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Alumni Profile

Well-suited for business

elaine stoltz

Good news for Tiger fans: Fort Worth, Texas, image consultant Elaine Stoltz, BS Ed ’69, says anybody can wear black and gold, just not necessarily near their face. “It shows confidence,” she says. “It’s bold.” Photo by Dennis Strini/Coast Creative.

Elaine Stoltz helps Texans figure out what to wear. Business is booming for image consultant Stoltz, BS Ed ’69, of Fort Worth, Texas.

Television shows like What Not to Wear and 10 Years Younger have helped. “These programs have really jump-started our business,” says Stoltz, who often gets calls from husbands whose wives dream of appearing on TV.

Like Stacy London — without the camera — Stoltz helps clients “audit” their closets by discarding anything outdated, ill-fitting or inappropriate. “We’re so emotionally tied to our wardrobes,” she says. “It’s nice to have someone more objective come in and help.”

Stoltz also creates personalized color fans. Each fan contains about a hundred color swatches chosen to flatter the client’s eye, skin, hair and blush color.

Although she worked as a computer programmer for several years, Stoltz doesn’t use a computer to make the selections. Instead, she chooses her samples by auditioning 2,000 fabrics against the client’s face. “I have to quit thinking and let my eyes do the work.”

Clients use the swatch books when they shop. She also helps them recognize clothing styles and shapes that flatter their body type. “People felt like dressing was a huge gray area where they just didn’t know what to do,” she says. “I give them very specific guidelines when they go shopping. It simplifies the process.”

Stoltz says her math education training from Mizzou has helped her thrive as a small-business owner. After launching her company in 1989, she quickly expanded out of her home office. “So many image consultants fail because they’re too creative and they can’t run a business,” she says. “Having a math background has been invaluable.” 

— Lisa Groshong