January 21, 2020
Melanie Kluger - Build Your Confidence With Style

Melanie has spent the last 15 years working with women and helping them truly discover what makes them feel like the best version of themselves, inside and out. After working in New York City on Broadway productions, then a s...


Melanie has spent the last 15 years working with women and helping them truly discover what makes them feel like the best version of themselves, inside and out. After working in New York City on Broadway productions, then a stint in the bridal industry, Melanie finally created her own business where she works with clients as a personal stylist, with the goal of helping the develop their own style that makes them feel good.

Through her work with clients in all stages of their lives, Melanie discovered that clothing and style are actually very emotional things, and are the manifestations of the stories we have created around our bodies, and our roles in the world. 

In the last three years, Melanie has written an Amazon bestselling book, created a digital course, and has created a community for women who are working through their own style definition process. 

Find Melanie at www.theconfidentcloset.com

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Transcript
Speaker 1:

Welcome to the real people real business show where we're talking with business owners who are in the trenches everyday, people who are working hard and have relevant and inspiring stories that you can relate to. Everyone we speak to is actively growing their businesses and is here to share their experiences, lessons, wisdom, and guidance so you can impede, inspired to take action towards your own goals. Today. I'm so excited to welcome Melanie Kluger . She's a personal stylist, confidence booster, closet expert and bestselling author of the confident closet. She also has a killer six week online course with the same name where she helps women to enhance, embrace, and love themselves through their style. So welcome to the show. Melanie, I'm so excited to have you on here today.

Speaker 2:

Thank you so much for having me. I'm happy to be here. Oh, [inaudible]

Speaker 1:

wanting you on here for a while . So this is a great, this is a great experience for all of us. Plus you are the first show in our new season. We took a little bit of a break over the holidays and now we're getting back at it. So what better way to kick it off then to talk to you? So let's get started. I want to know how you got to where you are right now. How did this business evolve? How did you get started?

Speaker 2:

Yeah , so you know , um, so I went to college for costume design. So I was uh , a theater person and I worked in college and college and that was my major. And then I worked in New York and I worked on Broadway shows and up Broadway shows and I was in that world and I just started to really notice like the difference when someone, it felt really good in a costume and everyone, every actor had like similar insecurities. And you know, I kind of made it my mission as a costume designer to like help women and men too. And I was a costume designer to just feel their best. And then , um, I ended up making a career shift to working in bridal . And there's all of that comes out in terms of what makes them feel competent , what makes him feel insecure when you're working with someone , um, about finding a wedding dress. And then , um, from there I started just getting really getting into people's closets with them and kind of find my passion through that and took all of my knowledge from the past and was like, okay, I've really felt, feel like super passionate that everyone can feel good in their clothes and with my tools and with all these different things, like we're going to get as many people there as possible. So that's kind of in my journey.

Speaker 1:

That's so fun. So were , were you that kind of kid who was like always into clothes and , and dressing up and all of that?

Speaker 2:

You know what I mean? I always, I like liked style, but I really wasn't like, I wouldn't call myself like, like this, like super fashionable kid. I think I really like making people feel good. I was always like a complimenter and I was always like making a laugh and like, so I think to me it's like, I don't know , I like style, but it wasn't like my, like number one thing, you know, I really came into that later.

Speaker 1:

So you to me are like this stylist who's really kind of right,

Speaker 2:

