Anne Sowden, AICI CIP
Certified Image Professional
“My philosophy when working with a client is to focus on what they’re doing right not what they’re doing wrong.”
Anne approaches image from a communication perspective. With a lighthearted attitude armed with a serious message, she’s built her reputation as a savvy, engaging communicator by encouraging clients to consider their appearance as their most important non-verbal communications tool: “If you wear sweats and fuzzy bunny slippers to work,” she says, “ what message are you sending?”
Growing up in Montreal, Anne’s own sense of what to wear and how to behave come from her stylish mother. But even then Anne took a while to develop her own sense of style and presence in the business world. “I wished I had some one early on to advise me,” she muses. “I have one now. Yes, even an image consultant has an image consultant.”
Following a career in national and international marketing and communications, Anne combined her business expertise with image consulting and training in adult learning. “The transition from marketing and communications to image consulting wasn’t that difficult,” she says, “Instead of helping companies market themselves, I was now helping individuals market themselves. As one of only a handful of Certified Image Professionals in Canada, she soon became the first choice for individuals as well as companies looking to brush up their professional image.
For Anne, it’s always been about relationships—what you wear in addition to how you communicate and behave.
“These days, individuals may spend so much time on electronic devices that they’ve forgotten how to connect face to face,” she says, “But people still need to connect with people, people buy from people. Having the right presence is key. It’s not just about what you wear, it’s the whole package.”
Anne is a Certified Image Professional of the Association of Image Consultants International (AICI) and a past president of the Canadian Chapter. She received her image consulting training from Toronto’s George Brown College, The International Image Institute and California’s The Style Core, and earned a certificate in instructing adults from George Brown.