Don’t Judge a Book By Its Cover…

Or a designer by his/her socks.

I’m serious.  As a freshman at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, one of my first professors in the Interior Architecture department was Peter Exley.  (Peter, if you’re reading this, I hope you’re not offended)  An energetic man who in my memory always had a smile on his face, I remember him most notably for his style.

While most of my other professors wore neutral colors (primarily shades of grey and a lot of black), Peter wore color and lots of it.  Accompanied by his longer, curly, blond hair, Peter…  Made a statement.  Up until just recently, I wasn’t sure what his statement was.  But I think I understand now.

Peter’s statement was, “I’m confident.  I don’t need to dress like you to succeed.  I can succeed, if not surpass you, by being myself.”

Wow.  That’s refreshing!

From what I saw, Peter’s architectural designs were always creative and full of interest.  Like his company name (view his website here), he truly made his architecture fun.

As I continued through the Interior Architecture program, more and more of us seemed to convert to the “designer” wardrobe.  Our closets became increasing black and dark in nature, and color…  Well, color seemed to just disappear.  Even in our designs it was phased out.  It was as if our “child-like sense of wonder” was gone.

After college I secured a position as a designer in Manhattan, and the conversion to blacks and neutrals was finalized.  Thinking back to what I saw my co-workers wearing every day, all I can remember is a lot of black.  Even my closet fell victim.  (The picture below is not of my closet, but of one very similar)  Black filled 95% of it, and the other 5% was colors that I never touched.

Fast forward to present day.  An ex-husband and two beautiful children later, I left the dark days of my life behind and met Dave.  Suddenly I could see color again.  He helped fill my life with my favorite color (turquoise) and has started covering the walls with his incredible (colorful) paintings.  My favorite present(ation) of colors from Dave is the constant stream of flowers I have arriving in my text message in-box.

Copyright 2011 Sutton Creative Studios

Today, I make every effort to not wear black except in the form of pants or a skirt.  Today, for example, I’m wearing a pink *gasp!* sweater, grey slacks and pink, polka-dotted fuzzy socks.  Yes, I repeat, my socks are fuzzy and pink.  But I don’t care.  I find fun in what I do and I’d like to find as much enjoyment in what I wear.

And with that I ask you…  Would you rather hire someone who simply performs the tasks asked of him/her?  Or would you like to hire someone who enjoys what they do and wants you to be as happy as they are with the final result?  Yea, I thought so.

Sutton Creative Studios…  We’re in Business to Help Your Business.


Kim SuttonKim Sutton is the Managing Partner and Chief Everything Officer of The Sutton Companies, including Sutton Strategic Solutions and Sutton Creative Studios.  She is a graduate of The School of the Art Institute of Chicago where she earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Interior Architecture.

An avid reader and passionate learner, Kim is constantly researching, studying and developing business improvement strategies. When it comes to client work, Kim especially enjoys helping her clients develop innovative marketing strategies and sales funnels, particularly when they are using Infusionsoft to automate all the heavy lifting. To find out how you can further develop your company’s marketing and automation strategies schedule a 1-hour Business Boost Strategy Session by clicking here.

In her free-time, Kim cherishes the time she gets to spend with her husband, Dave (her business partner), and five children. She also enjoys reading, knitting, writing and playing video games.

Get a copy of Kim’s FREE guide, “10 Top Tools for Small Businesses” by clicking here.


About Kim Sutton

Kim is the CEO of The Sutton Companies, including Sutton Strategic Solutions and Sutton Creative Studios. She is married to her best friend and soul mate, Dave, and together they have six children.
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