Visiting New York this year was very special for me, I had the opportunity to meet a woman I have read so much about and been inspired by – Betty Halbreich. She is one of New York’s and perhaps the world’s best known personal stylists and personal shoppers. She started the Personal Shopping Department at Bergdorf Goodman known by the name of Betty’s Halbreich’s Solutions nearly 4 decades ago and she is still going strong.
Meeting Betty Halbreich was not just meeting an idol but it made me realise that the more experienced and successful you are, it is as important to be humble and open to meeting people. When I followed Betty to the elevators once I had spotted her (and waited for her client to depart on the ground floor), I was open to the possibility that she could possibly ignore me or dismiss me or keep it very short. I mean someone who has catered to the cream of New York, the US and Hollywood celebrities would barely have the time to speak to me and it is something I am ok with. However, the second I said hello she looked at me and I immediately went on a ramble on what a big fan I was, visiting from London, have been reading about her and she immediately whisked me to her office on the 3rd floor. It was a magical experience – she was willing to give me time, sit with me, talk to me about politics, life in New York, learn about what I do and everything else! She signed her book for me and invited me to visit her when I am next back in New York. Betty is now nearly 90 years old – her book has taught me that no one has a smooth journey – she had her share of difficulties but above all she is a people’s person. She has worked hard, connected with her clients and has remained true to her real self which has been the key to her success and strength. What an amazing woman! I hope I can see her next time I am in Manhattan!