HOSU 18 | Empowerment Influencer

Alison Lumbatis – Founder of Get Your Pretty On, Entrepreneur, Author, and Empowerment Influencer

Fashion is more than just about clothes, and being an influencer is more than just having followers. Today’s guest is an empowerment influencer who grew her following organically by helping women gain confidence through clothes! Alison Lumbatis is the founder of Get Your Pretty On and the creator of the #1 online capsule wardrobe building program in the world, Outfit Formulas. After going through a rut after leaving the corporate world of engineering, Alison found that having the right formula to piece an outfit impacted her life in more ways than one. Now, she’s helping other women realize the same. Tune in as she joins host Matthew Sullivan to discuss how she built a 7-figure business by catering to her audience’s needs.

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Alison Lumbatis – Founder of Get Your Pretty On, Entrepreneur, Author, and Empowerment Influencer

Alison Lumbatis is a 7-figure entrepreneur and the founder of the Get Your Pretty On website and creator of Outfit Formulas – the #1 online capsule wardrobe building program in the world.

Alison Lumbatis, welcome to the show. It’s an absolute pleasure. I read all this stuff about the enormous empire that you’re building. I am the guy that wears the equivalent of yoga pants, which is shorts that are comfortable. Anything from the waist up is okay. I did wear a shirt on an episode and I did feel different. I’m rambling on here. The pressure that I feel is a bit like when you speak to someone who’s a psychologist and you know that they are interpreting every word and they’re analyzing you, or if you have dinner with a doctor and the doctor is looking at you like, “What have you spotted?” Is that a problem that you have now with your success with Get Your Pretty On and everything that you’ve done? Everywhere you go, people are slightly nervous about what they’re wearing and how they are looking. Is the first word they say to you, “I’m sorry but I got dressed in the dark this morning?”

It’s like when you go to the hairdresser, the first thing I say is, “I’m so sorry. My hair’s a mess today.” She’s like, “No, that’s why you’re here.” I hear it all the time. You are not unique in feeling that way at all, but you did a great job because I love your graphic t-shirt.

It’s my favorite t-shirt. It’s my Fender t-shirt but I cannot play the guitar. I own about three guitars and I’ve figured out that even though you buy guitars, that doesn’t mean you can play them.

I relate. I have a baby grand in my front room and I cannot play the piano. No one in my house does either but it’s beautiful. Maybe someday.

How hard can it be? It’s just playing in the right order.

You did a great job. I hear it all the time. People are always saying to me, “I didn’t know what to wear. I was so nervous about what I was going to wear.” I feel the same way. This little bit of pressure that I’ve got to show up. I threw this kimono on right before you and I got on our call together because I had on a basic tank top and I thought, “That’s not nice enough to wear to be on camera.” It goes both ways, for sure.

There are so many studies out there that prove that the way we dress and external changes absolutely affect us internally.

Back to this t-shirt, this is a vintage t-shirt that I spent hours trying to find. I wish I had a kimono now. I’m going to buy a smoking jacket and I’m going to do all of my show in a smoking jacket from now on.

I would love that. That would add a lot of class.

I’ll have an El Pipo on the side. Every now and then I was going to have a puff.

A burgundy smoking jacket would work well with your shirt.

Coming from a telecoms engineering background, is this some other form of engineering? Is this material engineering? Are there commonalities? Is it your engineering eye? How did it start? I read your bio and it was this wonderful transition from engineering and telecommunications to the story about the yoga pants. You woke up and thought, “I can’t wear yoga pants anymore.” Suddenly, you have a multimillion-dollar business. Was there a bit in the middle there somewhere?

There was a huge bit in the middle there. I’ve always had entrepreneurial aspirations, we’ll put it that way. I worked in telecom as an engineer for fourteen years before entering into that. I stumbled down the path of style accidentally. It was something that I needed a solution for my day-to-day life. I find that a lot of entrepreneurs start out that way. I need a solution and it’s not out there, so I’m going to create it for myself. My engineering brain did come into play because whenever I went to get dressed, I’d fallen into these yoga pants. I had been working from home for a few years and I couldn’t quite put my finger on what had changed, but I knew that my motivation was lacking. My self-care had taken a dive and there were all of these things that were snowballing into me not taking care of myself anymore.

