Personal image consultant Tracy Gringer always had family and friends coming to her for fashion advice.
“They wanted me to go shopping with them to help pick out their outfits,” said Gringer, who launched Dulcet Style in Coralville in 2007. She expanded the image consulting business with a Cedar Rapids office last month.
Gringer, a former office and accounting manager, switched careers to provide fashion and wardrobe consulting to a broad spectrum of people, ranging from corporate executives to stay-at-home moms.
Gringer augmented her personal talent with additional training in image consulting and became certified in the Color Alliance Color System and SIGNIA Silhouette for body and style analysis work.
“I used those systems for a couple of years and decided I could improve on them,” Gringer said. “I created my own style system, which I named Style Simplicity.
"I like to keep it simple because I want my clients to walk away from a session truly understanding what it is that I am giving them. I want them to be able to use that knowledge should they choose to do their own shopping."
Gringer offers a free initial consultation in either of her offices.
"I want to learn how I can best help them so that I can tailor my product and service package offerings to them," Gringer said. "I do not want to sell them something they don’t want or can’t use. It has to be a good fit for them."
Gringer offers everything from a color analysis to a style analysis.
“The color analysis is for colors within the four seasons,” she explained. “Everybody falls into one of those four categories. If you are an autumn, you know what those colors are and what that means."
Gringer said the style portion of an analysis revolves around four basic categories.
“We discover what that style is,” she said, adding there are five different body types.
“Once they discover their body type, they have a guide they get to use to assist them in purchasing the clothing items that will flatter them the most,” Gringer said. “With that knowledge, they can go out and make a workable wardrobe for themselves.”
Dulcet Style doesn’t stop there. Gringer and three part-time style assistants are available for in-home closet audits where they help the client weed out what doesn’t work for them. They also go shopping with clients at local stores.
Gringer has established business relationships with a number of area clothing retailers. The stores offer her clients discounts when they shop there with her, but she does not receive a commission.
With clients from the Corridor, Des Moines, Cedar Falls and as far as Omaha, Gringer has worked with girls as young as 14 and women in their mid-80s. Her philosophy on style is simple.
“Live in the present and dress your present body," Gringer advises. "People need to know that they can be beautiful at any size. Beauty is not size, and style is not size."
At A glance