As The Seasons Change

September 30, 2012
Whether the calendar proves it or not, you can always tell when the season is changing. It’s not just that the sun sets a few minutes earlier or that there’s a chill in the morning air – there’s a shift in our thinking, a shift in our behaviors. 

We grow and change, we evolve, like nature, and whether we like it or not, we need to change with the times.  

Sometimes that means giving up what we’re attracted to for the sake of what is appropriate. I still love mini-skirts and tank tops, but they just don’t carry the image I wish to portray as an established, respected professional and speaker.

As you shop for your fall wardrobe, keep a few things in mind:

Spend more on classic pieces that you will wear for several years – pieces that will never go out of style.
Keep in mind that not everyone is a “perfect fit” to a designated size – any size. Invest in a good tailor for a proper fit, whether you’re buying from a discount house, resale shop or a high-end designer/couture house. Far better to have the “fit” than the “designer.” 
Speaking of designers, I do have a favorite.  I’ve  been wearing the Carlisle and Per Se collections for years and can honestly say that I have pieces in my wardrobe that are over 15 years old.  The versatility and quality of the brand makes for that stylish staying power!
When I work with women on enhancing their personal brand image, I often refer them to The Carlisle Collection as a place to find that signature piece to achieve a look that suits her taste, personality and unique lifestyle.  

Spend less on “fad” pieces that will be cute and stylish right now, but be relegated to the resale shop come September next year. 

And don’t overbuy. Trust me, that’s a piece of advice I have to tell myself every time I shop, but the truth is, we don’t really need that much to put together a great wardrobe. We just need to be certain that the pieces we purchase work with a variety of other pieces already in our closet. Yes, I do mean the mix-and-match wardrobe!
And last of all, be mindful that you wear the clothes – the clothes don’t wear you. Too often, we see competent, amazing women overpowered by the clothes they wear. When you stand on stage, or at the head of the Board Room table, the audience’s attention should be on YOU, not  your outfit. People are easily distracted by clothing; keep it simple so they’ll remember what you said rather than what you wore.
Autumn is here. Work with and within your own season.
Warm Regards,

Why it Was so Easy to say “Yes!”

August 15, 2012

Every summer since 1932, over 500 people from across the country come together to make the Laguna Beach, California Festival of Arts, a local event with international draw and appeal.

I had the opportunity to see the 2012 production titled “The Genius” firsthand, as my husband was in the orchestra – a truly wonderful way to fill his summer recess from his job with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra.

I was amazed by the creativity and artistry that morphed the works of famous painters into intricate stage sets with live actors. I was more amazed when I learned that the people on stage, the costume designers, seamstresses, make-up and hair stylists, and everyone else involved with the production, were all volunteers – and their volunteer commitment ran for 60 days.

It started me thinking: What if we all had that level of enthusiasm for our local charities?

What if every opportunity we had to give back to our community filled us with joy, and made us all, individually and collectively, better people, better citizens, better stewards of our world?

That is why it was so easy for me to give an enthusiastic “Yes!” to Molly MacDonald when she asked me to co-chair the 2012 Annual Luncheon benefiting the charity she founded, The Pink Fund.

The Pink Fund provides direct household bill payment for women and men in active treatment for breast cancer who have lost all or a portion of their income as a result of their treatment protocol. I think every one of us knows at least one person whose life has been impacted by this disease, and seen the financial devastation that can ensue as a result.

And so I gratefully accepted the role as co-chair, and I ask you to consider how you might help. Are you willing to volunteer? We need help on the committee, volunteers to assist the day of the event, and much more. The event will be held September 15, in Dearborn. Ticket prices and donation options are detailed on The Pink Fund’s website.

We need people willing to change their own lives by helping to change the lives of others.

How can I make it easy for you to say “Yes”?

Warm Regards,


Save Your Flip-Flops for the Beach

July 11, 2012

There’s nothing I love better than a relaxing day at the pool or the beach, but I would never consider wearing a business suit to either one, would you?

So it came as a bit of a surprise to me when I saw the attire worn by close to half the women in attendance at a business conference and networking event I attended a few weeks ago. Skin-tight micro skirts and 3″ heels; lightweight, low-cut dresses down to the floor with flip-flops; shorts and t-shirts.

