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Meet Karen

How did a shy, quiet little girl with no confidence, no self esteem or self love, grow up to become a Personal Branding Coach and Lifestyle Designer, helping others live their best lives?

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Los Angeles

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA GIRL

Born and raised in Southern California, in an environment where I always felt “less than” and not good enough. Independent thought was dismissed or ridiculed, which lead to non-existent self-esteem, and caused me to play and act small to avoid judgement. I had a terrible self-image, and didn’t love myself enough (or frankly, at all) to even consider - or even know about - personal growth and development. I was focused on survival and escape.

Don’t get me wrong – I was active in dance and music lesson, Girl Scouts, and baton twirling. I became the leader of my baton corp. In high school, I was in the performing dance group and a majorette in the band. I graduated from Barbizon as Most Photogenic in my class. (Side note: yes, I do appreciate that my parents spent their time and money on these activities). I worked part-time and spent my money on fashion. I was an A student. A perfectionist. Also, depressed, judgmental, demeaning and downright mean to others, and how I had any friends, I still don’t know.

I suspect they were sent by the universe to show me how people could really be.

I was pretty darned competitive, though. And I did become a fighter, which ended up serving me well later...

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What's with the white shoes???

Apparentley there is only 1 pose for baton pics:-)

Post-Barbizon glamizon pics at the park

7th grade hair flip - all the rage!

SO...WHAT CHANGED ME INTO THE STRONG,
INDEPENDENT, SELF-LOVING WOMAN TODAY?

MOTHERHOOD

Suddenly, having the responsibility of taking care and raising a new human, it was like a switch got flipped on inside of me. 

No more acting or feeling subservient. My opinions, goals, and needs were expressed freely. My career in administrative support and management grew exponentially. My confidence skyrocketed and feeling of independence enveloped my life. I began advising and coaching others at work without even realizing what was happening.

I was a new woman.

And it cost me my marriage of 19 years. 

But once you start to grow, it can't be stopped. My divorce forced me to (or rather, allowed me!) to do the research and powerful inner work to heal, to become a better person and who I was meant to be.

This personal growth and development has been more than a decade-long process, and it continues today. And I thrive on it, and help others to do the same.

I am certified as a life coach, an image consultant, and an administrative professional - through different organizations and for unique, although very closely related, purposes. I graduated Summa Cum Laude with my BS in Business Administration, Organizational Leadership, and have worked in the corporate world (both private and public), supporting and leading in the C-suite, for 25 years.

After more than a decade of doing the needed exhaustive inner personal work, and realizing I had already been coaching "on the job" and helping countless executives and peers achieve their goals, I started my own business to help even more succeed in their journeys.

I combine the principles of leadership and personal work to show you how to exercise your agency, self-worth, and personal power.

I am an empath, healer, and Reiki Master.

My work is service-based, heart-centered, full of energy, light, and spirituality.

A little more about me:

  • I'm an amazing dancer.

  • I can still twirl that baton, and it sits in the corner of my office.

  • I possess an intuitive, confident yet vulnerable, and open nature.

  • I'm direct, challenging, and honest - but also kind, supportive and encouraging. I'm engaged with and powered by energy received from the universe. 

  • Member and Former Chapter President, Association of Image Consultants International (AICI)

  • First Fashion and Lifestyle Writer/Editor of the Orange County Business Journal

  • Author of Close the Gap: 7 Transformational Steps to Move You From Today to Tomorrow 

  • Mom to a perfect, adult-age son (I may be biased, but it's true.)

  • I love animals and have two senior cats, Bobo and Baby.

  • I probably wear too much black, but I love it so much.

  • Fear no longer stops me from trying anything.

  • I seek and embrace vulnerability, change, and confrontation. They're all positive things in my life.

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MAJOR SPIRITUAL AWAKENING COMPLETELY
CHANGED THE PATH OF MY LIFE

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Winter 2016 - I sell my condo, leave my job to take a professional sabbatical, and my son and I take our first trip to London. His top request, after booking a few shows on West End, was to visit Stonehenge. It wasn't important to me at the time, but of course I obliged - and it ended up being a major turning point in my life.

Something happened to me that day, on a visceral and deeply personal level. I felt connected to the universe on a level I had never experienced, and the energy that left with me that day continues to breathe energy into my life.

After that trip, I studied interior design, and became both a certified image consultant and life coach in the same month. I did take another office job in 2017, but in 2019, I left that job to go full-time into my passion and to serve where I knew I needed to be. Also in 2019, I graduated Summa Cum Laude with my BS in Business Administration, Organizational Leadership. 

Fast-forward to early 2020, I was on the verge of signing two major contracts for corporate training...and Covid-19 shut down the country. I was not prepared to pivot into the virtual world as many were, and my business suffered and I moved to Tennessee. Again, I found work as an adminstrative professional, but I never gave up on establishing my business in a new location and being in service to others. And the magic of that day continues to have a major impact on me and my coaching.

KAREN K. BANNISTER BIO

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