Toi Sweeney: Dress for Success, Create a Brand Right Closet, and Harness the Power of Color

Toi Sweeney Headshot

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In this episode, Toi, the founder and chief style officer of The Well Dressed Brand and an award-winning fashion stylist, shares how we can dress our way to influence and success, up level our personal brand and add visual dimensions to it that makes it uniquely ‘OURS’ and speaks to who we are and what we can do for our clients.

We also discuss how to use style and colours to amplify our personality and use pieces of our personality to create a ‘brand right closet’.

This conversation is meant for those in the throes of building a personal brand and/or a business identity. You will love how Toi simplifies the very complicated process of picking the right colours to customising the messaging to match your brand and so much more.

Dress for confidence pin

About the guest-

Toi Sweeney is the founder and chief style officer of The Well Dressed Brand, an award-winning fashion stylist, brand image strategist, TEDX speaker, entrepreneur, host of The Well Dressed Brand TV Show, certified Fascination Advantage™ coach, best-selling author of Secrets of a Well Dressed Brand and a certified Brand Strategist.

From founding her own design firm, Her Majesty the Queen, to managing the image of almost 30 TV personalities at the leading home shopping network, Toi uses her background to tell original stories through fashion. Toi’s passion and talent have earned her a variety of honors and accomplishments. Presented with a prestigious Telly Award, as well as The Icon Of The Year Award . Toi has been featured on over 30 podcast and across several publications.

Shownotes -

00:03:00 – What brought Toi to the work of dressing people and brands

00:05:50 – The fascination advantage and your unique differentiator

00:11:30 –  Personality vs authenticity vs brand messaging – what to prioritise

00:15:00 – Why Mark Zuckerberg and others like him dress the way they do

00:17:15 – No decision fatigue with a brand right closet

00:23:20 – Confidence as a byproduct of a well-expressed self

00:32:00 – How clothes can express and add to your personality

00:42:15 – What you DO is commodity but what you ARE changes the game

00:47:30 – Be unique. Don’t let the world ignore you

00:51:40 – How to pick the colours that capture you and your message

00:56:30 – How minimalists can capture attention?

01:00:20 – What comes first, comfort, clothes, body language, or facial expressions?

01:08:32 – What would Toi ban from personal style and branding & what’s absolutely essential & must be included

Resources + Guest Info

[00:00:00] Krati: let me just start by saying thank you so much Toy for being here.

[00:00:02] Toi: Thank you so much for having me. I’m so excited about this conversation.

[00:00:09] Krati: Me too. Cuz this is a very unique conversation and I’m gonna love it because this is not my area of, like, this is an area where I believe I’m not very good. So I’m gonna love it. Okay. So I would love to start, uh, with getting some idea of what brought you to this world. You dress people and you dress brands and it’s, it’s a very, like a unique, uh, area of expertise.

[00:00:34] Krati: So what brought you to this world?

[00:00:36] Toi: Um, well, I’ve always been interested in fashion. I don’t think there was ever a time in my life where I, there wasn’t some sort of interest around the arts. Now, I did think that I was gonna grow up to be a dancer. I didn’t anticipate being only five three. So that used to be kind of taboo for a dancer, not anymore.

[00:00:56] Toi: Um, but for professional, you know, modern dancer that was [00:01:00] not in the cards for me. But, um, ever since I was little, I’ve always loved, um, fashion and I’ve always loved the marketing. So, you know, I’ve always loved commercials and just kind of the story and all of those things. So it made sense when it was time to go to school that I got my degree.

[00:01:16] Toi: In specialized business, which was fashion marketing. Um, and then my second degree was in fashion design. And so, um, just kind of working my way through the ranks of retailers. I’ve worked for companies like Bloomingdale’s in New York City where I was part of a team that ran a 15 million business. I’ve worked for Ralph Lauren Crabtree and Evelyn White House, black Market, you know, a bunch of different, a variety of places.

[00:01:42] Toi: And then prior to starting, uh, the well-dressed brand, which is the company that I own now, I worked at qvc, the world’s largest home shopping network for about 15 years. And so there I really cut my teeth on styling for television and commercials and [00:02:00] editorial styles. I got to travel all around the world, not all around the world, but I got to travel.

[00:02:05] Toi: We’ve gone, you know, to various places throughout the country as well to, um, Italy. Working on commercials and live shows and things like that. So I’ve been collecting this expertise, you know, for quite some time where I was able to do all of these things behind the camera. But there was a time when I was at KC and I was really stuck in my career and there was no upward mobility.

[00:02:30] Toi: And so, cause I was stuck, it made me turn my eye, um, not necessarily away from fashion cuz I was working in the fashion industry, but I had to look inward, um, and focus on my own personal brand. And so, um, you know, 10 years later, you know, I, I have over a decade of experience in personal branding mixed with all my years of fashion, uh, and marketing experience.

[00:02:55] Toi: So it was like this unique bird was born

[00:02:58] Krati: Yeah,

[00:02:59] Toi: in me.[00:03:00]

[00:03:00] Krati: definitely. And you make it sound so fascinating, like we would love to be on the spot and watching you work in incredible. But I have to wonder because, uh, You know, whenever you have to pitch any kind of service, you have to help people. Even though they may be, they may come to you looking for help, but you still have to very crisp in a very crisp manner, tell them what the challenges that you are, uh, providing services for, and then what your service will do for them.

[00:03:30] Krati: So here, how would you, like, you can’t obviously tell people that, oh, how your dressing is not good enough. How would you pitch and how did you pitch and market your offerings? Like, how did you nail that messaging that you wanted to put out there?

[00:03:44] Toi: Well, I had to really think about it because I think that, you know, when we think about what we, what we do right for a living, or the that we wanna start, a book that we wanna write, chances are that when you start to do the research, you, you realize that there [00:04:00] are hundreds, if not thousands of people who are doing the same thing that you are doing.

[00:04:06] Toi: Right? And so, you know, it’s business or branding or marketing 1 0 1 is like, what’s your differentiator? So one of the things that I, I stumbled upon, I think I was actually listening to a podcast pretty much like this one, and I was, um, kind of taken, I was fascinated, pun intended, by a woman named Sally Hogshead, who, um, wrote a book.

[00:04:31] Toi: Yeah. Remember Sally? So, Sally wrote the book How to Wor How Does the World See You? Right? It’s to call the Fascination Advantage. And so while I was working in corporate America as a stylist, I used the Fascination Advantage Assessment test. Um, because it gave me the verbiage to be able to communicate, what I was bringing to the table, it gave me the verbiage to communicate what makes me different and who I was on my [00:05:00] team.

[00:05:01] Toi: And again, the value add. And so when I decided to leave my corporate job six years ago, my first order of business was to become a fascination advantage coach. So I paid the thousands of dollars. because I really felt like this was going to be a differentiator from other fashion stylists.

[00:05:21] Toi: I made the investment to do that and um, that became my differentiator factor. So then what I decided to do was like, what are we not talking about? Right? Everybody’s was at that time, was talking about personal branding, but no one was talking about image perspective of it.

[00:05:40] Toi: So I really had to focus, to answer your question, I was really focusing on what was gonna make me different. Because a lot of times, you know, like I said, what we do, you know, it’s a commodity. We all know thousands of people who are, who are doing But the fascination advantage focuses [00:06:00] on the way that you communicate and you as a, as a p erson.

[00:06:03] Toi: And so it’s your personality. And that was like the foundation is the foundation of the well-dressed brand. It’s your personality, your mission, your vision, your image, you know, all of these things in alignment. And so that is how you become a well-dressed brand. And so that was the foundation of my company.

[00:06:23] Toi: So when I’m talking about the personality, it really comes down to you and what your uniqueness and what is gonna bring to the table. You and I could. Work on a project and the end result is they’re both gonna be exceptional, but they’re gonna be very different just because we are different people that have different experiences.

[00:06:44] Toi: And so once you start to embrace who you are, that’s the personality part of it. And then you need to speak that language. And so, um, that was kind of my first area of business. So that when I was pitching out to people, Hey, here’s what I do. [00:07:00] I was saying something that they hadn’t heard before. Most stylists have a style test, but no one’s giving you this, um, this assessment test that not only is going to lay the foundation for your personal brand, think about that.

[00:07:17] Toi: Give you all the verbiage to put on your resume LinkedIn, um, tell you how to communicate your message. And then on top of that, so that’s the cupcake, right? And then on top of that, we add the icing, which is how you’re gonna put it all together. So what I’m offering, um, one of the things that I was offering at that time and still offer is the, the fascination advantage mixed with my style test.

[00:07:42] Toi: I merge them together and I create a look that is so unique and so different really based on who you are and the ways that you communicate. And so then from there, I take all the colors that you can wear, right? And this is me, this is how I this to my clients [00:08:00] is there’s, you know, 30 colors that based on your.

