Success Stories

Ellen Bletsoe and her Master’s Story

ellen-bletsoeEllen’s Background 

I have spent the last ten years of my life caring for my daughter who has severe and complex special needs. This has tested me more than anything else I have ever done. Alongside my caring role, I have also been heavily involved with a national charity both as a trustee and a fundraiser. I do not regret choosing to care for my daughter but in 2014 I became increasingly aware that I needed to rediscover my creative self. There are two real driving forces for me; the first is a real love of aesthetics and the second is a real joy in helping others. My work as an Image Consultant provides me with everything I enjoy and that’s why I do it.

My Business

I have a small studio in Northamptonshire which I generally work from. At the moment most of my time is with individual clients, although I am beginning to do more workshops and group events. As I’m still relatively new to Image Consultancy my business is still evolving and so my work is quite varied. I have worked with both men and women of all different ages and different lifestyles. At the moment I find the variety really interesting and energising, but I am aware that as my business matures I am likely to focus more in a particular direction.

Your reason for choosing the FIPI Masters.

Why wouldn’t you? This really was a ‘no brainer’ for me. Having an accredited qualification opens doors that would otherwise remain shut. I have already been offered work that would not have come my way without the qualification. Being accredited by FIPI means that potential clients are reassured about the quality of my work. Building trust in this way is really effective at attracting new leads. Other Image Consultants have also pointed out how significant this qualification will be when I get around to pitching for corporate work.

Achieving my masters did require quite a lot of preparation and after twenty exam free years, the thought of being back in an exam environment was daunting! This preparation forced me to add a level of polish to my consultancy work that I might not otherwise have got around to doing. As a result, my work is more streamlined and this has improved my client experience.

What advice would you give to others?

My advice to anyone considering taking the Masters is – allocate plenty of time to prepare for it, and then just do it!

Visit Ellen’s Website to find out more


Suman Agarwal and her Master’s Story

Suman“The journey to complete my Masters was wonderful and extremely memorable” Suman Agarwal MFIPI; qualified in July 2011. Based in India.

Suman’s Masters Story

I achieved my Image Consulting Certification from the US, appearing for the Master’s award was a very enriching experience. The best part about the assessment was that everything is very transparent and there is no room for any discrepancy. Unlearning and relearning new concepts was quite a challenge and I loved it. All practising consultants who feel that they have a good grip and sound subject matter knowledge and feel confident about their consulting skills must appear for assessments as certification from an association always adds credibility and gives you an edge. I was excited because firstly this was a different learning experience and a great opportunity to meet and exchange new perspectives.

This is Suman’s business;

I am the director of Image Consulting Business Institute (ICBI). She has also written a book- First Impressions, Lasting Impressions.

What her Masters means to her;

Life is all about learning and competing with your own self if you have the knack of evolving, you must believe in continual education, keep testing your skills and keep improving them. This will only improve confidence and competence and remove all insecurities.I totally believe in the openness and transparency and FIPI masters award is a great platform to exhibit your true potential.


Sarah Brummit and her Master’s Story

Sarah Brummitt started her business in 2005 and qualified as an MFIC in 2009. Her organisation is focused exclusively on the corporate sector and she works with professional men and women to help them enhance their image, impact and leadership capability. In 2007 Sarah wrote her first book ‘Brandtastic or Brand Terrible?’

Sarah Brummitt 024

Sarah became a Master of the Federation in 2009, as well as a Certified Image Professional with AICI (Association of Image Professionals International). In 2011, Sarah became a Fellow of the Federation and published her second book on Executive Presence in 2015.

Sarah’s Thoughts on the Masters for her Business:

“My professional qualifications and accreditations have been the strategic differentiator for my business because they reinforce the need for professionals everywhere to develop their image as a critical leadership capability, rather than something that has the potential to be seen as ‘light and fluffy’.”