who's , you know, kind of there for the real person who is like me, who's like, I don't have any idea. I don't, I'm not stylish. I don't, you know, I don't know. I know and I don't have some model body and what have you. So talk to me a little bit about that. Cause there's a lot of kind of real people out there who are like, well style isn't really for me because I don't look the part. Right. Well I think that that's the thing too . Like I think everyone has personal style because everyone puts on clothes but we're not always so like in touch with it, you know, and we , I think for a lot of people can be intimidating. Um, and so I actually like, I'm not the kind of stylist that really is like this is on trend or this is what you should wear. I actually don't even really care that much. If it's the most flattering thing, I care more importantly like what makes you feel really good? Whether that's cause that's different for everybody. Sometimes the most flattering thing, you could still feel an insecurity . So to me , um, I love working with a real woman and , um, right now I'm hosting this challenge, it's called show up for your selfie. And it literally, the point of the challenges is like a lot of people who work from home, people you know, stay at home moms, people that like that don't have to get up and maybe like dress up necessarily for their job, have a hard time, like making that a priority. And so this challenge literally is for like everyone who maybe doesn't feel that stylist but really wants to kind of up that part of themselves. And so it's been really fun to sort of see people sort of step outside their comfort zones and , and you know, we call it showing up for themselves. So it's really fun. That's really cool. And there's such a , like a huge , uh , community of people who literally kind of just get up and work in their track pants and, and you know, and definitely haven't, you know, they're not spending a lot of time getting ready in the morning. And that sort of thing. And in a way that's liberating. But on the other hand, you know, I remember reading a thread just yesterday with a bunch of people who were talking about , um, their biggest challenges with clothing and , and that sort of thing. And they were kind of like, well, I don't want to , I don't want to , I don't want to sacrifice being comfortable, but I also feel like maybe I can look a little bit less like a homeless person. Right, right. Well that to me is like legit the point, like it doesn't have to be either you're wearing like your fancy as clothes or you're in like dirty rats . Like there could be like, you could feel stylish and comfortable, but I think sometimes we forget that , um, that like a very casual outfit can still feel put together and you're still like, you know, like, you know, you don't have to wear a blazer and a suit to go, like, does school drop off, you know, but you still want to feel good, you know, whatever that means to you. So why does it, why does style matter? Like does it, are there a lot of people who would say, Oh, this is all superficial and it's clothing and blah, blah , blah, blah, blah. But it's actually kind of real, isn't it? For sure. I guess to, I'm always like, you know what? Every single person has to get up and get dressed. And I feel like if you are can use it as a vehicle to feel like you're expressing yourself and who you are. To me that's like, well, it's true confidence, but it's also like a real representation of who you want to be in the world. Right? So to me it's , it's not, you know, to me it doesn't come off as, I don't think it's frivolous. I think a lot of people kind of put it in that category. But I think it's like even that person that you were saying in your feed and sit talking about how they, you know, they could find the happier medium, right? Because they don't feel like they're showing up fully for themselves in that, in that version of themselves, you know? And so this is about showing up for yourself and feeling good about yourself rather than for other people. Right. Cause I mean, you know, there's always been that sort of cliche that women dress for other women. Right? Oh I know. Isn't that so funny? Exactly. And that's sort of one of the things that I really try to get people to focus on. Well what's going to make you feel your best, right? Like you know, don't put on makeup if you don't care about makeup, but if you feel really good when you, I dunno , get your eyebrows waxed then do that for yourself. Right? Like what's it going to be for you? Not what, what's it going to be for anybody else? Cause the follow on to that. It's like what happens when we feel good about ourselves. Exactly. Yeah . And what that does like think about how I think it has a trickle effect, right? If you're showing up more confident and you feel like really like empowered, like by what you're wearing and you feel like, you know, awesome, how are you going to interact with people? How are you going to go into, you know, your day? Yeah . So it's not not a thing, right? It's like we're , we have to kind of wear clothes, right ? Right, exactly . Might get arrested or we might freeze. So if you're gonna wear clothes, I guess you're in two camps, either that's a , uh , a form of self expression or it's entirely well utilitarian. Right, right, right. But even if you feel like it's utilitarian, I feel like you still are making a decision about how you're showing that, you know? Right. Even if you're like, I'm going for the same black tee shirt and jeans every day, that's still a choice that you're making. You know, you know Steve jobs, right. Exactly. By the way, I love just San Francisco. So the nudity thing is real. Oh, well , just walk around, let's go supermarket shopping. They just changed some of the laws that for a while , when we first moved here, it was like, that person's just holding grocery bags and wearing flip flops. That's it. Cover your eyes, kids. Wow. That's bold. Well , most of the time you wouldn't be able to do that up where I live because you freeze your butt off. So tell me how you work with your clients. Who do you work with? What do you do with them and what kind of transitions are they making when they're doing work with you? Yeah, so I have a signature process and it's in my online course. So , um , it's called the confident closet. And what we do is we kind of, before we even get into the closet, we kind of set a foundation. So I worked with a lot of people who maybe have gone through a transition in their closet and their style doesn't feel as clear or as aligned anymore with themselves. So , um, we start with like, okay , what's going to make you feel your best in terms of like, you know, I call it the beauty base. It's like, what's that thing we were just talking about that makes you feel your best? And we kind of go through, we make sure your personal style is clear. We make sure that you understand what, what fits your body well and talk about all of that. We talk about underwear, we talk about all of it. And then once we set the foundation and we'd go into your closet and we get rid of everything that's not serving you and I help you find creative ways. If you don't want to donate, maybe we can, you know , have a clothing swap party. We'd go through all of it, all of the , the steps to making you feel you have a closet that represents you. And then we organize it and then we go shopping and we talk about how to maintain it. So there's, that's the PR process that I work with people on how to like then once your closet feels super aligned and your style feel super aligned, then every single morning is more streamlined and you feel more like yourself when you leave the house.

Speaker 1:

So this is super interesting to me cause there's, I have gained a little bit of weight in the last few years and it's really interesting how much emotion there is in your closet. Right? It's weird. You go in there and you're just like, you know, there's all these feelings and all of this story behind the clothing that you've bought and why you bought it. And really it's like a metaphor for the fact that you're trying to feel better about yourself and sometimes that doesn't work right.

Speaker 2:

I know you , you know what is, I would say the number one thing, the reason, you know that saying like I have a closet full of clothes and nothing to wear . It's the reason is because we hold on to clothes for like a whole slew of reasons and none of them are, I want to wear that. Right. And the number one one is sentimentality. Right. Or like this attachment, the closing means something, you know, like whether it means I wish that I still fit into it or I have a really good memory I wore , um , you know, a really great day. Things like that that looks sort of attached to these pieces in our closet. Um, but we're not wearing them cause they don't work for us anymore. You know?

