Impressionist gives notice

You only get one chance to make a first impression, so why not make the most of it?

That's the advice Rebecca Z. Kurath, president of We've Got Style, Inc., gives clients, who come to her for wardrobe and image consultation.

"I just love working with people, helping people develop their personal style," explained Kurath. "Personal style is for me making choices that work to your body type and personality."

Kurath, 50, of Sarasota, explained that style does not mean the latest fad, it's more about projecting an image that is distinctly your own, and helps you feel and look your best.

"If you look good and feel good, your confidence soars," she said. Kurath opened her business in June. She counsels individuals, does group events, hosts workshops and, fashion show productions, and does wardrobe parties, and corporate training.

"I think people need to understand image strongly influences other peoples' perception of them, their personality, financial success, authority, trustworthiness, suitability for hire and promotion," she said.

Each client gets a two-hour assessment. Then, Kurath reviews what styles might suit each one. She goes through her clients' closets and helps them shop. She provides feedback on clothing, colors, jewelry, makeup and hair style. She even does fashion makeovers.

Maybe her clients are retiring, going through divorce, or want a new job. They might feel their age and want to counter the years with a fresh look. Middle-aged women ask how to dress appropriately for their age, Kurath said.

An introductory style/image assessment costs $300. Personal consulting, wardrobe, closet analyses and personal shopping all cost $75 per hour. A fashion makeover and photo-shoot package costs $1,200-$1,500.

Since Kurath moved from Oregon, she has noticed that Floridians seem confused about appropriate business attire.

"You can still dress casual, but look put together," she emphasized.

She owned an insurance business for many years, but sold it in 2002.

It provided her a chance to change careers and pursue her passion for fashion, which she had always loved, she said.

"It's about loving and respecting yourself, taking responsibility for your own life, and creating a life you want," explained Kurath. "Think positive and positive things will come your way."