My Power Outfit: Health Entrepreneur Naomi Whittel
Name: Naomi Whittel
Job/Company: CEO and founder of Reserveage Nutrition
Brief description of what you do in your role: As the founder and chief executive officer at Reserveage Nutrition, I’ve tapped into my keen business acumen, insatiable curiosity, and lifelong relationship with biodynamic ingredients to travel the globe to the world’s healthiest cultures and bring back their pure, natural ingredients to help solve a myriad of health and wellness challenges.
I lead my company and a team of renowned scientists, MDs and PhDs as we research and develop, source, innovate, test, manufacture, retail, and bring to market more than 140 award-winning nutritional supplement products and solutions.
As a business leader, I feel a responsibility to advocate for social change. I work with my passion projects, the D.A.W.N. Foundation (Developing and Advancing Women in Naturals), and I partner with the farmers who source our ingredients to create sustainable relationships and business—like the indigenous Kuna people of Coastal Panama.
What are you wearing? Suit: Gucci, bright fuschia suit with tapered trouser Top: Reed Krakoff, black silk shell Shoes: Christian Louboutin Watch: Cartier, Tank Française watch Bag: Yves Saint Laurent, Sac De Jour bag
Why does it make you feel powerful? People perceive you as they receive you: What you wear instantly sends a signal to others you encounter, even before your body language or your words begin to tell a story. A power outfit should be carefully selected to send that message. Are you going to close a deal? Then choose an outfit that portrays that you’re confident, bold, and in control of the power. If you're looking to make someone at the table feel at ease so they'll welcome your ideas? Wear something more subtle in color and conservative in style. When I appear on QVC, I like to wear colors that convey trust and work well on camera, like calming jewel tones. Whatever the occasion, color choice is something to carefully consider so that it aligns well with the feeling you want to evoke.
When I select my power outfits, I actively follow this routine: 1. First, I walk into my closet, close my eyes, and envision what I'll be wearing as I go through the motions of my day. What will I be wearing in the boardroom with my investors? A lunch with an editor in chief? Or an appearance on QVC?
2. To make this process of selecting my wardrobe easier, I keep photographs of myself wearing various outfits—in various combinations and styled with accessories. This helps me to keep focus and utilize less brain power deciding what to wear and how to put the entire look together, and gives me more time to focus on the more important goals of my day.
3. Fibers and textures and sustainable fabrics are so important. I choose a power outfit that breathes for me. I need my power outfit to make me feel like I'm wearing it, not that it's wearing me.
4. I consider versatility. As a CEO, my schedule's often booked back-to-back. On any given day, I may have a photo shoot, a lunch event, a business deal to close, a speaking engagement, or a live QVC appearance within the course of 24 hours. From any one of these events I may be stepping off a plane and heading straight to a school play or to meet the teacher—every outfit has to transition with me.
Any advice for making bright colors work in a professional setting? Whoever declared that black was the only power color for business was mistaken (and probably a man). Bright, bold colors say that you're unique and willing to take risks. I'm often the only women at the table or in a room of CEOs, so instead of trying impossibly to blend in, I own it. I’m unafraid to stand out as a woman, so I convey that in a bright hue. However, you want to be careful not to overwhelm others. To wear brights well in business, I recommend pairing bold colors with clean, angular lines, excellent tailoring, neutral accessories, and a pair of fabulous diamond studs and bangle. Also, I always wear a watch. Too many of us rely on our smartphones to tell time–but in wearing a really good, classic watch, you portray that you’re attentive to the details–a quality that’s never overlooked in business.