[00:08:03] Toi: On, you know, your skin, uh, color rather, your fair brown, you know, whatever. Based on that, based on your eye color and your hair color, there’s very specific colors that are gonna look good on you. So let’s say we end up with 20 colors. I narrowed that down to six colors. We choose three of those to be your signature color, which is a sig, you know, and then we just start going through all of these signature pieces to take your personality and bring it to the forefront so that when you walk in a room, you are so completely fascinating, right?

[00:08:36] Toi: And as I was talking to C-Suite clients, they would say, wow. Like, okay, I’ve had my colors done, and.

[00:08:44] Toi: Yes, I’ve taken like Myers-Briggs and all of these things, but I don’t have anything like this. No one’s ever talked to me about this.

[00:08:53] Krati: yeah, yeah. Absolutely. Cuz when it comes to close, like we gravitate towards whatever feels comfortable or whatever [00:09:00] feels like us. So I have to ask, uh, C-suite clients, like these are people who are at a very high level, you know, at the top of the hierarchy. So they have to always, I’m guessing they have to be image conscious, you know, but the world is changing so rapidly, like things are becoming very informal.

[00:09:18] Krati: But even so, What did you tell them would be the focal point? Like the personality has to come out in how they dress up, or is it has to be about where they’re going, how they, the image they want to project or authenticity. Like that’s always a struggle, right? What people, how people expect you to look versus who you really are,

[00:09:38] Toi: Well, I think that you get to control the narrative, you know , and that’s why I love this idea of, you know, using your wardrobe as a business strategy. So it kind of puts you back in the driver’s seat.

[00:09:50] Toi: So you’re not really thinking so much about the expectation. Now, if you’re working for a company like a Csuite executive or director, or vice president, you know, head of [00:10:00] sales or whatever, then you need to be mindful of the, the rules of the company, meaning the dress code, um, and certain things and colors they may not want you to wear or things like that.

[00:10:10] Toi: But you take one, one of the things that. You know, I’m, I feel very grateful. That is my natural gifting is being able to help someone to, um, blend in and stand out simultaneously, you know, so that if you are forced to wear a Navy suit to work, then there’s still gonna be enough of something in that personal style and personal brand for you that’s going to still set you apart from your colleagues, you know?

[00:10:38] Toi: And so I think that that’s kind of it, that you get to really control the narrative. And so it’s less about focusing on what other people think of you and more about you being able to infuse your personality. It’s less about being fancy and dressing up, and more about you leaning into the things that are gonna make you, um, you [00:11:00] blending in and standing out.

[00:11:01] Toi: Because if you are every day, like what’s really you, what if, what’s really you is like jeans and a, and a hoodie, right? But you can’t wear that to work. You have to wear, you know what I mean? And so then it’s really about, you know, finding and depending on your budget, it’s really about finding those things that are gonna give you the same feel, you know?

[00:11:25] Toi: Um, or if you afford to do so, then maybe we get you a custom suit made, but the pants, instead of it being like a traditional dress pant, um, you know, maybe it’s a jogger, you know that underneath, but it doesn’t look like one, but we choose a fabric or something, you know what I mean? So there’s many ways, um, to get to get around that.

[00:11:46] Toi: And I think that that’s where, that, that signature color or, you know, having, you know, one of my clients, um, wears yellow sneakers. You know, we came up with his brand colors that are yellow and gray. And [00:12:00] navy blue. So he’ll wear jeans, a graphic t-shirt, a a navy blazer, yellow sneakers, a yellow, you know, then he has a yellow apple watch or something like that, like something to always be bringing him back to his brand.

[00:12:12] Toi: So it’s little things like that. One of my other clients is in this C-suite is from Texas, and she lives in Washington and in Philadelphia, but her, one of her signature style pieces is that there’s, you know, an, um, a gold necklace that we got that’s in the shape of Texas and it’s small and dainty so that she can layer other pieces around it.

[00:12:33] Toi: But if she’s given a keynote or if she’s traveling or if she’s, you know, having, um, you know, having, um, political meetings, you know, in DC it’s a conversation piece and say, oh, hey, are you from Texas? Um, oh, what’s your connection with Texas? And so it’s things like that, things that are, you know, those type of things that are gonna pull people into you.

[00:12:58] Krati: Yeah. Yeah, that’s helpful. [00:13:00] Would you ever want to dress Mark Zuckerberg? He always seems to be wearing like a sweatshirt and a T-shirt.

[00:13:06] Toi: Well, so Mark is very interesting because I think that for years he’s gotten a lot of flack and I was watching, um, was watching an influencer the other day and they were breaking down what he was wearing. And so unless you’re really familiar with brands, you don’t realize that like he’s wearing a $700 t-shirt, you know what I mean?

[00:13:27] Toi: Um, so it looks, it looks like something that he would’ve gotten from the Gap or Old Navy or something like that. But this particular influencer was talking about how, I think it was maybe like $300, but it was this designer t-shirt and he was talking about the fabric and how it feels. And so he probably owns several of them.

[00:13:46] Toi: Um, so I just think that everything is not always what it seems. And especially because you know, when you’re, when you’re in a space where you’re dressing for quality and not so much fashion, right? Anybody can go [00:14:00] on male or female or whatever, you can go on Shean and get something and get something for like $7.

[00:14:08] Toi: Or you can buy a blazer for $50 or a hundred dollars or $7,000, you know? And so I think that for me it’s really about keeping it simple and buying quality for your staple pieces. And then you can, you know, you can, can kind of get some more fashionable throw away pieces if you like. But I think that actually what he’s doing is smart.

[00:14:32] Toi: That okay, I’m going to invest in these T-shirts, they’re a couple hundred dollars, but I know that when I wash them, they’re gonna last. I can put it on. I know that it’s gonna fit. I know it’s not gonna shrink. I know that it feels good. And you, it’s kind of like a secret society. Um, Of success, uh, which happens to be the name of my prince book, Tim Schuler, that was on my podcast.

[00:14:56] Toi: But it’s kind of like this underground thing in the sense of like, once you [00:15:00] know that that’s what he’s wearing, then you know, you know,

[00:15:04] Krati: Yeah.

[00:15:05] Toi: very.

[00:15:05] Krati: I think with some people, their genius just transcends any image they’re projecting, you know, they’re so like unique in what they do and who they are, that it just, you don’t even notice all of that, but yeah. Yeah. Your point is so solid because I hate shopping, but it’s something that I realized that I would much rather have really, really good items in my wardrobe that, that, that may be expensive, that have really good fabric, really good stitching, like.

[00:15:33] Krati: Something I don’t have to worry about. I can throw it on and it looks awesome. Rather than like buy 20 cheaper shirts and t-shirts. So yeah, I think that, I think that’s when you realize, okay, I’ve grown up now prioritizing quality over flash.

[00:15:48] Toi: that is definitely adulting 1 0 1, where you’re like, okay, I guess I’ll just, you know, you know, have these items. But then when you start to realize, like I talk [00:16:00] about, um, in my book, secrets of a Well-Dressed Brand, I think I tell the story about when I was, um, I was, I woke up late for work one day and I had about 15 minutes to get myself.

[00:16:11] Toi: I think my son was probably about three years old the time, and I, I had maybe 15, 20 minutes to get us both dressed and get him fed and like out the door and drop him off at daycare. Like before I had to be to work. And I lived an hour from work and I had, I was like, I had like 15 minutes before I just needed to leave to get to work and drive an hour.

[00:16:32] Toi: And I remember, you know, just. Th this is the day that I learned to be grateful for the items in my closet, because I just didn’t have a lot of time. So like red, I grumped outta bed, I brushed my teeth, like slap deodorant and I ran into my closet. I grabbed a black, um, you know, pencil skirt, a black T-shirt.

[00:16:51] Toi: I grabbed a pair of wedge, you know, leopard print wedge sandals, threw them in my work bag, grabbed a leopard print scarf and a denim [00:17:00] jacket. And I just ran out the door and threw my makeup bag in my bag. And I get, you know, I go do all the things. I get to work, you know, I have my denim jacket on. I throw the scarf on if I had a meeting right at 9:00 AM And so I walk in, I got like 10 minutes to get to this meeting, put my shoes on, slapped my makeup, my classic, you know, red lip, my denim jacket, and wrapped the scarf around, grabbed my stuff, and I’m walking to the meeting and I could not believe how many compliments I was getting.

[00:17:28] Toi: And I said to one of my coworkers, I got dressed in literally five minutes. Like, I don’t even know. But because everything in my closet, closet works together because I have a brand right closet, you know, that’s, that’s just kind of like a capsule closet, but it’s brand, right? So that everything works together.

