Michelle is surprisingly relatable and fabulously stylish at the same time. With her friendly, warm, and engaging approach to fashion and her mission to bring joy through a carefully cultivated design philosophy, the founder of TEN has rooted her successful career in Image Consulting as a solo act.
I think that I had been playing with the idea of being an image consultant long before I even knew what it meant – ever since I was a child, I gravitated toward the colours and shapes of clothes. My mom tells me that I went through multiple outfit changes every day just to see what I liked.
I got my first job at a retailer at 16 and learned a lot of the ‘trade secrets’ by listening to the customers as well as the business side of things. Later, I studied fashion management and won a scholarship during my first year. I was then hired at Hudson’s Bay as a fit technician. Through meticulous training, I learned what the perfect fit looks like. I can tell without measuring what being off by a quarter inch looks like. Anyway, throughout my multiple life experiences and physical, emotional, and financial struggles, one thing remained constant; I apparently managed to make it look good. After a conversation with a woman at the park, I discovered what Image Consulting was!
This had me enrolling in George Brown and becoming a certified Image Consultant with AICI. I launched Looks Image Consulting 20 years ago and have been enjoying the journey ever since.
Something changed in December 2021, when, after suffering a major financial fraud and reassessing why I am doing this, I started voicing my vision more. The epiphany for TEN came when I woke up the day after speaking to Bonnie (my close friend and client) about her experience working with me. She had said that it felt like something awesome from inside her was brought on the outside and it made her feel like a nine or a ten on a daily basis.
I decided to rebrand my business “TEN Unlimited” as this is EXACTLY what I strive to achieve through all my years in the fashion industry.
It can be all sorts of energetic, Zumba-related fun or long walks with my partner and our dog in the morning. Afternoons and evenings usually lead toward various aspects of Image Consulting – from navigating Zoom/in-person meetings and wardrobe shopping with and without my clients to expanding my network with Toronto retailers. Weekends usually turn our empty-nesters’ Toronto home into a festive, family game-night venue with lots of fun, food, and laughter as our kids visit us from their universities. We love hosting our friends and try not to let anyone open our closets overflowing with my clothes.
Hopefully, to keep living my dream of seeing the awesome people I work with love the way they see themselves. I would just like to let everyone I meet know that while it seems intimidating or expensive to look and feel good, it really doesn’t have to be.
Just imagine the kind of life you would have if you felt like a ten on any given day! Think about the last time you felt this way and the risks you took or the ideas you went for and how being able to recreate that on command would change your life.