7 Questions – Know Your Chapter President Better

Chapter President, Carol Parker Walsh, AICI CIC, answers a few questions so we can get to know her better.


Q1. Tell us a bit about yourself.

I’m originally a California native and will always be a California girl at heart. I grew up, however in Chicago and it was there that I finished high school, received my BA in Organizational Communication from Loyola University and my law degree in Employment & Labor Law at Chicago-Kent Law School. Later I received my PhD in Human Development and Social Systems. I’m married to another California native who ended up in the Pacific Northwest as well. We have two gorgeous kiddos, our son Nick a 20 year old college student and our daughter a 17 year old college bound high school senior. When I was younger, I wanted to sing on Broadway or in the Opera and I actually studied at the Chicago Conservatory of Music for 2 years. I’m also soon to be 53 years old, which I’m rather proud of!

Q2. What made you become an image consultant ?

I’ve always loved fashion, shopping, and clothes. After a career in law, I experienced a bit of burnout and wanted my work to be fun. I started building a retail jewelry business and this served as the jumping off point into becoming an Image Consultant. So I searched training programs, became a certified image consultant and most recently an AICI Certified Image Consultant.
I absolutely LOVE the versatility of this industry, the work you can do and the clients and corporations you can work with. It’s like being a holistic practitioner because you have the ability to work with individuals and businesses in such diverse ways.

Q3. What is the biggest challenge you find in being successful in this profession and how do you tackle it ?

I’ve found 3 key areas of challenge and I don’t believe I’m alone in this, having spoken to other image consultants. First, the public have no clear understanding of the profession. There’s no real industry standard for being an image consultant and anyone can really call themselves an image consultant whether they have any formal training or not. In addition, most individuals don’t know the difference between a stylist, image consultant, fashion blogger, or style influencer and many of use the terms synonymously which fuels the confusion.

This leads to my second point which the varied nature and capacity of the work image consultants can do. Because we’re trained in appearance, behavior, and communication, any image consultant can specialize in one, two or all of these areas. When I started, I was focused on the appearance aspect ignoring all of my previous education and training in the other two. Now, after 2 years in this industry I’m gaining clarity on the work I want to do, but the breadth of the field and possibilities was a bit overwhelming and I struggled with trying to be all things to all people.

Finally, there’s no clear path for building an image business, which I believe has something to do with the two issues I’ve outlined above. Other industries are more forthcoming with what they did to find success, I know because I’ve been in a few careers over my life.

As a result the profession is very good at educating and preparing you for the myriad of ways you can work with clients but once you reach the end of this you’re kind of dropped off cliff and expected to build your wings are you’re falling.

Those who do learn how to do that succeed and for that reason may be less than forthcoming on how they did that, and for the others…well you get the picture. So I’ve had to get some coaching and mentoring and recall what I did when I build my last 6-figure consulting practice and put all that to work for me.

Q4. Who is your inspiration ?

In life, my late Aunt Mary! She was an innovator and survivor. I learned so much about how to live my life and achieve my goals. From afar, I look to so many powerful women who have blazed a trail for me and walked a path of authenticity and truth. From Harriet Tubman to India.Aire and Helen Keller to Marianne Williamson.

Q5. What are you doing when you are not working ?

My two favorite activities (outside of traveling) is reading and watching movies!

Q6. What is the one style advice you would give to everyone ?

Take the time to get to know yourself, what you love, and what reflects and fuels who you are! From there your style will emerge and when it does embrace it and your significance.

Q7. What is your advice to future image consultants ?

Take the time to figure out what you want to do with your image business, who you want to work with and the type of work you want to do. Be open to the possibility that your interest and focus may change but try to don’t to do everything all the time, it will drive you crazy. This business is beautifully and surprising creatively complex so the sky is the limit as an image consultant.

To learn more about Carol, please visit her website Evolve Image Consulting.
This article originally appeared in the AICI SFBA Chapter Newsletter.

