Meet Alice Barnes

As a certified Image Consultant with over 14 years experience, my mission is to empower women to dress for who they truly are; to express themselves and their personality fully, authentically and unapologetically so that every day, they can face the world with confidence and a sense of joy. To create wardrobes that are a reflection of this and their lifestyle and to never settle for less. To feel worthy, confident and happy in their style and in themselves. To feel good on the inside so it is congruent with what is on the outside. To embrace their flaws, imperfections and differences as this is part of their story and beauty and what makes them unique. And to enjoy their style journey as it is never a destination.

This is not a ‘quick fix’. Like most things in life, it takes time, practice and commitment. But what I do is give you the tools and framework to start creating a wardrobe that inspires you, suits you, and sparks joy. Whether it’s simply learning your ‘best colours’, or a complete image overhaul, it starts with taking the first step.

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“Before I met Alice, I had nothing to wear and felt overwhelmed when walking into a shop to try and rectify that! The choice shops offered wasn’t a help as it was just too much. Alice was thoughtful and positive and really made me feel relaxed enough to try on items that I’d never have chosen myself. Now I’ve always got something to wear and feel confident, relaxed and prepared for any occasion. No more pre work or pre night out stress of ‘finding something’!” GK

How it all began…

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My style story starts with my mum. She came from the most humble beginning; brought up in poverty by my grandma – a single mum to two girls in early 1940s Portugal, and life was very tough. But despite her exceptionally difficult circumstances, my mum somehow always managed to look immaculate and had an air about her. She became a seamstress, making clothes for well-to-do clients, and later, for me and my older sister. And to this day, now in her 80s, still takes pride in her appearance and is every bit as glamorous. This is my mum. My style inspiration. And why I am what I am today, and why I do what I do.

When I was just 4 years old, I moved to the UK from Portugal with my family. Growing up in London in a Portuguese household and being from an ‘immigrant family’ meant I was different and made the school years especially challenging. My family couldn’t afford the latest trends or designer labels; I was often in hand me downs or clothes my mother made, which were sometimes the source of cruel and unwanted attention. But it built my resilience and strength, and by the time I went to college, I was happily experimenting with style and fashion and embracing the advantages of my inherited European sense of style!

This continued into my University years where my love for clothes continued to grow as did the freedom and confidence to express my style, but it also meant I wasn’t your typical student! I came away with a good degree in Psychology (and went on to do a Masters in Psychology), as well as a strong sense of self, resilience and flair.

At that time, not really knowing what I wanted to do with the rest of my life, I fell into a career in Sales and Account Management, climbed the corporate ladder, travelled the world and wore sharp suits and killer heels. Then came marriage, a mortgage and two beautiful daughters. And life was all going to plan…

But it is never that straight forward is it? There were many bumps along the road including personal heartbreak, redundancy and Divorce.

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However, it was these set backs and challenges that got me to get to where I am today.

The redundancy enabled me to consider the possibility of working for myself, and after a chance encounter with an Image Consultant, I finally knew what I wanted to do! I trained with an established image training company, First Impressions. And then my style business, ABC Image was born in 2008. I was able to combine my love for fashion, my sales experience and my empathy and knowledge from my degree, into a career I am passionate about, and where I have complete control of my destiny and flexibility around my family.

If the redundancy created the opportunity to start my own business, the Divorce gave me the determination to make it work! It was all quite overwhelming, juggling a business as a single mum of two children under 5 at the time. But it’s the journey that has brought me to where I am today and to who I am now, and for that I am grateful.

Why work with me

My own personal style is feminine but edgy and I’m not afraid to make a statement. The intention however, is not to create mini me’s, but to empower you with the strength and freedom to find your own signature style and the courage and confidence to express it. There is never any judgment – over the years I have seen and heard it all. There is just a genuine desire to help you achieve your style goals and unblock some of the barriers that have held you back.

Everyone is different so at the start of every consultation there is an open and honest conversation about your challenges and goals so I can fully understand your needs, what you are trying to achieve and what kind of style you will be comfortable with. After that, we agree the service that is right for you, to suit your time and budget, and I will show you how to create a style that is tailored and unique to you and take you on a journey of self discovery, ensuring some fun and laughter along the way too!

The key is to help you find a look that makes you feel good, from the inside out. So whichever package you choose, I will also work with you on your mindset. It’s not enough to simply look good. You actually have to believe it to feel it. This is what will bring about real transformation.

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“Alice made me feel completely at ease and I felt like I was out shopping with my best friend, and her advice just excelled my confidence with clothes. I would also highly recommend her colour analysis as I am now wearing colours I was once afraid of but work on me just as Alice said. I love the confidence she has given me.”

Empowering women to feel confident, happy and worthy

Over the years as a Personal Stylist I have had the opportunity to do some fantastic things, work with some amazing women and contribute to my community and beyond. I have organised fashion shows to raise money for charity and community projects, run events for outpatients at my local hospice, spoken at various functions and corporate events, been the in-house stylist for Champneys Tring and I have even modelled on the UK’s longest catwalk in St Albans Cathedral.

I work with the French fashion brand Captain Tortue, and I am a member of a number of professional networks including The Federation of Image Professionals International (FIPI), First Impressions and Athena. Through these and my personal journey, I have met some incredible like-minded women, had the pleasure of working with many and the privilege of becoming good friends with a few.

If there is one thing that I have learnt from my experience and from the personal stories that my clients have shared with me over the years, is that we all have our struggles and insecurities and on our own journey of self discovery and striving for happiness, whatever that means to you. For me, my clothes have always helped me to feel good about myself, given me confidence, (even when I wasn’t really feeling it!), strength and a sense of purpose and self worth. My belief is that taking care in what you wear, is an act of self love and empowerment.

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Watch this video for a snap shot of one of the fashion shows I organised at the amazing Tring Park School for the Performing Arts, to raise money for the Rennie Grove charity and empowering women of all sizes and ages to take to the catwalk. We were show casing the beautiful Captain Tortue collection as well as other local brands and the entertainment was provided by the super talented Tring Park School students. 

Video credit: Luma Visual

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“Since the first time I met with you, I haven’t stopped smiling and feeling great about myself which I haven’t done so in a very long while. I feel so confident and the saying I love is ‘grown up and styled’ – this is the new me. I feel like a butterfly that has come out of a cocoon. You have taught me so much. This is not the end only the beginning and I can’t wait for my next adventure with you. Feeling blessed to have met you.”

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