[00:17:49] Toi: So it’s really difficult to make a wrong decision even if threw on just a of colors. They all kind of work together. And so that’s why it’s important for you [00:18:00] to have a brand right closet so that you can just take the think out of You know, we’re all suffering from decision fatigue. We so many things going on all the time.

[00:18:11] Toi: You know, that you can’t, I don’t want you to waste time thinking about what you’re gonna wear. That’s a waste of time. You have to heal. We gotta be whole, we gotta drink water. We got, you know,

[00:18:25] Krati: That is

[00:18:26] Toi: need skincare routine. We gotta work out like it’s too much.

[00:18:30] Krati: yeah, it’s too much. No, you are, this is amazing because so many of these, like successful people that we try to imitate, they often say, uh, that just stop wasting time speaking what you’re gonna wear. And they, these, some of these people they gravitate to like black T-shirt, always, they’re always wearing black T-shirt and blue jeans.

[00:18:49] Krati: So that just takes out all the decision making. But this is a great way because not ev all, every one of us would be comfortable showing up in a black t-shirt every time. Some of us want colors, some [00:19:00] of us want those choices. So if you have a brand white wardrobe as you put it, That still does the same thing, but it also allows you to like, have more of your personality express

[00:19:10] Krati: more. So I, I love that. I think that is, that might just work more for certain people who want to be more expressive through their

[00:19:18] Toi: Oh, a hundred percent. And like I was saying before we started, about how much I love your, I love your glasses. I love them. so fashionable, and I love it. And you know, like even for me, like I wear glasses, I have my contacts in today, you know, but you just infuse that. And I think most people are doing this as part of your war.

[00:19:37] Toi: That’s part of your wardrobe, you know, that’s part of your, your personality. And so it’s so easy today to build a personal brand as far as your image is concerned. Um, I think it’s easy both ways, but it’s more, it’s more accessible than it used to be. Um, and more affordable as far as your image is concerned, because you can go online and get, you know, really [00:20:00] fashionable glasses that aren’t going, going to break the bank.

[00:20:03] Toi: They don’t necessarily have to be designer. People are, aren’t necessarily checking for that. But it gives your wardrobe like, you know, just like it’s a part of your personality that you can use to show something as simple as that. And it can cost you anywhere from. $7 for frames, like well before your prescription if you have prescription glasses, but it can be anywhere from $7 to $200.

[00:20:27] Toi: You know, like whatever fits your budget. And so, you know, when you have places like Etsy that you can get a signature piece of jewelry that it, that fits, you know, any, um, alloy allergies or whatever that you may have for under $20. Like, it’s, it’s, it’s easy, you know, it’s easy do

[00:20:46] Krati: yep, yep. Yeah, that is so true. I have three pairs of glasses. With, you know, one is more expensive than the other, one is more flashier than the other. So I, and I love that because it’s so much a part of me, like, I don’t know, wear [00:21:00] contact lenses. This is on me all the time. So I love it when it says something about who I am when it can express like a teeny, tiny piece of my personality.

[00:21:09] Krati: I love it. So I have to ask here, uh, because you would know this a lot better than I do, having worked with so many people, do you often, uh, feel that as you talk more and more about the image you’re projecting the clothes through the clothes and the brand that you’re creating, do you ever like, feel concerned that people would care, start to care too much about what others, other people would think?

[00:21:31] Krati: Like, what is the healthier version of it? Because I’m sure that you have a healthier approach so that you don’t make them obsess over too much over what other people’s validations, so to

[00:21:41] Toi: Yeah. Thank you. That’s a really great question cuz I think that that was kind of the old way of thinking, right? And so we moved into a new way of thinking. So when you think about it this way, right? When you think about it just. Before we get to the fashion part of it, it’s like, think about it, even with the evolution [00:22:00] of personal branding, right?

[00:22:01] Toi: So when Tom Peters coined the phrase personal branding in 1997, it was really about self-promotion, right? It was really about like, Hey, let’s do what these big brands are doing and market yourself. And, you know, it was really about self-promotion today, 2023, right? Or this year, today, when you think about personal branding, it’s become more important for everyone, not just businesses and entrepreneurs, but it’s really more about your authenticity.

[00:22:35] Toi: It’s more about, um, you know, about your personality. It’s more about, you know, just kind of, it’s about diversity and inclusion. It should be anyway. Um, it’s just about so many other things than it was when in 1997. And so those are the type of things that when someone comes to me, you know, the first [00:23:00] thing I ask ’em is, okay, well what do you wanna say?

[00:23:02] Toi: You know, what do you want, want, what do you want project? You know? And so those are the kind of things that we, that we, that I infuse into their personal brand. And I will tell you the answer is never, it’s not, it’s never an answer. Like, I don’t wanna be insecure. I want people to think I’m confident, believe it’s never that, and I do not talk about confidence ever.

[00:23:27] Toi: You know, I rarely talk about it, I should say, because it’s not even about confidence. Because if you are creating a brand that is so uniquely you, and it’s done right, then the confidence is a byproduct. And that you can’t, you won’t even, you can’t even afford to think about what other people are thinking about you because you feel so good.

[00:23:54] Toi: Because it really is, success is an inside job. So that’s why we’re working on the [00:24:00] personality and you know, and I wanna know other things that are going on in your life, you know, so that you are showing up as your best healed, authentic self. And that really comes down to integrity, right? And it comes down to you being excellent.

[00:24:15] Toi: And so all of us have worked on a project or cooked something, um, or you did something for a friend, or you planned a dinner party or something like that, and you gave it a hundred percent your best. And so that when everybody showed up, you were just like, it is what it is, because you know that you left nothing on the table.

[00:24:36] Toi: You know? Right. And so that’s really what it’s about. That’s, I have this sign behind me that says, be afraid of mediocrity. And that’s what it’s about, is you not going halfway up the mountain, right? You’re not gonna go halfway. You gotta go all the way. And give it a hundred percent to the best of your ability.

[00:24:56] Krati: Okay. I love this answer. This, the answer had me like, even as I was [00:25:00] hearing you, it was, I’m so excited because this is such a wonderful, wonderful approach. Cuz if you give it a second and think about it, this would really, like, I unleash so much of you because you are leaning so totally into your identity.

[00:25:14] Krati: But I do feel like this, the work that you do requires a lot of leaning into your very specific identity. And if you can, I think with the work you do, you can make people very comfortable with who they are because not all of us are in that place. And the more you do it, the more you get comfortable with your identity, the stronger that identity gets.

[00:25:34] Krati: And maybe you also discover pieces that you weren’t aware of before that point. And it’s just gonna be wonderful. Like if we could do that for every single human being in the world, so much of the struggle would go away, right? Because yeah, there is a lot of. Unconscious copying that goes on unconscious, pretensions, unconscious.

[00:25:54] Krati: Like we’re constantly watching what everyone is doing and we are watching them watch us. So it’s, it’s [00:26:00] conscious like at what point do you stop with the struggle and just start

[00:26:03] Toi: Yes, you get it a hundred percent. And like a lot of people really don’t get that. Believe it or not. I was just speaking to some women in a women’s group and they were talking, this one woman was talking about like, you know, I don’t care what I wear. I don’t really like put a lot you know, thought into it.

[00:26:21] Toi: Um, now when I do the X, Y, and Z I do think sometimes I should have put more thought and I’m just like, oh my gosh. Like, you know. And so it’s kind of like talking out of both sides of your mouth. On one end you’re like, I don’t care because I have, she said, you know, I have money. You know, I’m paraphrasing.

[00:26:38] Toi: But it was like, I have money and my wallet is bigger than any woman in that room. But in the other hand, She’s like, when I go and I’m around my colleagues, I do sometimes look back and wish that I would’ve been more intentional about my wardrobe. And I’m just like, I was like, you know, but when you really are [00:27:00] self-aware

[00:27:03] Krati: Uhhuh.

[00:27:03] Toi: really start to ask your question yourself, the questions of like, why do you care about what other people think?

[00:27:09] Toi: Now I’m not suggesting that you don’t care what other people think. We all care what somebody thinks, you know,

[00:27:16] Krati: Yeah.

[00:27:17] Toi: and so, you know, your mom is not gonna care the same weight as a person that you’ve met in a coffee shop. Like we probably most of us care more about what our parents think, you know, or a sibling, or, you know, our best friend than a, stranger. So we all care about what somebody thinks, but it gets to be toxic when you care about what everybody thinks. And so I think that alignment is key. So when you, when you are bringing your whole self to the table, your image, your vision, personality, your mission, where you are so clear about where you’re going, and it can change along the journey.

[00:27:53] Toi: You know, like even if you set it in stone today, it’s not forever. You know, write it in pencil and you’ll [00:28:00] erase and pivot and, and you just keep going. It’ll keep changing, you know? And that’s okay. That’s growth.

