Style and Image Consultant Suzanne Colmer’s impeccable sense of style had its humble beginnings in the most unlikely of places – Scarborough. Yearning to break free from the monotony of the mall, Suzanne became a frequenter of the city’s downtown boutiques – constantly searching out the “perfect” pairings to her growing collection. Before long, a true fashionista was born.
In an effort to combine her instincts with instruction after completing her undergrad at the University of Toronto, Suzanne became a graduate of George Brown’s Image Consulting program. Soon after, Suzanne’s thirst for knowledge lead her to the centre of fashion itself – Paris, France, where she studied at the prestigious Sorbonne University; and then onto New York to conquer the Fashion Institute of Technology.
She now runs her own personal shopping and image consulting company, Your Shop Girl, and will clean out your closet, shop for you, style you and give you the kind of complete makeover that will have you feeling like a million bucks. Yes fucking please.
What does a typical Thursday look like for you, starting from when you wake up – to heading to bed?
I generally open my eyes every morning to my 100 lbs pup staring at me, waiting for a belly rub. I walk the dog, eat breakfast and grab my comfy shoes. Boutiques are open later on Thursdays so it can make for a long day. If I am doing personalized shopping I head out to the area that I have chosen for the client, ensure that the items I’ve put on hold are still there and add any pieces I may have overlooked. After shopping with the client, I scope out any other pieces in the area that would work for any upcoming appointments and then head home. Once I get home I will send a quick summary to the day’s client, grab a quick bite with my husband and be in front of the TV with a glass of wine, just in time for Grey’s Anatomy.
What was your first job out of school?
I worked all through school, but one of my first jobs out of school was working at TNT, which I did to gain some insight into the world of retail. I have always found it difficult to work under people though and I found it especially difficult there because my manager was awful! Nevertheless, that was where I discovered my gift for finding the perfect jeans.
What are the 3 skills you require most to do your job well?
I think the three main qualities would be: 1) Being perceptive 2) Understanding and 3) Having patience.
What do you love most about your career?
What I love most about my career are the women with whom I get to work. When you are invited into people’s homes and their change rooms you tend to form a very quick bond. I can honestly say I have never worked with a woman with whom I wouldn’t want to just sit and have a coffee.
Do you have any warnings?
My main caution would be to anyone who thinks that just because they can shop for themselves that means that they can become image consultants. As great as shopping for a living sounds, it is still a business that requires a lot of time and hard work.
If you could try a different career on for a year, what would it be?
Hmmm…maybe a food critic. Although I would probably be awful at it. There would just be a lot of articles talking about how yummy everything is!