Tammy Parrish, founder of The Clothing Compass
Since I was young, clothing has had a big influence on how I feel, although not always in a positive way. From the moment I could walk until I started school, I had to wear saddle oxfords — orthopedic shoes — to straighten out my feet. They stood out in an unwanted way and other kids made fun of me.
Fast forward to university when I visited New York City for the first time, and, full of confidence in a very bold red suit of my own design, secured a summer internship that would set the course of my adult life. What a shame that digital cameras weren’t yet mainstream…
Or the experience of moving to the Netherlands at age 36 and, without thinking, retiring my big, dangly earrings and lipstick in favor of a more low-key, no fuss look in order to meld into a community where ‘just acting normal’ is rewarded.
Those are just a few of the stories about the effect that my physical appearance has had on my self-esteem. Born and raised in the Midwest USA, having lived in Los Angeles, London, New York City, and now in Amsterdam, I understand both how to stand out and blend in, and the role that one’s image plays in that process.
After earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) in fashion design, I had a brief career in the fashion industry in New York City. Quickly fed up with colleagues’ bad behavior, I made a complete switch and decided to try and save the world. A long career working as a fundraiser for many nonprofit organizations followed, and I moved to Amsterdam in 2010 (for love), working as associate director for Human Rights Watch through 2018. In 2017 I decided to return to my first love, so I started The Clothing Compass. As an image consultant, I combine my two passions — helping people and being visually creative.
If we work together I’ll see a very vulnerable side of you, so I think it’s only fair that I reciprocate with some revealing information about myself:
- You will usually find me laughing or otherwise incorporating my dry sense of humor.
- I have trouble sitting still and have occasionally been described as somewhat bossy and often impatient.
- My biggest hobbies are eating, drinking wine, dancing to Prince and getting to know new, dynamic people.
- How do I deal with stress? Yoga, singing karaoke, and occasionally screaming at the top of my lungs while driving alone on the highway.
- Although we’re all judged by our appearances, looks are hardly everything. I try not to take myself, or this profession, too seriously.
The better I look, the better I feel. I think that’s valid for everyone. Looking good is something you can outsource, so why not give yourself a self-confidence boost, and save time too?
Are you ready to tell me about your clothing and shopping challenges so that I can save you precious time to spend on the things you truly value, like I have for these clients? I look forward to hearing from you.