I felt like getting dressed was the key to getting back on track again. When I went into my closet, all of my clothes were from my corporate past life. I was defaulting to yoga pants because they’re super comfy and I didn’t have anything else to wear. I sat down and thought about it. I thought I have to rebuild my closet to work for the clothes that I wear for my lifestyle now, not then. That’s when the idea for Outfit Formulas was born. I realized that there were five basic variables in an outfit formula that creates a complete look. For women, in particular, that is your bottom, which is going to be your pants, your skirt, your jeans. I wear jeans all the time or yoga pants. Your tops or toppers, which would be your jackets, cardigans, blazers, and your shoes and accessories.

I thought if I could look at my closet in a different light and view each piece in there as a value that I can plug into this formula, that would make getting dressed easier and it did. I started out experimenting with different outfit formulas and I would post them on my blog. Other women would style these outfits and they would post pictures. They would say, “This works for me. I found that your formulas work for every size, shape and budget.” That’s when I realized I cracked the code on getting dressed in a way because I was empowering women to be able to use the pieces that were already in their closet or filling gaps for pieces that they needed. Also, take this concept and apply it to every item in their closet so that they could see that they could be paired up in multiple different ways to create mix and match outfits. That’s how this whole thing was born. I started blogging about it and then it blew up from there.

I’m sitting here thinking that they’ve got names. There are classifications. You’ve got tops, bottoms, and I’m thinking I have this missed out. I’m uneducated on all of this stuff. I just grabbed whatever is the least wrinkly thing and hope that no one sees me, and then claim that wrinkled stuff and t-shirts with holes in them are trendy. You can bluff a bit. Clearly, there is a science behind what you’re doing. There is not just science in terms of how you match things but in terms of the psychology that’s linked behind clothing.

What you’re tapping into is something much deeper than just matching a pair of trousers with a shirt. That’s the real depth of the program and the company that you’ve created. You naturally understand this and using your engineering mindset or your ability to be quite structured about something, you can see how A could fit with B, and B could fit with C. That’s something completely beyond or invisible to many of us. How did you stumbled across that and realized that there is a formula or this way of creating synchronicity or harmony between different types to deliver the outcome? The outcome isn’t to look good. The outcome is to feel good.

I love science and studies. I started noticing that I felt like I was in a rut clothing-wise and how that affected every area of my life. It started out with just yoga pants, but then it went into not wearing makeup, not fixing my hair, and not working out. I’m throwing on yoga pants and I wasn’t doing yoga. It snowballed into other areas of my life where I wasn’t feeling as motivated at work or around the house. Things were getting messy and disorganized. I didn’t have the energy for date nights or family fun. It was truly touching on every area of my life. It seemed like such a small and simple change but there are many studies out there that prove that the way we dress and external changes affect us internally. I knew that, going into this.

Combining that knowledge of getting dressed makes us feel better, or getting dressed in clothing is a reflection of who we are or works for our lifestyle. It doesn’t have to be a fancy outfit per se. The first realization that I had was women were wanting outfits that made them look put together, but they didn’t have to be dressed up. When I started blogging in 2012, there weren’t a lot of blogs or influencers out there that were speaking to this particular demographic of women who are working from home or staying at home who still want it to look put together but didn’t want to break the bank or be dressed up every day. There was a little bit of luck and timing that came into it at that point.

It is about being willing to show up, being imperfectly you. Good is better than perfect. Progress over perfection.

Looking at the pieces in my own closet as I rebuilt my wardrobe, sharing that journey, sharing those pieces that were the cornerstones of my wardrobe with other women. They started coming to me and saying, “Can you please do this for me every season? Tell me what to go out and buy. Tell me what to pull out of my closet to put together an outfit.” I inadvertently created what is a capsule wardrobe. I did not know it at the time but what I was doing was enabling them to mix and match all of the pieces in their wardrobe so that they could get more use out of them, get more bang for the buck, and be able to have a wardrobe that was functional and fashionable at the same time.

If you go back to 2012, this was well before any of these horrible so-called influences descended onto our internet. Your blog became a huge success at one point. You were looking at 150,000-plus subscribers or people that we’re seeing this. This was probably around the time of Facebook and social media. This was pre-social media. You probably were one of the most visited sites. To create that clearly, at what point did you think, “There’s something here. There’s something that is beyond me just sharing my ideas?”

