Last month, I enjoyed attending the annual conference of the Association of Image Consultants International (AICI), where several hundred image consultants from around the world gathered in Tampa to connect, renew friendships and further their image studies. I always learn a great deal from my colleagues and the experts from various image-related fields who speak at conference, and much of what I learn has application to jewelry.
One of my favorite conference exhibitors is Wendy Buchanan of Perceptions Thru Eyewear Inc., Ontario, Canada, an optician and eyewear entrepreneur who sells the very coolest eyeglass frames. Wendy has the ability to match eyewear to the individual based upon a consideration of the customer’s face shape, coloring, personality and desired effect (approachable vs. authoritative in appearance) as well as the required functionality of the eyewear. She makes eyeglass wearers out of individuals who have been too vain to wear anything but contact lenses, and I include myself among her converts.
Eyewear is a cousin of jewelry, and with the sparkly designs currently in vogue, the connection is more apparent than ever. Wendy has created written training materials for image consultants and also spoke at a break-out session of the conference. It struck me how much of what she said about eyewear, at its essence, is equally applicable to jewelry. Wendy gets into the subject of physiognomy, the study of the face, and the yin and yang of personality types, which are beyond the scope of my comments here. However, let me share with you a few of her thoughts, which I have extrapolated from her materials and paraphrased; the parentheticals indicate how I think the principles apply to jewelry:
- A person has 30 seconds to make a positive first impression.
- Eyewear (jewelry) can be an effective marketing tool, part of one’s personal brand.
- A person’s face shape provides guidance as to the design elements to seek in one’s eyewear (jewelry).
- What one wears projects one’s image, but accessories truly convey one’s personality.
- There is both an art and a science to selecting eyewear (jewelry) that looks great, feels right and suits one’s lifestyle.
Wendy’s stated passion is empowering individuals to use their eyewear as a key aspect of their images and personalities. If we undertake the time and effort to learn how to adorn individuals based upon their features and personality, we similarly can empower individuals through their choice and wearing of jewelry.