What I Would Tell My Younger Self

Our Chapter VP Communications, Nupur Singh, asked Alyce Parsons, AICI CIP if she would share the thoughts she would tell her younger self. These thoughts were published in our Chapter newsletter and are shared here.
Alyce Parsons, AICI CIP
Dear Young Alyson,
Looking back from the vantage point of almost 40 years in the image consulting profession, I have a great deal to tell you. When you grow up, be thankful for the courage you display. You will be one of the founders and so always continue in this wonderful profession. You would have seen it grow from the first San Francisco chapter to a world wide organization. Image Consulting affords us a great opportunity to affect our clients in such a positive way. By working with people’s outer appearance, we affect their inner being, self-concept and motivate them to be the best they can be.

Thirty years later, you will write an article for the International Newsletter titled, “Image Consulting- a Nobel Profession”. In that article, you will tell the world that image consultants wear three hats. First, we are consultants solving a problem. Second, we are teachers providing the answers to what they need to know. Third, we are therapists/coaches motivating people to understand themselves and live into their highest potential. The next thing I would tell you, is to preserve and not give up if this is your dream.

Have faith and trust in your ability to get the education, find right teachers/trainers, circumstances, and specialized area of interest for yourself. Also, find a mentor. It will bring you a long way. Each of us has a unique gift to contribute, and if we do not utilize that gift, we will not recognize that we have it, and most importantly, our gift will not be received by anyone. We must “follow our bliss” and do what we love.

Never forget that it is a crucial to have a work life balance. Realize that every period and decade has its own purpose. You do not want to miss out on what is occurring during that time. You will marry young and have children during that decade, so don’t worry if it takes time to fulfil your dream. The wait will be worth it because the time you spend with your children will be invaluable. There is always time to get into the “passion” of your career whether it be in your forties, fifties or sixties. It is never too late to do what you love.

Regarding balance, it is also important to take care of your physical, emotional, psychological and spiritual needs. All of these will work together to make you a more well rounded and successful image consultant. You will have more to offer your clients from your wholeness. It is vital to find a sense of propose and vitality in every decade of your life. It is also important to keep learning and growing. It keeps us young and interested in the life.

Last but not least, always be grateful. Image consulting will give you untold satisfaction and a true outlet for creativity and purpose.

– Love, the Older Alyson

To know more about Alyce Parsons, visit her website Universal Style.

Game-Changing Tips for Building Your Business

Who doesn’t want to grow their business? It’s hard in any event, but especially if you work as a solo entrepreneur, which many of us in the business do. You wonder if you’re doing all you can to grow your business, and if you’re doing it ‘right’.

Whether you’re launching an image career, or re-imagining your existing business model, it is a huge commitment of time, energy and money that requires the ability to wear many hats. Well, help is on the way!

The Chapter is hosting a webinar designed to offer image industry members the opportunity to learn from the success, and trials, of accomplished industry peers. The moderated webinar will feature a panel of industry leaders who will share what they’ve learned along the way as they built their uniquely successful businesses.


Tuesday, September 13, 2016
9:00 – 10:00 a.m. PST
$15 Members/$20 Non-Members

To learn more about our panelists, please click on their name below to be directed to their websites:

Ale Marroquin AICI CIP

Tracy Varga AICI CIC

The panel will be moderated by Chapter Treasurer/VP Programs, Michelle Augenstein.

Michelle Augenstein (2)

We promise your hour will be well spent. For more information and to register, click the link below:

Yes, I’m Interested in Growing My Business!

2015-2016 Rising Star & Chapter Member of the Year Awards

Chapter Awards word collage

In any venture, it’s the commitment and contribution of the people that make things happen.  The AICI SFBA Chapter has been an example of commitment and contribution from its inception, as the founding Chapter of AICI.

Two awards were given at this year’s annual Installation event that recognize significant member commitment and contribution over the past year to the Chapter: Chapter Rising Star and Chapter Member of the Year.

Rising Star

Our 2015-2015 Rising Star is incoming-President Carol Parker Walsh. a well-deserving recipient of the award. The Rising Star award is given to a Chapter member who has been a member for four years or less, and has provided significant contribution to the Chapter as a new member.

Carol joined our chapter November 14, 2014; seven months later she volunteered to be Co-VP of Education (not a position for the faint of heart!) She thought of creative and new ideas for the Board to try and also volunteered to get them done. She lives out-of-state which could have created some challenges, but never seemed to affect her. And, now she has volunteered to step up into this year’s Chapter President position.