It was great back in those days because people were coming to blogs for their communities. Their communities were built in the comment section of the blog. We didn’t have many social media at that point. Facebook was around, but this was before Instagram, Pinterest and everything. It was way before all of that started and it was harder to get the word out. You can go viral easily nowadays, not on Facebook and Instagram anymore because it’s a pay to play. There are places you can, TikTok being one of them. It was a place where we were building community. Women were finding me organically at that point in time from word of mouth because their friends were saying, “You should go follow this blog. She’s giving me great style advice.” They were wearing outfits and their friends were saying, “Where did you get that?” They would tell them about me.

HOSU 18 | Empowerment Influencer

I also had a core group of blogging friends that I started out with at that time. We were all on the way up together. We supported each other. We got the word out about each other, and that helped things also spread like wildfire, where our communities were sharing with one another and we were building each other up. Even though we could have been competitors in that space, we decided to be collaborators in that space and help each other grow and lift each other up.

At this time, were you still working from home in the telecommunications field or was this a part-time, bit of fun as it were? Was there a moment where you thought, “This is what I need to be doing, not that?”

For six months before I left Corporate America, I was blogging 5 to 6 days a week. After work every day, one of my guilty pleasures was I would get online. I would have my ideas and my photos ready to go. I would put my blog posts together to post the next morning. I would go through all the comments and all that fun stuff. I spent six months doing both then in 2013, my manager came to me. I was working on the landline side of telecom, which we all know is a dinosaur at this point. It’s like AOL. I was managing networks in Europe, Middle East and Africa. I had gone from being in a group and team lead of twenty engineers down to two.

I knew the writing was on the wall that eventually, these two engineers were going to be reassigned. My manager came to me and said, “Would you like to go learn something completely new in data or would you like to take a severance package?” I said, “Please, severance, give me that. I will take that.” I took the severance package and it was about a six-month package. I decided at that point that I was going to get stretched for a year and focus on growing the blog and seeing what could happen. At that point, I was probably already at around 50,000 page views within six months of starting blogging. I knew the potential that was there. I just didn’t know the business model or how I would make money at it. That’s what I spent the next year figuring out how to do.

A big part of that was going to my readers and saying, “What can I give you? What type of service would you be willing to pay for? Is there something that would make your life easier, that makes it easier for you to get dressed every day?” Gathering that feedback and having that little bit of a cushion in there to be able to try things out and beta test with my audience was key to launching a successful program when the time came for it to launch in 2014.

Do you think that process has changed with social media nowadays? If you look back at the way that you created an engaged audience, it was by being very engaged. In other words, rather than just pushing stuff, it was a two-way discussion. You’ve kept a close eye on what’s been happening in social media because that’s probably part of the lifeblood of your business as well. Do you think that’s changed? Do you have advice for someone who’s coming into a similar world where you’re offering something that’s service-based? What would your advice be to avoid the pitfalls, to try and get that engagement? My last point is because you talked very much in some of your other interviews about being genuine, vulnerable and communicating, what is your view on that?

I believe that connection has been a key to everything in my business from day one. I felt like I was making friendships with my readers and with my followers. I’m connecting with them, being vulnerable with them and saying, “I don’t have all the answers,” and it’s okay. I can be one step ahead because that connects better with my audience than being an expert because they see that I’ve been in their shoes, “She’s been here. She understands this. It wasn’t that long ago that she felt like me.” I believe that was part of the key to connection. It was being able to say, “I don’t know everything but this is what I’m learning and I’m willing to teach it to you.”

Being super honest about that early on in my journey, I’m not a traditionally trained stylist. I am an engineer. I have a Psychology degree. My background was not in style in any way, shape or form. I do have a creative side of me, which blends well with the profession but being honest with them. My advice to anyone starting is I hear all the time, “Blogging is dead.” Blogging is not dead. Blogging is still very much alive. I’m still getting six million impressions from Pinterest. Clearly, people are interested in my blog content. There’s a reason for that. It’s amazing for your search engine optimization. If you’re putting out regular content, Google loves that. They will show people your content. Blogging is important but if you’re looking for that connection, you can certainly make it on your blog, but you can do it as easily on a social media platform.