Speaker 1:

Yeah. It's like, it's like commentary on, it's like this anthropological commentary go into an archeological dig and you find all of this, this stuff and these stories and these memories and you're like, ah, so we do, we hold onto , it's funny how somethings that was originally so utilitarian has now become like really attached and , and has a lot of meaning.

Speaker 2:

Yes. And then the other thing that I think is really interesting is like, you know, if you have a lot of clothes in your closet that you use to like maybe, you know, you used to have a different job, but now they're not appropriate or you've gained or lost weight, something like that. Like a section of your closet. It's filled with clothes that you genuinely still like that you can't wear anymore. Um, what that does mentally every morning. Right. Cause you're not going into your closet. Like, look, can I wear , you're like, wish I could wear that. And like what kind of every day is reminding you of, you know? Yeah. And so the work that you do is actually quite emotional work, isn't it? For sure. Yeah. I feel like personal stylists , I struggle with this cause I'm like personal stylist isn't like really encompass what I do. I feel like it's, it's like it's missing something. It's , there's a definitely like a major coaching level to what I do. Yeah. You're sort of, you're like this concierge kind of assuring them through a transition in their lives, aren't you? Yeah. You got , Carla calls me a confidence coach. But again, it's like there's like all these different parts to what I do, you know? Yeah, yeah. Oh, I totally get it. And some of the , some people might see the term stylist and think it's like a , an indulgence or it's, it's something that , um, you know, they can't, they don't to do, you know, what do you, what do you, how do you consider yourself to be a little bit different than what most personal stylists might be? Right. Well, again with that word because I do think it can be intimidating for people and like the, what I, what I try to bring to the table is that like everyone has style and that it's actually something that everyone can find their own version of. Um, and that, you know, working with someone like me, you know, I've tried to be as approachable as possible because the idea is not like, well, this is on trend and you need to work with me too . That, you know, you know, what's in style and what's, you know, in season all those things like to me it's like, okay, but like what's really going on in there and how can we make you feel your best even if you're bad . You know, I feel like I'll also, our best evolves and changes and it's like, it's good to know the reality of what's happening in our closets. You know? That's the real nitty gritty I think opposed to like, this is on trend this season. Yeah. Well how often should somebody, how often do you think it's natural for somebody to , to need to make some transitions there? I think it depends because I think as a mom, as a mom, I've two young kids and I work with a lot of new moms and I feel like we go through a lot of changes in a short period of time. So like you may go through like one in high school and like one in college and then like one when you're getting into the workforce and then like six when you're like kid, you know, pregnant, have a newborn feeling like myself again pregnant again. You know? And so like I feel like it just depends on this season of your life. Um, especially when it comes to like motherhood because our bodies changed too, which really, and a lifestyle. So it's , I think that's like a crazy, crazy time. Yeah. And do you think that like are you working primarily with moms? Um, it seems to be like a lot of my clients, but not everybody. Yeah. Cause that's a real transitionary time . Right. And I think that people resonate with that, you know? Yeah. And I think, you know, there's that Holy grail of like, I want to feel pretty and I want to feel, you know, like I used to feel before I had kids, but I also cannot deal with dressing in something that is not comfortable or that I'm going to be upset about getting spit up on or anything like that. Right. Well, and that's the other aspect I think of that season of life is like you're closing to be so functional. You don't want to invest in like a things in the same way you might in a different season of your life, but you still want to feel good, especially because your body has changed and your , you know, all these things that happened . So , um, you know, I think it's like really important at that. It's to make sure that you take time for yourself in that time in all different ways, but you know, Oh yeah, absolutely. Because it's a, it's so easy to lose yourself with so many things going on. Do you ever have no . Do you have people who are coming to you and saying, help me shop, tell me what looks good on me. Like I just don't know. Yes. And, and so I think that there's like a certain process for that too. And I really have to do also with trusting your own intuition. I think we know more than we think we do. Um, and so , but I also talk a lot about like, okay , like this is your body type and this is what's like traditionally flattering. Like, go ahead, try those things on and, and really just like learn by experience. Um, and just asking yourself certain questions. Cause I think sometimes we just like, I don't, I don't have any idea I can, like this is a silly example, but like for me in tech I might constantly like I don't know, tech, I don't know what I'm doing. And then usually when I like just sit and watch the tutorial, I'm like, Oh, I actually could do it. And I feel that my style too , like if you're insecure about it, you probably could just like what are like a few key things that you need so that you can actually own that you can do this. So what's, what's your thought on like a capsule wardrobe? This is a new thing. This is like pretty popular out there right now. Is that like a real thing? Yes, I really liked them, but I don't think it works for everybody. I think that essentially capsule wardrobe essentially, I think it's like 33 pieces around, right? That they kind of give you this like parameters. And to me I'm a little bit less like it has to be this many pieces. But if what's nice about it is it makes you think creatively about the things that you do have. So if you're saying, I have four sweaters that I'm gonna wear this season and these many pants, like I like having more, more options as long as I'm wearing everything, you know? But for some people they just like , again, like the utilitarian part of things. Like they like to feel really confident and they like to feel like their style is being represented, but they feel more freedom when they have less things. So that was kind of what I know and it makes, and it makes them feel more creative, have people who really love capsule wardrobes because they feel like instead of just being like, okay, I guess I'll just wear that same t-shirt again. To them it's like, Oh, I'll try that t-shirt with that sweater on top, you know? So it's like being creative.

