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Why Your Personal Brand Needs To Be Both Fierce & Feminine

Do you ever feel like somewhere along your corporate career you've disconnected with the real you?

This was me in 2004. At the time, I was working at Roche, travelling the globe and working on cutting-edge cancer therapies. Whilst I loved what I did, I had this deep desire to want to "SERVE" in a bigger way. Wanting to be of service, sounded weak and vulnerable and I was too afraid of what others might think. So I pressed on and continued to ignore the whispers.

After a significant turning point at work, I realised that I needed to listen to the whispers. For the past ten years, I've been privileged to have served over 3000 professional women and c-suite executives and have helped them create a personal brand that overcomes bias and allows them to lead with confidence.

During this time, it became apparent to me that many of them had become disconnected. They no longer knew who they were. They were dressing like men, sounding like men and acting like men. Yet, I would catch glimpses of their deep feminine energy during our many conversations.

When I'm working with professional women including c-suite executives, creating their personal brand always starts with an in-depth discussion around their values, what they want from their careers and wardrobe and why often they feel disconnected with who they are, what they do and how they do it.

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, former Yahoo boss Marissa Mayer and Vogue editor Anna Wintour have adopted their own “leadership look” based on wearing vibrant shift dresses and heels. While these women’s styles vary, the focus is the same, their clothes fit perfectly, they wear high-quality fabrics, and pay simple attention to accessories and grooming.

When I take my clients through a yin/yang exercise, I discover that many of them have hidden yin leadership qualities that are buried away and are only ever seen at home. Many professional women reject the feminine parts of themselves for fear of not being taken seriously.

Have women been conditioned to be more masculine in a corporate world? I think so! In the past, for women to wield power in what was historically a man’s world, she had to pretty much dress like a man. This is no longer the case and we’re free to present a new image of what leadership looks like.

If I were to ask you, "What qualities do leaders possess". It's highly likely the Masculine / Yang qualities will surface first.

The good news is that the world is changing. We are starting to embrace feminine energy. In the "Athena Doctrine", the author’s proprietary survey of 64,000 people around the world shows, traditionally feminine leadership and values are now more popular than the macho paradigm of the past.

The most innovative among us are breaking away from traditional structures to be more flexible, collaborative and nurturing. All over the world, people are deploying feminine thinking and values to make their lives, and the world, better.

So when it comes to your personal brand, how do you strike the balance between feminine and masculine energy?

Let's look at Oprah as an example.

Oprah naturally exhibits more yang physical characteristics due to her build and dark features. However, when she wears her hair curly, she instantly looks softer (more yin). When she wears her hair straight paired with dark solid frames, she instantly looks more yang as seen below. You'll notice in the top left image, the curved frames of her glasses, although dark, help her look more yin than yang.

When it comes to the overall picture, let's review how your outfit can shift you along the yin/yang continuum.

You'll notice in the images below that Oprah is wearing softer fabrics, no frames, her hair is curly and is wearing feminine colours. All of these elements teamed together make her look more feminine or more Yin.

In the images below you'll notice that Oprah is striking a great balance between yin and yang. When her hair is straight, her clothing has softer edges. When her hair is curly, her clothing is darker in colour and carries more angles. In a corporate context, professional women in positions of leadership need to strike a balance between yin and yang so they appear confident and strong, whilst also appearing authentic and approachable.

There will be times in your corporate career where you will need to exhibit more yang than yin qualities. You'll notice in the below images that Oprah is wearing block solid dark colours teamed with strong angles and straight hair. These looks carry more masculine energy.

Overall, as a professional woman, don't be afraid to embrace your feminine energy. Aim for your outfit to strike a yin/yang balance and remember to always remain true to yourself. When you deny a part of yourself, you lose your POWER!

If you'd like to learn more about our Personal Brand Creation Program for professional women,  please click here,  and let's have a chat to see how I can best serve you.

Styling Your Success


It's Not About The Clothes But What The Clothes Can Do For You

Let's be honest, you know your clothing choices affect and reflect your self-image and how you feel about yourself.

Imagine right now you've woken up and you're standing in front of your wardrobe and you're trying to decide what to wear for the day. At this point in time, your head and your heart are having a conversation and it's going something like this:

Head: I need to leave in 15 minutes otherwise I'll hit traffic or miss the train

Heart: How do I feel today and how do I want to feel today?

Head: What did I wear yesterday, did I shave my legs, do I have high-level meetings today?

Heart: I want to feel confident and look like a woman and try wearing something different today

Head: Just wear that outfit you always wear, you know it works. Done!

Heart: So boring, why can't I work out what to wear? I hate this

Sound familiar?

This internal dialogue can go on for minutes. You're stressed, time-poor, have decision fatigue and you feel down. Your day has only just started and this dilemma has set your mood for the day. You leave home feeling flat. You can't wait to get to your local coffee shop to grab your pick me up.

