ALTAMONT — Making a good first impression can be a valuable asset when it comes to interviewing for a new job or creating a new positive image.

Kate Beals, a Brazilian native who moved to Altamont this year, has years of knowledge and formal training in the fashion industry. She recently launched Kate Beals Fashion, offering her services as a personal fashion consultant and stylist to area residents.

Beals moved to Altamont in March to marry Realtor Grant Beals Century 21 Reality Concepts of Effingham.

“Coming to Altamont gives me a new chance to be happy,” Kate Beals said. “I am leaving my whole life in another country – and coming here is a blessing.”

Kate Beals has three children Diovani, 21, and Leonardo, 22, living in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and Kamilla, 30, who plays volleyball in Portugal.

Beals spent 4 1/2 years at Sigbol Fashion Institute, majoring in Fashion Design, and studied Fashion Journalism at the Escola Sao Paulo.

When Beals started her professional career in the fashion industry 25 years ago, she was a freelance journalist in Brazil writing several articles for fashion magazines and newspapers. She also worked in department stores selling specific high-quality clothing brands before launching her own personal consultant business.

Beals grew up in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Her father was a chauffeur and her mother worked as a dressmaker.

“She had her own studio, where she made her dresses,” Beals said. “I grew up in the middle of silk and embroidery.”

Beals said she enjoyed seeing how happy people would get when her mother created clothes for them.

“It allowed me to understand people have different bodies and not everybody can look good in the same clothes,” Beals said. “I help people figure out what clothes are right for them.”

Beals has a five-step system to evaluate what clothes would look good on a person. She said the most important thing is the first conversation she has with a client.

“I interview a person to understand the places they go and things they like to do,” Beals said. “In this interview with the client, I observe her physical type, what her work is, places she frequents. After that, through colorimetry, we find the appropriate colors for her skin tone.”

After determining colorimetry, she visits the home of her client to organize their closet, removing the clothes that are not a match for that person.

She then goes to the store with a client and finds clothes that best match that person. Beals helps both women and men find the right clothing solution.

“I would then be a personal shopper,” Beals said. “Selecting the right fashion is important. I find exactly what is perfect for that person.”

Beals said wearing the right clothes can boost a person mentally as well.

As an example, she said women stay home after having kids and look in the mirror thinking they will never look great again. There is no reason for someone to stay home and feel depressed. They may just be wearing the wrong clothing combination, she said.

“Sometimes people are just ashamed of their look and think their image is no good,” Beals said. “Some people think fashion is not important… Yes, it is very important.”

“I love to make people more confident,” Beals said. “It is possible. I really enjoy seeing people happy.”

Beals also has experience as a consultant for businesses. In one consultation, she made a presentation to a group of employees at a bank about how to present themselves to the public.

“Sometimes a business owner is concerned about their image,” Beals said. “This is how I can help.”

“I help employees understand what kind of makeup is good for work and what clothes are correct,” Beals said. “I can help with a company dress code.”

She said some employees come in with too much makeup and sometimes wear the wrong colors. Beals said companies she worked for in Brazil have her teach proper dress code because businesses are not sure how to talk about dress code problems with their employees. She can make presentations to sales staff explaining the importance of wearing proper clothes that make them more confident on the job and help them sell more products.

Beals said another service she provides is helping someone looking for their first job select proper wardrobe options. She said schools would hire her to give a presentation to students on how making a good impression by wearing the proper clothes can help land a job.

“The first impression is the most important,” Beals said. “It’s that first 15 seconds that either leaves a good or bad impression. If you are wearing the wrong clothes, there isn’t a second chance.”

She said good clothes and proper grooming are essential for making a good first impression.

“It makes a big difference,” Beals said.

Beals has a Facebook page for her business: facebook.com/katebealsfashion.

Charles Mills can be reached at charles.mills@effinghamdailynews.com or by phone at 217-347-7151 ext. 126.

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Reporter/Videographer

Charles Mills is reporter and videographer for the Effingham Daily News. A 1983 graduate of Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, he worked as senior video editor for a Nashville television station. He is a native of Vandalia.

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