It is about being willing to show up and being imperfectly you. I always say good is better than perfect, and progress over perfection. That’s important to let people know that you’re right there with them. Even though you’re speaking on a topic, it doesn’t mean that you have to be the expert on the topic. Many people stop themselves in their tracks of doing something because they think they have to be further along, but I can promise you that you can make that connection more authentically sometimes when you’re not further along.

There’s so much information that is pushed. We talked about this a bit. If you look at some of the platforms like YouTube and Instagram, where it’s one-way traffic, “I’m creating some content. I’m going to push it on you. I’m not going to have any dialogue or any feedback.” Do you see that there’s going to be a resurgence in platforms where there is that opportunity to have a dialogue to connect? I was talking to someone who has run a successful platform for decades that enables people to deliver video messages. If you’re just spamming people with email, you lose that connectivity. Your business growth is going to be dependent on what do you think. What do you think is the most critical thing for your business going forward?

Nowadays, video is king because it is a way of connecting with people in a more personal fashion than email or written communication. When you do produce a video, be sure to engage in your comments. If you’re doing reels on Instagram, you’re posting on Facebook, or you’re over on TikTok, it’s an interesting space to be in. I got in there and I had a viral video, which was a big learning experience for me. I totally wasn’t trying to go viral. I’ve been playing around over there more for fun. It was interesting to see what happened with that when it blew up and I got all of these comments that were coming in. It was such a different audience than what I’m used to.

My audience has been with me for years. They know me, trust me and like me. They are kind to me but on Tiktok, it is no holds barred. They’re going to say what they’re going to say. It was a great learning experience for me to see that when you make a personal connection with people, they’re kinder to you. They feel like they know you. They say things to you that they would say to a friend, not to a stranger on the internet. That’s why it’s super important.

Even though there were hundreds of comments on this video, I went through and tried to answer even the ones that were not nice because I want them to know me as a person. I’ve always felt like social media should be social. It should be a two-way street. You shouldn’t just be throwing content out there and expecting to get something out of it because it doesn’t work that way. You’re not going to get business from doing business in that fashion.

Changing slightly to the impact of COVID on your business. Apart from the physical impact on buying habits, more and more people are working from home. People’s perception of their home as a workplace has changed significantly where many people don’t want to go back to the work environment. What feedback have you seen and how have you seen your audience change in terms of what they feel about themselves, and how they feel about their future and how that’s changed?

It’s interesting to watch the progression of things since COVID. We were launching a huge program right before the world shut down in March of 2020. My program sales went down by about 50% that first season. I was thinking, “What is COVID going to do to our business? How is this going to impact? Everyone’s afraid of spending. Their lifestyle has changed drastically. They’re working from home for the first time.” What ended up happening was my business grew by 10% in 2020 because so many more women were in the position that I was in when I first started blogging. They were finding themselves out of their routines, working from home for the first time, not sure how to navigate this new space, ending up in athleisure most of the time.

At first, it was all like sunshine and rainbows and everybody’s loving it, “We get to wear joggers and yoga pants and everything.” Toward the end of 2020, more women were coming to me saying, “I’m ready to get dressed again. Please, don’t put any athleisure wear on your capsules. I want to get dressed in real clothes. This is what’s making me feel good. I feel like I have a sense of control over something whenever I have an outfit that makes me feel good, even if I don’t leave the house all day.” It’s been interesting to see that wave that we’ve been on with it. It’s going to continue to play out through 2021. I’m seeing more retailers that had strictly comfy clothes. A lot of dress items there are now coming out of that too. There are still a lot of soft fabrics and looser styles, but I’m seeing more structure and we’re moving. The pendulum is swinging slightly back in the other direction again.

Would you say that your focus is always going to be more on the consultancy side, or do you see yourself swinging more towards design distribution sales? Is there an evolution of your business that is going to take on a different vertical, for example?

There is but I’m not forcing anything. I’ve allowed my business so far to be organic and follow what my audience, my readers, my followers and my customers want. I have been diligent about gathering feedback from day one and tailoring my programs to what’s going to serve them best. I consider doing box styling services, but people find out about formula in Get You Pretty On because they don’t want to do a box styling service. They want control over what they’re buying, how it fits, and what they’re spending.

I haven’t considered going into that at this point in time, but anything could change at any point in time. I find that from a business standpoint, there’s not a lot of overhead with producing a digital program. We put everything together on a membership site and we’re able to deliver it all digitally. It’s very easy as far as the backend of the business is concerned. I say easy but we launch at least four times a year. It’s a well-oiled machine at this point in time but I don’t have plans. Maybe someday I’ll do my own capsule but I love partnering with retailers now and allowing our customers to shop at the stores that they love the most.