I've had thousands of conversations with women over the years about their clothes, wardrobes and career aspirations. Having conducted in excess of 3000 styling sessions for women around the country I keep hearing the same dilemma women are facing every single day.

They wake up, stare blankly at their wardrobe and pick out the "it will do" outfit to wear to work. They see all these great stand alone pieces they've acquired over the years but for some reason, they don't work together.

They are incredibly frustrated and time poor and loathe having to make such decisions first thing in the morning.

The thing is, they recognise that they can't fly under the radar anymore. They know they need their personal brand to start working for them. They know that dressing in separates is here to stay and is the new power dressing.

If you’d like to learn the techniques that will help you create a style that supports your business goals and supports your inner confidence then come along to the  “The Art of Self Packaging For Success".  Come and learn how to master the NEW way women are dressing for work.

It's taking place on the 25.03.17 at the Sydney Westfield Styling Suite

Here is some unseen footage from previous events.

The techniques I will be teaching you I have taught during my corporate workshops and I know they work because my clients have used them with great results. My clients are now primed and ready for their next career step, their laser focused on their message and goals and don’t have to give their image and personal brand a second thought. They have invested the time to get this right so that all their energy now goes into preparing for that promotion or landing their dream client. 

There is no doubt in my mind that when you dress to reflect who you really are, your confidence skyrockets and that's when you do your best work.

Note: Part of your ticket is redeemable towards a personal service & you will receive complimentary half hour speaker appearance by Janette Ishiyama in your organisation (more information at the workshop)

Click here to reserve your seat.

So don't sit on the sidelines, take action and be the driver of your success.

I hope to see you at the #1 Styling Event for Professional Women & Entrepreneurs.

Styling Your Success

Janette x


The Science of Why We Buy Clothes We Never Wear

Are we are a swipe-happy nation?

In 2015, Statista ranked the top-spending countries in the world per capita and congratulations to us – we’re number one!

According to Mark Hall from BusinessWaste.com.au, Australians are throwing away $140 million dollars worth of clothing every year which is going directly to landfill. This equates to 1.2 million tons of fashion buried in the ground. Although Australia has a culture of donating material goods to charity, only about 15% of donated clothing is sold again locally in charity shops – about 15% becomes industrial rags, 25% goes directly to landfill, and the other 40-50% into the global second-hand trade. (NACRO 2013 National Waste Report pg 7) says Australians are the world's second largest consumers of textiles, buying on average 27 kilograms of new clothing and other textiles each year.

So why do we purchase clothing we never wear?

A 2007 study by researchers at Stanford, MIT and Carnegie Mellon tested the neurological reactions of participants when buying clothes. What they found was that the brain’s pleasure ambens were activated when a person desires an object.

In making the decision whether or not to buy the desired item, the brain weighs up the pleasure of owning the item versus the pain of outlaying the money for it. One of the study’s authors, Scott Rick, said

“the brain seemed to be responsive not necessarily to price alone, or how much I like it, but that comparison of the two: how much I like it compared to what you charge me for it.”

Basically, the brain likes a good deal and therefore when you find clothes at a significant discount or at a cheap starting price, your pleasure centers will light up at the thought of purchasing.

As an Image Consultant and Personal Branding specialist for the past 10 years, I've always been fascinated by the way women shop. Many of my clients before working with me:

  • never try on garments before purchasing them
  • they crisis shopped at international airports
  • they never have a shopping plan and just "hope" they find something
  • purchased for their "future" self i.e when they lose a few kilos (I'll look great in that)

Question: How many times have you purchased a piece of clothing on sale and have only worn it once or twice or not at all?

Here are my top 3 gold nuggets for avoiding a crisis purchase.

My golden rule is: Only buy pieces you can wear at least 3 ways.

My golden question to ask yourself before buying a piece on sale is: Would I buy it if it were full price?

My golden approach to shopping: Have a plan. Know exactly what you currently have in your wardrobe and establish the cost per wear for that piece.

Here's an example.

Building a wardrobe takes time, commitment and self-awareness. By following my proven system for building a versatile wardrobe not only do you stop contributing to landfill but the end result is a versatile wardrobe that gives you the confidence to move out into the world feeling great and self-assured. Watch my video here.

In summary, shopping is an activity that can stimulate feelings of happiness and there’s a scientific reason why we all love good value for money. Just remember that science isn’t going to pay your credit card bills so I'd still advise you to shop wisely. Don't forget about the environmental implications of buying those one hit wonders.

Styling Your Success


P.S If you'd like to learn more about our personal services, please click here and if you'd like to learn about our Confident Career Woman public program, please click here. 

I'm so excited to share this with you

I'm so incredibly excited to let you know that no matter where you are in this big beautiful world, you can now access "The Art of Self Packaging For Success" workshop.

So many of you have reached out to me during this year asking when I'll be bringing this live public three hour workshop to your city. Having heard all your comments, I set out to record this workshop so that every woman who wants to learn how to craft a leadership style can do so from the comfort of her couch and at her own pace. 

