I sat down with Jennifer Grimm, owner of Lux Beauty Boutique, to unpack her experience working with All Set Style. I have worked with her in a business setting with a colour session for her staff, and personally with a 'Shop with a Stylist' session in early 2019.
As a friend and business colleague she often texts me new discoveries, or things like 'everyone needs to take your class'. I quickly realized I needed to bottle up her excitement to share with you! I sat down with her to talk about what led her to working with All Set Style, both personally and professionally, her top takeaways, and what she would say to someone who is thinking of working with All Set Style.
It was such a great conversation that lasted about two hours, therefore I have broken it into a three part series. My hope is that you can connect with different parts of her story to see that it is possible to feel authentic and amazing in what you wear.
Grab a cup of coffee and enjoy!
Shelby: Why did you want to work with All Set Style?
Jenn: My closet was a constant source of frustration. Not because I would describe myself as someone who didn't know about clothes, I love clothes. I know myself, I know what I feel great in, I know my style, I use the 'My Style' Pinterest board, which was life changing and I've had it for years. I'm the one who tells other people you have to do your 'My Style' Pinterest board. I constantly curate my closet. I love shopping for other people, helping them purge their closet or go shopping with them saying 'try this on'. And yet, my own wardrobe was unbelievably dissatisfying. I would get even more and more ruthless about getting rid of stuff that either has a bad emotional attachment to it or it just like isn't working anymore.
I couldn't fill those gaps. It was ridiculous because people in my family would joke 'oh yeah Jenn needs that huge closet because she has a huge wardrobe' and I say 'no you don't understand, I have had four garments hanging in there for years!' Then you add on the fact that, in Edmonton, our summers are so short, therefore your summer clothes can last for years because you never wear them out. You might wear a shirt twice a season and suddenly my summer wardrobe that I would bring up every year from the basement is stuff from my 20s. My lifestyle, my age, my body, everything has changed.
I would go shopping, and nothing was my style. It's too conservative, it's too cold, leaving this endless source of massive frustration, so I knew something would have to change.
It started with doing [a colour class for] my staff as a treat. It was me saying 'oh, I'm interested in this, but I've got a handle on it. This isn't about me! This is a group activity and I get to support a friend. It's a fun learning thing and we're not just eating dinner.' And then you blew my mind by telling me that I'm a Warm Orange [warm undertone on the Your True Colors system], when I thought I was a 'Winter' [cool undertone on the Seasonal Color system]. Total disbelief.
Now, this is a real problem because apparently I'm a warm orange and I have no idea how to use this information . I have my little booklet of colors, and what can I do with this?
That's when, after some contemplation, (and it was in the springtime heading into summer again which is my awful season) I need to change and give a gift to my future self. I had the benefit of new information that I didn't know what to do with and that threw me for a complete loop, total desperation, and frustration, so something's got to change. I made the leap to hire you, Shelby, to take me on a shopping tour of West Edmonton Mall.
It's funny because I know myself when I'm frustrated and skeptical.
S: Haha, I knew I had my work cut out for me!
J: Haha, yeah! I didn't actually end up buying anything because I have to sit with things. I have to feel, I'm not going to just buy anything on a whim, that's not me.
Of course that wasn't the purpose of mine. I needed to know what this looks like in real life. I needed you to show me. I needed to touch and try to give me the evidence and proof.
There were so many garments that you had that were all about the color story, and I was like what? You said 'just trust me.'
For me, when I think about the greatest takeaway from the shopping, it was when I said let's do this together. Go to the stores to see if I can point out and identify my colors. That was it for me, not so much 'you should try this on'. It was let's go through and I'm going to keep pointing to different colours. I love color and thought I understood the color wheel, and I'm wondering how am I struggling with this?
S: It's hard when in your mind you're one thing, but in reality you are something else. It makes sense why you struggled.
J: Yeah. I know throughout my life the garments that I've worn, in particular the pinky reddish family, would be cool and people said 'those look so good on you'. If I was going to have my picture taken I would make sure to wear those colours. Some of them were this particular shade of pinky coral. Then being told black is a no go!
At the end of the Lux group class I went home and texted you, of course, when I discovered my palette is throughout my house. My decor is all in my palette and you probably walked in here and were like yup! I can see. Then that whole thing about what the black shade is, which is a really really super dark Olive. I'm thinking, you can't tell me this, my favorite items are black. What are you talking about? Guess what, my favorite items that are black are actually that super dark warm olive, to the point of looking black.
Once you break it down like that and really think about what the composition of that color is, it's fascinating.
S: Another thing you texted me was that in your wardrobe everything you've had for years and you wore all the time are in the warm orange colour palette.