In addition,  Carol is a #1 Best Selling Author, and has had guest appearances on CBS, ABC, NBC, and FOX channels. She is one of 20 licensed Fashion Feng Shui practitioners in the US, writes a monthly column for a Business Journal, and is a trained classical singer.

Carol’s business is Evolve Image Consulting. Congratulations to our Chapter Rising Star – Carol Parker Walsh!



Member of the Year

The Chapter Member of the Year award is given to a member who has acted above and beyond in their capacity as a Chapter member, has been an inspiration to others, and has achieved extraordinary results in AICI.

Our 2015-2016 Chapter Member of the Year is Elena Daciuk, a 5-year member of the Chapter and Board of Directors. In fact, Elena was attending Chapter events even before becoming a member.

She has been truly dedicated, passionate, and very hard working during her years of service, always willing to go the extra mile in everything she does. Elena has held a strong belief in this organization and what it can offer its members.

This past year she not only held one position on the Chapter Board, but THREE of them: Treasurer, Co-VP of Programs, Immediate Past President.

Elena’s business is Styling Fabulous. Congratulations to our Chapter Member of the Year – Elena Daciuk!

Welcome to Our New Chapter Board of Directors

This is the time of year we thank our out-going Board of Directors for their year of service and, in turn, welcome in the new Board for 2016-2017. This year’s installation of officers took place at Jasper’s restaurant in San Francisco. We also gave special recognition to our Chapter Member of the Year, Elena Daciuk, and our Rising Star, incoming-President Carol Parker Walsh. (We’ll tell you more info about these two deserving award recipients in an upcoming post.)

Our new Chapter Board of Directors is:

President: Carol Parker Walsh
Secretary & VP Membership: Malia Anderson
Treasurer: Connie Bozant
VP Programs & Education: Michelle Augenstein
VP Communication: Nupur Singh
VP Social Media/Marketing: Adena DiTonno
Immediate Past President: Danean Gallaher

New Board
Connie Bozant, Danean Gallaher, Nupur Singh, Michelle Augenstein, Malia Anderson, Adena DiTonno, Carol Parker Walsh

For highlights of the evening, please enjoy this short video. We hope you’ll want to participate in the exciting programs we have in store for our members during the year!

Come Have Some Fun in San Francisco

Bridge from golf Jan 14 crop

If you’re planning on attending our Education Conference, February 26-28, why not add on a day or two before or after to explore the beautiful San Francisco Bay Area? There is so much to see and so, in addition to admiring the beautiful scenery (and of course, shopping!)

Here are a few on-line resources to spark your imagination (on most of these, you should keep checking back for updates closer to the event.) Of course, your Chapter Board of Directors is always available to answer any questions you might have. We hope to see you in February!

San Francisco Travel – event calendar

SF Gate – event calendar published by the San Francisco Chronicle

Golden Gate Theatre – “Dirty Dancing”

Beach Blanket Babylon – the world’s longest running musical revue and one of the most popular San Francisco attractions, a high energy pop culture satire.

San Francisco Ballet

SF Jazz Center

Shopping Guide



Brenda Kinsel

Shortcuts & Solutions to Start Your Year Right

As image professionals we work mostly alone in our businesses, and we share common problems. But we don’t always have the resources to solve those problems on our own. That’s why Shortcuts & Solutions is such a popular program – and our first one is scheduled for next week:

Shortcuts & Solutions Teleconference
Friday, January 22, 2016
9:30 – 10:00 a.m.
Only $10

Register here

 Brenda t and t
Our moderator will be Brenda Kinsel AICI CIP and we will discuss the following topics:
*Staying motivated – how do you stay motivated with the new goals you set for the year? Is it time to give up or make adjustments to goals you’ve already had but feel stuck about? How do you get reenergized?
*What are some of your favorite organizational tips? How do you keep your notes organized? Calendar? Follow-ups? To-do’s? Filing?
*How are you filling your marketing calendar with opportunities for people to turn into clients, i.e. presentations, seminars.  What are your favorite topics?
First Friday notes
You’ll have pages of useful notes!
You’ll be asked to turn in your thoughts on the above topics a few days before the event (even if you don’t have anything to offer on one of the subjects, that’s okay.) The content will be summarized and provided back to you before the call to make it easier to take notes.
If you turn in the homework, you get the summary. And if you can’t personally be on the call, you’ll get the link to the recorded call afterwards.But of course, the more people on the call, the better. SO much information is exchanged – you’ll want to be on the call if at all possible!
For Q&A on how the program has worked in the past, click here. We’d love to have you join us.