The reason why I created  "The Art of Self Packaging For Success" workshop is because I want to see every woman have the opportunity to grow into her leadership potential. My small part in her life is to help her use her image to break barriers, overcome biases and lead with confidence. I want each woman to understand how she can package herself in a way that helps her achieve the business success she deserves.

If you are a professional woman who wants to learn how to maximise your personal brand and style then this workshop was designed with you in mind. 

We now have had 120 professional women attend our live workshops this year and the magic that has been created each time I serve them has been phenomenal. Not only will you learn from me but also from the insightful woman who participated. Here's what Gail had to say from attending our workshop.

For the past ten years, I have continued to invest in myself and upskill as an Image Consultant, Personal Branding Expert and Leader. In this workshop, I gift you with all the knowledge I have acquired over the past ten years as I've honed my skills. I have now conducted 3000+ styling sessions and 300+ corporate image workshops for top tier organisations around the country.

Here's a sneak peek at our workshop.

If you'd like to learn more about our workshop, click here. You can either

1. Register your interest for future workshops

2. Attend our next workshop in Sydney - February 4th, 2017

3. Purchase a copy of the live workshop along with workbook and templates.  

If you decide to purchase the live workshop I know that you will receive enormous value from the key styling tips to help you achieve the personal style and business success you deserve.

Let me know what you think! Would love to hear your thoughts.

Styling Your Success



Step By Step Guide On How To Create Wardrobe Clusters

What would you do with $8000?

An Australian study was conducted that showed most women own 100 significant pieces in their wardrobes and each piece costs on average $100. That means that most women have approx. $10,000 of inventory sitting in their wardrobes. Unfortunately, most of us only wear 20% of our wardrobes 80% of the time. So that's $8000 of your hard-earned money sitting and collecting dust in your wardrobe. Sadly we repeat this every 6-8 years. 

During my recent image leadership workshop at Westpac, the group of female leaders completely agreed with the above numbers. They had never really thought about how much money they had spent on clothes. 

I want you to go right now, open up your wardrobe doors and count how many pieces of clothing you haven't worn in the last 12 months. How many of those pieces were purchased on sale?


Because I want you to realise that as a smart, savvy and confident women you only need a small versatile wardrobe that's going to make you feel great.  I bet you have way too many pieces of clothing sitting in your wardrobe collecting dust, or reminding you of how much money you've wasted yet again, or how much weight you've put on or how much your life has changed. 

I spend 40% of my time as a stylist and Image Consultant rummaging through clients wardrobes.  I know for a fact that we all have far too many pieces of clothing. Do you really need 7 pairs of jeans or 6 pairs of black pants? NO!!!

Have you ever stopped to think about the carbon footprint you are leaving behind every time you buy a piece of clothing that you only wear once or twice and then ditch? My friend Dani sent me this video which looks at our shopping habits and the impact it's having on our environment. Just click here.


I'm going to show you the method I personal use and that I also teach my clients every day and that is "How to create wardrobe clusters". This method is designed to:

  • make sure you always have something great to wear (even if one piece is in the wash or at the dry cleaner)
  • stop you from wasting money on one hit wonders because you are so clear on what you currently own
  • make you realise that you have way more than you really need.

For some of us our wardrobes look like this. If it does then you are going to be very challenged trying to mix and match pieces successfully. Whilst these pieces on their own look great, they don't all mix and match. That might explain why you have a wardrobe full of clothes and still feel like you have nothing to wear!

So what can you do? Pick one piece from this capsule that you LOVE and place it on your bed and let's build a wardrobe capsule. Let’s pick the blue and white printed top. You’ll notice that I used the blue jeans from the wardrobe to integrate into this capsule. The top will successfully work with all the chosen bottoms. Notice how I chose to use neutral colours for the blazer, denim skirt and white jeans? Neutral colours are outfit multipliers and you should try and purchase your big ticket pieces in neutral colours. This is what will make your wardrobe so versatile. These colours include: denim, white, black, charcoal, navy, ink, chocolate, olive green, taupe, beige, tan and cream.

Now let’s take another two pieces from the original uncoordinated wardrobe such as the black and white harem pants and the black jacket. I can now also add the white denim jeans, blue denim skirt and blue denim jeans. The only new items I added was one top that I’ve been able to use will all the bottoms and a nude pair of flats.

Final Word:

Try and create at least one capsule for each of the areas of your life i.e. work, socialising, family time etc. Based on how much time you spend doing these activities will determine how many capsules you’ll need for that part of your life. It’s also a good idea to take photo’s of the capsules you’ve created so you don’t forget what combinations you can wear. Imagine how great it will be to eradicate decision fatigue forever!

Give it ago this weekend, I promise the time you invest now means no more stress, no more wasted money and no more one hit wonders for years to come!

Styling Your Success


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