Guest Blog by Carrie Motamedi
I am an introvert, I like to make things happen behind the scenes and make other people successful: It is my comfort zone. However there are many contrasts to this in my life, and it can sometimes make me very uncomfortable. I’m an executive at a startup who sometimes has to speak in front of large crowds. The company I work for is a DIY workshop where creative people (the majority in their 20s and 30s) use high-end machinery and wear jeans and t-shirts. Though I’m in my forties, even as a kid I never really wore jeans. My main work-from-home outfit is a combo of PJ tops and sweat bottoms, but sometimes I have to go to the city or other places where the “jammie chic” look won’t cut it.
Recently I had a string of speaking engagements in the Bay Area and Austin, and it sent me into a bit of a panic after seeing photos of my last attempt at self styling for the stage. I turned to my amazing and always put together friend Julie Gordon White for advice and she simply said, “I have the perfect line for you. Do you know Stella?”
I’m not familiar with any fashion designer or high-end brand of anything when people ask, so no, I had not heard of Stella Carakasi before then. I looked online and saw the gorgeous model and thought it just wasn’t me; clearIy clothes like these were made just for her. Mine is not the body type to pull off those cuts. Julie waved away my initial reluctance and made an appointment for me to go in to the shop (of course she had to come with me as my extrovert helper). “I’m telling you, these clothes were made for you!”
And so started my journey with Stella, as I took in pieces that I thought were “maybes” and walked out as if someone finally got me. I left the shop with several items, feeling like those amazing French women who have a few basic pieces that plug and play and wow. I wore my “Pressing Engagement” jacket for my next talk. (BTW , Julie ended up getting the same jacket and despite us being different heights, it looked amazing on her too.)
Not long after that I had the opportunity to hear Stella Carakasi speak . When she talked about her own challenge with being more on the introverted side and having to be the front person of a label and give talks, it provided so much insight into the soul of her clothes. Now I understood why someone like me could feel comfortable wearing something that was eye catching. Her clothes made me stand out without making me feel like I was trying too hard or over thinking it.
I was hooked and went back before heading out to moderate a panel at SXSW (South by Southwest) in Austin. I even wore some things from the Spring line that I wouldn’t normally have (like the “Made for Me” jacket which was rock n’ roll fun). I’d learned to trust the style and was able to go from an executive formal work dinner to a band performance at a local bar.
The outfits took me from technology panels to after parties because the clothes were elegant, timeless, current, fresh and — most importantly — made me feel comfortable enough in my own introvert skin to dabble in being an extrovert. (The “Attitude” pencil skirt is one of those pieces I want to own five copies of, just to make sure I have it in my wardrobe for the rest of my life!)
Fashion should transform you, not help you hide. Clothing can impact not only the way you look and feel but how you ARE. I don’t want to worry anymore about what to wear. I want to be me and be comfortable so I can focus on what I’m doing, who I’m with, and enjoy any moment in life comfortably. But looking good certainly doesn’t hurt, and since I have been wearing Stella I’ve gotten so many compliments that I know I can grab anything from the line and go. Now, I’m actually ok with putting myself out there.
Carrie lives in the Bay Area with her husband and two active boys. She is Vice President of Marketing for TechShop, a do-it-yourself workshop and fabrication studio. Cooking, Baseball and inspiring people to make things are her passions.