Yes, it’s hot outside; we want to be comfortable and stylish – and, it’s good personal policy to remember that you are always on stage, even when you are a spectator at a business conference.

People are watching, and they will make decisions in a nanosecond about working with you (or not) based on how you present yourself.

Be impeccable with your presence.

Here are a few tips to help you coordinate your summer business attire:

Buy light-colored suit separates; a lightweight blazer or summer cardigan can “business up” a summer dress or sleeveless dress shirt when you have to attend a meeting.

Dresses and skirts should fall close to your knees when you stand. Anything shorter is inappropriate.

Remember that it is unprofessional to show too much skin, so avoid sheer garments, unless you are wearing cover-up undergarments of the same color.

Avoid plunging necklines.

Wear dressy sandals or open-toed heels or flats. Flips-flops are never appropriate for a business setting – not even the designer brands.

A high-end brand worn inappropriately is less acceptable than a fit-you-well, classic piece from a thrift shop.

When in doubt, it is better to overdress than underdress.

Wishing you a fun and fashionable summer!

Alice Was Wrong

June 13, 2012

June 2012 Newsletter

Dear Friends,

Alice Cooper took the stage in all his “out there” glory, screaming, “School’s out for summer, School’s out forever…” and like all the other teenage girls back in the ’70s, I rocked along. It was the first concert I ever attended.

All these years later, I think back to those days and realize that Alice was wrong – school is never out, never over, for those of us who value our brains as well as our experiences.

I go to the Apple Store every week for classes on making the most of my MAC. Every week I come loaded with questions, and sometimes I even stump the “Genius Squad” at the store. The cool thing is that they are geeked about having a problem to solve, and in the end, we all gain.

The adage, “When the student is ready, the teacher appears” is only half of the equation. What I’ve learned is that it works both ways – it is equally true that when the teacher is ready, the student appears.

Alice was wrong. School goes on forever, we just change seats now and then.

Just for Today: Take five minutes to write about a time you were a student, and a time you were a teacher. How did the experiences differ?

Then please, drop me an email with your story!

Warm Regards,


Recalling Our Childhood

June 13, 2012

May 2012 Newsletter

Dear Friends,

Ever since Mother’s Day I’ve been thinking of how our childhood shapes our adulthood, and the influence mothers have in creating who we become.

Even in kindergarten, I was the kid that fit in everywhere, so it was easy for me to bridge the gap between the groups. I was never solidly in one group – I was in all of them, because I had a huge curiosity about people where were different from me.

My mother always said, “You can do whatever you want.” And all these years later, here I am working every day to help people build bridges to each other while celebrating their individuality.

What did you love in kindergarten? Those things, those innate talents, are gifts, and those gifts are what people want from us. Is that passion still a part of your life? Do you honor what you love every day of your life?

Are you doing what you love, or what the world said you should do?

Just for Today: Make a list of the things you loved to do as a kid. Pick one thing, then go do it for at least 15 minutes.

Then let me know how you’re doing!

Warm Regards,


June 5, 2012
The ATHENA Awards
Jill presents as
Mistress of Ceremonies
11:30 a.m.- 1:30 p.m.
The Detroit Yacht Club

Starting Fresh

June 13, 2012

April 2012 Newsletter

Dear Friends,

Exciting things happen in spring, don’t you think? The equinox ushered in the season, you celebrated Easter or Passover, paid Uncle Sam or thanked him for the refund, and are giving your home that wash-away-winter Spring cleaning.

It’s also a good time to take a look at your business and your brand.

I tell the people in my public workshops that in a competitive marketplace, everything counts – your stance, your clothing, what you say, the way you say it, and the reputation you hold.

Just for Today: Make a list of the things in your business or brand that need a refresh or upgrade, and take one step towards making it happen.

Then let me know how you’re doing!

Happy Spring!


And the winners are…

March 30, 2012

The Michigan Women’s Foundation celebrates 25years…honoring the past, celebrating the present, and envisioning the future.  Thank you, honorees, for making a difference for all of us.