I was a privileged “front row” ticketholder to the inaugural SC Style Workshop, and I wanted to take a moment to tell each of you how much I appreciated your generosity in sharing your knowledge and expertise in your respective fields.

Diana Deaver.  Photographer.  Visionaire.  Difference-maker.  Your photography is finding its way throughout this lovely city of ours like the roots of some lovely flower.   Every time you click your camera, you manage to find beauty; more likely, you are simply reflecting the beauty you already see inside your subject.  The fact that you put together an event that celebrates beauty from the inside out, is a testament to your dedication to where true art lies: in the eye of the beholder.  You are a visionary, out to make a difference, and I’m so happy to know a heart like yours has found its way to Charleston.

Ayoka Lucas.  Style Editor of Charleston Magazine; founder of Charleston Fashion Week.  We’ve met only a couple of times, but you appear to me to be that “brutally honest” friend whom you referred to last night (a must on your “team” of style-helpers).  I’ve already labeled my five boxes (Keep, Donate, Dump, Fix, and Archive), and plan on cleaning out the closet today.  Thank you for your qualified definition of STYLE as that of an outward reflection of my inner attitude.  Thank you for referring me to Tim Gunn’s 10 Essential Pieces.  And thank you for encouraging me to make my look book and style board.  I feel I’m well on my way.

Andrew Petersen.  International Makeup Artist; cosmetics guru; inquisitor into why I “can’t” wear pink 😉  Thank you for your sage advice about not breaking the bank on my cosmetics purchases.  You told me to invest wisely in my foundation for the loveliest skin possible; and to low-brow it in the shimmer/shine products.  I will prime my eyelids for optimum shadow longevity; I will work on my day time look and use only one or two products to bump it up for a night time look.  I will now be on the lookout for what you say every woman needs: a pink-y bronzer.  And I will be sure to come see you at Cos Bar on King Street and a myriad of the world’s finest cosmetic offerings right here in Charleston!

Kristen Bostic.  Financial Advisor.  Thank you for reminding me that my net-worth is not my self-worth.  I heard you loud and clear when you told me to Know My Numbers; figure out my comfort number (3 to 6 months of income, set aside for emergencies).  You told me to take control of my debt. . . that indeed I control it and not vice versa.  Most importantly, you reminded me to continually educate myself about money; to be an active participant in making it, an accountable spender of it, and a responsible saver.

Marcus Amaker.  Poet, musician.  Editor of Charleston Scene magazine.  Your honey-dipped words are still hanging, lingering, and lolling around in my ears.  I saw your lines as you spoke them. . . I hope your poetry is published.  I want more.

Jessica Anderson.  Creator of Mindful Yoga.  Empoweress.  Thanks to you, I have already begun my path of paying more attention to and being aware of my thoughts.  Especially the ones you called “diminishing.”  Hmm. . . lots of power there.  You told me to slow down (which I need to hear on a daily basis).  You asked me not to be judgmental of my thoughts.  And you encouraged me to write. . . journal. . . record thoughts to see where I’ve been, where I am, and perhaps to be able to figure out where I’m going.  You reminded me that my center and my calm/stillness is within me always, and that to tap into it, I need only to slow down and summon it.

Angela McKee.  Skin care expert.  You are a radiant example for what you extoll: from good health comes beautiful skin.  Do you know how much you glowed?  You obviously love what you do.  Thanks to you, I’m looking more thoughtfully into the environmental factors that affect my skin on a daily basis.  I really want a water filter for my shower head now;)  You reminded me that proper diet and rest are vitally important in my quest for beautiful skin.  Thank you for wearing it all on your sleeve.

Elli Boland.  Nutrition and fitness expert.  I laughed out loud at your opening line. . . “What’s up bitches???   I mean Beautiful Goddesses!!!”  If ever there were a walking, talking personification of someone who practices what she preaches, it’s you.   Thinking about what my body needs is key in helping me obtain my nutritional best.  However, it was one of your final points, Elli, that struck home with me most: to reprogram (“train my brain”) through positive affirmations such as I am Healthy, and I am Beautiful just the way I am, and Thank you, Body, for giving me life.  And forgiving myself for an occasional slip of a cookie or other treat.

Shauna Mackenzie Heathman.  Image consultant.  Did I ever consider “image consulting” before I heard you speak?  Honestly, no.  But wow, this is a very viable and appropriate field to study today, the Information Age.  Shauna you made so many amazing points, but once you teased us with “The Secret to a Great First Impression,” I was hooked.  But the first great point was that despite the old adage “there’s no second chance at making a great first impression,” one should consider that someone who did not make that great of a first impression should be given the opportunity to redeem him/herself.  We’ll never know the many possibilities that led to that encounter.  I’m a firm believer in second chances, so this struck home with me.  So without further adieu, the secret to a great first impression: Be aware of how I make another person feel.

In addition to these encyclopedic minds, the SCSW was sprinkled with the cutting edge fashion designs of Alena Fede, Chelsie Ravenell, Sherri Miller, Beth Pilger and Anna Lassiter.  So a big congrats to ALL involved and I’m looking forward to the next SC Style Workshop!

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