We had the good fortune of connecting with Abigail Cole Hardin and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Abigail Cole, how does tech affect you and your business? How does it help? How can it hold you or others in your industry back?
Technology can’t do everything. Imagine communicating with a tailor over FaceTime to get custom alterations. You would have to take your own measurements and communicate them to the tailor. It would be confusing, inefficient, and probably wouldn’t yield the result you desire.
Inside Out Image Consulting is primarily in-person because it not only allows us to be more accurate in our services, but also helps us build quality relationships with our clients.
Technology plays a small role in our process; however, we do use it for our add-on services like online shopping, virtual closet, and perhaps coaching a closet clean-out.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
My sister, Audrey, and I are not only trained image consultants who help enhance our clients’ appearance, but we are also trained mental health professionals who help our clients emotionally.
My experience learning from fashion leaders in New York City for over four years taught me the industry, yet what makes us stand out even more is that we understand our clients because we identify with our clients. We, too, have had to overcome our own “image” obstacles that made it hard to gain confidence. Yet through our own image journey, we learned to embrace every part of ourselves.
What you are most proud of or excited about?
We are most proud of helping our clients gain clarity and confidence in their personal image from the inside out. Our holistic approach gives our clients the ability to be decisive in every area of their personal image – from shopping to closet clean-outs, to communicating who they are in every encounter. They are confident because how they look is how they are. They live their best life because they live authentically.
How did you get to where you are today business-wise?
We focus on quality. First, we build quality relationships with our clients. We want our clients to know that they are seen, understood and will be cared for. Their lives become our walking-testimonials. Secondly, our attention to detail has set us apart business-wise. From our precise assessments to comprehensive education for our clients, we produce stand-out results, which has promoted our business through word of mouth.
Was it easy? If not, how did you overcome the challenges?
Though building relationships with our clients is easy and natural for us, we found our biggest challenge has been to build relationships with potential clients.
We realized we need to explain more about the depth of our work when compared to that of a stylist. Where a stylist is more “trend” based, we custom trends to enhance each client’s body, coloring and style personality. So, no two clients will have the same portfolio.
We have overcome this lack of understanding by providing informational resources, testimonials, and before and after pictures to potential clients, which helps them transition into actual clients.
What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way?
We have learned along the way that small companies and corporations also want our services in the form of streamlined presentations that can enhance their employee’s personal confidence and better reflect the company brand. This has led us to develop half-day seminars and other presentations.
What do you want the world to know about you or your brand and story?
Inside Out Image Consulting is about giving you the power to own who you are from the inside out.
We want you to be confident in every part of who you are. Outwardly, your look from head to toe will reflect who you are inwardly – your strengths, uniqueness and flair. We don’t make you into someone you’re not. We want you to be everything you are!
We are here every step of the way to give you the tools, support, and guidance you need to be fully you and feel confident from the inside out.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Sunday: Brunch at Toulouse, play with pups at Mutts
Monday: CorePower yoga, coffee at Sip Stir or Magnolia’s, dinner at Velvet Taco
Tuesday: Katy Trail walk/run, reward with margaritas at Katy Trail Ice House
Wednesday: See Dallas Museum of Art and eat sushi at Oishii
Thursday: Shop around Highland Park and get an iced cookie at Bird Bakery
Friday: HG Supply Co. dinner and drinks on the rooftop, then find live music in Deep Ellum
Saturday: Brunch at Paradiso and explore Bishop Arts, then go two-stepping at Red River
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I want to shout-out to my sister, Audrey Hardin, who is my business partner, constant support, and best friend! She empowered me to take our company to the next level with my New York fashion experience. We are a great team and know how to sharpen each other.