Speaker 1:

So how did you, how did you decide that this was going to be your business? Right? You may have had the opportunity to go and work for somebody or in some other organization, but when did you kind of decide, look , this is going to be my thing?

Speaker 2:

You know, I feel like, well, once I started working with people in their closets, so I started, now that I live in st and then near San Francisco , um , I'm from New York and when I came out here, there's like a real entrepreneurial spirit. And I ended up becoming friends with a lot of entrepreneurs. And they were asking me to like, come into their closet and help them with a branding shoot. And like I really kind of found, I was like, Oh, this is sort of what it kind of mixed all the things that I love together. Um, and then I like love the online space. Like I love like creating, I can create courses all day. Like I love it. So I kind of, I don't know, just kind of started to , um, the more that I did it, the more I just felt like this is what I meant to do. I did , um , get my website going and found out I was pregnant in the same week. So I've, Oh, my journey, I was like the online space , uh, started when I was pregnant. So it kind of has always been this interesting having a business and being a new mom kind of coexisted for me.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, me too. Yeah, it's a , it's an interesting time for sure. Yeah . Um, and so what, so with this, you're working with your clients and you're , you're building this business and what's your big hope for your clients? Like, how would you, what are you trying to ensure that they kind of transition into?

Speaker 2:

I think for me, what I hope happens is that they, it becomes like second nature and that like style is, becomes a part of their life that like isn't stressful and can be this like joyful thing that they are, you know, that's a part of their life. And then like all the things that they can accomplish afterwards, before , because of that. And really then it becomes also like, Oh, you know, I had this client who just, who finished the course and she said, my mom noticed. And then my mom did cleaned out her closet and started wearing things differently. And then my husband was like, Oh, I should do my drawers like that. And so it's not even just the people that I'm helping, I feel like just people reference really representing themselves and showing up for themselves and like how it can affect everyone around you.

Speaker 1:

So styling has been an industry for a long time, right? Yeah , very traditionally with celebrities and in the movie industry. And what have you, and how, like, how has that industry changed in the time that you've been involved?

Speaker 2:

Well, I think that the, one of the main things is like access is different with the internet. You know, like, it's like, I think back in the day, like stylists were only really for people who have like certain amount of money who like, you know, we're going to premier or who, you know, it was more for like celebrities. I think that's why the word stylist, I feel so like untouchable, you know? Um, and so to me the biggest thing is now is like, we, you know, for me, I'm not trying to work with celebrities, I'm trying to work with everybody so you know, or everybody, you know, when I say everybody, I mean like everyday people, right. And I guess celebrities could technically be that too, but you know what I'm saying? And so I think that's the big shit is that really stylist, if anybody, it's not just this far off, unattainable thing.

Speaker 1:

Totally. And I, and I love that. And I think that that's, that's one of the promises of entrepreneurship in general, is that we're making so much accessible to people who couldn't have gotten access to it before. And so I love that that's kind of part of your journey and part of your mission. Yeah. So as you've been going, you know, your businesses continue to grow and, and what does that growth meant to you? Like it is, is growth just about , um, financial growth for you or, you know, what have you grown around?

Speaker 2:

I think I like to think less. I like to think more about impact, right? So like, and when I think about growth, like to me, when my book came out last year, like I felt like all of a sudden I could reach so many more people cause it was on Amazon and it could be reached in so many different places. And then with the course it was like, Oh, this person is taking it in Australia and this person is taking it, you know, in, I think we had someone from Japan, you know, it's like all over the place. And so it makes you realize, Oh, this is not just about like me and my, you know, even what I think is possible. It's really about the a bigger impact. And that to me feels like, I dunno, really awesome. I mean, growth to me comes in lots of different ways like personal growth and you know, but I think, you know, the having the book come out really, it was like a shifting point for me and it was a best seller wasn't it? Yeah, it was. And that was also really excited and felt like, Oh my gosh, this thing was resonating with people in a different way, you know, to have like a smaller, more tangible product.

Speaker 1:

Right. And , and like the big money question, I mean, the money shot for any of these business owners is like, what, what's worked for you in terms of growth?

Speaker 2:

You know, what I'm starting to realize is , uh, the more accessible I am, the more that, you know, like right now, doing this free challenge and like doing these free trainings , uh, has really made people sort of like jump in and check it out. And see it. And the more that I'm available and those ways then kind of makes it like people like ready to sort of take the next step.

Speaker 1:

Right. So they get to experience you and they get to, you know , hit you with their problems. And so it's like, it's that kind of organic growth.

