Review: Image, Success, and Self-Confidence

By: Rachel Cansler

In our professional lives we’ve all heard the adages, “Dress to Impress,” “Confidence is key,” and “Dress for the job you want, not the one you have.” Is there any truth to these common sayings? Are our business ventures influenced by our individual style and level of confidence? Empirical research has shown one’s professional success can be dramatically increased by one’s ability to project a refined, poised image. Professional Image and Design Consultant Valerie Burns and Jewelry Consultant Calla Gold led an interactive discussion on image, success, and self-confidence at AWC-SB’s May 1 event.

To help participants assess their current wardrobe image before obtaining any professional advice from the expert panel, Valerie Burns had all attendees fill out a questionnaire about their personal style. “Whatever you do, you’re your own best advertisement,” and you need “to look the part for whatever product or service you’re selling,” suggested Burns. Burns shared before and after stories of four different clients. Participants could see how women often struggle to know how to dress for their body type. She gave examples of women who dressed too casually for their occupation or wore clothing too big or too small for their particular body type. When revamping your style, Burns suggests starting with one thing at a time so one can ease in to their new-found image while remaining true to themselves.

Calla Gold then gave her thoughts on how women can make a better first impression by wearing the correct jewelry pieces for a particular business occasion. She suggested shorter necklaces, 16-18 inches in length, that lay above a women’s breast-line are perfect jewelry pieces for professional or elegant occasions such as a small group business meeting or a dinner with people whom you are attempting to impress. A 20-24 inch necklace that falls right at or right above a women’s breast midline, is okay for businesslike situations that are more casual. A necklace 30 inches or longer communicates a more sensuous look that should be reserved only for nonprofessional events. A bold, thick center piece necklace is great for situations where you are speaking to a large crowd or wanting to portray ownership and power. In addition Gold explained how the right earrings for an occasion depends on one’s face shape and on which part of their face they wish to highlight. Smaller earrings attract attention to the eyes while dangly or shiny earrings tend to accentuate one’s smile. She also suggested that for public speaking events women should, “Wear earrings that are as public as the event you are at.”

womeninscarvesThe night progressed to another interactive portion where Valerie Burns chose audience members to model different scarves to illustrate the power of color. During this activity Burns demonstrated that women should pull color around their faces to give them a glowing look and certain skin tones are complimented better by dark, chocolate brown colors as opposed to classic black. Also, purple tones tend to stand out more on brunettes while blues focus attention to those with blue eyes.

When asked what her image consultations typically begin with Valerie Burns stated she usually starts with an analysis of the client’s closet followed by finding staple items for their wardrobe such as a great fitting pair of pants, a statement jacket, and a couple of tops so they can mix and match the items to create multiple outfits. Calla Gold advised that all women complete a “look across the room” when getting ready for a professional event to get feedback on the color, shape, and style of jewelry and clothes from a distance. To do this, she suggests to stand away from the mirror at each approximate distance that their audience members would be at during the particular event. Both experts stressed not to forego your entire personal style when dressing for an event. It is vital, no matter the business venture, to stay true to your own personality.

Review: It’s Mine! Right???

By: Rachel Cansler

As the media world grows increasingly digitized communicators struggle to protect their intellectual property. What is considered intellectual property and how do we go about protecting our works?  Attorneys Mike Velthoen and Jim Q. McDermott of Ferguson Case Orr Paterson LLP discussed these questions and others pertaining to copyright and trade secrets at AWC-SB’s March 6th presentation, It’s Mine! Right??? Protecting Your Intellectual Property.

Intellectual property, as with other forms of ‘property’ says Mike Veltheon, Managing Partner, is best thought of as a “bundle of rights.” We have the right to control the use of, the right to benefit from, the right to transfer or sell, and the right to exclude others from our intellectual property. The challenge is determining if another person can enjoy the same rights and maintain ownership over an idea, when their idea is similar to yours.

Mr. Velthoen discussed several different forms of protection available to safeguard the various types of intellectual property that exist. For example, patents grant a legal monopoly over the use of an invention for 20 years. However, all inventions protected by a patent must be disclosed to the public. This concept is referred to as the “patent bargain.” Examples of patentable inventions include novel machinery, manufacturing processes, and ways to compose matter.

Mike Veltheon also expanded on the topic of trade secrets which he defines as “any piece of information, such as a formula, pattern, customer list, method, or technique, that is of economic value, is not generally known by others, and is the subject of reasonable efforts to maintain its secrecy.” Trade secrets, unlike patents, are protected for an unlimited duration, but do not grant a monopoly to the inventor and are not protected against reverse engineering, which signifies other individuals are allowed to invent the same idea if they can figure out how it is made.

AV-rated civil litigation attorney Jim Q. McDermott opened up with a discussion on copyrights and trademarks. Copyrights, Jim states, are used to protect any original idea or creative work that is fixed to a tangible medium. Examples include a book, work of art, or a photograph.

Trademarks are defined as any “words, designs, or symbols that identify a good or service as coming from a particular person or company.” According to Jim, the strongest trademark is one that does not actually describe the product. This can make it more difficult to market, but it helps to differentiate from similar product offerings and provides the company with a certain unique distinction.

The expert attorneys concluded their presentation with a real world litigation dispute between companies Mattel, Inc. and MGA in which Mattel sued a former employee for inventing a doll similar to the Bratz dolls (are you sure this is correct?) after leaving the company. Although the courts Mattel initially granted Mattel rights to the Bratz dolls, and awarded a settlement, MGA and the creator of Bratz dolls appealed the case and received a $175 million settlement in the end. Mike Veltheon and Jim Q. McDermott’s case story highlighted the significance of knowing what exactly intellectual property is and how vital it is to protect your rights.