I remember, about the age of 13, writing at school for an English exercise, that I would one day live in France, after many fortnights being spent here for my childhood summer holidays. I was obsessed with the country -the life, the food, the language, the people, listening to French radio throughout my school years and obsessed almost to the point of following any french person I heard in the supermarket, almost willing them to take me back with them! In England however I felt lost and not at home. Years went by, not knowing how I would ever get over the channel. Until one day at Uni, I met my now ex-husband to be who was French. We married 10 years later. (We subsequenty divorced in 2010).
Why France? I love the attitude here-there’s a certain respect for each other, and the country, a national pride. The food of course lives up to it’s delicious reputation (though I have found an Indian restaurant to cope with the lack of curries!), and I love the fact that each region really does have its own identity in architecture, food, and customs, making France a collection of mini-Frances!
After drifting through various jobs with no real passion or direction we moved to France in 2001 from Nottingham to Nantes through my husband’s job, with our 2 daughters, then aged 3 and 6 months,. I began teaching English in schools ( teaching was something I vowed I would never do as “thats what all English end up doing”!). Slowly I began to find my feet which I didn’t find easy without the mother and toddler groups, babysitting circles and community spirit I was used to in the UK.
After many years of trying and seeking help, in 2010 my husband and I divorced, though we remain good friends. I was free at last and loving it, finally discovering who I was and what made me tick.
My hours began to decrease in the schools due to government cutbacks and I found a job as an English trainer in a very good private language school where I still work part time today, to pay the bills while I develop my business
I desperately wanted to do something that I loved however, a passion, and I remembered the dream I had of becoming a colour consultant when I’d had my colours done at the birth of my first daughter. It ticked all the boxes – creativity, colour, helping others, psychology… I trained and qualified, beginning to take in clients, it was so rewarding to see my clients transform under my very eyes, not only with colour allowing their skin radiance to show, their eyes shine, but psychologically too, releasing years of blocked emotion, helping them move forward. Seeing my clients after and seeing the transformation continue is even greater. Colour analysis is firstly about finding the colours that complement your skin tone and hair colour. Wearing the right colours brings your look into total harmony, and highlights your best features ( and miraculously hiding wrinkles, shadows, bags…). It gives you confidence, an image in line with your personality and that of your season.
Clients will come to me because they’re often at a crossroads – a new job, new baby, moving or having moved house/country…and this is the time when they need a new image, a boost, re-discover themselves. Through the consultation my client will often open up and talk about the effects of certain colours, memories attached to them etc and this is the most fascinating part as the client will begin to change her perception of herself in a positive way, letting go of old thoughts and habits, which brings me on to Life coaching, the second part of my business. As you can see the two overlap very nicely.
Life coaching came to me by pure accident. A friend of mine said I would make a brilliant life coach as I continually motivate others by my energy and positive nature. The seed was planted, I went on a free coaching weekend and loved it, it felt so right for me that I signed straightaway and started my training with The Coaching Academy, a distance learning course with assessments and days in London. I’ve already started coaching with clients in the US Spain, UK and France, and its wonderful to see my clients grow, find new ideas and solutions. Living in France I have decided to specialize in Expat coaching, helping expats to start a new life overseas,and a possibility in weight management coaching (I had originally started studying years ago to be a dietician!), helping (overcoming emotions which create weight problems).
Colour analysis is done face to face, and often followed by (either the same day or shortly after) a wardrobe rescue to advise the client on her wardrobe and colours. it’s also great to do in groups when there’s energy, the fun factor, and a sharing of ideas and comments. (and it’s cheaper!) Life coaching is done via Skype meaning I can go worldwide, and one to one.I also do talks and workshops to groups, assocations, hen nights….