Register here!

(Refund policy – we do not offer refunds on programs offered.)

Authentic Beauty unCompromised


AICI International officially launched The Authentic Beauty unCompromised Campaign on National Image Consultants Day, November 23, 2015.  The purpose of the AICI Authentic Beauty unCompromised initiative is to use our global influence to promote projects, products, and messages that reflect that every person – no matter shape, size, sex, creed, or color – is beautiful in their own unique way!

As image professionals we are the ones who actually work with real people on a daily basis, who stand in front of a mirror with a women who has lost her confidence because of what she sees in the reflection, or the teenager who sees something ugly, or the gentleman who has lost his self-esteem because media has convinced them all that their reflection is not one of beauty. It is us image professionals who pick up the pieces, take them by the hand and lead them to see themselves differently. This combination – our expertise in understanding body shapes and proportions, identifying style personalities and our ability to combine all of this with every clients unique lifestyle – makes us experts in the field of Authentic Beauty unCompromised!

Let’s get a conversation going and spread this very important and timely message. What does Authentic Beauty unCompromised mean to you?  We’d love to hear your thoughts.  Is there a quote, poem, or photo that you feel depicts this message? Is there someone in your life a friend, family member, or client that radiates Authentic Beauty unCompromised?

Here are just a couple recent examples of this message already happening in the media:

*December 1st, The Today Show aired the new look of the tire company Pirelli’s annual calendar. This year the calendar was created by Annie Leibovitz featuring women noted for their accomplishments rather than their bodies. Pirelli calendars have been known for featuring scantily clad models. Click here to see it.

*December 9th, The Today Show aired a segment discussing the renaming of the “Plus Size” model to “Curvy.”  Click here to see it.

What have you seen or heard in your life or in the media?  Please share with all of us on our Facebook page!  Let’s kick our Authentic Beauty unCompromised Campaign into gear!

Two Great Opportunities to Promote Your Business

Do you have a product or service that can benefit your fellow image consultants? We have two opportunities for you to spread the word about your business at our upcoming Education Conference in February.

Vendor Tables
Friday, January 26
During Conference Social 6:00 – 8:30 p.m.

This was a big hit last year at Conference. Approximately 10 vendors shared their products and services with Conference attendees during the social/networking event. Everyone enjoyed wine and hors d’oeuvres, mingled and chatted with their colleagues, and learned about new offerings in jewelry, accessories, client management systems and marketing. For only $100, you’ll be able to display your goods or services on the provided table, plus you’ll be given the opportunity to say a few words about your business to the Conference attendees at the close of Friday’s program, prior to the start of the social at 6:00.

Hats Scarves Image Studio

Jackie jewelry

Conference Goodie Bags
Distributed to all Conference Attendees

Who doesn’t love to get a goodie bag at Conference? This is a free opportunity for you to provide your colleagues with information about your goods or services. Whether it’s a product sample (face cream? lipstick? fountain pen?) or another little goody attached to your business card or flyer (chocolate kiss? breath mints? or…?), your business will be sure to be noticed by everyone who attends Conference.

If you have a friend in a field that could benefit your fellow image consultants (hair styling, dermatology, website building, etc.), please tell them about this great opportunity. This is not restricted to AICI members.

All items (approximately 50 total) must be to our coordinator no later than February 19.

gift bags


For information and/or to sign up for either or both of these programs, please contact:

Elena Daciuk


Chapter Holiday Tea Party at The Rotunda

Who doesn’t love a tea party with your fashion-loving colleagues? We’ll be gathering again this year to celebrate the holidays at The Rotunda restaurant in Neiman Marcus in San Francisco – such a festive place to gather during the holidays!

Chapter Holiday Tea
Tuesday, December 1
2:30 p.m.

The beautiful holiday tree at Neiman Marcus
The beautiful holiday tree at Neiman Marcus

We’ll be having our popular fashion ornament gift exchange too. There are always lots of ooh’s and aah’s as the ornaments are opened and then traded back and forth.

Ornament collageWe’ve only space for 14 people in the private space reserved for our tea, so don’t delay. Make your reservations now!