Jill Swanson

Guest Post by Jill Swanson  @SandraALovelace  #WallflowerWomen  #TimetobeYOU!

I was at a large conference when a petite powerhouse caught my attention. She scurried about the venue with a camera almost eclipsing her entire face as she snapped photos left and right. Her pageboy haircut, long denim jumper, and practical shoes didn’t reflect the person I sensed resided within.

There was a natural beauty about her and a confidence I couldn’t put my finger on. When she asked if she could take my picture I was happy to oblige, all the time wondering if it would be at all proper to ask if I might help her cultivate some of that beauty and match the outside a bit more to the inside. That was Sandra. 

Fast forward two months, and she was flying into Minneapolis airport for a full makeover. She’d filled out questionnaires that gave me an idea of her background and needs. She clearly had a spitfire personality and the willingness to take a risk. I was nervous and excited to jump in and help her navigate this journey. Here was a woman ready and willing to let go of everything to discover something fresh and new in herself.

As I drove into the city, I prayed. I always go into these makeovers with prayer, and to be honest, this time with some anxiety of my own.

“What if it doesn’t work out as she’d hoped?”

“What if the hair doesn’t turn out right?”

“What if she resists letting go of what she has?”

“Will she do this for a weekend and then abandon it a month later?”


The day started in a gray hotel room. Through an opening conversation, I got to know the real Sandra, and deeply empathized with her struggles, inside and out. In the midst, her faith shined brighter than the room could contain.

I sat her in front of a mirror with the natural light of the cloudy day, perfect to do a color consultation. Draping her with pink then orange, beige then gray, and gold versus silver fabrics, it was clear the cool colors helped her glow up the most.

Choosing the right make-up, and pulling together a customized fabric packet of her best hues set the stage for Part 2, enhancing and developing her style. We needed a look that not only showcased her personality but accentuated her assets while playing down her few liabilities. The end result was a Classic/Natural blend, sophistication on one hand and no-nonsense natural on the other. We put together a style booklet of do’s and don’ts, and settled on a hairstyle picture that displayed the new Sandra.

With that done, we began to delve into her wardrobe. Out of two large suitcases and a carry-on came clothes, shoes, scarves and jewelry. The more we sorted and let go, the lighter and brighter her spirit grew. We made plans to update what we kept with alterations, additions, and accessories, and drew up a list of things to hunt for that would personify the new Sandra. She graciously let me have a BEFORE picture taken that day.

[Stay tuned for more next week.]

Jill Swanson, Image Coach, teaches women to accept, enhance, and embrace the beauty they’ve been blessed with. Jill is an inspirational speaker and the author of three books including the recent release Simply Stylish–Look Great Spend Less.

Jill’s office is located in Rochester MN, but she works and travels throughout the US. For more information, please contact Jill at 507-250-2030 or visit her at her website www.jillswanson.com.

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