Hello to you, (most probably) wonderful reader of Suits and Books. Being anonymous and fabulous at the same time is a big task. While we know the importance of building credibility through being more personable, all we'd like to share at this point is that we write about genuine experiences we have been through. Whether we give tips on cover letters, interview techniques or time management, we have lots to back it up with. And fashion? We all have our guilty pleasures.
Believe it or not, we didn’t start Suits and Books to promote woolen blazers.
We started it as we were on a challenging journey of chasing our dreams nearly 3 years ago and we wanted to share this journey with you. Perhaps, we fell into the big consumerism trap, bombarded by the same media images that we have all been surrounded by. We felt that we stopped creating and only started consuming (Great article by The Minimalists, worth your attention) and we have never felt more ready to change that focus. On a quiet Sunday where making a list with ‘what are we truly passionate about’ seemed like the obvious choice of activity, everything we wrote linked to social change, social mobility, equality, financial education, empowerment, art, mentoring, progression. There were no cute dresses or even obscurely expensive lunches.
We always wanted Suits and Books to be the shortcut for the ambitious, driven, passionate people who were keen to enter the business world. And as we just, ignorantly, found out that ‘Life is short, and Art long.’ was actually a philosophy concept from the Ancient Greek times, it would feel inadequate to continue this journey in the same way.
We have been very fortunate and privileged and for most of the last few years, consciously aware of it. And what we would find truly rewarding is creating value for others.
While we’re figuring out what would be the shape and form of our next project, you can enjoy another moderately exquisite brunch at the Bluebird Chelsea in London from the beginning of this summer.
We live in a world of so much self doubt. Whether it’s career, personal life or the generic decision making, the intelligent, curious and more than able ‘you’ easily falls into the trap of asking the ‘what if’ questions. Often your inquisitive nature turns into an even stronger critic of its own – questioning abilities, ambitions, goals, when all is needed is that little extra self belief. That’s why we found refreshing to have the opportunity to feature an exciting campaign, focusing on that essential empowering element that can boost your resilience – discover the Women Who Can campaign.
As we try to be true advocates for the very able, strong, independent women we really want to be, we are pleased to give our own perspective on the Women Who Can campaign.
Who is your Woman Who Can?
I’m very lucky to be surrounded by amazing women who all fall within the Women Who Can category. Whether they run their own side projects, exceed in their careers, manage to sustain a fantastic social life, have healthy personal lives, travel the world, inspire others and share knowledge – the collective character certainly has some common traits. They are bold, fearless, emotionally intelligent, curious and always eager to learn.
I could not succeeded without…
The self belief that I can do better. I certainly wasn’t an overachiever at school nor at university, I wouldn’t say I’m one now too. But I have always had that sometimes bold self belief that if I really want to achieve something and dedicate time and effort into it, I can make it possible. I got the best student job I can imagine simply because I applied to it without too much self-doubt. I also got accepted in a number of top-tier universities requiring immaculate academic performance – places which I didn’t even dream being part of but thought they were exactly what I needed for the boost of my career opportunities. And I just changed jobs, ‘upgrading’ into a boutique asset and wealth management consulting firm after spending a few years in a large consulting firm. It’s all possible if you want to make it a priority.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Don’t try to have all the answers and be comfortable with that. We all have dynamic lives with so much surrounding ambiguity that getting content with the idea you wouldn’t always know what’s next from a young age, can only be beneficial for your resilience. I have chosen a career that requires a full spectrum of skills – from the ‘soft’ people side of dealing with demanding clients, often changing teams and locations to the pretty ‘hard’ technical side of quick 0-100 learning, late night presentation preparations, tight deadlines and often pretty complex problems to be resolved. It’s certainly challenging to have a clear vision of what you’d like you life to be from a young age but focus on skills and develop your curiosity – everything else will follow.
What’s the bravest thing you’ve ever done?
Perhaps the first big brave thing I did was moving to study and live abroad but that was just a catalyst. Saying ‘no’ in a couple of critical moments in my life is something I’m genuinely proud of. Still at university and actively looking for graduate jobs with a number of rejections behind me, I was offered work opportunities which were fantastic but they were in strong contrast with the location I really desired at the time. It meant I had to say no to security, but I couldn’t have taken a better decision.
If I had a mathematical work style formula, it would read:
Work smart (not just hard) + have fun along the way = Take a step back to enjoy the results
Your happiness. Your ability to step back and feel satisfied with what you have achieved. Being content with the direction you’re going. Realising you’re failing and taking an action.
‘If something feels too difficult, you’re doing it the wrong way’. It’s easy to fall into the trap of discouragement when you don’t see immediate results. Nothing should feel like lifting mountains by yourself – be creative and persistent until you find the right angle – whether it’s your approach, your support group or your attitude.
And as we know, a blog post isn’t complete without the opportunity to win a competition! As part of the Women Who Can campaign, Karen Millen and the Step Up Club are giving you the chance to win £2000 for an upgraded wardrobe and a career coaching session with the experts from the Step Up Club.
Now put that strong critic of yours aside and get yourself writing down the next big goal.
Suits and Books. Our Pleasure.
This is a sponsored post by Karen Millen and this affects in no way how we feel about confidence, self belief or motivation – now stay true to yourself and be your best version at any given time.
Dear hardworking fashionistas, we have gathered for you a special selection of gift ideas that we trust will match your taste for Father’s day or any other occasion where ‘Gifts for him’ raise your stress levels. Also, preventing you from rushing to the high street – double stress releaved.
Fathers Day Gift Ideas: #1: The Classic Wallet
We love everything about this smooth and versatile leather case wallet. With six slots for your cards and one for cash, your pocket is just asking for this Italian beauty. On sale for a great Father’s day deal from Bloomingdales for £39.55.
We have said it before, once you go tailored, you can’t go back. This Mereen white shirt beats the price of many high street City Professional equivalents while offering high long lasting quality and ostentatious customization options (Did you say embroidery?).
For a great deal of £55.30, these iron-free shirts are a classy option for any of your favorite men.
Fathers Day Gift Ideas: #3: The Classic Parfume
As we like to keep up with the current trends of our favorite brands, we bring to you the new fruity-spicy freshness to complement the sexy, woody notes of Dior Homme’s identity in the Dior Homme Sport. An effortlessly chic and long lasting scent: it can be yours for £78.10 today.
This Tommy Hilfiger beauty shouts style and luxurious finish with its gorgeous iconic rose gold plated steel case and brown crocodile embossed leather strap. £147 on MenKind from Tommy Hilfiger.
Fathers Day Gift Ideas: #5: The Classic Bag
If you go on as many holidays and business trips as we do, you’d know the importance of comfort and practicality. This Barbour Leather Travel Explorer Bag from Harrods costing £295 explores the style and panache of the leather as well as the space for some shirts and books, just the right size for the overhead compartments.
Next time, you need a little guide for the gifts shopping for your favourite men, we’ve got your covered.