[00:28:10] Krati: Mm. Yeah. No, that’s very true. I like, I relate to the story that you shared because, uh, as someone who went through depression, there was like a period of time where very intensely I had to pull my focus all on myself, love myself, care for myself, fight for myself. And leave no room for what anybody else was saying because it needed to be done in that exact manner for me to recover my mental health.

[00:28:33] Krati: So I get going that way, but it’s also, this is just my take no judgment to on anyone. But I also feel like I have said it more so frequently that I don’t care what people think. I don’t, and there was a time when I really didn’t, but you finally reach a place of maturity where you are actually at peace with yourself and you realize that this is defiance, that this is a very defiant, teenagey way of behaving.

[00:28:58] Krati: Like, I don’t care what anybody [00:29:00] thinks. And it’s not necessary. It is not necessary. You can leave room for what people think and still be completely yourself. You can always, always, always find a middle ground. Like I’ve gone to weddings in scruffy jeans and like old t-shirts, and that’s so disrespectful.

[00:29:15] Krati: Now when I, at the time, I felt like, oh, look at me. I’m so confident I’m not giving a shit what anyone thinks. But that is so disrespectful. You’re showing up to someone’s betting in scruffy jeans. That’s, that’s immaturity. That’s defiance. But maybe that is, that was what was needed at the time. But I think confidence is when you can care what other people think.

[00:29:34] Krati: You do what you need to do, what is true to you, but also perhaps like project, an image that allows that expression to be there. Like, this is who I am. Let me share that with you as well.

[00:29:47] Toi: Yeah, I love that. so beautiful and so powerful because what I hear you talking about is kindness. There’s a difference between being nice and being kind. And if somebody is taking the time to [00:30:00] invite you into their world for their special day, you know, then you find, you know something that’s going to be comfortable for you, that feels like you, but it’s still saying, Hey, I really appreciate you wanting me to be here to witness something that’s so, um, important to you.

[00:30:17] Toi: You know? And so that really is kind of what we’re not kind of, that’s what we’re talking about. But here’s the big piece of re stones with all of this is, is that when you look at, I laid out a couple of studies in my book that’s talking about what happens when we get dressed. This is what gets me up in the morning and why I’m doing the work that I’m doing.

[00:30:40] Toi: Because when you, you know, there’s a study that we talk about in the book that is, you know, I’ll give you the very quick summary of But it is like they, they, they take this lab, you know, a lab coat, And they tell one group that it’s a doctor’s code. They tell another group that it’s a pain or spot, and then they tell the third group, like, you know, just [00:31:00] look at it.

[00:31:00] Toi: Don’t, don’t do anything. Well, the group that you know, thought it was, you know, for doctors, you know, they made less mistakes and they were able to concentrate more on, on these cognitive tests that they gave them. Um, and the ones that were, you know, thought that it was like an artist smock, then they did okay, unless test, so they didn’t do as well as the doctors and the third group, they’re like, okay, just look at and then perform these tests.

[00:31:24] Toi: So the reason that the doctor group did so well, even though they all were wearing the same white coat, you know, because it was the meaning that they were giving the clothing. It was, you know, so it, it, it, it was all psychological in which most things are right. Because again, success is an inside job. You know, and so when you’re at bottom, which is what I was hearing you described, even for yourself, me too.

[00:31:50] Toi: You know, you have to pull yourself up from the inside out. And so the reason that I love what I do so much and the, and clothing so much, and [00:32:00] colors and all of those things so much is because it’s one of those things that works from the inside out and the outside in simultaneously, you know, because if you were going back to that same wedding and you had on something that was totally you in a color that you love, that made you feel like a million dollars rather you wore to the grocery store or a wedding, or to party or to the playground, it doesn’t matter.

[00:32:29] Toi: And a hundred percent made you feel like you are the most. Stunning person that has ever walked to the earth. Oh, you’re gonna wear that every day? Every day,

[00:32:43] Krati: So true. I feel so good. Yeah, absolutely. There is a, a Bollywood celebrity run v Singh. I would invite you to like, explore a little bit of how he dresses himself. His style is so out there, like it is [00:33:00] so out of the box, like he just, I dunno who is dressing him or if he’s dressing him. I’m guessing someone’s dressing him cuz he’s a very successful actor.

[00:33:09] Krati: But it’s so out there. There’s always a statement that he’s making. But his personality comes across so clearly. He’s a very happy, funny, uh, very like a mischievous person. And that comes across so clearly in how he dresses. So I don’t know about everyone else, but whenever my friends and I were looking at what he’s wearing, there is no judgment there.

[00:33:29] Krati: And like his clothing is so out there, but there’s no judgment cuz he’s a happy person and it comes across in how he dresses and we’re just like, yeah,

[00:33:39] Toi: It makes sense for who he’s, and you just summed it up. And that is really the only thing that I’m asking is like, how can we make this make sense? You know? Nobody wants to be uncomfortable. No one wants to feel stuffy, you know, like it’s, it’s all formulaic in my opinion. And so I just help people create the formula.

[00:33:59] Toi: You [00:34:00] know, like when, whenever you see me out, most of the time I’m gonna have on black, red, or white. I’m always gonna be wearing red lipstick. You know, like that’s just my formula. And so, because I know that that works, I know that it works for me. I know that I can

[00:34:16] Toi: feel my best in it, you know? And you know, I have a best friend who.

[00:34:22] Toi: It’s always in yellow, head to toe, Leah Key. And she, she’s a jewelry and handbag designer. And like, she’s tall, she’s gorgeous, you know, melon and popping and she’s in head to toe yellow. And so she went, if I walk, if I’m walking into a room with her and I’m typically in my all black and you know, I tend to bl blend into the background.

[00:34:44] Toi: Right. And you people gravitate to her. And I’ve seen them. They’re like, I need to know who you are. What do you do? Tell me all the things. And so they will come over to me, to me second, but that’s my personality. We’re both big personalities, her [00:35:00] personality personality’s like, and you know, and mine is more about, you know, casual elegance and power and, you know, it’s like more of a I’m, I would prefer to bring you in.

[00:35:14] Toi: You know, in a different way. And so, you know, it’s just one of those things like she gets stopped at the airport, she travels the world nonstop and in every country she gets stopped. They’re like, we need to put you on our television show. Cause her luggage is yellow, her shoes is yellow, her tops yellow.

[00:35:29] Toi: She’s big hair. And that head, you know, she’s got a big yellow headband on like, and she’s dripping in all of her jewelry that she designed. Like she’s stunning. And she gets stopped everywhere and it makes sense, you know, it makes sense for her personality.

[00:35:46] Krati: yeah. I’ll share something. Uh, I think, I think it’s fascinating at least. So I always, I’m an introvert. I’m a very, like a quiet person, and unless you’re talking about something that has me fired up, I, I’m probably gonna be [00:36:00] the quietest voice in the room. So, um, I always used to wear black and like neutral colors, black, white, gray, that sort of, those sort of colors.

[00:36:08] Krati: But I was always drawn to yellow, bright bangs, bright blues, and I real, when I started wearing those, I was able to express more of myself because I’m also a very happy person. I’m also very exuberant when I’m around people I love and I’m around in a room where I feel like people want to hear me and I’m like, comfortable, totally comfortable.

[00:36:30] Krati: S it, I didn’t even realize that that was part of my personality when I started wearing the colors that I was drawn to, that part of my personality was allowed to come out to

[00:36:41] Toi: I love that.

[00:36:43] Krati: So, so those clothes, you know, you, you, we are very quick to dismiss the clothes we wear as the, like, the afterthought, let me take care of all of this important stuff and then I’ll decide what to wear.

[00:36:54] Krati: But you don’t even realize how your clothing is actually impacting your psychology [00:37:00] and the psychology of the other person that’s looking at you. So,

[00:37:04] Toi: yes, yes, yes, yes, yes. You whole masterclass on my book. You just summed the whole thing up.

[00:37:12] Krati: I think you did the, the entire job I just shared like, yeah, that is, but that is so fascinating and not many people would realize that unless you’ve had that experience, you would not connect those two pieces. But it’s something that happened with me and. Yeah. Now I always wear bright pink and I always wear bright yellows.

[00:37:33] Krati: My brown colors are bright ap.

[00:37:36] Toi: it. I love And you’re an introvert, and so you see what I’m saying? How fascinating that is. Because again, it’s not something that people would expect of you, but at the same time, you didn’t do it based on what other people think did. You, you, you did it based on how it made you feel there.

[00:37:55] Toi: But now if you’re looking at that, and I’m like, okay, [00:38:00] yellow is the color of creativity and innovation, you know? And when you’re talking about pink, pink is like, you know, the, the, I’m just like, you know, pink is the color of one-on-one communication, you know, and unconditional love. And so you can be an introvert and still have these things.