Speaker 2:

Right, exactly. And we're a lot of word of mouth,

Speaker 1:

a lot of word of mouth. Right. And how are you making sure that, that

Speaker 2:

what happened? Well, so for example, in this challenge, like there's prizes if you post on social and like just kind of like inviting people. I also am like very active in my DMS. I'm like chatting with people a lot just to make connections and to like genuine. I'm genuine about it, but I'm also like, okay, you know, can you talk to this, you know, shout me out here or do this thing there and then you know, more people will find out about it. So that's been interesting. And the word of mouth actually I think starts with you asking, but then it becomes just sharing like at this point in the challenge, I'm not asking, it's just kind of like part of what they do, you know? Right. And if they have that really impactful experience, they're going to be more likely to share and to continue to tell the stories about what they experienced when they were in the challenge. Right, exactly. So that's my goal. Like once we're in the challenge is just to just be like really in it and present and you know, this is the fourth time we've done it and this challenge and so also it's like the same people have been coming back and then bringing more people with them. Oh awesome. Yeah. That's what you want to have happen for sure. Right, totally. They were like, okay, this time. I think also the new year has been a really interesting time because it's like everyone's kind of in that mindset of like wanting to work on different things, you know, like any other closet or loving their style more. Yeah. Yeah. It's definitely a period of transition. And then renewal or , sure. Yeah, for sure. What's not worked for you? I think it's very easy to get like sucked in on social media to like doing things that you think are , um, helping you. But really it's such a time suck. Like being really strategic about my time has helped me a lot because when I'm not strategic about my time, it's like so easy to be like, what happened with my day? Like technically I did things, but did I really do things, you know? So to do that was to do list. I'm like nowhere. Yeah. So you're pretty big on planning and yeah . And structuring your days and that sort of thing. Right? So when are you building, when are you building in time to work with your clients? Because you get two little kids and this is the ongoing challenge for, you know, parents who are building businesses, right? So things really changed a lot now that my son's in school for five days, he's in preschool. So that has been like a huge game changer. And I'm like very, you know, my work time is from this time and this time. Um, and so I, I've tried really hard to just like stick to those different times. Like, okay , I'll be able to do my live Wednesdays at this time and if you can't come because people are all over the world, I'm just like, okay, well you can watch the replay, things like that. So just kind of making my schedule and my time what it needs to be and then letting everybody else, you know, sort of like watch the replay or I'll send it to you later and like this doing what works for me and not trying to be like, well I'll talk to you at, you know, nine 30 or 10:00 PM, you know, like just being like, this is my time, you know,

Speaker 1:

this is why I don't mind works. I love that. I mean, a lot of what I stand for is that I want people to start with them. Right? Yeah. Build your business, start with you and be clear about what you need this business to be for you before it's for anybody else is that if we're not doing that, we are building businesses that we're just not going to show up for

Speaker 2:

and then it's not sustainable. And like I had to work on that a lot because I am like, I'm a new Yorker, I'm a hustler. I will stay up late, I will go to, you know, I like do all the things and then I burn out. So I have , I've been actively the past few years being like, what are my hours? When do I turn off? You know? And then I was great at it. I'm trying.

Speaker 1:

Yeah. I mean, we're not saving lives. Right. And, and if we're working smarter than we can, we can make a lot more progress in our business without having to burn the midnight oil. But I think there's also something in there about setting expectations for yourself too. And in terms of what, what you are expecting from your self to be able to do.

Speaker 2:

Yes, for sure.

Speaker 1:

Yeah. All right . Yeah . Like the most pivotal moment in your business. What was like the super game changer for you? So I,

Speaker 2:

