While this is always about what matters on the inside (personality), for many, their outward appearance plays a key role in their self-confidence and self-esteem. Looking a certain way, feeling a certain way, and dressing a certain way can sometimes make or break a person’s day and the way they go about it. Impact leader and award-winning author Ellie Shefi, who is the very definition of tenacious and overcame a lifetime of adversity, spoke one-on-one about her plans here in New York City, and how fashion can play a role in leadership and improvement. of our lives to help get things done!
Let’s get started. You are a leader in everything you do. A model for thousands of people! How should a leader dress and why is this important?
A leader sets an example. Regardless of the industry, a leader must dress a level for that specific environment. This is not to show status, but rather to demonstrate relevance, situational awareness, respect and effectiveness. Customers, peers and subordinates feel this trust and responsibility and are inspired to believe in this leader.
How would you describe your own “look & style” today?
I prefer clean lines, so I would describe my style as classic, elegant, and tailored.
What is your go-to outfit during a normal working day?
Midi sheath dresses and pantsuits are my go-to outfits. I often wear a pair of dangling earrings, but I keep my accessories to a minimum. I tend to wear outfits in jeweled colors – they are strong, but warm, feminine and pleasant. Not only do I appreciate the tailored styles of these outfits, but they accentuate my body shape and I feel comfortable and confident. I wear my clothes; they don’t carry me.
Do you believe that clothing / fashion builds self-confidence and self-esteem?
Absolutely! It’s pretty easy for most of us to think of a time when we wore something that looked awful and then felt bad about ourselves and noticed all of our perceived “flaws”. It certainly shows the power of clothes. So it makes sense that conversely, clothing / fashion can also boost self-confidence and self-esteem. Hopefully most of us have had the experience of donning an outfit that not only looked amazing but felt authentic – this is how fashion can help us feel we can take over the world. !
At one point in your life, you lived out of your car while starting your own management training business. How did fashion play a role in your life during this time?
I recognized the importance of dressing for the life I wanted, not the life I had. Despite my unusual circumstances, I was still a business leader, and I had to project efficiency and confidence. And, believe it or not, it is possible to do it with very little income! How? ‘Or’ What? I bought some clothes from the clearance section of Goodwill. Of course, there weren’t a lot of woolen or silk clothes, but there were a lot of options that allowed me to dress in a way that would take me seriously.
Do you have any updates you can share with us on your plans to open a center for young entrepreneurs in Harlem?
Absolutely! The Made 2 Change the World ™ Foundation is currently seeking grants that will facilitate the hiring of staff, the licensing of resources and the development of programs for youth centers. We are also expanding our network of sponsors, partners and strategic alliances, which allows us to progress effectively.
What tips can you share for those who want to tell their stories and make an impact like you?
First of all, be clear about your story. What is your objective ? Know how much you want to argue; what knowledge, skills or resources you want to share; what transformation you want to evoke. Then reverse engineer the journey and create a clear path to guide them to the desired outcome.
Then, while it may seem too simple, just start! Someone in the world is waiting for you to share your message, your lesson, your knowledge and your experience as only you can. Your message matters! Creating your story will transform you, but sharing your story will transform other.
Finally, whether you share your story on a podcast, on stage at an event, in a compilation of books like Sisters Rising: Stories of Remarkable Women Living Extraordinary Lives, or in your own book, be real, be raw, be vulnerable, and most importantly, be genuine.
What are you most excited about for the rest of 2021?
At the beginning of September, not one, but two of my next books will be published! And throughout the fall and winter, my publishing house will be publishing many books from our amazing publisher clients. I can’t wait to see their impact on the world. But I am very excited about my next You Are Not Your Scars ™ workshops! Helping women shed external labels and expectations, find their voice, stand up for their power, and become the architect of their lives and legacies is one of my highest honors. It is a huge privilege to have an impact on the lives of the women who participate in the workshops, and I look forward to traveling with them.