Greetings from SPARK 2016

Spark Women Amsterdam

Last month I had the pleasure to join an amazing group of speakers at SPARK 2016 conference that was held at We Work Metropool on 14th June 2016.

This was my first public speaking event in years so you can only imagine how nervous I was. Last year I volunteered at the event and got so inspired that I set myself a goal to speak there the next year.

When I found out that I was accepted to speak at the event this year my feelings ranged from sheer excitement to paralyzing fear of failure.

How could I possibly measure up with the other speakers who were so much more experienced than I was? The Spark organization must have read my thoughts because us speakers received a fantastic prepping session from Tara Phillips of Cause & Affect Speeches.

I can warmly recommend her sessions to everyone looking to upgrade their public speaking skills. It took me a pile of colourful PostIts, several cups of green tea (okay, some wine may have been consumed in the process too…) and a mini vacation to Venice, but one day I just was ready to talk about Polishing Your Personal Image.

The day was kicked off by an upbeat key note speech from Colleen Geske, the brain behind a hilarious blog-turned-bestseller: Stuff Dutch People Like. She spoke about her way to success, hickups on her book publishing path and that ugly moment when she got mansplained.

I knew about SDPL but I could never imagine it’s owner was such a fantastic person. We all have a lot to learn from Colleen and I admire her wit and perseverance. Long story short:

“Your success should look like you and no-one else.”

 

 

For me this was definitely highlight of the conference -and that was only the beginning! Colleen’s speech was soon followed by a break-out session from Stephanie Ward of Firefly Coaching. I had the pleasure to meet Stephanie at the last year’s event and I have been a keen follower of her work ever since.

With Stephanie it feels like you have your very own marketing department and this year’s theme “Pricing & Packaging Tips to Create a Business Model that Serves You & That Your Clients Love” was yet another dip into the eternal pool of her wisdom.

After delicious and healthy Cropbox lunch it was time for more break-out sessions and my speech. My topic was “Polishing Your Personal Image”. I approached the subject from three different angles: Communication, appearance and digital presence. These elements form your image that is your best calling card and the only aspect of your career that you have a full control of. Your image is also one of the best self-investments you can ever make.

I had a lovely audience who listened carefully and came up with great questions afterwards. Thank you for everyone who came to listen and thank you for the organizers for giving me this wonderful opportunity! If you missed it you can view my slides here.

After the second break-out session we gathered to listen to most inspiring female economy stories at Global Female Entrepreneurship Panel where Maneuela Damant of Open the Door Leadership, Nassira Boudhan of Fashion for Education and Kanak Hirani of Pashm and Karigar shared their views on how to provide opportunities for women around the globe by empowering them. This session was a real eye-opener for me and it had a very powerful message!

Last year I on Image was a proud sponsor of the  fantastic event and it was my first outing as an entrepreneur. I made some really wonderful contacts at the event and with some of them I am still in regular contact. I was delighted to see how this movement has grown over a year, just like my own business has.

Read more about my goody bag offer at SPARK 2015 here.

Speaking of goody bags: I loved it! My favorite items were healthy EatLiveLoveFood crackers and a fun desk exercise card from TotalSelf. We even did some of the exercises in the interactive session “When you thrive, your business thrives: Best practices for protecting your most important asset” but your own desk at home or at the office is probably the place where they are most efficient. Either way:

“Remember to take care of number one (yes, that’ll be you).

It’s not selfish, it’s an investment.”

The wonderful day was closed by Emmy McCarthy of Emmy McCarthy Consulting. I am a long-term fan of Emmy who is best known for her community building at Amsterdam Mamas where I volunteer as a community admin since 2014.

Emmy starting her own consulting business was huge news in our community because everyone was always asking for advice from her and wondering if they should really be on the clock since she always managed to have the best ideas and answers for us. Her closing notes were no exception to this.

I was particularly fond about her views on how individuals can add value to their communities by simply contributing to them. Her observations were sharp and spot on:

“Focusing on collaborative growth allows us to drive forward a new economic model that is focused on the value which we provide to our communities rather than the value that we can extract from them.”

-Emmy McCarthy

You can read her closing notes in full on her blog post.

It was so nice to see everyone again and to make new connections. I felt I was a part of something very special and that energy carries a long way.

