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2018 Review And Reflection: The One Situation That Changed My Year

January 1, 2019

2018 Review And Reflection: The One Situation That Changed My Year

I have been spending a lot of time in the last few weeks focusing on reflection. Being an entrepreneur, my time spent reflecting on myself and my business has a tendency to overlap. There is so much of myself in my business, and when I change, my business has to change too. 

2018 was pretty great for a lot of reasons. I found strength that I didn’t know I had, both physically and emotionally. I learned through my two endometriosis surgeries that I am the best advocate for myself. This year challenged me time and time again, but I strongly feel, that I accepted and grew from every challenge.

One of my biggest accomplishments with my personal styling business is that I was finally able to identify my ideal client. I worked with so many incredible women this year, and I love them all. Through our time together, they have become friends, and I am grateful to have them in my life. If you are one of my clients reading this now, thank you thank you thank you!! 

I also worked with some clients who didn’t have that connection with me. Through my reflection this year, I realized that they’re not my people, and that’s ok. That’s why there are other personal stylists (besides me) out there. Everyone needs to find the right person for them.

Right after my second endometriosis surgery (literally hours after I got home), I dealt with a situation that ended up being the catalyst for a lot of my growth. It lead me to becoming comfortable with the idea that some people aren’t my people, and that’s ok. One of my absolute favorite businesswomen, Jenna Kutcher talks a lot about becoming comfortable with the idea of “attract and repel”. This whole experience defined that concept for me.

So, what happened? I was contacted by a woman who worked for a finance company outside of Philadelphia. She was putting together an event at one of the executive’s homes. My contact person wanted to bring me on for the event to talk about style, and also have a fun shopping element to the event.  I sent her the invoice with the amount we agreed upon, she sent me a deposit, needless to say, everything was moving along quite well.

Skip ahead to a few weeks later (the day of my surgery). I receive multiple emails from the executive who is hosting the party, asking for me to call her to discuss the details of the event. The event wasn’t for another few weeks, so I figured that I could wait a day to respond to her email (because, surgery). Apparently, we were not on the same page, and she calls me – twice. The first time, I missed her call, because surgery. The second time, I answered.

Let me summarize our conversation. Don’t worry, I’ll only share the “highlights.” This woman begins our conversation by contradicting everything that my initial contact and I had discussed (fine, no big deal). She then starts questioning why I am “charging so much” for the event (less fine, but whatever).

THEN. THEN, she starts asking me about “my look”. Because, at the time, my website had pictures of me both as a brunette and a blonde – with my tattoos covered and with them showing. She was not pleased when I told her that my current look was the blonde pixie. She asked me questions like, will I be “dressing up” for the event.

The final straw was when she “asked” me to cover up my tattoos, when I was attending the event. According to her, those who were attending aren’t “the artsy type” or “people who would like tattoos”. At this point, I felt like I was going to lose my shit. I told her that none of my tattoos were offensive in any way, and that I have NEVER been asked to cover them up for anyone or any situation. At this point, I told her that it had become very clear to me that I am not the right fit for this company’s event, and they will need to find someone else.

I ended the call and cried a lot. I felt personally rejected, and initially that hurt a lot. Both my mom and Tony were in the room with me, for this entire call. When I got off the phone, I explained what happened. They gave me the support I needed to know that I didn’t do anything wrong in this situation.

I emailed my original contact, tactfully explaining what a giant disrespectful fucking C U Next Tuesday her boss was to me, and moved on.

I moved on by putting my energy into my business – specifically my branding. I never ever wanted to have anything like that happen to me again. So, I worked on my branding. I became more honest with my voice in my different platforms. Every time I hear from a client that they read my blog, follow me on Instagram, read my newsletter, etc. it seriously makes my day. When you become a client, I want you to choose me.

Another big change that happened in 2018 was that I stopped saying, “yes” to everything, and only took projects that fed my soul. In case you missed these on Instagram or Facebook, here is my review of 2018 in collages. These feature my favorite photo shoots and projects that I worked on this year.

headshots, professionaloutdoor wedding, elopement, promise ridgefolino estate, styled shoots across america

editorial fashionsame sex wedding, colorful weddingsblonde pixie cut llama wedding

Some months were busier than others… August was one of those months!

african american wedding, black weddingboudoir shoot family beach photos beach photo shoot

beach photo shootlouie louie, smak parlour, philly style

October was when I had my second surgery, so most of it was spent recovering. But, this boudoir shoot for these seven stunning women was the best way to get back to work. This was one of the most empowering shoots I’ve been lucky enough to be part of.

boudoir, lace boudoir, what stigma philly couple, old city philadelphia fall family photo shoot, winter family photo shoot makeover, teen makeover, personal stylistPhiladelphia bride, Philadelphia Wedding, Benjamin Franklin Bridge, Ben Franklin Bridge, Ben Franklin Bridge photo shoot Susan Padron personal stylist, philadelphia stylist, nj stylist porta philly, porta philadelphia, dati boutique, six clothing boutique, fashion + foodeditorial, high fashion, black and whiteI am by no means a “finished product”, and still have a lot of learning and growing to do. I am proud of everything I accomplished this year, and looking forward to everything next year has to offer.

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  1. Fern Kaufman says:

    You are one badass Susan Padrone! You have a gift and talent to make people feel good in their own skin which translates into empowering others.
    Those who don’t “fit”? Screw them (well not lookliterally. People flow in and out of your life-some longer than others, some forever.So glad you came into my life.

  2. Wow, that was a big moment in your year. It couldn’t have felt good at the time, but in every experience there’s a lesson learned, and I’m inspired by how you’ve learned to be comfortable with you are and the fact that some people are your people and some people aren’t. I feel like I accept this more easily in my personal life, and have more difficulty accepting this in my professional life, but it’s something that I’ll have to work on! Happy New Year Susan! -Audrey | Brunch at Audrey’s

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