Shared from the 8/1/2016 518 Life eEdition

FYI with Randi Poillon

Personal shopper and stylist

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Randi Poillon discovered her personal-stylist talents at her first college internship. She shadowed the owner of the now-defunct Rozanne’s, which was in Stuyvesant Plaza, where she learned everything from buying to accounting. “I loved it,” Poillon says. “I wound up opening my own place when I graduated.” Now, Poillon is the co-owner of Strut Spalontique — a combination spa, salon and boutique — in Colonie, where she offers personal shopping and styling services to about 40 clients. We asked her about what she does.

Can you tell us about one of your most challenging jobs? I have a lot of those stories, unfortunately.Iget a lot ofnewmoms or newer moms who are re-entering the workforce after being home with their kids. Sometimes they’ve been out of the workforce for five or 10 years. They want to get back but they just feel like they lost themselves. It’s not just about their wardrobe; they feel down on themselves as a whole. We work on gaining confidence through wardrobe. And it’s challenging because if you can’t look in the mirror and feel good about yourself, it’s really hard. It’s hard for me to show you what I see.

What’s the biggest mistake people make when trying to dress themselves? The No. 1 issue I see is women trying to dress in clothing that’s way too big for them. We try to hide our bodies, which makes our bodies look bigger. Or we wear only black to hide ourselves. We need to embrace what we are and what we’re given and accentuate our positives. My other No. 1 rule is know where to spend your money. Always invest in a good pair of shoes and a good pair of jeans and then put your Hanes T-shirt with it on the side. Nobody will know the difference.

So you’re pretty economical. Absolutely. You don’t hire me and then need a $1,000 Neiman Marcus budget.

And how much would it cost if I wanted to hire you? My initial hour is $100 and then after that it’s $50 an hour. But what I do to keep it affordable is we meet, we get a full list of what we’re looking for and then I’ll go out on my own and find it ahead of time so that that time that we’re spending together isn’t spent searching for things.

So you’d try to get like a sense of my personality? Absolutely. I have a questionnaire: what your goals are, what you’re looking for and what your favorite celebrity style is. Some people think that’s silly but I think it’s a good way of getting a good sense of the person. We look at magazines all the time so we might as well put it to use.

Who’s the celeb people mention the most? If I’m working with someone who’s 25 it’s Taylor Swift. But I’ve gotten as crazy as María LaGuerta, who’s a fictional character on [the TV show] “Dexter.”

That’s really funny. Yeah. I had tolookherup.Shewearsalot of bright colors.

Tell me about one of your most s uccessful clients. I led somebody who they didn’t even know that I was going to be styling them. Their friends grouped together and got me for them as a surprise gift. It was somebody who had probably the least amount of self confidence I’ve ever seen in somebody and wasn’t even excited when their friends gave her the gift. She was so nervous and uncomfortable. She felt more invaded than anything else. And all we were doing was starting slow and looking at an outfit so her friends could take her to dinner. It was the nicest thing that a group of friends couldeverdofor a friend.And we found an outfit that when she put it on she just cried and was so happy and hugged me and thanked me. I’ll never forget that. Some people would think I do it because I love shopping, but it’s stuff like that. You can’t beat that ever. I think it surprised me how much people really need this service.

“We look at magazines all the time so we might as well put it to use. ”

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