The biggest challenge is how do you keep the advice fresh? That must be a challenge to make sure that everything that you look at, you have to try and maintain that fresh pair of eyes every time.

The great thing about my program is that it’s built into it. It is a seasonal-based program. Every season has a new trend or a handful of new trends. What I’m teaching my customers to do is build a core basic wardrobe and then each season, add in these fresh new pieces that you can mix and match with your core basics. I have evergreen programs that I run year-round. They’re called Closet Staples and Essential Program. In these programs, I help women to build their closets up with these core staples that they can wear year after year. These might be more investment items that are going to stand the test of time like great fitting jeans, good shoes and boots, outerwear, sweaters, or the types of things that they’re going to be able to wear season after season that are not going to go out of style. These are your classic items.

With my seasonal programs, I’m able to help them add in fun new patterns, colors, trends, silhouettes and styles that they can put into their wardrobe where they’re not having to reinvent it each season, but it’s still keeping things fresh and new and they keep coming back. We have an 85% customer retention rate, which is amazing in the membership site space because they want this fresh new content. They want somebody to guide their decision-making with the trends. It can be overwhelming or maybe you don’t feel like a trendy person per se and you’re not sure, “Is this going to work for me? I’d like to see this on other women.”

They get into our community groups and they see all the pictures that the women have posted in there. They would say, “I see someone who is my age, my size or whatever, and she’s wearing this trend. I’m going to rock this trend too.” There’s a little bit of that peer support that’s going on in there as well. That’s what keeps them coming back for more. It’s amazing and we’ve had season over season growth since 2014. I don’t think it’s going to slow down, honestly.

It is all about education because it’s the whole empowerment thing. It’s like, “If you give a man a fish, you feed him for a day. If you teach him how to fish, you feed him for life.” That’s the same approach where you’re showing people what they’ve got in their wardrobe and how to convert that into feeling good. Ultimately, the objective is to get people to feel good about themselves. I can imagine the positive feedback you must get. It must be encouraging and make it worthwhile.

I always tell people that I sell style but it’s the Trojan horse. The Trojan horse is style and they’re getting confidence. I have had many women come to me and say, “This has impacted my life in such significant ways. I never thought that feeling good in my clothes could have such a huge impact.” Watching the transformation, not only in their competence levels when they’re posting their selfies over the years. I can see these transformations happening where they’re much more competent in their clothing, and discovering what works best for them. It also translates into other areas.

We’ve had women tell me they’ve decided to go back to college and finish a degree, change their careers, their relationships have improved, or this has made their lives so much easier in one area that they were able to go explore something in this other area. It’s fun to see what seems such a simple external change and all of the ripple effects that it has on the people around them, and also seeing how they’re impacting other family members. They’ll have sisters, friends or their daughters if they have adult daughters that will join the program as well, and see the ways that they’re impacting other people.

We had a group of moms join us because one of the moms was showing up to her mom’s group dressed in these cute outfits. Every day, they say, “Why are you so dressed up?” In a sense, it was making the other moms feel bad about themselves because they weren’t dressed up. Instead of her dressing down to match them, she said, “Come with me. I want to show you this. I want you to feel good in your clothes too.” As women, sometimes it’s hard for us to do that. They want to be okay with standing out than inviting them along for the journey. We had this whole group of twelve moms. They were dressing in the same cute outfits every single day. It was amazing to see how this one mom’s influence went and spread throughout her community to all the other moms, and they all came along for the ride.

We were talking about the business and the entrepreneurial side, and creating a hugely successful business, which is what you’ve done. At the surface, you’ve got what you’re doing, which is the science, the engineering or the advice. Someone who’s looking at this might be tempted to try and create another range of clothing or one of these box delivery services. There is such a chasm between what you’re doing and yet another box of clothes that turns up at the beginning of the month. What this underlines is the importance of solving a problem, not just being a me-too business, hoping that you can ride on the coattails of some other business that has been quite successful.

