Interview with Julia Rees
Julia. Born in the UK and living in France for 25 years.
Passionate about fashion and traveling.
Creator of the «Style With Julia» website. It helps women find their unique personal style and change the way they look and feel.
Today she tells us her interesting story, her dreams and her life!
You were born in the UK. What city? How was your childhood there?
I was born in Liverpool, in the North of England, and I had a really happy childhood there.
I’m an only child, so I was very close to my parents and my father used to take me to Anfield for Liverpool’s home games!
What did you want to be as a girl?
I genuinely didn’t know what I wanted to be as a girl. I had so many interests and yet not one passion that was stronger than the others.
What do your parents do? What is the most important thing they taught you?
Both my parents passed away several years ago but the most important thing they taught me was to respect other people and to treat people how you would like to be treated.
Well, that and also that you can have anything you want in life, if you believe in yourself and work hard.
How is your family formed?
I’m married and I have two adult daughters, one lives in France and one lives in the UK, although they both grew up in France.
You have lived in France for 25 years. How did you get to that country? Did you have a project? The original plan was to settle there or was it happening? How were your first days? Did you know the language? Did you come alone?
I initially came to France on a six month work exchange with our Paris office. I came alone, I didn’t speak the language and had no plans to stay!
My first few days were “challenging”, but I soon fell in love with Paris, not to mention my future husband!
You received a Chartered Accountant and also a High School Teacher. How were those elections? Was there a family influence? Are your passions? Did you exercise both? What made you not put them into practice today?
I initially qualified as a Chartered Accountant, more years ago than I care to remember, and I practiced for about 15 years, some in the UK and some in France.
I decided to retrain as a high school teacher when my daughters were growing up, so that I could enjoy spending more time with them and I was also passionate about working with high school children.
As a teacher, what difficulties did you encounter in handling a group of children? What were the moments you enjoyed the most? What do you miss from those days? Was it difficult to get attention and respect?
I think the fact that I came to teaching at an older age and after 15 years of work experience helped enormously.
I also had my own daughters, the eldest of which was approaching high school age, and so I wasn’t “terrified” of handling a group of children.
I think the advice of my parents about treating people with respect and the advice of my daughter that “teenagers know who they can play up with the second you walk in the room” both helped me to face a classroom serenely.
I was passionate about making a difference and helping, so I think I enjoyed being the “form teacher” more than teaching my subject.
Although I was passionate about teaching, I reached a point where I was finding it tiring and I wasn’t as motivated as at the start, so it felt like it was time to move on again, and I had always been passionate about style so when the opportunity to retrain as a personal stylist presented itself, it felt like it was the right move at the time.
What is your job? How could you define it? What do you enjoy most about your job?
I am now a Style & Confidence Coach and I love it, as it combines my passion for style with my passion for making a difference; and uses both my Style training and my teaching skills.
I love the feeling that I get when I see a woman step into her new style/ find her glow and find her confidence. It’s so rewarding.
When did you start with your blog? What do you want to share from there?
I have always been passionate about fashion, beauty and travelling, and have spent much of my free time researching beauty products, shopping (or at least window-shopping) for new clothes and planning my next holidays!
In September 2015, I decided to start a blog for fun and to share my passion for fashion, beauty and travel.
I write about places I have visited, beauty products I love and style advice.
You mention that it is very important how one dresses, the colors that we use that influence the interaction with others. How is that?
During my blogging journey, I realised how much dressing for your body shape and colouring can impact your confidence and that by changing how you look on the outside you also change how you feel on the inside, which then influences how you interact with others and that your clothes are not simply things to throw on in the morning but an expression of who you are and how you feel.
Your style is sending messages to the world before you even open your mouth, your style communicates who you are, what you value and what your dreams and desires are.
We are all judged on our appearance, and it takes just 7 seconds for someone to form an opinion about you.
This isn’t fair, but as we know it’s true, we can make it work in our favour and make sure that our clothes are sending the right messages.
Your style can open the door or get it slammed in your face!
You founded an agency called “Style with Julia”. How is that project?
“Style with Julia” was founded to help women transform their personal and professional lives by helping them find their style, confidence and inner beauty so that they can look and feel their best every day and live their lives to their highest potential.
I don’t just tell you what you should be wearing, I give you the tools to discover your own unique personal style, and the process to change the way you look and feel FOREVER!
Do you help women find their style? The consultants also via Zoom or Skype?
Yes, I provide online coaching via Zoom, and I am shortly launching online courses to make my styling accessible to more women.
I started by providing “done for you” services, such as color analysis, body shape analysis, wardrobe detox and personal shopping, but I soon realized that I missed the “coaching” aspects of the teaching profession and so I took a Life Coaching course and “Style with Julia” evolved into a Style and Coaching Service.
How did you find your own style?
It all began in 2015 when I experienced “fitting room” meltdown first-hand on a shopping trip with my daughter in Paris. I had been looking forward to it for ages, but hadn’t taken into account the fact that I had been ill for a few months and had put on weight!
I can remember taking a pile of clothes into the changing room as usual, full of excitement. And then came the shock! I had no idea what styles suited me anymore, I couldn’t fit into the size I used to wear, and it was ‘hello to dressing room meltdown’, and baggy t-shirts! And all of a sudden, shopping was no longer any fun! I don’t know who was more shocked – me or my daughter!
But, not being one to accept defeat, I decided to take a Personal Stylist training course so that I could rediscover my style and get my confidence back. I became so passionate about everything I had learned that I decided to take a leap into the unknown and launch my own styling company and ‘Style with Julia’ was born to help other women find their style and confidence.
What places did you visit that fascinated you? How many countries did you already know?
I have travelled extensively in Europe and North America, but I have yet to explore the other continents.
I would love to visit South America (so far I have only been to Mexico) and the Taj Mahal has been on my bucket list for a long time!
What does traveling mean to you?
I believe that travel is the one expense that makes you richer and that learning about other cultures and lifestyles is a truly rewarding and enlightening experience.
I love to discover new places, and travel is also a sense of adventure and freedom, for me.
How many languages do you speak?
I speak English and French fluently, but sadly my level of fluency in other languages is lacking. I would love to learn Spanish and Italian, although I get confused between the two !.
Is there something you miss from the UK?
Well, living so close to the UK, it’s really easy for me to pop back over (when we’re not in quarantine), so not really!
However, when I am back I love going to an English pub, as it’s a completely different atmosphere to a French Café.
What do you do when you are stressed?
I love to go for walks in nature, or start planning my next holidays !
What was your greatest joy?
Giving birth to my daughters (probably also my greatest physical pain!)
What would you like to see happen from 5 years to here? Do you see it possible?
I would like to offer a more extensive range of coaching, and also to collaborate with business coaches to offer an entire package to help the career woman, in terms of her style & confidence, but also in terms of her career development.
I am also planning to launch online courses to make my coaching tips accessible to everyone towards the end of this year.
And, I think everything is possible, with patience, perseverance and hard work!
Do you like to cook? What is your specialty?
I don’t like to cook at all, although I do love to eat! My specialty (if you could call it that!) is lasagne.
What dreams do you need to fulfill?
I would like to see my business develop more so I can help more people. I would like to travel more, but I’m already really happy at this stage of my life.
What are you afraid of?
Something you want to tell that I didn’t ask you?
You can find out more about my services on my website (StylewithJulia.com), and you can get daily style and confidence tips in my Facebook Group (Be Authentically You), where I also post details of free webinars.
And of course, you can find me on Instagram, where I combine both Style & Travel tips.
Complete the sentence:
The most important is…family, friends and good health