I am so excited to introduce you to Nicole Busch, aka Nicole Blair Wear, a personal brand + style expert right here in our own backyard. I met Nicole for coffee a few months back and I couldn't get enough of her infectious personality (and amazing outfit).
Nicole helps ladies look their best by weeding through their overstuffed closets to create outfits that make them feel like the best version of themselves. Seriously, how amazing is that?
On top of that, she recently collaborated with a local jewelry designer to launch her very own collection: NBW + j.nicole jewelry. Launching on June 22, 2018, they created a line that is sophisticated, edgy and sexy designed for the everyday woman. You can wear these pieces with jeans and a tee or pair with a gown. Come join in the celebratation at the official launch party on June 22 at Pure Concepts Salon in Carmel: http://evite.me/hzgnQbBPKz
I just love seeing fellow female entrepreneurs bring their dreams to life as much as I love an edited closet filled with only the very best pieces. So without further ado, let's all get to know Nicole!
Nicole, how did you become a stylist? Was fashion always a passion of yours? I started in the ﬁtness industry as a personal trainer and ran a successful boot camp. My clients were losing a lot of weight, yet kept showing up in their husbands’ oversized tee shirts. At the end of boot camp, I decided to host a fashion show with all of the contestants, as opposed to a typical party. It sounds cliché, but that night I felt so complete. I arranged for hair, makeup, nails and wardrobe for each woman. After seeing the transformation, I knew this was my path in life. In my earliest memories, I was dressing up in my mom’s high heels and putting crazy outﬁts together. It was a way to express who I was then and still is today.
How do you describe your personal style? In three words: casual, sexy and unexpected. When you know who you are, your personality shines through in your style. I stay casual in what I wear; otherwise I will ﬁdget all day. As far as sexy, I love showcasing the woman’s body. Whether it is a shirt that highlights the collarbone or a pair of shoes that reveals the ankle, subtle hints of femininity make a woman incredibly sexy. My unexpected, as you’d imagine, is never predictable. I may wear a column of white and add a pair of leopard booties, or mix unique color combinations, such as red, mint green and blush. My go-to outﬁt is a tee, jeans and a killer pair of shoes.
What types of people ﬁnd their way to you? Are they working in a speciﬁc ﬁeld or in a common phase of life? Great question. I work with everyone from athletes, to stay-at-home moms, to CEOs and all sorts of clients in between. I ﬁnd the one common denominator is that most people who seek my services are going through some type of transition. She may be a new mom, in a different role at work, going through a divorce or climbing the corporate ladder. Using psychology and science, I help my clients determine their needs, formulate their goals and explore new versions of themselves. It’s truly life changing!
Let’s chat more about women’s closets. How do you determine what should be in a client’s closet? Oh the elusive closet! It’s important to remember that every closet is different. I will not come in and throw everything away. We will start by editing what you have by asking honest questions about what is working for your body, coloring, lifestyle and personality. Based on those four criteria, we determine what stays and what goes. We also create a list of "NBW Connectors." The list consists of items that will connect your existing wardrobe and ﬁll in the gap. This creates a functional wardrobe and wards off unnecessary purchases.
Are there any staple pieces that belong in everyone’s closet? Yes. Everyone should own a great pair of jeans, a tee, a button down, a blazer, pointy toe heels and ﬂats, a pencil skirt and a denim shirt.
How often would you recommend editing your closet? I suggest editing four times a year.
What items are always worth hanging onto? I allow my clients to keep three to ﬁve pieces that they just can’t say goodbye to. I believe you should only hang on to what you’ll wear. I know we all have those items that were expensive seven years ago or hold sentimental value – but they are taking up prime real estate in our closets! Ask yourself: does it make you happy? Do you love it or like it? Would you buy it today? If you don’t answer “hell yes!” to those three questions, it’s time to say goodbye.
Are there speciﬁc items that you encourage clients to splurge on? SHOES! We spend our entire day on our feet and bad shoes can affect your feet, knees and lower back. Don’t skimp here! Aside from that, know your lifestyle. If you’re a mom, you need a great pair of jeans that allows you to chase your kids around and bend over. If you’re a keynote speaker, you need a great presentation outﬁt. If you’re a fashion blogger, invest in a designer purse. If you’re a CEO, you need a great suit. Select high-quality items for your lifestyle. You’re worth it!
What are your favorite resources for donating or selling clothing that is no longer something a client would want to hang onto? I love supporting Dress for Success. I think anytime you can pay it forward you should. As far as selling, I like Poshmark, the RealReal and thredUP.
Can you share a story of how working with you has changed one of your client’s lives? I love this question. My job is so rewarding and, honestly, it gives me goose bumps when I think about it.
A story that stands out was working with news anchor, Lauren Lowrey. She came to me two years after having her baby. She had received feedback that she appeared older and had a soccer mom vibe. First of all, no woman wants to hear she looks older. Secondly, the term soccer mom is just offensive. Even soccer moms hate it! I reassured Lauren that I could help with her rebrand and ﬁnd the new and improved version of her. I knew right away that I would change her life.
Anytime clients are willing and trust in the process, greatness happens. Lauren is an Emmy Award-winning news anchor, yet her image didn’t portray that. She has an energy and warmth about her that was not being showcased. She’s a mom, a wife, ﬂips homes, and loves to workout and cook. Where was this woman? She was sitting dormant under the traditional wrap dress and matching jewelry that you see on almost every news station. I reinvented Lauren.
Through our work together, I awakened what was there all along: a young, vibrant, determined, hard-working, loving woman. I also gave her a tagline that would provide parameters when I wasn’t around: “New York meets LA, with the warmth of the Midwest.” It was Lauren! I wanted her to be more metropolitan and cosmopolitan, but not so much that the audience couldn’t relate to her. I can honestly say that her life has changed. Everything she wanted has come to fruition. I have the best job ever! I love seeing my clients blossom and live the lives they have always dreamt of!
I’m curious about your services, how do you structure sessions with clients? And what is a typical session like? I have multiple packages to ﬁt a variety of needs. They range from 15 minute Facetime sessions to my Black Card Services, which include monthly in-person styling. Most of my clients choose my “Runway to Everyday” package. It includes the following:
• Body Type Analysis: Get to know and dress for your body type.
• Color Analysis: Create a customized color palette to enhance your eyes, skin and hair color.
• Style Personality Assessment: Determine your signature style and build a wardrobe around it.
• Closet Edit: Decide what stays, goes and needs to be added.
• Outﬁt Coordination: Create those go-to outﬁts for your lifestyle.
Is there any advice that you can give The Baer Minimalist readers? Stay true to yourself. I see so many individuals trying too hard! Don’t be a carbon copy! You’re unique and there’s only one of you; own it. Also, dress for your body type. I cannot tell you how many times I have walked into a closet and seen clothes with tags on them. Once you know your body type, you will never make another bad purchase!
And most importantly, how can readers get in touch with you? Readers can contact me via email, firstname.lastname@example.org. I am currently rebranding myself, so my website is getting a face lift. You can also follow me on Facebook and Instagram at @nicoleblairwear.