Personal stylists not just a Hollywood celebrity luxury

Deidra Murphy is more than a personal stylist and fashion consultant — she empowers women to be their best, and that is the value she brings to her clients.

“I want my clients to go into a board room full of staff members knowing she can command that presence and hold her own in that room,” Murphy said. “Women need to realize their worth and invest in themselves and in their image. If a woman feels beautiful she is ready to take on the world. She can accomplish anything.”

Two years ago, Murphy started 180 Consulting to help everyday women define and implement their personal style, which she says is a challenge for most busy women. She fully launched the business last year at the Tri-City Regional Chamber of Commerce’s Women in Business Expo. Up to that point she had been a teacher and had more than 12 years of experience working as a personal stylist in clothing and retail businesses. Her husband encouraged her to fulfill her lifelong passion of opening her own firm.

“He asked me what my passion was, and it’s helping and empowering other people,” she said. “That is the true essence of this business. I have a heart for helping others.”

One challenge, she said, is dispelling the myth that personal stylists are only for celebrities. Her main goal is to offer service that is accessible, affordable and practical to all women by helping them unlock their personal style and unleash their confidence.

“My biggest challenge is letting people know that I am here and that I am affordable,” she said. “I feel people do see the value. The bottom line is that it’s not about how much you spend on your clothes, but about being smart with your style.”

Most of her clients are women in their mid 30s to 60s — both professional women and stay-at-home moms.

“I do help a lot of moms,” she said. “Most of them are at a point in their lives where they are done having kids and they’re not in yoga pants anymore, so they don’t know how to hone in on their personal style. Yet they’re so busy they don’t have all the time in the world to focus on what they’re wearing.”

Nobody knows that better than one of Murphy’s clients Danielle Rhodes, a wife and mom to four kids under the age of 11, two of whom she homeschools.

“I enjoy doing a lot of Crossfit and running, so I am usually in workout clothes,” Rhodes said. “I’m very busy, so I don’t shop much. When I need a outfit I usually buy it an hour before I need it.”

Rhodes said initially she was embarrassed to have Murphy come and look through her closet and help her. But Murphy quickly put her at ease.

“I don’t have a big wardrobe, so I was thankful she was able to put some things together to make some key outfits for different occasions, and for the most part I didn’t need to buy a lot of new stuff,” she said.

For professional women, Murphy encourages them to embrace their power by helping them look and feel the part.

“People make snap judgments and sum you up in about ten seconds based on what you’re wearing — whether they realize it or not,” Murphy said. “I want women to command their presence in their place of business.”

For many women, the biggest struggle is dressing properly for their shape or not fully understanding color theory when pairing pieces.

“Maybe they don’t fully understand their figure, so they wear the wrong cuts for their body shape,” she said. “Or how to purchase pieces that complement their skin tone. I help them understand everything so they can be fully empowered to find pieces that accentuate their assets.”

Her services are also highly accessible. Her ‘Focused Fashion’ package was created to help her clients understand and define their particular style for one area of life — like a new job or new business. During the initial consultation, Murphy spends time getting to know the client then performs a strategic closet audit to weed out pieces that no longer suit their purpose. She combines different pieces to create outfits for that area of her client’s life. Then she will create a style board for the client so they know exactly which pieces go together and makes recommendations on potential new wardrobe pieces to be incorporated.

“We basically see what they have, then we do a shopping list to see what new essential pieces they need to complete or complement the wardrobe,” she said. “Just by adding three new pieces, we will have completely overhauled their entire style.”

She can also perform a full style and closet overhaul or help with special event styling. She also offers a la carte services to meet special styling needs. Murphy says her initial consultations are always free.

“My biggest goal is for my clients to feel good whenever they walk into a new situation or leave the house,” she said.

You can find out more about her services by visiting www.180consult.com.

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