Many of you know that I attended my first Association of Image Consultants International Annual Conference at the Peabody Hotel in Orlando. Yes, I was excited to take my certification exam and learn valuable information to share with my clients. And YES, the thought of gathering with almost 300 image consultants from around the world was intimidating– to say the least.
Once there, my fears quickly melted away. I’ve been to many conferences, but none that radiated such camaraderie, compassion and optimism. Many critics of the image consulting profession would change their tune if they saw the genuine commitment these men (that’s right!) and women have to help others look and feel great, inside and out.
Our jobs are more important as ever in a world where warped ideas of perfection are pushed on us; where aging is considered a curse rather than a badge of honor, where our youth are told they have to compromise who they are or make a sacrifice to receive acceptance and love.
Helice “Sparky” Bridges, Difference Makers International Founder & CEO, shared a statistic that I now want to share with you. The average child receives over 430 negative statements a day and only 37 positive statements. It’s no wonder why kids have eating disorders, cut themselves, abuse drugs, bully others and commit suicide. We have the power to reverse those trends, starting with a kind word.
As I met and heard the stories of AICI members who traveled 20+ hours from places like Korea, Japan, Australia, France, The Philippines, Argentina and Kenya, my respect for the industry grew. We have members in 40 countries and chapters in 27 of those. Each chapter’s philanthropic work is remarkable in helping people achieve their personal and professional goals. Below are photos of some of the many people who inspired me.
The networking and knowledge shared was priceless and ultimately benefit my clients, who deserve the best. Thank you for your support and referrals. I’m always here to serve you any way possible.