Chatter

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When I first met Katherine Lazaruk of ICU Image Consulting, I could see how she was the perfect fit to teach Plum’s new training program. Upon my first impression, she identified my natural colouring and the types of garments I should go for based on my body analysis but then she tailored these to my personality.  I definitely prefer bold patterns over subdued pastels and she didn’t pressure me to change. Instead, she identified ways to make my creative wardrobe work for me even better.  Her approach was totally in line with how we at Plum help customers uncover their own individual style.  Here is a little about Katherine’s background:

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Katherine holds certificates in Image Consulting and Advanced Image Consulting from the International Image Institute (Toronto, Ontario) as well as her international FLC (First Level Certification) designation from the Association of Image Consultants International (AICI). Katherine’s image consulting services result in clients that experience increased knowledge about clothing that works, more fun in shopping and renewed confidence in their overall image. She is well aware of the fact that fashion magazines don’t reflect the reality of people who come in all shapes and sizes and likes to help people find out what works for them. Katherine supports her clients through each stage of change and loves to help her clients shine.

To read more about Katherine and her work at ICU Image Consulting, please visit her website at this link!

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PS: Did you miss out on the last three posts for this training program? Catch up at the links below:

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lindsay's picture

Ed des Roches on Plum's New Program

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This week I sat down with Ed des Roches (who owns Plum with his wife Kate O'Brien) to ask him a few questions about our new training program. Here's what he had to say:

Why did you see a need for this training program?

ED: The competition in fashion today seems to be led by getting more clothes for cheaper. I have read books and articles about how this ‘fast fashion’ trend is a race to the bottom. It is hard on our environment and unsustainable, so I thought if customers knew how to dress properly, with knowledge and with intent, they could buy fewer clothes but wear better quality garments. They could spend less money and be gentler on our environment if they knew how. That is when I thought Plum could play a role in teaching our customers how to dress with intent. It starts by training my staff in the fundamentals of dressing.

 

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How do you think this will impact the customer experience in Plum stores?

ED: Plum has always been a retailer focused on individual customers. We want all customers to leave the store feeling sensational about how they look. It is part of our DNA and our culture. The training that we are giving our employees will give them insights and skills to be able to help individual customers even more than they do. It is a natural investment for me--to invest in our corporate knowledge.

Why was Katherine Lazaruk of ICU Image Consulting the right fit Plum’s program?

ED: It is one thing to have a dream and quite another to make the dream a reality and I needed help. I do not know of any other fashion retailer that has taken an interest in training staff with a program of how to actually dress customers properly so I needed someone that could help me create a program. When I got in touch with Katherine, we talked for a long time about the plan and I was very pleased with her depth of knowledge and how enthusiastic she was about helping Plum. In the end, there was one dream that we both had--we wanted to change the way all women thought about fashion, how to dress and how to purchase their clothing! It is a big idea, no doubt, but one we both believe in.

If you haven't heard about Plum's new training program, read about it here. Have any thoughts? Let us know!

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lindsay's picture

A Program Tailored for Plum

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Remember when I said we took notes? Well, we did a little more than that. We developed a unique training program tailored to Plum with the help of Katherine Lazaruk of ICU Image Consulting. The program focuses on 3 aspects of styling: Colour, Body Analysis, and Personality, and we have already done the first two training modules.

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In today’s fast and cheap fashion world, there is a plethora of styles, patterns, cuts, fits and trends. Advanced knowledge about fashion is falling to the wayside, and as a fashion lover, I know I am sick of the confusion of too many options, unsatisfactory impulse purchases and a bulging closet of sub-standard clothing, and we hope to change that.

By implementing better training in styling, we strive to know the answers as to why something works or doesn’t work on your body, and be able to tell you so or point out what would make the difference. We at Plum are aiming to put the right clothes on the right people, and let’s have some fun while we are at it!

Stay tuned for more details on this exciting development!   

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lindsay's picture

Plum's Taking Notes

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We did 3 surveys this past spring on all facets of shopping, styling and how you select the clothes you wear, and we learned so much about you! Thank you to those who filled out the survey; you were generous with your ideas and we’ve taken notes!

We liked how many of you thought a sales associate should act as your personal shopper: knowledgeable about products and skilled to wardrobe you if you request. They should be ready with options for how to wear garments and accessories that work with the look should you ask for help, but you don’t want them to hover over you while you browse. 

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Many of you also claimed you wanted honest, insightful opinions about what works for you when asked and you appreciate genuine interactions with us, not some silly sales pitches or phony smiles that you can totally see through.

When I said we’ve been taking notes, I wasn’t kidding. We have some exciting new developments at Plum as we continue to strive to put the right clothing on the right women, so stay tuned for upcoming posts!

We've got one last short survey for you and you could win a $150 gift certificate! Click here to enter.

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lindsay's picture

Travel in Style

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When you work in fashion for long enough, there are certain style questions that you realize women are asking year after year. Summer holidays in particular seem to prompt head scratching and closet digging until the would-be vacationer realizes she hasn't a clue what to wear on her trip! In the interest of alleviating this wildly unnecessary pre-vacation stress, today I'll be tackling two of the most common questions we hear at Plum.

 

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Outfit details: Poncho sweater, $79 $39, Jacquard pants, $69 $55

This is a tricky one, particularly if you're traveling on a chilly Vancouver "June" morning to a tropical paradise. So choose light layers that can be peeled off as necessary. I also always choose pants to wear on airplanes because they tend to be airconditioned into oblivion. You can always stash a light skirt or shorts in your carry on for your destination! A tote bag makes the best carry on - it's stylish like a purse and roomy like a backpack.

 

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Outfit details: Sleeveless mesh top (also available in seafoam, acid yellow, coral, and black), $59, Jacquard pants, $69 $55

We hear this one a lot from women who want to stay stylish and cool, but prefer to keep their shoulders or arms covered. I recommend an all-white ensemble, which is very on trend for this season (see?). Cropped pants and a breezy, open weave top fit the bill perfectly, keeping you protected from the sun and guaranteeing you some style envy from your fellow travelers. 

 

So, that just leaves me with one question of my own - what are you bringing me back from this fabulous vacation?

 

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Rebekah's picture

Saying Goodbye

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This time on the blog, I have the unhappy job of saying goodbye to Plum and to the fabulous readers of No Guru. I've been lucky enough to work for this company for two years now, as a sales associate in the stores and as a blogger/social media-type here at the head office (not my exact job title). Along the way I've cultivated relationships with customers both online and offline, and that has easily been the most rewarding part of my job.

It's difficult to say goodbye to something I loved doing, but I'm also looking forward to what comes next. I'm currently completing my master's degree in Library and Information Studies and have accepted a new job in my field. It's not quite fashion blogging, but it'll do ;)

Thank you for reading, thank you for commenting, and I hope you've had as much fun as I have!

 

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