And just like that, we’re on the last lap of our annual Glazia Women’s History Month Spotlight Campaign. Where did all the time go? With only a few days left for us, we’re spotlighting our next superstar, Olere Odiodio. 

Olere Odiodio holds certification as a style coach and ranks within the top 5 style coaches in Africa. Her primary focus lies in assisting mid-senior level professionals, coaches, and consultants in dressing for their next level of success through authentic personal styling and professional wardrobe branding. With over half a decade of experience, Olere has collaborated with over 100 women across various African countries. She has been acknowledged by ABCD Africa as one of Africa’s most influential voices and has been featured in several notable publications, including The Guardian.

Beyond her role as a certified style coach, Olere Odiodio has spearheaded a new direction in styling by recognizing the individuality of each body. Her innovative approach entails integrating clients’ distinct body types, personalities, and lifestyles to curate a personal style that aligns with them and enhances their confidence. Her personalized methodology not only sets her apart but also presents a groundbreaking solution in style coaching.

“We all have a style that’s unique and authentic to us and a truly successful woman has stepped into her most authentic self in every facet of her life, including her style.”

Olere Odiodio

Glazia in conversation with Olere Odiodio

Can you share the inspiration behind your decision to pursue a career in style coaching and professional wardrobe branding?

I didn’t set out for personal styling right away. I’d say God led me here. From learning to create a truly authentic style for me, I noticed other people kept asking my opinion on style, even when I ran an online thrift store back in 2019. As a person with an eye for detail, I started pairing the clothes in my store in ways that created a cohesive look for the buyer. With time, my clients began asking my opinion before they shopped. I would request pictures from them and then give advice based on their body type. I started doing a bit of consulting till I finally took to styling full-time.

Olere Odiodio
Olere Odiodio
What sets your approach to personal styling apart, and how do you empower your clients to dress for their next level of success?

I often refer to myself as a transformational style coach. My aim isn’t to help women create a unique personal style but to discover it. Style is somewhat like energy. It can neither be created nor destroyed. The truth is we all inherently have style, but discovering it and translating it in ways that are consistent and cohesive is where the issue lies. Beyond style, my work involves a series of mindset shifts. That’s why my approach starts first with self-discovery. Who are you? Why is your style important to you at this time? What do you hope to achieve by improving your style? Because at the end of the day, style is a tool, a means to an end. 

Another important aspect of my methodology is helping clients understand their unique body types. I always say, ‘No two bodies are the same’. The generic hourglass, pear, rectangle, etc body typing system does not cut it when truly finding your most authentic style as our bodies even though they might have some similarities, are all intrinsically different. We all have a style that’s unique and authentic to us and a truly successful woman has stepped into her most authentic self in every facet of her life, including her style. 

Reflecting on your experience of working with over a hundred women across different African countries, what are some common challenges they face in personal style and professional image?

As Women, we often have in our heads an idealized version of what we think we should look like. When we feel we don’t look that way, we start to think there’s something wrong with our bodies. According to research by Palmer Mario in 2014, 91% of women are unhappy with their bodies (and with the increasing rate of plastic surgery, I can’t help but think this number might be even higher today). Women often think if this dress doesn’t look right on me, “My body must be wrong” instead of thinking “This dress must be wrong for my body”.

How do you navigate cultural diversity and individual preferences when providing style guidance to your clients?

One of the core aspects of my methodology is helping my clients understand their style identity. This is a part of the style that speaks to what they are naturally drawn to as an individual, outside clothing. Of course, this is influenced by culture, lifestyle, personality, etc. I help my clients lean into their style identity so they can embody a style that authentically feels like them.

Olere Odiodio
Olere Odiodio
In what ways do you believe personal style and wardrobe branding contribute to professional success and confidence in the workplace?

We are what we wear. Your style is a reflection of who you are. According to research by Forbes, 85% of executives say an employee’s attire significantly impacts their chances of getting a promotion. Your style is your brand. No doubt, building a strong presence through personal style and branding is one way to get ahead in your career.

As one of Africa’s top five style coaches, what advice would you offer to aspiring professionals looking to enhance their brand through style and image?

Get a coach. It will save you time and it will save you money in the long run. Style is not a talent. It’s not something you can just conjure and whip up. Does it come naturally to some people more than it does to others, sure. But it’s a skill regardless, one that takes time, effort, and resources. If you can, save yourself the stress and pay a style coach to make that journey faster and smoother.

Can you share a memorable success story or transformational moment from your journey as a style coach that exemplifies the impact of your work?

There have been a couple, but one of my most memorable would be my client Efie, who was going back to work after seven years of staying home to raise her kids. She used a phrase that is now what I call my 8-week Style coaching program. After our work together she said, “I feel like a total diva”. She later got a promotion within less than a year of returning to work, and her style was a huge factor in her promotion.

Can you share a project you’ve been involved in that addresses gender-based challenges or promotes women’s rights in line with the theme “Invest in Women: Accelerate Progress” for International Women’s Day?

Apart from being the founder of a community (The Cue Club) centered around culturally relevant and unique experiences, one of which is our women-only brunches where we discuss things like money, leadership, influence, and other progressive strategies women can employ to move the needle in their favour.

I also volunteer by sharing my knowledge to empower younger girls. One of which was a partnership I had with the LBS (Life Beyond School) Foundation which is a foundation set up to equip young girls with the right tools both physically and mentally for life beyond school, founded by Dr STM. I taught the young girls how to leverage style to gain influence and stand out.

Olere Odiodio
Olere Odiodio
As a woman entrepreneur in the style coaching industry, what strategies have you employed to overcome challenges and achieve your goals?

Crazy as it sounds, these days I’m grateful for challenges. I’ve recently been getting into the art of gratitude. Gratitude gives you the room to introspect. I don’t see challenges as mere challenges. I see them as opportunities for growth. And that is the first step to overcoming any challenge.

What are your aspirations and goals for the future of your career and business in style coaching and professional wardrobe branding?

I hope to empower even more women to see style as not just a flimsy expenditure, but a business tool that can be leveraged for both career advancement and personal growth. Also, through authentic styling and personal branding, I want to help them attain confidence – a much-needed tool for any woman to soar.

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