“There are so many people in the world, but everybody wants to be noticed,” says Sherly Worth. “You have your purpose, ambition, career goals and life goals. If people don’t remember you, where are you heading professionally? You want people to remember you. The way to make that happen is to have a brand, in fact to be a brand yourself. That’s why we all need to learn about personal branding.”
Sherly is the founder and CEO of Codeltra Asia, a professional and personal image development company. Codeltra coaches private individuals, public-sector managers, entrepreneurs and corporate executives. The company has two divisions. One deals with corporate training and consultation, coaching clients in how to develop and reinforce their personal brands. The other division teaches people to become fully certified professional image consultants themselves.
“What my company offers is different from traditional coaching on refinement or personal styling,” says Sherly. “It incorporates the scientific background and technical aspects of personal branding and empowerment.”
Sherly has also launched Codeltra Asia Academy to train individuals as image consultants. “The idea of opening the academy and developing image consultants eventually will build an industry,” Sherly goes on. “People will become more aware of how important it is to have an appropriate appearance for their career, and learn about the branding and action that goes along with it.
“When I started this venture I thought it was very important for our country. It’s really needed here because it not only teaches image as the way people see a person. It’s about the whole package of a person, including their appearance and their actions. In order to execute a good appearance with good action, you also need an attitude, whether you want to do it or hesitate to do it. So we inspire and motivate people to transform themselves – to create a better version of themselves.
“Apparently in Indonesia, there were only four registered and certified image consultants before. I’m the only one from AICI, which is the Association for International Image Consultants, based in the United States. I‘ve been interested in this field since 1992. I have already had my personal development training and I have completed courses, including modelling and makeup artistry. I found it really boosted my career as a young woman. At that time, I wasn’t thinking that it could become a business and a career for me. But I’ve always had concern about civility, manners, etiquette and the proper appearance for different occasion.
“With growing economy, you have a lot of money and sometimes you tend to spend it on everything. Because all of sudden you have these resources and budgets to spend. But, it doesn’t necessarily look nice and appropriate. And then, there are some who actually can afford to dress well but not knowing how to present themselves. So, it caught my attention and sometimes it could also create irritation, when you see something not appealing. I believe that it could be better, especially in Indonesia. I think it’s very important for us to pay attention to this.”
How did Sherly get the idea for her business venture? “It all started in 2014, when I went for politics,” she says. “For the first time, I ran for office as a legislative member in Riau for the Partai Keadilan dan Persatuan Indonesia (PKPI). When I was making speeches and presenting myself to my constituents and colleagues, I started to see that a lot people could benefit from this kind of training. Creating a good first impression and having soft skills is important. We need to have the capacity to present ourselves well in front of others.
“And then, to serve my constituent in Riau, I teach in a very simple manner about tax and financial training. These people need human connection, so that they know me and they remember me. I then used my background as an image consultant to approach them. I then founded Codeltra Asia. The name of the company is an acronym of ‘coaching’, ‘development’ and ‘training’.
“There’s another reason I started this venture. I want to build a sizeable business that can eventually become my legacy. I’m approaching my 50th birthday, and to me this is a good thing to do. Image consultancy is a career that can last a long time. The older you are, the more mileage you have, the more stories you can tell, and the more experience you can share with others.
“I’m also lucky to have my husband, David, to help and advise me. He is very supportive. He is the one who gave me the courage to do this as a business. He said that this field is really me and that I should go for it. He knows that this business is something that I could do to satisfy and to fulfill my craving to help people.”
Sherly’s eyes gleam every time she is asked about her new venture. It’s clear that she is truly passionate about what she is doing. “I was a banker at first, with that banking background also I thought I have a lot banker friends who could actually use this assistance. So, I started coaching from the analysis of their colours, then I see their gestures, movement, body languages, choice of words, intonation, and voice. I also see how they were mingling and networking. So, this is all actually in the soft skills category.
“My favourite academy subject is Colour. There’s a lot of psychology in it, because it’s not just about colours you like. It’s about a colour swatch that fits your tone. All our consultants will learn how to look at an individual from the way they move, speak, to see their gestures and definitely see undertones. We analyse your undertone, pigment, hair, pupils, lips and teeth. All that incorporated. We also look at your temperature, we call it your pigment value and also the intensity, the brightness of your skin, to determine a package of palettes which we call a colour fan. Then you get a colour fan and this would be a guidance for you on what would be your best colour.
“Mostly, when you meet people, people notice waist up. First impressions start with handshake and eye view. It’s very important to know the colour you wear, your makeup, dressing and grooming. Colour is a determining factor whether people would want to continue talking to you, spend time with you or not. Especially if there’s a hundred people in the room for example. It makes sense. Think about it, there is a hundred people in the mingling arena. With a hundred of people, what would make people want to think that you’re worth their five minutes of time?
It really is first impression and colour is in the package of that first impression. And then after that, how you carry on after five seconds, what questions you ask and your facial expressions. Then comes body language. “Every subject is important but I think the first impression and the last impression sets them all.
How do you want to be remember? After we get to know each other, we shake hands, how do you make me remember you when you walk away. That’s why we learn this in the academy.”
What is Sherly’s ambition for the future? “To have more image consultants accepted as a career in Indonesia,” she says. “Because right now, nobody really knows that it can be a career. But image consultancy is really important. It goes beyond being a stylist. A stylist chooses something based on what they think is nice and pleasant to their eyes. Maybe they have good taste and a knowledge of brands. But an image consultant looks at the whole package, based on research on why is this good for you, why this particular colour is yours. I think image consultancy should be seen as a legitimate career in Indonesia. I’m very proud that I have created a new career choice here.”