by Janice Nieder
I can’t begin to tell you how many times people have said to me, “I’ve got just two words for you.” (But I certainly can’t print them here!) However, I was amazed to discover that someone has actually created a viable business based on just Two Words! Actually, it is two someones- Carrie & Danielle . Their concept is unique, and the result can run the gamut from a fun way to kill an hour, all the way to a profoundly life-changing experience.
I’m seldom at a loss for words (much to my friends & family’s dismay), so I was more than a bit skeptical when I heard about Carrie & Danielle’s “Style Statement” concept. How it works is that you pay $500 to participate in an hour long phone interview, conducted by Carrie or Danielle and then they review all your answers and crystallize it down to a succinct two word phrase that becomes your Style Statement. (OK, since they are located in Vancouver it would be slightly less in U.S dollars – but even so that’s close to $250 a word!)
This is your mantra, and can be called upon to influence which dress to buy, what career path to follow, even what man to marry. Or as they say on their Website, www.Carrieanddanielle.com“Your Style Statement is your life trademark. It is a compass for designing a life that reflects your best self.”
For past stories, I’ve had my tarot cards read, my colors done, visited a psychic, taken numerous physiological tests: from a professionally administered Myers Brigs to Cosmo’s “How Adventurous Are You in The Bedroom?” quiz, yet, this made me a little leery. C’mon, how can I be summed up in just two little words?
So, before signing on I did some more research on the ladies and was surprised to find out that not only were they not a couple of shucksters trying to sell you the Brooklyn Bridge, but they were two wildly impressive entrepreneurial women that I would probably love to hang out with.
, her Style Statement is “Refined- Treasure” was a top athlete who then started her own interior design company designing for multi-million dollar estates. Sidekick, Danielle LaPorte , aka “Sacred-Dramatic” is no slouch either. She ran her own publicity agency, with a client list that included a Nobel Peace Laureate, a Pulitzer Winner, and some big name pop stars.
Gee now I’m getting a wee bit intimidated. But, relaxed when I found out that my interviewer was Danielle- the one with the “dreds” (I somehow thought I would click better with a “Dramatic” sporting “dreds” rather than a “Refined” blond wearing pearls.)
She immediately puts me at ease as she explains the process, in her low-pitched, dulcet tones-if all else fails she could get a job doing voice-overs! She said she’d take about an hour to ask me a bunch of questions and I was to answer the first thing that popped into my mind. Then she will analyze all my “data” and call shortly with my two words. Ok? Ok!.
More than once during the interview, I commented that it felt like I was “on the couch,” only much more pleasurable, and I really started getting into the whole thing. First of all, it’s great when someone really, really listens to what you are saying and who wouldn’t enjoy an hour that’s all about You!
(Skip this next part if you are going to sign up because I’m not sure if the questions are the same for everyone and I wouldn’t want you to cheat by preparing your answers in advance!””
Some of my Questions Were:
“What would you wear to the Oscars?” (The good news is that price is no object!)
“If Annie Leibovitz took your photo and wanted to capture the REAL you, what would you be doing, wearing, and where would it be shot?
“Choose another era or culture that you would have liked to live in? ”
Sometimes after my answer Danielle would murmur a soothing “all right” and move on. Other times she would delve deeper into my answer by asking pertinent follow-up questions, which often proved the most enlightening. I felt that Danielle asking was not only paying close attention to my answers, but also taking in my tone- noting when I hesitated, laughed, or turned a little somber.
When I gave my reply to “What was my favorite flower?” she started laughing and said that in over 500 interviews no one had ever answered that. (It turns out that for some reason, this question is the number one indicator of your Style Statement.)
All too soon, Danielle said that we were done. She would analyze the answers and get back to me in about 30 minutes with my Style Statement. “Ok,” I replied, although I was really thinking “Hey wait I’m starting to get into this let’s talk about me some more.”
Feeling very special, I couldn’t help but notice that it took her 45 minutes to analyze me. When she called, she said a little hesitantly, “Ok here’s the deal- I came up with your first word immediately, but you might not like your second word. And that’s all right, because we can massage it a bit and come up with another one if you’re uncomfortable with it. But first I want you to hear me out as I describe my reasons.” Hmmmmm- now I was really curious.
She took a deep breath and blurted out my words, and they were simply PERFECT! I loved them. I said, “Don’t you dare try to change the second word. It’s totally right-on.” It sounded like she let out a sigh of relief. I hadn’t realized that she had such a feeling of responsibility.
She shared the precise definition, history, and possibility of each word and also explained their 80/20 Style Statement principle to me. The first descriptive word is the 80% – your core foundation. The second word is your creative edge – the 20% that makes you unique, and provides a little spin. (I still can’t believe that no one else has ever picked a Venus Fly-Trap as their favorite flower!)
It’s been two weeks and I’m sure you want to know how has this changed my life? Well, in all honesty, I’ve been traveling non-stop so really haven’t had a minute to think about my words though I am very fond of them. When I arrived home yesterday, and picked up my mail, I opened a very stylish taupe kit from Carrie& Danielle that had a bunch of cards in it. They included my style statement, the descriptions in great detail, the magic formula, suggestions on how to live your Style Statement, etc. but my favorite was Danielle’s handwritten card that said,
Does my heart proud that you’re thrilled as sh-t!”
This would make the PERFECT present for someone you care about and they sure as sh-t won’t say, “Thanks- but I already have one!”
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