Client Testimonial:
Benchmark Senior Living
Community Appreciation Event

benchmark senior living"Without knowing anything about you or your company, I signed up to attend a two-hour seminar at a Benchmark Assisted Living facility in my town, South Windsor, CT. I am a local Realtor and a woman who welcomes an opportunity to get together with women friends for a night out, so I got three associates to go with me that evening.

Well, I was completely blown away by what I learned that evening. I am not exaggerating when I say you changed my life. As a Realtor, I never know when I'm going to get a call that requires me to dress in business attire to meet a client. I always considered myself to be an organized person as far as my work files and office setup went, but my clothes situation was always out of control. I over-buy and never know what I have in my closet.

My friend Lynne, one of the three who accompanied me to the seminar that night, was equally affected. We spoke again and again about what a huge difference your system could make in our lives and couldn't wait until we put it into service. We laughed over how silly we felt that it had such a profound impact on the two of us but you so obviously hit a need we shared. Lynne was able to tackle her closets before I could and jokingly bragged about it. It was killing me having to wait. I finally managed to block an entire day and went to work at it. I had already purchased hangers, plastic boxes, etc. so I had what I needed.

My husband and kids thought I'd lost my mind. Every time I had a free minute, I spent it reading your book. Then, one Saturday I got started on my dresser and closets and spent almost 12 hours start to finish. In the end, I was completely exhausted and the results were dramatic. I did a major purge, packed away out-of-season clothes, and converted my wardrobe to the system recommended in your book.

As a busy Realtor, wife, and mother of three young teenagers, I have more than enough stress in my day-to-day life. So to now have dressing each day as simple a task as it can possibly be is to die for. I go out the door looking poised and professional with zero stress. Each day starts so smoothly it blows me away to think of how it used to be.

I have since recommended the company I work for have you in as a guest speaker. I purchased four additional copies of your book, which I gave to my sisters as Christmas gifts.

I want to thank you SO much. The advice you give and the system you recommend is invaluable to any working woman."

Jeanne Allard
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
South Windsor, CT
Attendee Benchmark Assisted Living Community Appreciation Event

Colleges & Universities:
Seminars & Keynotes for Students and Alumni

college squareWe work with a variety of colleges and universities such as Boston College, Harvard Executive Education, Suffolk University and Wharton to design graduate, undergraduate and alumni programs to help students and graduates effectively prepare for job interviews. 

Our signature program “Your Visual Resume:  Landing (&Keeping!) Your Dream Job”™ gives students extra self-confidence and a more competitive edge by helping them to effectively manage first and lasting impressions during the job interview process and in professional situations once they are hired.

Program Goals

  • Increase professionalism in the interview and on the job
  • Eliminate situations where non-verbal communications skills detract from the overall impact of professionalism
  • Assist students in developing an authentic personal brand that compliments their unique leadership qualities
  • Enhance self-confidence through a polished appearance

Seminar Results

Here’s what one student wrote after a successful interview: 

"I am a student at Northeastern University who attended your Dress for Success Fashion show. I spoke to you briefly afterwards about my two upcoming interviews. The first was with the Oprah at Home magazine.  Well, a week after the interview I was offered and accepted the job.   I attribute so much of this opportunity to your presentation and the things you shared. The day after I met you, I walked into Ann Taylor, immediately told the salesperson that I needed an interview suit, and an hour and a half later I was at the checkout counter purchasing a beautiful black pantsuit. I topped it with a double string pearl necklace, simple pearl earrings, and fresh pair of black work shoes.

Never before have I felt the transformative power of clothes in the way I did with this outfit. I knew I looked professional and I felt so confident. The greatest piece of advice that I took away with me from your show was that when you invest in yourself, you openly invite others to invest in you. I am so excited that the Oprah people invested in me! Thank you for all your help and extra attention. I honestly would have been lost and clueless without you."

Mary Eileen Gallagher
Northeastern University Student

"P.S. I wanted to share this with you as well: When I talked to you after the fashion show, I was astonished at your height. Not in a negative way, but you are not a tall woman, as neither am I. But I must compliment you, when you were up on that stage conducting the show, you held a presence that said you were at least six feet tall. Your confidence on the stage was amazing. Congrats, because I know that must have taken a lot of hard work."


Our interactive format yields results.

college students

The seminar you designed for us has not only helped the students prepare for interviews, but it has also significantly changed the way they view the importance of their overall professional appearance once they land a job. From using our students as models to the generous amount of time you spend answering individual questions from students before and after the program, it is no surprise that your curriculum has become one of the most popular professional development sessions we offer our students.

