'A Certain Je Ne Sais Quoi...’
A true class-act, Life Stylist Blair French is bringing sophistication and savoir-faire back into lives of her clients. With a panache for opulence, French gives guidance in all avenues of the social strata. The revival of retro charm and modern vogue is the platform of French’s avant-garde stylist approach; she offers personalized counseling in entertainment, health & fitness as well as home décor and fashion. From throwing a savvy cocktail party to refining your fitness routine, Blair French is the go-to-gal for impeccable taste.
Exclusive Magazine had the recent opportunity to speak with the one, Blair French, about her innovative business plan and elegant modus operandi. French style, modern class and that certain, well, I don’t know what...
First things first, as a Life Stylist, give us a quick insight into your business and life philosophy "A lifestyle is a way of living, and I love to observe how people live. I have an insatiable appetite for learning about people from different places and cultures, and inevitably, discovering how similar our 'core' needs and wants are. I believe the feeling of connectedness we get from these observations is profound in small, personal ways. As a Life Stylist, I find small ways to express, share, and "broadcast" these ways of living. Whether I'm writing an article, designing a menu, or decorating a room, these ideas are brought 'home' to the audience, having the potential to influence their lifestyle."
You hold a degree in Physical Therapy and spent seven years working with Broadway dancers in NYC. How do you feel your exposure to the crème de la crème of the arts scene is reflected in your work as a Life Stylist? "I learned a few things. First I learned that people are essentially the same, and one person's "job" is no more important than another's. The stage hands and dressers are equally as important to the success of a show as the headlining star. Secondly, the impact of being around and working with such creative and free spirits, relentlessly chasing their dreams, encouraged me to follow my own."
When you speak of Joie de Vivre -- or lust for life, what elements do you feel create the perfect recipe for happiness and fulfillment? "Do what you love, live from the inside out and learn from each 'less than perfect' experience."
What kind of specific advice can you offer potential clients in creating a lifestyle adjustment complimentary to their own life goals? How to you personalize each experience? "I draw upon my training as a Physical Therapist, developing long term and short term goals. I'd suggest picking one area of your life needing "adjustment." Decide, feel, describe and see the ultimate goal for that area. Make a list of different paths or ways to get there and choose one to begin with. Master that goal, reach it, and get it under your belt until it becomes part of your life. Then use the momentum, the feeling of success from this accomplishment, to move to the the next item on your list. If you continue meeting your short term goals, eventually you'll meet the long term goal."
You’ve mentioned that the one thing most people would be surprised to know about you is that you’ve once eaten grasshoppers. We have to know the story! "I was studying cooking in Oaxaca, Mexico. Grasshoppers, called chapulines, are very common there and on most menus. They're fried with garlic, salt, lime and chiles and take on the beautiful deep red color of the chile peppers. You'll see women with mounds of them in the streets and markets selling them from large, shallow, round baskets. A typical way of eating them is to sprinkle them on top of guacamole. Delicious and slightly crunchy!"
Three of the most popular topics you speak on are entertainment, health & fitness and home design. Give us your favorite quick success tip for each of these categories "With respect to entertaining, I like to see the party in my head, begin with the end in mind. I'd suggest imagining how you want your guests to feel--what experience do you want them to walk away with. From there, work backwards creating a menu, decorations, color schemes, special drinks, and music that each contribute to your overall vision. Ask yourself along the way, with each decision, "Does this help create the experience I want my guests to have?"
"With respect to Health and Fitness, I'd say patience is the key to it all. No fast tracks to either. It takes patience to get fit and healthy. Home design tip? A lot like my approach to entertaining. Start with the feeling you want to live in and create everything around that. Whether you need to come home to a soothing, relaxing hideaway, or create an eclectic mix that stimulates your senses, choose furniture, fabrics, colors and accessories that support the feeling you want."
You know what it takes to throw a good cocktail party. With the holiday season quickly approaching, what do you think is going to be the new “it” trend for this year’s memorable holiday events? "I like incorporating different flower, herb or spice essences into cocktails and desserts. The scents from rose water, jasmine essence, juniper berries, lavender, anise, cardamom, or hibiscus are all interesting and unique options for flavor components that will keep you guests exclaiming, "What is that? It's delicious!"
With the recent economic downturn, everyone is pinching their pennies. What is one simple way families and individuals can change their lifestyle for serious savings? "Live simple. Get back to the basics and connect with each other. Forgo the cinema for a simple deck of cards. Remember those? How about a neighborhood potluck dinner--there's power in numbers!"
Creative people tend to draw inspiration from the sights, sounds and smells of the world around them; where do you find your inspiration? "Travel and people."
Lastly, and throwing you a journalistic curve ball, Exclusive Magazine loves penguins...do you? "I love any animal dressed for success. What class!!"
If you’re interested in adding a little glamour and pizazz to your life, visit Blair French at her website:
Interviewed by Erin M. Stranyak
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