Interview with Genny Chia

Genny Chia

Image Stylist, Life Coach (Style Infinity)

1) Why did you choose to become an image stylist/life coach and what do you love most about the work you do?

It’s a long story & the question ‘why’ brings us back to my childhood. When I was young, the Barbie doll was a huge fad. Coming from a less privileged family, I had begged my parents for the longest time before they granted me one. It was a huge bonus and that kept me happy for a while but not for long. All my peers had extravagant beautiful clothing and accessories for their dolls except for mine and she was dressed in that one and only outfit which comes with her when I first bought it. I then decided to make clothes for my Barbie doll using clothing that my sister and I had outgrown and could no longer wear. This gave me the idea of becoming a Fashion Designer when I was young. However, along the way I had developed interests in other subjects such as human behavior which explains my degree majoring in Psychology. Even though my childhood ambition did not come true, what I am doing now brings me very close to it as I help individuals dress and style themselves, and make them feel good about themselves.

Everyone can live life to their fullest and maximize their potential if they choose to. All women can be beautiful if they want to. As a coach, I love working with individuals and helping them achieve their goals. Stretching boundaries and challenging limits are part of the process. In every situation, there are always ‘take-aways’ and things we can pick up as long as we choose to be open.

2) What is your mission in Life?

Mission statement of Style Infinity… Giving people the empowerment that brings out the best in them.

3) What is one memorable experience you’ve had with helping a client with image styling?

Oh yes… One of my clients came to see me with the objective of wanting to learn how to manage her image and wardrobe. She had left the work force for more than 5 years after becoming a mother and has never updated her wardrobe ever since. She no longer dresses up as she finds it unnecessary. On one occasion she had entered a shop wanting to try an outfit, instead of serving her the sales girl had claimed that there is nothing in the shop that she could wear. My client was devastated that the sales girl had refused to serve her as she assumed that my client was not a sincere buyer based on her out-dated appearance. At that point my client had a job offer that requires her to play a management role in an F&B company & she was worrying about not being able to earn respect & manage subordinates.

While working on her image, we discovered her limitations and worked based on her beliefs & value system. At one point she even broke down & teared. All we had was 2 full days of consultation & coaching, not only did she experience a break-through in terms of how she looks & feels, she also identified her direction & now has a clearer understanding on her purpose.

At the the end of the session, my client told me the best thing I had imparted to her was to ‘love life… and life will love you back.’ She said she had forgotten what it’s like to look good. And indeed it made her feel so good about herself. I am delighted that our session had left her with a heightened sense of self-esteem, confidence & empowerment.

4) What can Singaporeans (esp. the ladies) do better in order to look their best everyday?

Good hairdo.
Have regular haircuts and make sure your hair is constantly in good shape. This instantly gives you a trendy & polished image. It will take you minimum effort to style yourself in the morning everyday if your haircut is a good one.

Invest in good wardrobe staples.
Wardrobe staples are everyday essentials and it differs based on individual’s lifestyle requirement. In order to establish a functional wardrobe, you need to build your foundation right by investing in the right wardrobe staples and basics that support your career & lifestyle needs. Getting to know how to mix & match these pieces will enable you to create different looks & be versatile without breaking your bank account. Our wardrobe staples are usually pieces that are timeless classics in which we would wear again and again . For this reason, it’s never too expensive to invest in good wardrobe staples that will enable us to look classically chic at all times.

Have a good understand of their body type, style and colour.
Looking stylish does not mean going for all the expensive luxurious goods nor do we have to empty our bank accounts. By knowing our essence colours, styles that suit our personality and types of clothes which best complement our body figure, we can avoid trial and error purchases that may end up as expensive fashion faux pas.

Practise good hygiene & grooming routines.
This is a given & I do not think there is any need for me to go into details.

5) How would you define ‘Beauty’?

Being beautiful is more than what you wear on the outside. It is your state of mind & your beliefs system at work. It is all about your self expression. This simply means that beauty is a combination of your outer appearance together with your inner beauty. Hence in my opinion, ‘beauty’ is about being kind & gracious, feeling confident in your own skin combined with knowing how to be fabulous at every age.

Grace says: I’ve always wanted to say this – being a woman is not easy! Heck! It can be lots of fun, for sure. But it sure takes a lot of work to look good. From ensuring your hair is healthy and shiny, your eyebrows are nicely plucked, your skin is moisturized, various parts waxed, nails perfectly manicured, weight kept in check, body toned, clothes fashionable, and the list goes on…

It is easy to tell why women need image stylists and life coaches.

I’d love to know how we can update our image without breaking the bank, as Genny mentioned. Let you know when I find out! 🙂

Look Out For: The Interview with Kenny Yap, boss of Qian Hu. Same time next week. 🙂