I think for me back when , well I have two , but one I would say what I, my son was maybe like six months old a year. It was mother's day. And my husband was like, go and spend the day by herself . And I was like, and I have like a full breakdown. I was like, I don't know who I am anymore. I don't know , dah , dah , dah . And I realized I had to go through my own process on a deep level to find out like, who am I, what do I, you know, you know, what clothes represent me, like kind of do my own version of a confident closet to myself. And um, having that deep understanding of what my clients are going to be going through totally changed things for me. And then the other , you know, and , and that's when the course really took a whole new form. And that's in the book really. Like I had , I had so much experience in my own life that I felt I could relate. It changed my marketing. It changed like everything just having to really, and also it was like very much like an outlet for me to , I'm having two young kids. It was like, okay , well this is now that I know how to do this, I need to tell as many people as possible about it, but that was a very pivotal point. And then the other one was the book , um, because I think when you set out to do something, and I, it was January of two years ago, I said, I'm going to have a book. It's going to be an Amazon, it's going to be a best seller and I didn't know how to do any of it yet. Right. I was just like, this is the plan. And then having to figure out how to do it and then achieving the goal has changed me a lot in terms of how I approach any other situation. I don't assume that I have to know everything about a goal before I said it and , and then try the trust that I can make it happen, I think is like a huge game changer when it comes to business. Oh, absolutely. I mean, it's one of the biggest things that I wish I could somehow magically help everyone of my clients do. And that's to trust themselves because right. That's, that's what holds them back right. From moving forward and doing the things that they need to do is that they just don't trust themselves. And so they'll, they'll do nothing. Right. They will , they'll take no action as opposed to just trying. And I say , so I think like writing a book is not, it's not nothing, right. It's a, it's , it's a pretty significant undertaking. How long did it take you to get it done? Well, the writing was not actually, I mean, so it took me from like, decided this was going to be the priority to getting it done, to getting it edited, to getting it on Amazon and all of that. And ended up coming out end of August, beginning of September. Um, so it took me from January to September, but it was one of those things too where it's like, the book was done I think maybe , um , April or March, I think in April. And then it was like, okay, but now we've got to find the right quality. Now you've got to figure out, okay, what do we, what are the actual steps? Who's going to print it? You know, we had to like figure out a bunch of that stuff. And then there was like, so there's all those things that you don't really know and then it's like, okay, Amazon says this. Then within, they actually mean that and it just takes a while to like actually get it out into the world. Um, which was such a lesson lesson in patience , cause you're like, it's here, it's done. And then you're like, but it's not, I gotta do all the backend things to actually get it to you. So what has having a book done for you? Well, I will tell you, it makes it very easy to approach, like to pitch myself. It's like, really well one because I think it does give you that sort of like leg to stand on . I'm like, I have this bestselling book. Look , people I think are more apt to listen to you. Um, and then on the other hand of things also , um , it's this tangible thing. Like I went into J crew and was like, Hey, I'd love to do an event with you. And they're like, sure it comes out of your book, you know, in the store and have an event. And I don't think I would have maybe gone up and been like, I think if I was just like, Hey, I'm a stylist, that would've been like all of us too, you know? So, so I think that , um, it's been, so that tangibly has really helped in that way. And then also , um, it , I think for a lot of podcasts and a lot of things like that, it's also really been helpful. And so do you recommend it for everybody? Everybody needs a book. I don't think it's , this is my path. I think that if you have something that you really feel like clearly would be good in that form, you know, I think it's like a great way to sort of like get your foot in the door in a lot of ways, you know? But I think it does take a lot of time and it's an undertaking and it's like a , you know, smaller price product . It has to be like the right move for you, you know? Yeah. And you've got this course as well, right? So how are you selling the course? Is that mostly online sales or have you been doing any sort of promotion elsewhere? It's online sales. Yeah. And so , um, and what's been the fun, you were talking about like, you know, to kind of taking imperfect action before and like I feel like what's been really fun is kind of just trying different launches and trying different things and seeing what resonates with people. Um, so, but yeah, all online, different, you know, marketing ideas. But I think you built that course because you wanted to have the flexibility in your time and, and your schedule as well. Right? Cause you , exactly how many one-on-one clients would you work with at a time? Like a pretty exclusive, are they expensive ? And at this point I like because I'm trying with my time, I'm like very strategic about my time. Like I am like usually working with people in the course. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Okay. Well that's great. I mean I bought the book. Yes . And I love it and I would recommend that you go and buy it if you're listening to this right now because it's, it's, it is, it's a such an interesting concept, right? That the way that we present ourselves has a really huge impact on the way that we can actually achieve our goals. And I know that sounds like a , like a stretch, but it's actually not, you know, when I feel good about how I look or what I've , you know, what I'm wearing or that it fits me or that it's complementary and I have a little bit more spring in my stuff and I feel like I can go out there and I can negotiate or I can be, you know, really strong in what I'm doing. And like it's not nothing. No, for sure. And especially as an entrepreneur, I mean everybody, but like as an entrepreneur, like you're also like go doing all these different things. You have branding. It's like knowing who you are in your style and how you want to be represented is like a huge part of it I think. And that kind of stuff like style chameleons out there like these, these folks who kind of want to be everything. Um , do I know I need it? Is that what you're saying? Yeah. It's not exactly like, is that a thing? Yeah, I think that sometimes when you don't really know your style, you kind of like try on out on people , you know, you're like, Oh, or you're like, or you don't make any major decisions, then you kind of stay in there . Like I say for lane, right? Like a little black dress, you know, that kind of thing. Well everyone has their own version of it, but you know what I'm saying? Like just playing a little bit safer because you don't, you haven't really thought about what your style is, what's like, what it's like the first thing that you recommend people do when they're in that place where they're just like, I'm overwhelmed by all of this. Well, the first thing is I always say like, you have to chunk it down. Like you can't just go onto your closet and like take everything out and like just be like, I'm doing this all this very moment. Like first of all, if you'd like to take a second, it'd be like, okay, I'm going to start. I find better to start with a smaller section and see the results of the smaller section before you do your whole closet. Um, and then the other thing is I always say the first thing I ask people when they work with me is , um, what is your favorite outfit and how do you feel in it and why is it your favorite? Because if you have something that you can say like, Oh, well this isn't my favorite outfit because I feel very like luxurious in it. And that makes me feel this way. And you can say, okay, well how can we get more of your clothes to feel like that? And if you're in your closet and this doesn't feel like that and you don't like it, you know, you feel like you should wear it but you're not. Maybe it's because you don't, it doesn't feel like that piece. It's easier to say goodbye to it.