Sarah would encourage every single individual who is serious about their business, and irrespective of whether they work with individuals or organisations, to become qualified fully as a Master. Why? Because her belief is that this will ensure not only technical competence, but it also drives personal confidence and ensures professional success.

Find out more about Sarah’s Business here:


Toshiko Kobatake and her Master’s Story

Toshiko1“The Masters gives Global Expansion within the Image Industry”

I have to be honest with you; I wasn’t particularly interested in taking the Master’s Award in the first few years that I began working as a full-time image consultant. It was only when I decided to add ‘training courses’ to my services that I felt I needed that credibility to become one of the training providers that would be professionally acknowledged globally. I strongly felt the responsibility to my trainees and clients to provide the best advice, skills and knowledge that I could ever provide in the image industry.

It did involve hard work and time to complete all four assessments to be accredited the Master’s Award but it was all worth it. It gave me the chance to review how I can relate and improve my communication skills with my clients. It also gave me the confidence to know that my skills have been approved by an accredited professional body that was recognised around the world.

When I started my business 10 years ago, I received numerous enquiries from those who were interested in my services, but was asked many questions about my background and even was asked if they can speak to my previous clients. That all changed after I was accredited the Master’s Award. Though my initial reason of taking the Master’s Award was to become one of the training providers, I am so glad that I did take that step forward because this has drastically helped my business to expand and to gain trust from my clients and trainees, knowing they are in good hands. It was a step that I now realise was a very steep one. I hope you will take that step too. Trust me, you will not regret it.

Find out more about Talking Image here:


Susan Campbell and her Master’s Story

My first contact with the image consulting industry was as a consumer participating in a personal colour consultation with an image consultant around 1983. A bespoke service which opened up a whole new world to me and changed completely my perception towards personal image projection. No longer was my personal clothes choice a subjective casual decision but was conditioned by the knowledge of what was right and wrong based on pure objectivity.

“Sometimes something happens in life and things are never the same again”.

My professional career as marketing director of Alberto-Culver, international hair care company, took me from the UK to Brussels and then to Milan and so this new found knowledge remained a personal treasure. In 1990 I took up a post as a marketing manager in Canada and also enrolled myself into a 40-hour evening class course in a reputable image consultancy school in Toronto. This company at that time boasted 300 franchise outlets in Canada. My objective was to deepen my knowledge in colour analysis, intending to apply this knowledge not only to individual consumers but to training in the corporate world.

Since returning to Italy in 1992 until 2002 I operated as a marketing consultant for most of the major hair companies in Italy until I subsequently started my own business.Founded in 2002 I am the co-founder of G & P Cosmetics, an Italian company, specialising in the production of own Label and Private Label hair cosmetic products. G & P Cosmetics has its productive site and it’s directional headquarters in Sansepolcro ( Arezzo), situated in the heart of Italy near the source of the river Tiber between Tuscany and Umbria and its legal office is in the heart of Milan employing almost 100 passionate people. Its major brand named SENS.US is expanding rapidly through the world, now operating in all continents.

Whilst my full-time role as Global Marketing Director is demanding, I run training courses mentoring and coaching to hairdressers on personal image impacting and courses specifically to enable them to offer a service of distinction in their own salons.

Susan’s reasons for sitting her Masters

I decided to participate in the Masters in image consultancy in order to align myself and my way of working with specific standards.To put another way, I trained with so many people over the year in different countries all with their own style and methods, a bit like a patchwork quilt. I felt it was the right time to prepare for an exam which calls for a specific approach, in this way I was simply polishing my own services and knowledge to the accredited City & Guilds and FIPI Standards.

What it has meant for her business

In doing so my services are more streamlined. In addition, I am also now versed in the methodology of the Masters in order to share first-hand knowledge in assisting other international image consultants in taking their Master’s exam. I also now sit on FIPI’s board as International Public Relations Director and am passionate about building new alliances and knowledge about the power of the Masters and what it has given me and my business.


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