[00:38:22] Toi: So when you think about it, makes total sense, I would imagine. Like, we didn’t do like your colors or anything, but like, I would imagine that that makes perfect sense, you know, for you. And so, and it’s the same with me, you know, like when red is the color of determination, you know, it’s a very powerful color.

[00:38:42] Toi: You know, black is all about authority and elegance and all of these things. And when you talk about, you know, white or I read, we’re doing, um, something, I’m doing a color of the month, so if anybody’s listening and you wanna sign up for the color of the month email, that would be great. So every month [00:39:00] we’re take, we’re talking about a different color, and then on Tuesdays I go live on Instagram and we’re talking about that color.

[00:39:06] Toi: So for this month we’re talking about the color white. Um, and so I was going through the shade of beige today. Uh, and you, I think you’ll find this interesting. And it’s like, now when we think of beige, we’re like, Ugh, how boring is that? Like there’s nothing exciting about beige.

[00:39:28] Krati: I love this. I love this exercise because I think like what we just talked about, we are so attached to our labels. Like I very quickly said, oh, I’m an introvert. Even though I’m always someone who advises my clients, let go of the labels, let them go and start exploring yourself. Because I am selectively introverted.

[00:39:46] Krati: There are times when I’m the most talkative person in the room, but there are times when I’m the quietest. It depends on so many things. My energy levels, who I am with, how I’m feeling, so many things. So I think this is great because you can have these [00:40:00] colors like one color dominating your month and see me.

[00:40:03] Krati: You just might find that this color that you never considered was your own. And that said certain things associated with certain adjectives that you never thought belonged to you. And you might just find at the end of that month that that feels more yours than any other color ever has. And just with that, you’ve got another aspect of your personality that you never

[00:40:22] Toi: I’m gonna,

[00:40:23] Krati: So I love

[00:40:23] Toi: I’m just gonna steal you. You’re my new best friend cuz you Totally, I don’t know, like I haven’t been on that many podcasts people just like totally get it and totally get me. And so when I do, I get very excited. I’m like, yes, go totally get it. Understand. Like, is my life’s work. Yes, that’s exactly,

[00:40:44] Krati: Awesome. Awesome. Yeah. I would love to ha, I would love to like, yeah, hang out with you and go shopping. What would that be like? That would be

[00:40:51] Toi: gosh. You just tell me where and I’ll be there.

[00:40:56] Krati: You got it. Yeah. This, this is great. I think this would, this would [00:41:00] also, I hope that whoever is listening to us would like be invited to step a little bit out of whatever little compartment you’ve got, your creativity and your identity, and. So that’s awesome. Which brings me to this code of yours that I have loved.

[00:41:17] Krati: Uh, this, I read in one of your interviews, it goes something like this. I had to unlearn focusing on what I do and focus more on who I am, because what I do is commodity, but who I am changes the game. I’m in love with this code. Care to like expand on that like the last

[00:41:33] Toi: Yeah. Cause I think that it goes back to kind of what we’ve been talking about, right? It’s just you know, I think that a lot of us grow up thinking that we’re not really, not that fascinating, that we’re not, we’re kind of boring, you know, that like, who cares? At least for me, right? Like, I was like, is anybody gonna really care about like, anything that I’m doing?

[00:41:53] Toi: Um, you know, but I just didn’t, I cared, you know? And so like

[00:41:59] Toi: [00:42:00] I started to really, you know, think about like, man, um, This, this is, this is, I don’t, first of all, I don’t like to be like anybody else. Um, and so that’s a actually like, really awful. It would be so much easier. It would be so much easier to conform, you know?

[00:42:21] Toi: And so, um, I was talking to a friend yesterday and I was just saying like, I’m gonna die on this hill. Like I’m gonna die on this hill doing this job because society is like, you know, you know, no one’s gonna pay you money to do that. And I’m like, well, they are doing it, you know, and it’s working because it’s true.

[00:42:39] Toi: And so I’m like, I just said I’m gonna die on this hill. So what I’m talking about with that, when I’m talking about you know, who you are changes the game. And if you are a person of faith, especially, you know, when you really start to think and pray about who you were created to be, how you serve others, [00:43:00] all of us have been given such a unique gift. And so it, it, it, it goes back to what we’ve been talking about, that when you become so self-aware and even with, with the things that hurt your feelings or you know, anything that you might need to heal from, and you even start that journey and of healing, which can be so messy, but like all of that makes up who you are.

[00:43:26] Toi: So bring all of that to the table. And I feel very much like you are here and that you shared these things just in this interview, you know, of like, these are all the things that you’ve gone through that make you you, and that is so different than somebody else because all of our stories are different, you know?

[00:43:48] Toi: And so if I’m saying to you, we get to create the narrative, You. You know, I did a TEDx that talks about story, and I’m talking about reframing the stories that we grew up with, that you’re [00:44:00] not enough, that you’re not this, you’re not that. Create your own and look at it as you creating your own adventure.

[00:44:05] Toi: Can you imagine if every day we woke up and we’re like, what adventure awaits me today? You know, even my husband has gotten into this, because if he has a bad day, he’ll be like, today was such an adventure. Instead of saying It was such a terrible day,

[00:44:22] Krati: yeah,

[00:44:22] Toi: you know, he was like, well, today was such an adventure, you know?

[00:44:26] Toi: And so just kind of reframing that and like, Hey, I’m gonna step into what makes me, that is a game changer. Because guess what? Most people will never, ever do that. They’re too busy trying to be like everybody else.

[00:44:41] Krati: That makes so much sense because each day I guess, is an opportunity for you to write. Your story, a little new piece of that story gets created every day. And if you are totally, it’s, yeah, you are. Right. It goes back to that whole thing about leaning into your identity and expressing more and more of it with each passing day.

[00:44:58] Krati: And if each passing [00:45:00] day is also adding to that identity, adding to that story, and you’re just so determined to like bring all of that out with every piece of work you create. Yeah. That changes the game.

[00:45:10] Toi: Yeah, it right. Doesn’t it change the game? And, and think about it this way too, that it’s not so much because I know that there’s some people, you know, they can’t, they couldn’t even get outta bed today. You know, like sometimes success just looks like getting up and taking a shower. You are still winning, you know.

[00:45:28] Toi: But if you’re looking at, okay, well just start focusing. You can’t do it right now from where you are, think about the person that you wanna be and then start to understand that the future you demands more of you like,

[00:45:43] Krati: Yeah. How she

[00:45:44] Toi: right? So the future you is looking at you going, hey, I know that it’s really hard for you to get out of bed today, or I know that you can’t see how you’re gonna get this business started, but it’s going to work out.

[00:45:56] Toi: But it can’t work out. Like I’m waiting for you on the other [00:46:00] side. You can’t get here if you don’t start. And by the way, since you’re up, brush your teeth,

[00:46:10] Krati: I love

[00:46:11] Toi: make a shower, you know, pull your hair back, wash your face, put on a, put on some red lipstick, you know, and go attack the day to the best of your ability. Even if that means that you only make it as far as the couch, that’s okay, you know? But it’s just more important that you start and just start really thinking about the future.

[00:46:35] Toi: You is waiting and cheering you on. They’re just waiting for you to get there. Like they already know that it’s gonna be fine. They already know that it worked out. They’re just waiting on you.

[00:46:48] Krati: Yeah. I love that. I, I love it. This is such a, such a powerful exercise. Fight for her. Don’t, if you can’t fight for yourself, fight for that. That version of you. So amazing. [00:47:00] Okay. Um, let me check on, I do have so many questions, but I, I do not, how much time do we have? I know. Um, like we were booked in.

[00:47:11] Krati: Okay. Alright. Okay. Um, okay. So when, because every industry has a look that goes with it mostly. How much would you care about what, like the trends are, what is expected of you? Because we’ve talked about authenticity, like this conversation has been all about authenticity. Your unique identity. Would you say balance?

[00:47:35] Krati: Do you have to balance those things out or would you like, because we, we landed on lean into your identity. But then if there are expectations or if you are, because especially when it comes to creating a brand, everything is about what are people expecting to see how you can draw them in. So it’s also about them, like your customer, your clients, people who are going to hire you, that sort of thing where, [00:48:00] how do we create a balance then?

[00:48:01] Toi: So I would say, you know, well, specifically around your wardrobe, don’t, don’t lean too much into trends. You wanna make sure that you’re relevant, you know, and so that you don’t wanna, you know, like right now, cargo pockets are like a big thing. You know, I typically hate cargo pockets, but, you know, I’m wearing a shirt that has two big cargo pockets.

[00:48:28] Toi: Um, you know, so this is probably, um, you know, and I’m wearing it in my, one of my brand colors, so that it’s relevant to me. You know, and so it does kind of fall into that, that balance. But then they have some that has the pockets here. The pockets there with the matching pants and the matching cargo pro.

