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Shopping Malls, Farming and Hair Colour

Written by Jackie O'Fee on October 7th, 2011.      0 comments

For the past few years we've had this fabulous gig with Westfield where we provide their "Walk In Wardrobe" service to shoppers - it's fifteen minutes of free style advice from a stylist (yes, one of our team), who complete the experience by showing you clothing styles that we've found in the mall that suit you. It's awesome. It's also hugely popular with most days getting booked up - yes, you have to make a booking - and we are lucky enough to do this work in Auckland, Hamilton and Christchurch. The team love it and the people we talk to love it too, which makes for a really cool vibe at the centre. Which is just as well, as the days are L-O-N-G. This week we're in Westfield Albany (until Sunday). 
Erena & Jody work the Walk in Wardrobe - Westfield Riccarton

This month I'm on my first ever magazine cover and I'm a brunette. I went brunette about four months ago - I stand in front of groups of women all the time and preach "re-invention" and "change" and so when my darling hairdresser Sasha Lenski suggested it, I thought "Why not"? After all, I need to walk my talk. After being a blonde forever it's been an interesting ride.  At first I didn't feel like "me", then after about three weeks it did and I liked it, I loved having people say "Oh, you've gone dark - it looks amazing!" but to be honest there were more things I wasn't so keen on: the maintenence was huge - I'm naturally fair so I was back at the hairdresser three times in that first six weeks ($$$) and needed to use a special shampoo that added colour (a DeLorenzo one if you're curious) plus, I needed to tint my brows much darker etc. and I have to say - the regrowth was ugly.
Another downside? I felt like I looked more like my two sisters - who admittedly are both beautiful but I guess I just liked being the "blonde one", and the biggest downside of all? My husband HATED it. I thought he'd get used to it, but no - determinedly for the entire four months he maintained a vehement dislike for his brunette wife and would plaintively ask "Where's my blonde girl?" every few days. So, last Friday I made the bolt back to blonde. Weirdly, that now feels a little strange!

Anyway, back to the magazine cover: it's the "Shareholder" magazine that is sent to every Farmlands cardholder. You see, I'm currently working for Farmlands (a rural trading collective) speaking at their annual "Ladies Nights". In the cover photo I'm posed in an old shed with a tractor, yes, very glam! Have to say it was a unusual photo shoot that also involved a ute with the license plate "Cocky", being in a paddock full of cows and an elderly farm dog - fun! So far I've spoken in Gisborne and Hastings but I've got several more centres to go: next week it's Masterton, Wanganui (should that have an "h"?) and Palmerston North, then I've still got Whangarei, Hamilton, Tauranga and Whakatane to go. I really love it, and not just the speaking to big groups of enthusiastic women, but also the little "holiday from normal life" that comes with staying in motels, going for a run in a different town each morning, driving through parts of the country I haven't seen and stuff. For this month I can lead a different life.    

Anyway, as is often the case with a busy little business, occasionally you commit to things that look good on the page of your diary but don't necessarily work so well in real life! Yesterday was one of those days: For the past few years I have provided the Personal Image module to a corporate development programme called Accelerated Executive Presence held every two months at Castaways at Awhitu Beach (about an hour south of Auckland - gorgeous).  To fulfil this obligation I needed to fly on the red eye from Napier to get to Auckland in time to deliver my presentation. This meant a 5am wake-up alarm - urgh - made especially hard by the fact that when you've been up on stage until 10pm delivering a fabuolus evening of fun, fashion, girly gossip and generally having a a blast, you need a bit of time to wind down before you can get to sleep.

So, arriving in Auckland just before 8am I drag my sleep deprived body into my car and drive south, deliver my presentation, give some one on one advice to each of the senior manager attendees and finally am heading back to Auckland at around 4:30pm. As I hit Waiuku and cellphone coverage I receive about eight text messages. One of which is that Erena has had to leave the Walk in Wardrobe and head to her bed as she is dying from the flu. Eeeek! Next message is Victoria aka SuperGirl, telling me not to panic, she has stepped into the breach and is working with Jody. It's all good; Victoria was trained in Body Shape Analysis for her work with us on the Air New Zealand project plus comes from a fashion retail background so has totally got it handled. Breathe out!

With Erena being unwell till today I'm about to head up to Albany and do my own stint in the 'Walk in Wardrobe', we've got clients in the studio tomorrow and are booked solidy for the next couple of weeks, plus we're about to start a really cool series of intimate nights for some of our VIP clients. Oh, and by the way - be sure to watch "Unzipped" tonight as the Signature Style team that worked on the Air New Zealand project will all feature and you'll get to see Rob Fyfe being fitted into his uniform.  I tell you, it's all go!


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