Introduction: Tell us about yourself, your background and what you do currently
I am Prathibha S; I am a woman, a daughter, a sister, a wife and a mom. More than anything else I have a desire to be self-reliant, confident, and achieve my dreams and passion to succeed.
Coming from a middleclass family, I grew up in a tier two city in India. I had an ambition to do well in a big city, it was tough call. Being compared to two fair skinned beautiful sisters sometimes caused an inferiority complex in me. Added to this was the fact that the education in the place I grew up was not of the best standard and I lacked exposure. However, I was confident in myself and my capabilities and my passion to succeed made up for my complex. A person’s image starts with her personal appearance and physical grooming and, by trial and error, I became a person who stood out in a crowd. Added to this were the training skills that I attained, and the combination of appearance and competence won me a supportive life partner.
After working in professional and multinational companies like IBM and Dell, I had to give up my regular job as I wanted to be with my hubby, who could then look for / grab opportunities that came his way. I adjusted to his needs, but worked whenever possible till I was blessed with a little princess, after which I had to give up working. However, I continued to pay attention to personal grooming and started advising others on personal grooming, image building and etiquette and the way they conducted themselves This is when I realised that this is what my passion was, how to build up on someone’s personality, make them more confident. I realized it’s not about being fair or having good exposure. It is all about being presentable and having the confidence to speak effectively. This is when I decided that I needed to add more to my profile by taking a professional course on the subject.
To provide a platform for my career I decided to join a structured professional course which would sharpen my talent, pursue my passion and land me in a successful career. After a thorough research through various courses, I came across image consulting. Image Consulting is a professional field wherein clients hire an Image Consultant to evaluate, improve, enhance, update, or upgrade their appearance to ensure that their Image is consistent or congruent with their personal, social, and/or professional roles and goals—with what they want to accomplish in life. Realising that this is my passion, I immediately enrolled for the course. Since then, there was no looking back. Today, I stand in front of you as a successful certified Image consultant & Soft skill Facilitator.
Tell us about any current projects or initiatives you wish to promote
The current projects: to list a few
- Providing one on one consulting for individuals and group which include advising them on personal appearance, lifestyle, personal style, body build, posture, personal colour, grooming, body language, social etiquette and business protocol, speech and communication. I also offer personal shopping services.
- Providing training on body language and interview skills for graduate students of Thiruthangal Nadar College, Chennai.
- Conducting a workshop on Time management for teachers at Gateway international school.
- Conducting workshops for women empowerment from varied backgrounds – Doctors, IT professional, Momprenurs, homemakers.
- Conducting sessions on Social graces which include body language, handshakes, introduction, digital etiquette, email etiquette, net etiquette, washroom etiquette, classroom etiquette etc. for kids (age 10- 16) for youth leadership program.
- I have also collaborated with a clothing brand called Ombr’e Lane, a versatile work wear for modern Indian women.
- As a part of CSR activity, teaching communication through Story telling for 11th and 12th standard students of St.louis college for blind, Chennai.
The future project which I am working on, is to train new trainees in the same institute where i got certified. It’s much more rewarding to go back to the same organization as facilitator where I was a trainee. A wonderful way to thank the organization for playing a major role to be what I am!!
Lot of women in the current society forget to take care of them. They put their family first. They put everyone else first and forget about them. One day they realise what they are missing. I wish to tell all the women that family is first but family starts with you, you are the pillar of your family you, try to be independent and feel worthy ,please make yourself a priority. Be confident, improve yourself, Look good and feel good.
What has been your biggest challenge in achieving your success?
The biggest challenge was starting a venture with a big investment when I was already a wife, daughter in law and mother. Convincing my family of my passion that I wanted to convert into a career, and being required to balance work and personal life and excelling on both fronts was truly challenging.
What has been your greatest achievement personally?
Having the courage to listen and follow my inner voice and intuition. Being able to overcome insecurity, failures and persisting with determination and being a real-life example to others. I would request everyone to always listen and give importance to your inner voice which usually leads to the desired path.
Another aspect that I consider as an achievement is having been able to overcome insecurities, failures and being independent. I have also succeeded in giving people to look up to me and to inspire people.
If you weren’t doing what you do now, what would you be doing?
If I had not become an Image consultant, I would have continued as a corporate professional, one among millions.
Who has been your biggest inspiration?
For me my inspiration is and will always be my dad. He always regarded me as a fighter who would be confident and face any given situation and come out with flying colours.
What does the future hold for you?
To be an inspiration for every woman who faces many obstacles, challenges in life specially after the sabbatical, when one is asked to start from scratch and loses her seniority, trying hard to juggle between professional and personal life and being judged all the time.
Being Mompreneur/entrepreneur gives a golden chance to be your own boss and to be a guilt free professional as you are living your passion which in turn gives you satisfaction and adds that spark to life.
I am Prathibha from Bangalore, always been energetic, bubbly, full-of-life, one who always kept the inner child alive with the right attitude.
By the time I could realise how important education is , I was in my PU and took a stream which was never my cup of tea but still did that just to be part of the flow and peer pressure i.e., PCMB and followed by BSC( IT). After graduation, the effect continued, and I landed in an MNC.
During this period, wedding bells rang and took me to a beautiful phase of marriage and motherhood. I had to take a sabbatical for two years.
Giving credit to my husband, I had the liberty to realise my strengths and work on my passion towards addressing people’s love for dressing and help people build their confidence and make them etiquette prone.
Hence my journey to be a trainer and image consultant started after which I never looked back. Now I feel happy and contented and feel that I am lucky to have got the right opportunities and support. I also feel happy that I can inspire people around me.
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