[00:48:46] Toi: Like, that’s too trendy and that’s too much.

[00:48:49] Krati: Yeah.

[00:48:49] Toi: So you wanna look relevant, not necessarily trendy. And even with your messages, you know, when everybody, like, you know, [00:49:00] everybody’s talking about, you can’t look up really, I’m just gonna talk about it from like a branding perspective, right? If everybody, every company has a different mission, vision, um, brand slogan statement for a reason, they’re all different for a reason, right?

[00:49:16] Toi: Because otherwise then it’s just like a one trick pony. But when you think about it in the sense of like, I’m trying to think of what I was, I just lost my train of thought. I’m sorry.

[00:49:27] Krati: it’s okay.

[00:49:28] Toi: My a d d kicked in and I was like, wait, I was all the way over here. Um, Oh, that’s was gonna say. So when you, you think about it, like you, you wanna focus, even with your brand messaging, you wanna focus on what’s relevant and not necessarily of what everybody else is talking about, know?

[00:49:45] Toi: And so authenticity is one of those words that a lot of people are talking about, and they talked about it so much that it starts to feel like a commodity. It to feel like a trend, right? When it’s such a, like, classic word. And [00:50:00] so, and one of my friends, I forget, um, oh my his name’s not coming to me right now, but I had someone on my podcast and they were talking, um, on my TV show, and they were talking about being genuine.

[00:50:12] Toi: And it’s just that little change that tweaks your interest because authenticity is, is, I mean, you know, the, the meaning of the word is relevant, right? But he didn’t choose the word because at that, to use that word, because it became trendy. So he went the of saying genuine, right? And switching it out for the word integrity or doing things like that because that’s, you know, because then it, we are trained to look for things that are different. So that’s why, that’s why you have to be careful about what is trendy. Rather, we’re talking about your brand messaging or your clothing, because this is the way that the world works, that there’s pressure to be [00:51:00] to conform. And then once you conform, then the world starts to ignore you because you’re just like everybody else.

[00:51:09] Krati: Yeah.

[00:51:10] Toi: that’s why you have to stay true, genuinely, and an integrity from an integrity perspective authentically yourself. Right.

[00:51:21] Krati: Yeah.

[00:51:22] Toi: that’s why, because if not, you’re just gonna get ignored because you’re like everybody else. So always be relevant and never be trendy.

[00:51:30] Krati: Yeah, this is so true because like there are words that just are marketing staples and there are words that are just, every influenza is throwing them around, even if they’re not a psychologist, like trauma triggers, stuff like that. And it’s like, oh, anytime that comes up and you know, this person shouldn’t be using these words cuz you know, they should not be part of their toolbox.

[00:51:52] Krati: And you’re like, oh, this thing, this nonsense again. So you can’t help it. That’s such a judgy reaction. But you can’t help but have that [00:52:00] reaction like, oh great, you read 20 websites and then wrote your own, which is like, yeah, where are you in all of this? So that made, that makes so much sense. Thank you for sharing that.

[00:52:10] Krati: Okay. Um, but I have to ask like, where colors come in. There is so much in information online about the psychology of

[00:52:18] Krati: colors. But for someone who cannot afford your services, someone who cannot afford to work with someone who actually understands this thing, how far would you advise them to go with this?

[00:52:30] Krati: Because there is a psychology of colors, but there’s, at the same time, colors are very visual. So if something feels like there’s resistance to a color, but it also carries the message that you want to put out there, especially when you’re creating a brand and you are very new to the digital world, you maybe don’t have as much money as you need to keep doing this again, or to hire a professional.

[00:52:51] Krati: How far would you advise these people go in? What kind of resources should they be using?

[00:52:54] Toi: Um, there are so many free resources out there and there’s a lot of image consultants, um, [00:53:00] to, there’s a difference between an image consultant and a fashion stylist. So there’s a ton of image consultants that will do very affordable color analysis for you. But if you’re just like, I don’t wanna spend, you know, money on that, I’m honestly, I’m gonna give you a cheat code.

[00:53:16] Toi: That if you go on the Pinterest and you type in color analysis, years ago, I don’t even know who created this, but I was using it when I was in corporate. And you know, uh, I think that the page that I have for color analysis, if it’s not public, I’ll make it public. But you go on and they have a picture of like x amount of celebrities and you know, so if you have the same coloring as them, you know, like I’ll just use, like, for me, I’ll, I, I use Lupita, right?

[00:53:45] Toi: So I didn’t have to hire a, an image consultant to tell me that I was a winter and that I, I needed cool colors. I just looked at the color analysis that they did on Lupita because, um, her skin is a little bit [00:54:00] darker than mine, but I’m like, okay, but it’s still like dark skin, dark eyes, dark hair. These are the colors that look good on her.

[00:54:07] Toi: They’re the same colors that look good on me. And so then they have one for like Nicole Kidman, you know what I mean? Um, they have one for, for almost every star in every nationale, like all of them, right? And so if you’re fair skin with dark eyes and dark hair, um, you know, you probably are a winter.

[00:54:26] Toi: So they’ll have like me, you, and then, and someone like, we would all be on one color code because we, I think your eyes are

[00:54:32] Toi: dark and so,

[00:54:35] Toi: and so we would be like, considered a winter. So you speak well anyway, so then there’s a bunch of colors on there and you, so you, I would say download that, look at it and it what makes sense for you.

[00:54:46] Toi: And it will say on there, if your skin is fair, if you’re medium, if you’re tan, if your eyes are bluey, if you’re like whatever, just type in color analysis that will come up. I, you can figure it out. It’s not hard. You just find someone that looks like [00:55:00] you and you’re, it’s probably gonna be close enough. Um, and then.

[00:55:04] Toi: From those colors start to weed out what you like and what you don’t like, you know? And so you’re like, oh, I can wear all of these colors. Okay, this is great. Go to your favorite brand, start looking up some of those colors, and if you would wear that and you like, you know, it’s gonna look pretty good on you, then just start to try those things.

[00:55:24] Toi: And so then after you’ve kind of narrowed it down to, you know, like, okay, I like these three colors, right? And they’re not basic, so they’re not white, they’re not black, they’re not navy, um, you know, or brown or anything like that. So pick like three colors and then pick three basic colors. So let’s say it’s gonna be pink, um, let’s say pink, turquoise and yellow, you know, even though those like cool and warms, but let’s say those are gonna be your colors, and then you then pick navy, gray, and white. Then those are [00:56:00] your six like colors that only are gonna be in your closet. And then try to mix and match and play with that, right? Because the pink’s gonna look good with Navy, the pink’s gonna look good with gray, the pink’s gonna look good with turquoise, like, things like that. Um, and then you can just kind of start to mix and then you go, oh, I really, I get all these compliments and I love the way feel when I wear these pink.

[00:56:21] Toi: Then you look up, that’s like you just Google, you know, psychology color of the of, of pink. And then it’s going to give you those things. you feel like that is really strong and true for you, then that might be one of your signature colors. So when you’re creating your logo and like things like that,

[00:56:41] Krati: Uh uh Okay. So start with the colors you would put on yourself, and then like start narrowing them down and like really dialing it in when it comes to your personal

[00:56:56] Toi: Mm-hmm.

[00:56:57] Krati: Okay. Okay. I love that. I love that. [00:57:00] Um, okay, so, and if someone is very. Very minimalistic, but at the same time, perhaps they’re in an industry like today.

[00:57:08] Krati: Attention is like the most, is like the thing that everyone’s trying to get right. Attention is it like if you can get attention, your job just got a hell of a lot easier. But for people who are very minimalistic, how do they go about this? If they don’t want to be too bright or too out there with their personal brand or their personal image, what’s the middle ground for them?

[00:57:36] Toi: So I think that that’s such a great question and I think that because I’m coming off of, um, a month where we did black and then I went right into a month where we did white. You know, which most people like, those are the most boring colors, you know, I think that the answer is like, When you scroll through my Instagram and you can see like where I started from January, where [00:58:00] it gets, it’s like pink, then blue, you know, then black, then white, you know, and it’s just gonna keep growing as the year.

[00:58:06] Toi: And I think it comes down to aesthetics. And so, you know, if, you know, so if you’re saying like, I’m a minimalist, but I like whatever, still do all those things, still pick those colors and um, but then maybe do it monochromatic cuz that always makes a statement, you know? And so just do head to toe of that color, keep clean, keep your jewelry to a minimum.

[00:58:30] Toi: And because you’re probably gonna be buying some, you know, cuz it can be, I think that if you go with a basic color, you can still have it be very dramatic. Like go for texture. So I’m gonna pick something like Navy, let’s just go with something that’s like less sleep, boring. You think of banks and finance people.

