Finding Your Personal Style (Part I)
Have you wondered why well-dressed people always seem to have well-designed homes as well? It is not an accident.
I come across this very often, where the homeowners have nice things. They are well traveled, cultured and collect stuff. But the way they display their beloved collections can come across as clutter. This way of living is totally fine if they are okay with it.
If not, the best solution to fix this problem is learning how to refine & edit themselves and be very clear about their personal brand. This personal brand comes through in every single way: their personal style, the way they live and how they address the world.
I had said this in the blogs and on the podcasts as well: a very big part of styling is editing.
Anyone can lump many things together, but to display, to create and to build an environment takes editing, playing, and refining. You then repeat this process over and over again until you produce a satisfying result.
I once attended a business lecture given by Chip Conley, the founder of Joie de Vivre Hotels (JDV Hotels). Joie de Vivre Hotels is an eclectic, design-driven collection of boutique hotels with signature restaurants and day spas (source). When he talked about the branding and conception of his hotel, he said something that genuinely struck me: he created each hotel’s persona by centering around the potential visitors’ favorite magazine.
This is a very clever business trick. Like I talked about in the #30DayHomeStaging Challenge, before you can sell the house, you need to determine who the potential buyers are. Corporations have been doing this for years. The magazine industry is especially so. A successful magazine needs to have a very strong visual identity to attract the right readers. They hone into their specific niche to deliver the right content for their targeted demographics. For example, Southern Homes vs. Dwell. Once the readership is up, ad revenues are up, therefore, more profits for the publication. Magazines invest a great deal in creating the right types of images for their target demographics.
Just like a hotel, magazine, or whatever, people have their personal brands too. Branding is not just for products. Think of celebrities like Lady Gaga or Katy Perry. They are both pop stars but have very distinctly different brand. It is the same with you.
You have a brand. You have a reputation, the way people feel when they think of you, or how people talk about you, that’s your brand. Your personality and brand come through in everything you do. When we meet people who are powerful, they have a very strong personal brand that emits energy and attraction, making people feel drawn to them.
There are not that many differences between styling to live and staging to sell. The way we live should reflect our brands. Similarly, the way we sell the home should reflect the potential buyers’ brand.
Here are three of JDV’s hotels in San Francisco. As you can see, one city, three distinctive styling & design. Three types of different audiences.