 

Thank you for everyone who made this inspiring day possible!

I am looking forward to the 2017 event already!

 

-Jenni
Your image consultant with an eye for detail

P.S. Do you love that lilac Inna Store dress that I am wearing as much as I do? I have good news for you: I am about to release an exclusive Inna Store discount code for my fans only so you can get your own beautiful Inna dress after the holidays. More information will follow… Keep an eye on this space! In the meantime you can read my blog post about my visit to Inna showroom in Rotterdam!

 

Back to Work -SPARK2015 Mini-Makeover

I on Image was a proud sponsor of SPARK2015 and slipped a fun freebie in the inaugural event goody bags. Jam Workspace in the heart of Amsterdam tells about the unforgettable day on their page like this:

Jam Workspace, Amsterdam Academy and Amsterdam Mamas teamed up to bring you the first ever SPARK in June 2015. Our three organisations joined together to hold this inaugural conference so that female entrepreneurs could: blaze a trail through our professional network, improve our skill sets and ignite the passion for our businesses. It was a sensational day, filled with 11 fantastic presentations, keynotes and of course wonderful people.”

I on Image’s Mini-Makeovers for Spark

I promised to create each participant one “Back to work” –look using Style Fruits.nl app. The first looks are ready. Which one is your favorite?

 

I on Image for Spark Women Amsterdam

Eleonora – Looking for new basics

This black wrap dress looks brilliant on it’s own but you can also wear it over jeans, open or closed. You can wear a long-sleeved turtle-neck or a simple T-shirt under it. A modern kimono jacket is a brilliant alternative for a blazer that can feel stiff in a creative atmosphere. A lace up ankle boot is very cool but a little bit smarter than a biker boot. I have added chunky silver jewellery with an ethnic vibe and a fun fringed tote.

 

I on Image for Spark Women Amsterdam

Emmy – Standing out in peacock colours

This turquoise jersey wrap dress is the perfect choice for inverted triangle body shape. Deep V-neck creates an optical illusion of a narrower upper torso whilst wrap-style creates a nice waistline. 3/4 sleeve is ideal for wearing a chunky statement cuff. I have added a long relaxed blazer in cobalt blue with matching ballerina pump. The teal bucket bag can be worn cross body and the purple infinity scarf completes the outfit.

 

I on Image for Spark Women Amsterdam

Lauren -Lasting first impressions

When attending networking events add a little spice to your professional look to ensure you stay in people’s mind. Here I have chosen a tailored blazer dress in deep red that is a classic and easy to wear but very much on trend right now. I have added chunky silver costume jewellery, fun and modern monochrome bucket bag and a black pump with a little unusual cut. The little black blazer is collarless so it sits nicely with this dress.

 

I on Image for Spark Women Amsterdam

Leticia – Learning to accessorise

Accessories can set of any outfit and with a creative use of them you can maximize the use of your wardrobe. Here I have spiced up a classic shift in navy with a leopard print pump and trendy rose gold jewellery. For balance I have kept the bag simple in practical tan leather. A little fitted cardigan is a relaxed alternative to a blazer. It is just short enough to show the lovely tie detail of the dress.

 

I on Image for Spark Women Amsterdam

Renée – Teaching in style

Summery dresses can work for you all year round when accessorized cleverly. This pretty polka dot tea dress in classic navy looks professional when teamed up with a relaxed wrap blazer. I have toughened the look up a bit with a chunky stacked heel ankle boot in beautiful rough all-round tan leather. The roomy leather tote carries all your notes in style. Sleek watch in rose gold and teardrop studs give the outfit an unexpected glamorous aspect.

Enjoy your new looks ladies!

-Jenni

Your image consultant with an eye for detail

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All the looks are also available on this Pinterest board https://www.pinterest.com/IonImage/back-to-work-spark2015-mini-makeover/ Go ahead and pin them on your own style board!

Your free “Back to Work -SPARK2015 Mini-Makeover” -look is not here yet? Go and claim yours here! The offer runs until 30th September and is available for all SPARK2015 participants.

 

For Amsterdam area this is the last weekend before the schools start again. Hope yours will be memorable and relaxing!

-Jenni
I on Image founder and image consultant with an eye for detail