[00:58:47] Toi: But if you get this beautiful navy, Whatever, top skirt, dress, whatever, pant, and then there’s texture to it. You know, like there’s mixed media, so maybe it has [00:59:00] sheer sleeves, but leather or vegan leather in the body, you know? Um, like something like that. Even though the color seems very, um, boring, let’s say, for lack of a better word, but then you’re playing with this texture, and now it’s interesting, and then you have it on with your favorite navy skirt or pant or whatever in a gorgeous navy shoe, like, you know.

[00:59:23] Toi: But the fact that it’s monochromatic is always going to make a statement, especially when it’s, uh, when it’s not black. So even it’s ivory or white, it makes a statement when it’s navy, when all gray, it makes a statement or play within hues of those colors. I think that’s beautiful way to do that.

[00:59:42] Toi: If you’re a minimalist and if you’re minimalist and like, and if you’re one that wears lipstick, then you can always do your pop or color on your lips. You can always do a pop of color with your shoe or your handbag or your glasses. Um, but I think that the most important thing is that you have an [01:00:00] exceptional skin routine.

[01:00:03] Toi: You know? Um, so like, it’s just all these things that are just gonna pull people in because it just comes across as very gorgeous and elegant even when you’re not trying, you know, and it’s still very casual. It can be your favorite pair of white sneakers, but you’re just draped in like, all of this, you know, whatever, insert whatever color you love, orange, Navy, yellow, black, whatever.

[01:00:28] Toi: So I think that when it’s monochromatic, it just kind of, you know, it still looks expensive even though it, it isn’t mostly.

[01:00:35] Krati: Mm-hmm.

[01:00:36] Toi: and I think that that’s really what it is. So just texture, color, play with it that way. No big, bold, like, you know, statement pieces of jewelry. Just keep it. Simple and understated, but when you take a risk, make it make sense.

[01:00:51] Toi: So let it be your lip color or your glasses or your handbag or something like that, that, that you really care about.

[01:00:59] Krati: [01:01:00] Okay. Okay. Uh, I love that. And would you, that’s actually very helpful because I would simplify things for a lot of, I can, I can think of 20 people just right now, like my friends, that would, it would make their lives so much simpler if they, they adopt that approach. Okay. I, I’m curious to know, like, if you were to place these in order of priority, where would you place these like, uh, comfort body language, facial expressions, and then the clothes you wear?

[01:01:26] Toi: Oh, that’s a really good question. Oh, man. Um, gosh. Oh, I think I’m like, uh, I what in, I don’t know what I’m like in what scenario?

[01:01:45] Krati: Okay. Okay.

[01:01:46] Toi: It’s nonverbal communication is really what we’re talking about. And so when you’re like on video or entering a room, before you even say anything, you know, unless you’re over the phone where [01:02:00] people can’t see you, which is rare nowadays, um,

[01:02:03] Krati: Mm-hmm.

[01:02:04] Toi: then what you wear is gonna be the most important thing because people are making a snap judgment in seven or eight seconds.

[01:02:12] Toi: They’re already summing you up. They already are thinking if you can afford it. If you can’t afford They’ve already decided if you, if you’re, if you have money or if you don’t have money, they’ve already decided if you’re smart or if you’re not, they’ve already made these decisions within the first seven or eight seconds just based on, you know, how you show up. So I would probably have to put that first, only in the sense of us being in the digital age. And so if you’re going live or you’re posting a selfie, or you know, You know, on, uh, a podcast or Zoom or whatever, your picture comes up a lot of times before you’re, before you hit the camera. But seems to be, we’re all visual learners, like 65% of us are, are [01:03:00] visual learners.

[01:03:00] Toi: So that’s why I put that first, because we’re taking those visual cues and we’re just like making a decision.

[01:03:09] Krati: Okay.

[01:03:09] Toi: So I would say that has

[01:03:10] Krati: Right. Mm-hmm.

[01:03:13] Toi: when you start, then I think the, that’s number one. And then maybe facial expressions. And then what was the other one?

[01:03:20] Krati: body language and comfort.

[01:03:23] Toi: Uh, okay. So I would say image comfort. Cause I don’t want you to not comfortable. Image, comfort, body language, facial express.

[01:03:40] Krati: Yeah.

[01:03:40] Toi: That’s what I think.

[01:03:42] Krati: If you’re maybe having a big day for your business, then maybe just for that day you can be, not be 100% comfortable.

[01:03:49] Toi: Yeah, because I think that, I mean, I just don’t, you know, uh, comfort is like, it’s, it, it’s one of things that’s different for, for everybody, you know? [01:04:00] Like, I remember working with a girl and she, and she would, I said, when you, when you get home, like after work, like what’s the first thing that you do to get comfortable?

[01:04:09] Toi: And she was like, I put on a pair of jeans and I was like, oh.

[01:04:14] Krati: Oh, wow.

[01:04:15] Toi: jeans like, oh, I do not, like most people are putting on like something cozy. You know what I mean? Like, she was like, no, like I love jeans. Like I find them to be most comfortable. Like, I get home and I put jeans and I’m like, I get home and I take those jeans off as fast as human possible, possible.

[01:04:35] Toi: And I put on my Harry Potter onesie

[01:04:38] Krati: yeah.

[01:04:39] Toi: and a big snuggle and wash my face.

[01:04:46] Krati: Oh my God. But I have to say like when I’m too comfortable, like there are, when I do actually end up going to an event and I’m like, in winters, I can get away with not putting on a bra underneath my

[01:04:58] Krati: clothes, which is [01:05:00] like the key to being comfortable. You put a bulky ass sweater or like a bulky ass coat, and then you don’t have to really care about not putting on a bra.

[01:05:10] Krati: But here’s what I’ve noticed. If I don’t have a brown, I’m like disengaged. Completely.

[01:05:17] Toi: I love that.

[01:05:18] Krati: I get so comfortable there are, I have to remind my brain that, hello. We are out. Like there are people here. St. Alert.

[01:05:27] Toi: Oh gosh, that I have to study about that because I would imagine that that would be a hundred percent me. Like I don’t, it’s well at this stage and at this age in my life, it is rare that I’m without a bra. Like I just kind to have one on. But what you’re saying is so interesting because, um, I was, I have a couple of male friends that talk about when they do, um, when they’re on interviewing or a podcast or something or they do a live, even if they’re wearing sweats, they put their dress shoes on cuz it sends a message to their brain.

[01:05:59] Toi: [01:06:00] Cuz that’s what we’re

[01:06:00] Toi: talking about is that, this is what we’re talking about is really all psychological. It sends a message to their brain like it’s time to do business. And that’s what I hear you saying that it’s the same thing. Your body’s like, Hmm, we’re just having a good time. comfortable.

[01:06:14] Toi: And I’m like, oh my gosh, I, that would totally be me. I wouldn’t take anybody serious. I’d be like, cuz I’m home in my jams. Like, yeah. Oh my gosh. That’s fantastic. Oh, that’s

[01:06:27] Krati: Love

[01:06:27] Krati: it.

[01:06:28] Toi: that is really good.

[01:06:33] Krati: Oh

[01:06:33] Toi: That was so good.

[01:06:34] Krati: Okay. Uh, I, I want you to like, if not right now, but maybe later, I want you to share like your favorite digital brands that get it right with their website. Just so I can share this with my listeners so they have something to use as inspiration. Cause I would, I would love, uh, to like have your choices and, okay.

[01:06:55] Krati: Uh, we already talked about this a little bit, uh, and you’ve already covered it. [01:07:00] Yeah, I think I’ll skip it. Like this was supposed to be about quality versus, um, like cheaper clothing. I think we’ve covered this. Um, okay. I do have so many questions, but I’m okay. I’m just gonna like, pick one. Pick one. Um,

[01:07:24] Krati: okay, so if you are, uh, in a new place, uh, I’ve got two. Like I’ll ask you this one and then one last one. Okay. I know I’m, uh, I’ve

[01:07:33] Toi: no, you’re fine. Just, you’re good. No worries.

[01:07:37] Krati: Thank you. Okay. So, uh, would it be okay for someone if you are creating an initial impression for you to go all in, lock in a certain kind of image, and then over time maybe you can relax a little with how you’re presenting yourself?

[01:07:53] Krati: Is that an okay thing to do?

[01:07:54] Toi: Oh yeah, I think that’s a completely normal thing to do, you know? Um, I think that’s a [01:08:00] completely normal thing to do. I think that you have to be strategic though, right? Like right now there’s this called, um, oh gosh. There’s, I, I wanna say it’s like 41 rules of power or something like that. And I can’t remember which, what number this is, but what it made me, what your question made me think of is like,

[01:08:22] Krati: Oh, Robert

[01:08:23] Toi: yes.

