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Step out in style!


JOY ODUNSI is the founder and senior stylist of Potential U, a style and image consultancy. She spoke to Soul Stirrings about her life, faith and shared how people can spruce up their image for 2013.

Soul Stirrings (SS): What is Potential U and what does it do?

JOY ODUNSI (JO) Potential U is a style & image consultancy that helps men and women achieve style and confidence with their wardrobe. We work closely with our clients, looking at body shape, skin tone, personality, and lifestyle to create a confident, stylish look for them.

SS: What inspired you decide to go into this kind of work?

JO: As a child I always admired my mum; she was always well turned out. My interest in fashion originated from my glamorous mother. I’m from an academic Nigerian family, so I didn’t pursue fashion initially. I went to university and pursued finance.

Unsatisfied and unfulfilled with my high-powered role as a financial controller, I quit my 13-year city career to follow my dreams and create Potential U. I retrained at London College of Fashion as a personal stylist.

SS: What’s your response to comments that image consultancy is expensive? And why should people pay others to advise them on how to dress?

JO: Personal styling isn’t expensive, and isn’t reserved for wealthy celebrities. It’s for anyone who wants to look and feel their best! We pay and value services for fitness, health, beauty so why not how we dress? Our appearance is the first thing that is noticed. It’s important to project the right image within work and socially. First impressions count!

SS: What kind of people use your services?

JO: We work with a host of clients, predominately women, from stay-at-home mums to businesswomen. We cater to all client lifestyle requirements. Our approach to work is to treat each client as an individual. Listening to their needs is key and offering the right service that exceeds their expectations.

SS: The issue of dress remains a major bone of contention for Christians. What dress rules do you think Christians should apply when they go to the house of God?

JO: I don’t believe we should prescribe how people dress to church. The house of God should be welcome to everyone, irrespective of their attire. As mature Christians, we know that we should not dress in a manner that is provocative or alluring. I personally like to ‘dress up’ for church.

I make an effort when going to other places, so why not the house of God? Potential U has delivered numerous personal styling workshops at churches and women’s fellowship groups.

SS: As a Christian how does your faith impact your work?

JO: The aim of our service at Potential U is to give our clients confidence and encourage them to feel good about themselves. As a Christian, I endeavour to work with integrity and offer an honest service. I have had my share of dodgy offers, and by the grace of God I have not succumbed!

SS: What are your hopes for your business in 2013?

JO: Our 2013 goal is for Potential U to have a mainstream style TV show, similar to the likes of What Not To Wear and Gok’s Fashion Fix.

SS: Lastly, what top five style tips would you advise people to adopt for 2013 if they want to dress to achieve their goals?

JO: 1. Don’t follow fashion as style is timeless! 2. Dress for body shape – it’s more flattering. 3. Avoid tight clothes (they make you look bigger). 4. Wear colour, don’t let colour wear you. 5. For a fabulous style: Potential U!

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