Name: Helen Dalhuisen
Family status: married, two girls of 6 and 11
Where do you live? In fabulous Cologne
How would you sum up your life-style? casual elegance
Hobbies: ballet, reading, art and interior design, travelling, fashion
Slogan: Your struggle today is your strength tomorrow
What is your professional background? What did you do before Styles4Work?
I have a M.A. in art history and worked for years in the art auction world in London and Germany. My main areas were acquisition, sales and PR. After the birth of my second daughter, I briefly worked as a freelance consultant but found myself looking for a new challenge when happily I came across Styles4Work. Fashion and online business is a new profession for me, but I am still dealing with beautiful things.
How did you come across Styles4Work?
That was a coincidence. I was sitting next to Alexandra at a dinner party of a mutual friend. Alex had just founded Styles4Work and she was telling me about her idea which grabbed me immediately. A couple of days later we met up, were discussing things – et voilá, here I am. It is incredibly exciting to be part of a start-up, to help designing it and follow it up.
What does Styles4Work represent?
Business fashion is a very exciting area and from my personal experience in the art business I found it challenging to dress conservatively enough but without feeling boring or dowdy. You always should to be able to express yourself with your style and so it does need an exceptional twist. This is the gap which Styles4Work fills. We offer a specialized business fashion shop, providing a detailed and custom-fit consultation to help you meet any sartorial demands which your job throws at you. In addition, we produce helpful suggestions and editorials which appeal to working women. We want women to be at ease in their business style and effortlessly feel the best version of themselves.
What are you doing for Styles4Work?
Together with Julia I am responsible for content and the magazine.
What is your main audience?
Working women who daily juggle the demands of their career, everyday life and often kids.
How do you see Styles4Work in 3 years? What does Styles4Work aim for?
Styles4Work will be the leading online platform for business fashion. Europe is calling and there will be an active blog and network created for and by working women.
Do you have a favourite outfit?
Not really, I particularly like dresses, but also trousers and blouses work well for me.
Do you have a favourite label?
Oh, too many to count! Besides the ones which totally blow the budget, there is Custommade, Closed, Max Mara, Dorothee Schumacher, Tory Burch and Lala Berlin. I like German designers more and more.
Are you including fashion trends in your business outfit?
Yes, I do, in little things. It works well with a certain heel, a handbag or shades.
Which colours do you prefer for the office?
Not too bright and no neon, apart from that, any colour. Even glitter works, but discreet and measured.
Where do you prefer to buy?
For a long time, I exclusively bought online with great success. Nowadays I occasionally buy in certain boutiques, but more by chance than intention.
What do you always carry in your handbag?
In brief, everything! Shades, mobile, sweets for my girls, various pens, an old school agenda, notebooks, keys, money, cards, lipstick, nail polish, just everything. In daily life I always carry a big bag, one total favourite of mine is still the Chloé Marcie bag.
You don’t leave the house without….?
For the time being my new oversized Mark Jacobs sunglasses.
Which hint do you have for women who are still looking for their own style?
Firstly, analyse your type of body-shape and work out which colours are good on you. That can work wonders. Follow the Styles4Work body-shape consultant. Basically, it is always the same cuts and colours for each type. Your eye colour is a helpful indicator, but your complexion of the skin is almost more important. Do not run after trends. If you really would like to follow a trend, why not include it using accessories? Lastly, even though it might hurt, never forget to look at your backside in the mirror!
Styles4Work is an internet platform: Are you privately a socialmedia user? Are you posting yourself?
To be honest, privately I only post a little. I do follow lots of pages though and, of course, the ones of my friends, which are inspiring and make me happy.
What is your estimation on platforms like Styles4Work and blogs for future trendsetting?
I think, trend setting will be shaped and determined online even more than now, middle-termed maybe almost exclusively. Specialised platforms like Styles4Work will continue to gain in influence and relevance. Daily blog reading will become like daily newspaper reading.
Family and job, an ongoing subject: How do you manage both?
My husband is almost constantly on the road which is not always easy. My children are taken care of up to the early afternoon, which helps. I also have wonderfully supportive mother who I can lean on.
Who or what gives you inspiration?
Years of working in the art world have given me a good eye and I love to observe beautiful scenes and adore finding and collecting gorgeous objects. Another source of inspiration is reading about interesting personalities and I love to travel. I enjoy literature in general, interior design, fashion, films, social media, colours, light, sometimes cooking and clearly the company of my loved ones.
Last question: which social topic is currently important to you?
The protection of nature. The tons of plastic rubbish. I think it is already quite an achievement that nature protection has become mainstream throughout society and is not only for eco warriors anymore. Humans still don’t do enough, but it is a start. I try to avoid plastic as much as possible and teach this to my girls as well.
A subject which also greatly concerns me is the increasing selfishness in society and the seemingly unstoppable craving of sensation. Everyone should be given respect and consideration, regardless of their social background. A little more of moral responsibility would do everyone some good.
We support the Kenya based David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, which works to protect elephants. Ivory dealing is still a massive problem. We love Africa and I love elephants, they are wise and ancient, it’s vital to keep them safe.