J: Yeah, for instance, despite my incredible frustration with summer clothing, I have a particular summer shirt that I got at a clothing swap type thing on a whim and I've had the buttons reinforced multiple times, because I love that shirt and, of course, it's army green. It all started making sense when I think back to the things I would want to keep or think I look really nice in.
SV: One thing you mentioned about people telling you you look really good in specific colours. It's important to know that of course people want to say you look great in something. They're going to say it looks really good because they like you and that color. Some people will pick up on it, but some people don't pick up on how it makes your skin look.
J: I completely agree. Second thing is if you're always wearing black, and suddenly wearing a color they are going to notice, so that can be a bias too. There are colors I've always known I can't wear because it's so evident how they make me look sick, but there's other colors you can sort of get away with. You just don't look hundred percent fabulous, you look passable. You don't look like you're on death's door, and so it could have fallen into those categories too.
S: Yeah, for sure.
J: There are colors I've always known were not for me and others learned through trial and error. When I went to San Francisco when I was 18 I bought this really cool shirt that I never ended up wearing. Oh, guess what, because it was the worst possible colour for me. Never again will I even look at anything in that shade.
Then there's gut instinct. There's a certain shade of white that's a blue white [pure white], forget it and there's a black, I don't know how to describe it, but it's very cool. Forget it, I can't wear that color. That was that was absolutely life changing .
Oh, yes, this is also important. Many of my favorite colors weren't in that booklet, which was a big adjustment too. And some of them were, like army green I've always loved, yellow is my favorite color, not an issue. Certain colors though I have this negative association with and it isn't my personality, it isn't me. Where's the neon on here? Where's the pink? Where's the stuff that I gravitate towards that's cool and fun? That was also a mental adjustment.
S: Yeah, that's a hard adjustment to make.
J: However, I was motivated. One, I like being a good student and being the best and get my goldstar. Two, I have been so frustrated for so long. I needed to trust the system and hope something would change. That's where the fun came in. It was summer and I'm armed. This is the summer of my change. It was summer last year  and I was able to go shopping with my little book and start building a summer wardrobe. It reminds me of that miracle day that I texted you about.
I was at a clothing store and I had a dozen garments in the store and I'm still getting a feel for the colours. I didn't want to pull the book out in the aisle, so waited until I was in the privacy of the dressing room. I'm holding them to the palette and I'm like, Is that the same blue? I'm trying them on. I'm like, okay, you know, maybe, next one. Okay, sure, do I know? I keep trying them on. Then I put something on and my face completely transformed. It looked like an inner light bulb went on. I literally saw that thing. Of course, that color was bang on. I didn't have to question. Peacock blue, there it is, done. What was key about that is, first of all, with that deliberation, you already know that's not the right one. Secondly, because I saw right before my eyes how amazing I looked, that is the standard I want at all times. This is how I want people to see me. That was enough motivation to say, oh, rust is not my favorite color on earth, I will make it cool [as in popular/trendy].
I am so motivated now to find how I can express who I am within this palette. I want to look the best I possibly can. When you're 25 you can get away with more, but once you hit a certain age it's more of a challenge to look your best. There's already enough that we have to fight against, let's make your colors work for you.
It's about looking fulfilled, alive, lit up, healthy, vibrant. We've talked so much about this. About, what people think and the stories we tell, the certain ideologies that we're brought up with are about 'that's vanity, that's wrong.' Or anything that's girly is disparaged as being frivolous. All those things. When we know because of the industries we work in that it's about what's inside and the stories we tell ourselves and creative expression and taking time for something. We have enough trouble in this world I want to look good and make it easier on myself.
S: Oh, I love that 'make it easier on myself'. How long do you limp along being frustrated and spending money on clothes that don't make you feel vibrant? It's wasting time, money, and energy. I'm so proud of you. You get two gold stars, because you've been intentional and worked at it. That's the thing, it is something that you need to work at.
Giving yourself permission to feel amazing. You did that when you chose to change the way you were doing things. It wasn't working for you, so you gave yourself permission to feel amazing and to learn & grow to get there.
J: That's interesting. What I had been doing hasn't been working with for me. My goal wasn't to feeling amazing, that was the byproduct that I didn't even expect. For me it was 'this hasn't been working, so I need to try something new to have something to wear.' This was a practical problem, it took me too long to get dressed. Not only that, I'm a creative person and I love clothes, and years are going by where my outside doesn't reflect what's inside and what my passions are right.
S: I have to say when I showed up today you're wearing your floral orange shirt with some ruffles, sleeves rolled up, and a little tuck in the front. You look vibrant, you look like who you are and that creative expression of yourself and walking into your home it matched. It all matched.
J: Thank you.
Next time on Jenn's Style Story:
p.s. looking for help with your personal style? Check out our online course in The Style Lab, 'Creating Your Confident Closet' for a guided wardrobe edit experience done at your pace, in the comfort of your home.