Speaker 1:

Right. Okay. So then you've got some frame of reference in something somewhere to start from. Exactly. Okay, cool. Um , I have a question that I ask everybody and I know you're going to have such a good response to it. I know you and I've been in the online business world for quite some time. And so what is the, what's the biggest gap between kind of what's real and what we're seeing out there in the online business world?

Speaker 2:

I think that there, it no longer feels real. Like a lot of people are trying to like be like, I'm an expert in this, I'm an expert in this. Like follow me here or do this there. And, and I think that the , honestly like the way that the Instagram algorithm is like and all of these different things, people feel very much like they have to present themselves and their businesses as this like perfect things and it's not relatable and it's kind of all becomes noise. And so I think like I think being as real and authentic as possible is the only way to cut through all that noise because it's so different than when I first started. And like online courses, like it was not like as big of a popular thing. People are really reading their emails. I feel like now it's like a whole different world and people you really, even your email subject has to be so catchy that people decide to open their email and it becomes like a whole different, a whole different world now than it used to be.

Speaker 1:

And what do you think is going to like, where do you think we're going there?

Speaker 2:

Well I think, you know things like Instagram stories and like more like a video. I think everything's becoming more video. My book also is like super visual and you can write right in it because I think that things are just becoming like , people don't even want to read long blog posts. Like everyone wants like the, the V, the visually eye-catching, you know, tangible, quick, tangible things that they can do immediately that are like easy wins. That's where I think everything's going .

Speaker 1:

Your stories are awesome. So you've got a little strategy around your stories, right? And how you present them. And so what do you, what are you thinking about when you're creating some of those, some of those stories in like the marketing that you do?

Speaker 2:

Well, I think , uh, I make sure that before I come on, like I usually, no, the point that I'm saying Ben , I think so often people just like get on and talk and then they're like, and if you don't tell people in the beginning what you're going to tell them about, then they lose interest. So I'm always like, this is what I have to say for you. Like this is why. And then I mix it in with like, I want to make sure that there's a mixture of like me giving you like valuable, helpful information and also just like personal tidbits about me. And I think the mixture makes people feel like they like know and trust factor really high.

Speaker 1:

Right. Because they want to know you, right. And if they're going to buy anything from you, they want to know who you are and they want to get to know what, like there's, if you fly a flag and someone's going to hang on to it and if you're not, if you're not doing any of that, it's really hard for people to align themselves with you. Right.

Speaker 2:

For sure. And I also think for me, I made a decision on where I would go that I was going to show up no matter what. Cause I used to be like, well I'm a stylist, I have to look a certain way in order to show up on , on Instagram stories. And then it was like, that's actually really not true. Like I, you know, sometimes I work out, sometimes I've had a crazy morning and I think showing that like that's much more relatable. You know, I'm being able to like show up in that way too has made it for me like taking the pressure off.

Speaker 1:

Yeah. But you know what? You always look great and that's just like commentary on the things that we decide to judge ourselves on. Like I'm writing it down jacket right now in this podcast interview because I'm freaking cold. That's just, that's just what's going to happen. Right. Once you get , once you get past like the idea that you need to craft everything for sure. And I have had to work on that cause I'm a little bit of a recovering perfectionist is what I call myself. Yeah. I think a lot of us are. So thinking about back to when you first started up this business, what was the one thing you kind of wish that you knew before you got started? Like what would, what would you like all of our listeners to know that's going to help them with their business?

Speaker 2:

I think that I wish that I knew how to trust myself more earlier on because I think in the beginning you, everything's new. And like for example, when I use , when I first started blogging that felt hard and now blogging is like second nature to me. Right? And so like when I first got, you know, was working on my website, I, it was like, Oh my gosh, like I don't know what I'm doing. And now it's like I know how to go in and , and fix and tweak things. Or if I don't, I know where to get the support. Just trusting that if you don't that the thing that's new or big and scary, like won't always be big, new and scary and just trust it.

Speaker 1:

And you're also somebody who spend , who integrates well into kind of online communities. Right. How much has community been a part of your growth?

Speaker 2:

