Ong Soo Hua, Personal Sylist and Founder of OSH Image Consultancy
Where are you from? What do you do for OSH Image Consultancy?
I lived in a village growing up. Paddy fields and rivers surrounded our home. Think of it as suburban Asia. My family owned a sundry shop, and we sold everything from rice, sugar to candy and snacks. I grew up very attached to my family and living in a village was delightful and peaceful. Aesthetics was not part of my main vocabulary growing up until I scored my first job in the city where I rummaged through my sister’s closet, hoping to find something nice that I could wear. I just put together what I thought was appropriate work clothes.
What do you do for your company?
I am a Certified Image Consultant (CIC), accredited by the leading and largest professional association of personal and corporate image consultants worldwide, the Association of Image Consultant International (AICI). IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve been providing image consulting services to clients since 2016.
What does a Personal Stylist do?
My personal brand consulting services focus on the development of onesÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ image, both professionally and socially. The basic package is inclusive of body proportion analysis, seasonal colour analysis, and personality style analysis. In comparison, the advanced package includes personal style cultivation, personal shopping, and dining etiquette. I also carry out training on a corporate level to help businesses build a positive professional image associated with the companyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s branding and identity.
WhatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s your morning routine like?
My morning routine depends on the agenda I have for the day. On days when I have meetings with clients. I will usually put on extra effort into my appearance, starting with wearing my contact lenses and then IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll frame my face with eyebrow pencils. I pick client-appropriate outfit to show respect and appreciation for their time spent with me.
A perfect cup of hot cafÃƒÂ© latte usually helps to kick-start my day too.
What problem are you trying to solve for your clients?
I help people with their appearance. As someone with my background and who picked up fashion image and styling through fashion schools and books, I know what my clients want and need. A lot of people wish to dress better, but they have no idea where to begin and how to do it.
Personal clients who come to me are usually seeking a breakthrough at a certain point in their lives. They could be seeking a life-partner or simply venturing on a new path. These days individuals usually look to change their appearances first and foremost. Many of my clients were small business owners who came to me because their wardrobe needed a makeover to meet people from new circles. I once had someone who came to me as he was meeting Tun Mahathir, then Prime Minister of our nation.
WhatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a favourite project you worked on in the last 12 months?
I am currently working on an online video course on styling. Hopefully, it will launch sometime in the second half of the year.
Any advice for young people who want to pursue a career in your field?
There is a lot of fear surrounding being a solopreneur, but it also comes with a lot of excitement along the way. I never planned to be a stylist. When I sit for the Fashion Image and Styling course, I wanted to improve my own appearance. It later amused me that I can actually learn these theories and tricks to dress better. I decided to pursue this as a career four to five years ago: a cross-road situation in my life. If you are interested in becoming an image consultant yourself, be sure to seek advice from anyone in the field to really understand this career path.
What do you like most about what you do now?
They are actually people who need me professionally! My joy is meeting these people.
What are you most excited to work on next?
I am thinking of writing a book on styling after the online video project.
Do you have a favourite or memorable work experience?
The most satisfying part of my work is looking at the look of gratitude on the faces of my clients as they stare at the reflection of themselves in the fitting room.
Once, I had a professor who had a successful career and travelled the world for his job but was still a bachelor and approaching his 50s. When he saw himself in the mirror, he told me he never knew he could look that good. That was really nice for me.
What do you do to destress?/What do you do for fun?
This has been a busy month for me which I am delighted about. Moving back to a normal office routine is a blessing for a work-life balance. I really get to enjoy me-time after working hours: watching Netflix, picking up a book or enjoying a nice glass of wine are all the simple luxuries I enjoy. I also have a six-month old puppy who waits for me at the door every evening when I come home. There is plenty of joy and fun with her as well.