That’s been a blessing and a curse if I’m being honest. What I’m doing in the personal style space is somewhat disruptive. No one’s doing this. No one’s showing women, empowering them, and teaching them how to shop for themselves, and showing them how to shop with a purpose and taking a shopping list to the stores. Everyone else is pushing consumerism and buying more. I’m teaching women how to curate their closets and love the pieces that are in there, and practicing like, “If it’s not a yes, it’s a no.” It’s completely different. I feel in a sense that I’m an anti-influencer because when I first started out, I had a blogger come to me and said, “You’re never going to make it in this.” I said, “Why not?” She said, “You’re not trying to sell clothes constantly.” That is the influencer business model. You’ve got to sell other people’s clothing and earn the commission from it.

Social media should be social. It should be a two-way street.

That’s how everybody does this game. I thought, “That’s not authentic to me. I don’t shop all the time. Why would I do that? I’m not going to be somebody that I’m not with my audience.” It took me about a year to figure that out where I realized that women were following me because I was showing them how to use pieces they already had. It wasn’t pushing things constantly or showing my Amazon hauls or having them go out and shop constantly. It’s been a little bit harder because, on the front end of marketing, we have to educate. People expect the box to be sent to them when they hear about my service. They’re like, “You’re like Stitch Fix. You’re like a box styling service.” I say, “No, I’m not. I work well with those brands. If you want to get boxes delivered to you, you can use those clothes in my program, but that’s not how we work.”

It’s been a bit of a marketing mystery to figure out. I’ve got a great team on it, but we’re still trying to get that education piece out there because it’s something so different from anything that’s out there in the space right now. It’s been incredibly successful through what we’ve done organically so far. We’ve not done a lot of paid marketing. I’ve not done a lot of ads simply because I can’t wrap my brain around what that looks like. It’s a fun mystery. It’s a fun problem to solve, for sure.

You’ve tapped into or you’ve created the greatest form of advertising, which is personal recommendations. That virality is something that graces far faster and it has much more longevity. From a scalability perspective, you’ve got the digital distribution and the ability to move. Do you see differences in different states or in different age groups? Are there things that popped out of the conversations that you had that surprised you? In terms of like, “I never thought that women in South Dakota would prefer this,” or things that came out of all of the discussions where you thought, “I never thought that that would be the case,” but the more people you speak to, whether it’s a strange thing or an interesting thing.

We have women in 25 countries that participate, and we have women in every state in the US and Canada. It’s cool to see how they all interpret the capsules differently. The Pacific Northwest is a completely different style than Texas, for instance. It’s fascinating for me to sit back and watch that because it is a formula concept and I know that they can use specific values for the formulas and see everything come to life. As a creator, what is most personally satisfying for me is to see everything come to life. Also, how it works for all of these different demographics and all of these different shapes and sizes. I wanted to build something truly inclusive. I wanted to democratize personal style. Most women can’t afford $150 an hour to have a stylist come into their home, shop their closet for them, and then take them out. Shopping for a few hours, which is not feasible.

I knew that I wanted a product that women could afford and that would reach all of them and was not going to exclude anybody for any reason. That was a lot easier said than done if I’m being honest, but refining that through the years. The women in my community represent it more beautifully than I ever could. They are such a beautiful diverse representation of every possible thing and that speaks for itself.

Would your biggest challenge going forward be finding more people like Alison as it were, that you can trust, that is not going to suggest for people to go back to yoga pants as a form of rebellion, for example? Is that a challenge or have you found that you’ve been able to tap into this rich seam of talent and enthusiasm from the people that you’ve met?

If we’re talking staffing and personnel, I would love to have a second Alison. Quite honestly, when I think about it, I’d love to have a second Lauren, who is my business manager. She’s amazing. She balances me out in every possible way. I’m an INFJ Enneagram type and she’s an INTP. I’m not positive about that, but we balanced each other out so well. That was key for me finding somebody that was able to fill in my gaps. If I could have two of her, that would be amazing. We can all wish for those things.

Is there an Enneagram symbol for someone who likes to live in denial and doesn’t like the idea of doing an Enneagram? That scares me. It’s like I do not want to know anything more about myself.

I’m sure there’s one out there. I’m an Enneagram 5 and we love knowing about personality typing. It’s a rabbit hole, for sure.

That must be quite interesting with the work that you do. You’re tying together what people like and matching it with something that’s pretty fun to see. The possibilities, the more data you get from people. Presumably, that means that your decisions and your recommendations can become more targeted and more informed. That gives you more power. That must be one of the real benefits of the digital element.