Helen Frame Peters
Carroll School of Management
Boston College


Please contact us if you would like more information about designing a program for your institution.

Client Profile:
Bose Corporation

bose logoWhen you hear the name "Bose," words like excellence, reliability, innovation and sophistication come immediately to mind. The company is known worldwide as a leader in advanced sound technology.

When Framingham, MA-based company began rolling out showcase stores in high-end shopping malls around the country, they called on Organization By Design to help conceptualize, design and introduce new employee uniforms to all retail employees. Needed were two sets of uniforms - appropriate for the new stores and the existing factory outlets - that would instantly communicate Bose's corporate philosophy to its customers.

"We wanted a look that would increase the visual impact and self-confidence of our sales associates," comments David Wood, Director of Bose Retail DirectGroup. "Mary Lou visited our stores, took a close look at our marketing strategy and pulled together a team of vendors to create winning wardrobes for both stores.

"The new looks were unveiled at an annual sales meeting in Scottsdale, Arizona," adds David. "District Managers volunteered to model the new uniforms and an extensive question and answer session with Mary Lou provided managers from across the country a valuable opportunity to get specific professional image questions answered."

Sales associates at Bose showcase stores are now outfitted in blue chambray dress shirts and black slacks. The outfit is completed with black tee shirts, belts and shoes.

For the sales associates at the factory stores, the casual look they are currently wearing was upgraded and perfected. Because a good fit is important to self-confidence and overall professionalism, the sales associates' khakis are now coordinated with hunter green polo shirts cut in a variety of sizes for both men and women.

To ensure a strong brand image is maintained throughout the country, the name badges assigned to employees at both stores are the same. Re-designed in a brushed silver metal to suggest the company's high-tech products, the badges are actually the word "Bose" shaped in the company's easily identifiable logo with a space for individual names.

The goals of the new wardrobe program are simple. When a customer visits a Bose store, they are greeted by professionally dressed, knowledgeable and self-confident staff. The appearance of the store and the image and demeanor of its people combine to create a welcoming environment, setting Bose apart from other sellers of high technology equipment and inspiring trust, respect and credibility for its products as well as its people.

Client Profile:
Estee Lauder

estee logoEstee Lauder prides itself on being a leader in the beauty industry. The International cosmetics company encourages its employees to set the standard for maintaining a professional appearance in the workplace.

Since 1995, Estee Lauder has been rewarding (and actually promoting!) a variety of its employees with Organization By Design's seminar, "Using a Professional Image to Produce Business Results."

"We have found Mary Lou's two- and three-day seminars to be useful management tools. They motivate employees while building their confidence and helping them establish their own personal style without sacrificing their professional presence," says Sue Fike, Field Education Director for the Northeast.

The seminar is designed to raise participants' awareness of the unspoken messages they send through dress. It also helps them understand the impact their overall image has on their goals both on and off the job.

Following an interactive group session on the morning of the first day of training, participants meet one-on-one with Mary Lou for a private consultation. Each person receives an action plan that includes tips to round out their wardrobe and suggestions on what styles will work best for them on the job.

During the seminar, participants are also introduced to the company's new cosmetic and skin care products by one of Estee Lauder's top makeover artists. They also receive a hair consultation with a New York stylist.

"After successful programs in Boston, New York and Toronto, we rolled out the program this fall to our sales and education team in the Philadelphia-Baltimore-Washington region with excellent results," adds Fike. "We plan to keep Mary Lou's message alive and well at Estee Lauder."

Take our Workplace-Dress-Stress Test!

There is enough stress in today's workplace without having to worry about managing your employees' professional appearance.

Do you suffer from WORKPLACE-DRESS-STRESS?
Take our quick quiz:

   Does your organization have issues with the way people dress?

   Does management struggle with how to communicate what is appropriate and inappropriate attire for the workplace?

   Do you have clear dress guidelines?

   Can all your people distinguish between "traditional business attire," "business casual," and "resort casual" as they relate to professional situations?

   Do you allow business casual dress days at least once a week? If so, do some employees "get it" while others confuse casual with being too sloppy or too provocative?

   Are your sales people and managers required to attend company social events? Do they understand the importance of maintaining a professional image at cookouts as well as more formal events?

   Are there people in your organization who are held back because of the way they dress and present themselves?

Chances are you answered *YES to many of these questions. Many companies face these same issues. Contact us if you would like to discuss how we can give your people a competitive edge by significantly improving their visual impressions.

[Click here to review our sample Corporate Image program]