Sunday, August 19, 2007

Image Consultants Invade Cleveland

It was my pleasure to host a 3-day retreat here in Cleveland this weekend as president of the Association of Image Consultants Ohio-Pennsylvania Chapter!

It was truly a once-in-a-lifetime life and business transforming event.

We had people come to town from Cincinnati (Hey Lisa and Jill! So glad you were here!!), Columbus, and even Pittsburgh!

The weekend started with a trip on Lolly the Trolley. As I was getting my hair done earlier that day, my hair stylist Julia told me that Lolly the Trolley was "so retro." It is? Hilarious! I remember taking a trip on it in 6th grade. So I guess it IS retro!

We had the best time on the trolley and it gave the folks from out of town a quick perspective on our host city and gave those of us who were born here a lot of facts we didn't know. (Chef Boyardee is from Cleveland? As is John Heisman, for whom the Heisman Trophy is named.)

My dear friend LisaMarie Luccioni then led us in an etiquette dinner at the Metropolitan Cafe and Kelly and I went to the Velvet Dog afterward. I stayed out a little late, with the full knowledge that Saturday was going to be one long day.

Saturday was amazing. Our day started out with Coach Joelle who had us drawing and dancing and somehow we formed a conga line and were conga-ing around the conference room at the Downtown Marriott. (KK is one girl who hates looking like a dork, so this was an interesting experience!) We then heard from Leslie Carruthers, The Search Guru on search engine optimization. SEO is such a mystery to most of us image people. But I'm learning! (I'm trying to learn HTML with a book whose main character is a 3.5" floppy disk illustration with a face - HTML for kindergartners. I promise not to tell Mr. Floppy that he is obsolete.)

After presentations from Kelly Smith on hearing Martha Stewart speak about business in NYC and Debbie Carney on business organization, I did a program called "Getting to the Next Level Now: Platform Building for Impatient People!"

After our day of learning, we laughed, drank and dined at Ponte Vecchio on the Superior Viaduct and went to Sunset Lounge for salsa dancing! I think I almost broke my ankle twice in my 2" platforms, with Leslie leading and me following - badly.

Sunday, we had hairstylist Jen Gonzalez, who studied with Nick Arrojo, from TLC's What Not to Wear. That was quite eye-opening for me. I admit I know far too little about doing my own hair, let alone someone else's. And YAY! LisaMarie let her own hair down and graciously allowed Jen to play with it - transforming her into LML v.2.0 - hot and gorgeous!

Then we heard from my friend Samuel Hilliard, Jr. from Jos. A Bank Clothiers at Legacy Village, who discussed the importance of building partnerships with clients and vendors and explained the specifics of menswear.

All in all, it was a thoroughly fabulous weekend for all of us who attended and presented and we are looking forward to doing it again next year!

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