HOSU 18 | Empowerment Influencer

Going back to the surveys, we still do customer surveys twice a year. We’re gathering all of that input and not being afraid to hear honest feedback from your customers, and giving them a way to submit that anonymously, and having all of that data there to boil down, and involving them in the program creation. That’s a huge part of our success if I’m being honest because I allow them to be my partners in creating this. I ask them, “What trends do you like? What trends don’t you like? What pieces did you love last season that you’d love to wear again?” I take all of that. My team does it and boils it down into this list so that whenever I go into a new season, I’m able to tailor and create the capital around what they truly want, and involving them in that process. That also makes them want to be involved in the next season that’s coming out because they feel like they’ve had a say and that they’ve been heard. Your customers have to feel that you’re listening to them.

Do you name collections or ideas after some of the people that you speak to? You could have such a brilliant idea from someone. You could name that collection after her so people realize that it’s not just a faceless organization. I’m sure it must be one of your ideas.

HOSU 18 | Empowerment Influencer

I love that idea. We haven’t done that yet. That’s brilliant. I give props when I can and sometimes in the community groups or Facebook groups that we have, I’ll say, “I saw Mary wearing this item and I knew that I had to include it on a capsule. I was inspired by seeing Ann’s version of this outfit. I wanted to include this.” I do try to give shout-outs when it’s possible to let them know that they inspire me as much as my capsules inspire them. They inspire me more because they take my ideas and turn them into something that I never even dreamed of. The beauty of it is seeing all of that creativity rising up in the community.

As women do the program for a longer period of time, they generally start out following the Outfit Formulas straight off the page, to the letter, no variations, no substitutions, which is fine. That’s a great place to start. As they grow in the program, we see them starting to take those liberties, their own personal style, starting to come out in different ways. That exploration and part of that journey is like a personal development journey that we’re watching unfold and it’s a beautiful thing to see.

When you have people that create this fantastic playlist or stock lists, and then they become famous within the eTrade environment for being one of the fund managers to watch. These are all amateur guys, but they become famous within that environment.

It’s cool to watch that happened, and the influence trickled down from me through the customers and out to the world.

It becomes alive and organic and the community supports the community. No one will ever watch YouTube ever again, which would be fantastic. I would love to introduce you to the Hooked On Startup’s Quick-fire questionnaire. These are very difficult questions. Question number one, what is your favorite word?


Question number two. What is your least favorite word?

Can’t or won’t.

You’re not the first person to say that. It’s like this common thread. Question three, what are you most excited about now?

I’m going to the beach and my book is launching. You can clearly see that the beach vacation has a bigger payoff for me than this book I’ve been working on for several years. I need the downtime for sure.

Question number four, what turns you off?


Question number five, what sound or noise do you love?

The ocean.

I see a theme here. Question number six, what sound or noise do you hate?

I’ve had a construction project going on this other side of the wall.

Question number seven, what is your favorite curse word?

It’s the F-word, for sure. There’s so much power. Don’t trust anybody that tells you it’s not the F-word.

Many people stop themselves in their tracks of doing something because they think they have to be further along.

There are variations of that word that have made me sit back in pure admiration. Question number eight, what profession, other than your own, would you like to attempt?

I believe actor. I used to dabble in it a bit and I would love to get back into doing some theater for sure.

Question number nine, what profession would you not like to attempt?

We had a guy come out and clean our septic tanks. I would have to say, “No, thank you.”

Where there’s muck, there’s brass, as they say.

That is true and he was telling us what an amazing business he’s built. I admire him for that.

It’s yours, don’t worry. There’s not that much competition.

There’s not. That’s what he was telling us.

HOSU 18 | Empowerment Influencer

My final question, Alison, if heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates?

“Well done on always trying to become a better version of yourself every day.”

Alison, it’s been such a pleasure having you on. My final question is, how do people find out more about you, about Get Your Pretty On, about everything that you’ve done and you’re doing? How do they become part of your network? What’s the best way to contact you?

You can find me everywhere online at GetYourPrettyOn.com, all of the social handles are @_GetYourPrettyOn, and the Outfit Formulas program is at OutfitFormulas.com.

It’s been such a pleasure. Thank you once again.

Thank you.

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