First impressions by potential employers are subconscious and judgmental so we want to show our guests how to make maximum impact at first sight with a message that says,
"I am a confident professional woman and you need me on your team!"
Like most military women, I spent a lot of time in my fatigues wearing a sports bra and my hair tied up. My first job was working in a large tanker maintenance squadron filled with career fields that were designed for and occupied mostly by men but it was a challenge that I was ready for and the benefits included life-long friendships and travel all over the world, plus I had a lot of fun! I've always been competitive so my goal was to move up as fast as I could. I volunteered for everything with the hopes of being noticed by leadership, I furthered my education and made it to the Senior NCO ranks as a First Sergeant. However, through the years, I lost a bit of my femininity, I learned to hide my emotions and admittedly, I lost a lot of myself along the way as well.
Fast forward to my retirement in 2004: My transitioned to civilian life was rough and I felt disconnected and unprepared. I considered looking for a job but chose entrepreneurship instead and with the support of my family, I turned a part-time passion into a successful business in the wedding beauty industry.
In 2016, a friend asked me if I'd help a woman Veteran who was job hunting and needed a little "update" to her appearance -- she was getting interviews but no offers. After seeing her confidence soar with a fresh hair style, a little makeup and a sharp interview outfit. I wondered if there was a need for this type of service so I reached out to my Veteran network, got more referrals and the results were the same: When we look good on the outside, we feel good on the inside!
Veteran clients told me that their TAP class just talked about the importance of a professional appearance when looking for work. Hiring officials confirmed that how a candidate looks - that first impression, creates a judgement about who the applicant is and the value they offer. It is clear that the moment a job seeker is seen from across the room at a job fair or stepping into the interview, they are being sized up and judged. How sad to think that an impressive military career outlined in a resume could quickly be dismissed just because of an appearance that might be interpreted as a poor value.
After a 19-month test program working with military women, it was evident that we filled a need and Strong Beauty Warrior™ was created. On January 7, 2019, we became a 100% Woman Veteran Owned California S Corporation and we work Business to Consumer, Business to Business and we're now a certified small business (micro) on DGS offering our services and retail contracts Business to Government. Learn more about us on our Government Page
Kelly Robertson (Ret) USAFR First Sgt