[01:08:24] Krati: rooms of Power. Okay. Yeah. It’s a

[01:08:26] Toi: And so one of the rules of power was like never outshine the master, right? And so, you know, and so if I am going to, when you think about, right, so, so it depends on the situation and what, what impression you’re trying to make. Now, if you’re auditioning, not, you know, like for a TV show or, you know, whatever, like it really, that all comes down to you looking the part. But if I’m going to an event with one of my clients and I’m hoping to get more clients, I need to [01:09:00] look like someone that could have addressed her. But I’m not gonna show up better than she did because my job is to make her look good. So I don’t wanna outshine the master, if that makes sense. Like, um, I did an event recently where I dressed my client for the event, but I also spoke at, uh, I also spoke at the conference, and then I was there for a couple of days.

[01:09:27] Toi: And so, um, I needed to, to, you know, I wanted to look like, you know, like I needed to look like a stylist, but I also didn’t wanna outshine my client, you know? Um, and I still ended up leaving that event with like three clients. So I think that it’s just kind of finding the balance and depending on what it is now, if I’m meeting with a C-Suite executive for the first time and we’re having our initial consultation call, You know, [01:10:00] I’m not wearing something that’s completely like crazy and bells and whistles and I’m not, for me personally, I don’t just like show up looking like fashion, you know, it’s usually something that is very, um, understated, very clean. Like I make sure I have my power lip on. I’m usually wearing something, you know, because it’s more important that trust me and less important that I impress them. Like, you don’t need to know if I do a good job on myself. You just need to be able to trust that I’m gonna make you look good. You know, like I’m not trying to fancy and flatter, I guess. Like, I just kind of keep it clean and like understated, you know, enough, you know, and they’ll be like, oh, I love your glasses, or I love your lip, or, Ooh, I love that, your blouse, but it’s just usually like something very simple.

[01:10:57] Krati: Hmm. So look good enough to inspire [01:11:00] trust, but not so good that you intimidate people and nobody approaches you. Okay. Okay. That, that helps. Uh, okay. Now for like, my final question, I wanna know, and to my listeners, if you want to know about the toy’s favorite brands, and maybe even if she’s generous, she’ll also share like people who she thinks always get it right.

[01:11:20] Krati: I’ll share all of that in the episode description. Uh, but for my final question, I wanted to know if you could ban something from branding and from, uh, clothing, like personal style stuff, and if you could make something mandatory, like everyone had to have this be a part of their branding, be it personal styling or their websites or their digital image, what would that be?

[01:11:45] Toi: Oh gosh, that is, you are, you have the most exceptional questions. Um, okay, that’s a good one. Let me see. I would definitely ban the khaki clo khaki pants cuz I hate them. Um, I just think [01:12:00] that you should just set all the khaki pants on fire, like the literal khaki color pants. Like just, even though I’m talking about beige this week, just no cotton cargo khaki pants for men.

[01:12:16] Toi: Like, no,

[01:12:17] Krati: Okay. Okay.

[01:12:19] Toi: Um, you should totally set those on fire. Um, and then as far as a brand, I think that just the amount of people, coaches that talk about. Authenticity and confidence in the same way. Like no one uses different words. They don’t make it a unique message to them. They’re just all selling confidence.

[01:12:42] Toi: Like, I’ve met so many women and I’m like, what do you do? And they’re like, I’m a confidence coach. I’m a confidence coach. I’m a con. And they’ve seen other women do. They’re like, oh, you know, you’re, you’re a confidence coach. I recently was talking to a business coach and she was like, you know, you’re, [01:13:00] what you’re selling at the end of the day is confidence, so you need to talk about confidence.

[01:13:04] Toi: I said, I will die on this hill. I will not talk about confidence because confidence is bi. I don’t believe confidence is a byproduct of you having your life in alignment. You know that it’s your faith, it’s your mission, your vision, your personality. It’s all those things and they have to be aligned.

[01:13:24] Toi: And then confidence is a byproduct of that. So I would just stop all brands from talking about. Confidence, I learned to talk about authenticity in a different way.

[01:13:36] Krati: Right. Right. Okay. Okay. And, and what would you make mandatory? Now I have to look at my branding and myself now.

[01:13:45] Toi: Um, oh, that’s kind of easy. I think that, um, oh gosh. I think that, oh, that’s easy. Okay. So I would, from an image [01:14:00] perspective, you know, I just want it to be unique. Like really, you know, and I think that like, there’s a really good amount of, I think, um, women of color and black women that do a really good job.

[01:14:15] Toi: And that’s not to say that, um, other women don’t do, you know, a good job of this, but I think that the most, because you can infuse so much about your culture into your, you know, into your image, um,

[01:14:28] Krati: Right.

[01:14:29] Toi: And it can be just be done in such a way that, um, that makes it unique because it’s part of you. Um, and so I think that that’s what it is.

[01:14:38] Toi: It’s just kind of not, I don’t know, kind of like finding that thing that was like a no-no or don’t, and make it in like the nose that you grew up with. You know? Like, you know, like I was always teased about how large my lips were and I, for years, I [01:15:00] did decades. I never wore a red lipstick, you know? So it’s like, take that thing that was like, that you were teased about and that it’s a superpower and then flaunt it.

[01:15:11] Toi: Like, I would make everybody do that. You know, that’s like part of the reason why I’m like, oh, I will wear this red lipstick, you know?

[01:15:21] Toi: And so, so, that was the thing that I would probably say. And then I think that, what was the other one? The don’t like the, to keep them from, not that they shouldn’t do as a brand.

[01:15:33] Krati: We, we covered the sh should

[01:15:35] Krati: not now. What you must do as a personal brand. Yeah.

[01:15:39] Toi: So I think that, um, I think that for everybody should, if they haven’t really. Okay. I’m gonna change my mind about what I was gonna say. I think that, I think that every [01:16:00] brand, for a personal brand for sure, I think that everybody should go to therapy. Like I don’t, I think that before you even start building your brand, you should start the healing process cuz it’s so messy and it’s so uncomfortable, but it’s the only way that you can really, really.

[01:16:21] Toi: Understand the power of your voice and be crystal clear about what it is you wanna say and what you were born to do. Because you get rid of, you know, that little girl inside of your head that’s telling you she doesn’t feel safe and that you need to be offended and that, you know, being angry for the people who didn’t protect you and you need the foster forgiveness and like all of these things and like, shut that.

[01:16:48] Toi: Just start the process of being able to shut that noise down. Because once you do that, it teaches you to, you know, look at the little girl inside of you and say, [01:17:00] listen, it’s okay. You are safe. I’m going to protect you and this is actually a really good idea. I know that you’re afraid and you think that we can’t do this, but we can do And you have to have those tools because that’s the only way that you’re gonna be able to show up in that very unique way. You know, because like Shara Rhymes talks about you have to be the first, or you wanna be the only, but if you have that little voice inside of your head constantly telling you that you’re not enough, then you’re gonna keep shutting those ideas down.

[01:17:34] Toi: So there has to be a certain amount of healing, um, that takes place and being okay to be like, Hey, this was messy and it completely sucked, but we’re gonna do it scared. You know? So I think that if we’re, even with big companies, if they kind of really looked at what their customers were saying, the stories that they’re creating, like what is it that’s really bugging, not what they’re doing well, but [01:18:00] like, cuz focus on that.

[01:18:01] Toi: But like, what is it that’s like a real pain point for them, you know? And not the things that you think are pain points. they want to be more confident, they wanna be da da da. Like, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, Like in her home. When she gets up in the morning, what is the first, is she thinking about your brand?

[01:18:22] Toi: You know, like why? You know. And so I think that like car companies do a really good job of just kind of like, you know, being able to, like, I noticed that a lot you, they, they’ll go by culturally who they know makes the money decisions, and then they market them in the email, I mean in the commercials, you know, and then you’re like, oh, I see what you did there.

[01:18:46] Toi: You know? And so I think that just kind of getting rid of their own agenda and really focusing, going back to focusing and being more people first, you know,

[01:18:58] Krati: Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. Yeah. [01:19:00] Okay. That helps. That’s amazing. Thank you so much Toy for sharing so much information, knowledge, wisdom with us today. Uh, I’m gonna pause the recording. Uh,

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I know what it’s like to fall apart and gradually put your pieces back together to build something better than what you had before and I share all my lessons in this space hoping that you will share my learnings without the struggle.

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If yes, perhaps you’re ready for 1:1 coaching.  I coach ambitious humans who are ready to go all in on their dreams. So, if you’re done fantasising and planning and now need the internal tools to turn those plans into reality, book an inquiry call and we can get started. If we’re a good fit, I will be your guide and companion in this journey till I’ve successfully taken you to the finish line. 

The workbook will be sent straight to your inbox!