a piece of jewelry as the focal point. She proudly recalls how she excelled in this class. The 2nd of the two classes was at USC and properly named Pattern/Dress Making. Both of which, I can tell by her current work played a very intricate part into shaping her into the incredible consultant she is today.
One of the questions that Forks & Fashion always wants to know is who inspires those that inspire us. When asked this question she immediately probes into her fond memories of her dear Aunt Jane. When she was younger she had a very vivacious aunt who married a “city-slicker” and moved to San Diego, California. Whenever Aunt Jane and her new husband would come to visit, they would always be wearing the latest in fashion trends. It amazed Ms. Beryl because at that point she had never even seen a man wear a tie! I am always amazed at the things that inspire people. Stories like this are always worth listening to! Other inspirational figures include Jackie Kennedy (we all agree that Jackie Kennedy was very style savvy). She most simply put it that she loved how Mrs. Kennedy always had an amazing sense of what worked for her. It may not have been the trendiest, but because she wore it properly it showed the world that being fashionable doesn’t always mean that you’re trendy. And last but definitely not least, she gives major credit to Carla Mathis. Ms. Mathis is considered by many to be one of the top three Image Consultants in the world. Being inspired by her so much that once she got into Image Consulting, she traveled to California to become certified in all of Carla Mathis’ techniques (she has a full training program that most people must take before they can legitimately call themselves an Image Consultant).
From her training with Carla, she learned how to determine what works best for people. She has taken that information and transformed and tailored it to her own personal settings so that she may provide similar, yet personalized direction for each client. When I asked her to go deeper into her methods, you could feel her spunk kick in. While explaining to me the entire process (if you want to know step by step, hire her! Lol) she firmly reiterates on several times that we’re all unique and that the things that work for us, i.e. colors/styles/ personality = YOUR
BRAND! Yes, your Brand. Not wearing the right colors to get the right attention, then it affects your brand! Style giving off a bad vibe? Then it has to be because it’s not the style for you anyway. She really does a good job helping people find what genuinely works for them. She gave me a few more examples of Hollywood stars/starlets that have found their own unique style and wear it well. Johnny Depp, Nicole Kidman, Jennifer Anniston, and Ralph Lauren to name a few. I definitely agree with her; they’ve all wonderfully mastered their awkwardness and made it work!
When starting with a client she always assigns them adjectives that fit their style, and explains to them that when shopping their look should fit those adjectives. So once hearing this, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to ask how she would describe her own style. I knew they were going to be great because the woman has class and style perfectly calligraphy stenciled all over her. She did not disappoint: Elegant, a bit of drama and very refined. Mrs. Pleasants firmly tells me that everything has to be very coördinated for her. No separates. It doesn’t matter what day of the week, the mood, or the occasion, she will be immaculately dressed with every hair intact! Being that I’m a very observant man, I can say that most women fail at this task, and that’s not an insult we just know that that wasn’t your style.
As I’m receiving all of this fascinating information, I had to remember that she has her own company and I’m sure you wanted to know more about it! Style with Aplomb. The word “aplomb” is French for confidence so it is truly befitting of the services that she offers. The name came from the fact that she speaks French fluently and visits there quite often, and the fact that she works there quite often helps because it allows the company name and message to translate effortlessly. She started Style with Aplomb 6 years ago with the help and training of her mentor Carla Mathis. While in the start-up year she obtained her Association of Image Consultants International (AICI) certification which places her in the upper echelon of all of consultants. So if you ever decide to hire an Image Consultant make sure that they’re AICI certified! Many would wonder how one woman does this all alone and maintains her private life around it, well if you are, ask Beryl Pleasants. She’s a one-woman show capable of handling everything that affects her business! She claims she may eventually hire a younger consultant to her team but fears it because they may not be able to translate the generational gap which can alter the needs of any client.
Getting deeper into the aspects of her business I get the full run-down of services offered by the company. You can get anything; from a phone or in-home consultation to possibly getting her to instruct workshops at your corporation. Consultations consists of a full color analysis and she gives you “your” color fan along with a booklet that goes step by to step in choosing all body accommodations from head to toe. The booklet covers texture, body proportions, line and structure. This service usually takes about two and a half hours but it can get even more detailed when assessing individual colors. Next she performs a closet edit. Which is exactly what is sounds like. She goes through everything and makes you try on everything. By doing so she is analyzing you and finding what does and doesn’t work for you. To her, everyone’s wardrobe must have some versatility to it. For example, according to her way of styling you should be able to get at least 27 outfits from only 3 bottoms and 5 tops! Amazing, I’d love to see her work this kind of magic! Other services offered by Style with Aplomb include personal shopping, workshops for more intimate gathers and speaking engagements for larger groups.
This type of Image Consulting is becoming more and more popular for the middle-class. Everyone wants to be at their “fashionably” best in every facet of life. So with that being said, I asked where does she see her business going in the next 5 years. Several things, she says. 1) Do more online work to get more clients. With the bigger online presences she wants to start a Webinar that can affect a larger crowd at once. 2) She’s planning to write several books all with the “… Aplomb” theme. Travel, Interview, etc. all with Aplomb/Confidence. I think that would be a great concept and I would definitely support it and encourage others to do so as well.
And in wrapping up our interview, I made sure to get all of her contact information so that if you’re ready to hire her you can contact her swiftly!
Very pleasant woman and I would definitely recommend her to everyone. Go check her out and do the same!
Just one of ‘fatboyfavs’