I w I think it's huge because we all work from home by ourselves and I'm like an extrovert and I need, I need to know other people who are going through it. I need the accountability. I need to feel like I'm not just like, I don't know , just doing it all on myself. And the second that you kind of reach out in those communities and you feel like, you know, you're not the only person going through it, it really helps, again relieve the pressure of whatever it is you've decided is such a big deal, you know? So dos , do you actually go and seek out communities or do they, is it, is it more of an organic thing? Like you just kind of end up aligning yourselves with people? I think it's maybe a little bit of both. Like I, I'm just like a really friendly person by nature. So I feel like all of a sudden I'm like, yeah, we should have a mastermind call. You know, it kind of like happens organically like that. Um, but then I also, you know, join certain groups in certain communities just to make sure that I'm, you know, aligning my self with people that are in the same business as me. I don't have that many people in person that I see very often that are also, you know, so it's mostly the online communities and I think it's really important to like immerse myself in that Mmm . World. Yeah. Why do you think that works? I mean, it's like it's got something to do with being known, right? Yeah. Well being known, but also for me it's like, what's that saying? Like where it's like you sort of surround yourself with like, you know, the five people you spend the most time with. Right. Um, and to me, I want to make sure that I'm like pushing myself past certain boundaries and then I'm like working smarter and then I'm, you know, and I just feel like if I am only interacting with people that have totally different visits , this is the may , that's fine, but, or maybe they are a stay at home mom or maybe they, you know, are a teacher. Like when they're , I have a lot of friends in all different industries and then I just feel like having a community of online entrepreneurs, yes. Makes me feel seen, but also makes me feel like I'm like, okay, like I can take it to the next level because I'm inspired or I learned something from somebody else. Awesome. Yeah, I totally agree with you. I think that those, that membership in communities is a huge part of our marketing is online entrepreneurs. Yeah, for sure. Okay. So what's next for you? Where are you going in 2020? So 2020. It's going to be a lot of a confident closet course just growing my own community and put it in and I'm hosting, you know, seasonally the course. And then I'm also working on a membership. So that would be the new thing that's coming out in 2020. Oh. How fun. Can you tell us anymore about that? Honestly, I don't even know that much more. I just can feel that that's the, that's the next thing and that's the direction because , um, I've , uh , my online community right now is like so engaged and so present and I can just feel like what they are craving is community , um, in this way. And so I know it's coming, but I literally don't have any more information to give you. You heard it your first

Speaker 1:

very exciting. I love it. I can't wait to see what you create. I think it , I think that there's, you know, given the, the emotional nature of [inaudible]

Speaker 2:

the work that you do, I think it lends itself really nicely to community and, and to , you know, building some, some more comradery so we can share and, and commiserate for sure and get inspired by each other and for sure all us . Right? Yeah. And so what kind of support do you need in order to get there? No , I know, I think , um, I that's acquisite I'm always like, what do I need? I like don't know. Well , I'll ask this question because it's an opportunity for you to ask for what's right. Exactly. I think for me it's about holding myself accountable, right? Like this is a brand new thing that I'm just like realizing that I definitely want to have. And it's like, not like a , maybe I should do it. Like I know I want to do it. So the accountability of being, like you said you were going to do this, you know, your community wants this. Like that kind of thing. I think this will be helpful.

Speaker 1:

Right. And if you have people asking after it, I think that that's right . That's a pretty good indication that there's some interest. Right , right . Sure . For sure. Okay. Awesome. Okay, so we are coming up on the time for our chat. Can you, so it's been great talking to you and I think we could probably talk for hours, but you tell the listeners how they can find you.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I, my website is the confident closet.com and that's the name of my book as well. If you go on to Amazon and then if I'm on Instagram at Melanie Kluver and yeah, and then if you go to Instagram and you go to my bio, you can click on all the things and find out all that. Anyway , we'll put all the links in the show notes too so that people can

Speaker 1:

find you for sure. Have a good week as well . Lots of things to link over to. Um , and then you mentioned you had a free offer to share with our listeners.

Speaker 2:

Can you tell us more about that? Sure. So , um, I actually have two things. Um, one is more instant, which is Saturday I'm holding a free training , um, which is , uh , how to get really clear on your style. And so that's a live version of this training. And then , um , the free gift is I have also have a , um, it's called the style clarity series and it's like a video training series on the same thing. So if you want to do it live, you can do it with me this Saturday, which is the first time I've ever done it live. And then , um, otherwise you can sign up on my site and , and I'll give you the links for that too. And then you can download it. And it's three workbooks and three videos all on how to have clear personal style and clothes that an outfit that you left. Oh, that's awesome. I'm going to go download that. [inaudible] I need some help. Okay, Melanie, that's awesome. Thank you so much for that gift. Uh , we'll put all the links in the show notes and you guys go take advantage of Melanie's offers . She knows what she's talking about, she knows you guys as well. And uh , and that's a wrap for this episode. Such an amazing conversation and make sure you go and check out Melanie and incredible offer.

Speaker 1:

And thank you so much for tuning in today to hear this story. The episodes you're listening to are all featuring members of my free private Facebook group called the real deal business coaching group where we have daily prompts to keep you focused on building your business and sharing your everyday challenges, biweekly virtual coffee chats, open coaching and member support from this incredible community. And we are now doing pop up coaching days. So we'll keep an eye out for those if you'd like to join our community or if you would like to be featured on this show, I'd love for you to come and hang out with us in the group links in the show notes or search us up, real deal, business coaching and Facebook to find us. And finally, I would love for you to join us for our next episode where we're going to talk to Sam Pollack , who is one of my favorite people. She is a writer that creates inspired email sequences for feminist business owners who want their marketing efforts to align with their beliefs and their values without sacrificing profitability. Super awesome stuff. So thank you again for being here. If you've enjoyed today's content, I would love for you to give us a review on whatever platform you're on. And this just helps us share these stories with an even bigger audience. So until next time, keep building, keep dreaming, and keep being real.