Image Consultant Johonna Duckworth: Fashion is More than What Meets the Eye

Sunday, 10 July 2011 03:54 Written by  Ebony L. Morman

In a world where it's more important to make money than to do what you love, it can become quite difficult to have the best of both worlds: living your dream, while making good money doing it. Oftentimes, you find that it's more realistic to have a job that "pays the bills," while pursuing your "dream job" in your spare time. There are a handful of people who actually get paid millions to do what they've always wanted to do, but those same people have to pay the price.

For image consultant Johonjna Duckworth, the same was true for a very long time. Prior to becoming the lead image consultant for Creative Images, an impression management consultant company that focuses on image, wardrobe and corporate etiquette training, Johonna spent a great deal of time in the world of software training and project management.

Under the guise that going to school for a career in a field that would undoubtedly provide a steady stream of income, against her better judgment, Johonna pursued a degree in information technology. However, her heart wasn’t in it.

“I always knew, even when I was in college, IT wasn’t going to be something that I would do for long,” she admits. “I was just doing it because I didn’t have anything else to do at the time, and technology was hot.”

During her stint as a project manager, Johonna realized that the people who surrounded her weren’t happy, which at that point, she realized she was at a crosswords. With the support of her husband, she decided to pursue a degree in fashion marketing and retail management. She didn’t know exactly how she would “marry” her business skills with her love for fashion, but she knew that it was time for a change.

“I made a huge sacrifice in my life to follow my passion,” she notes. “Financially, it was a huge sacrifice.”

During school, she worked in retail. It was then that she noticed people lacked confidence when it came to their purchasing decisions, and they also lacked guidance. It wasn’t until she was in the resale aspect of retail that she realized exactly what she wanted to do. She decided to develop the business side of her business with Creative Images, starting with consulting contracts with people within some Milwaukee-based organizations.

She began to communicate the image side of fashion, which people have the tendency to miss, she adds.

“It’s so much more than the glamour, the shiny purses and wonderful shoes,” she comments.


With that said, the focus of her company is to work with people on their overall image. Body language, visual appearance and communication skills are all important factors. The three core areas in business are image coaching, wardrobe solutions and corporate etiquette training, she adds. Also, her company provides services to youth, which include character building and job readiness training. She also provides internships for those young people who have interest in the fashion industry.

As a co-author of the new book, My Style, My Way, Johonna had the pleasure of authoring a chapter that allows readers to learn how to dress for and “be true” to their body type. She describes the piece as a timeless guide that will never go out of style.

For Johonna, success is subjective.

“Sometimes people measure success by different things, by the amount of money that they make,” she says. “I believe that if you do what you love, then the money will come.”

Her relationship with God, her supportive husband and the impact that she has on people’s lives keep her motivated to do what she does on a daily basis.

She concluded: “My mission is to have people create positive first impressions that last beyond the first introduction.”


Ebony L. Morman

Ebony L. Morman

GMO's Senior Editor Ebony L. Morman received her B.A. in journalism from Northern Illinois University and her master’s in journalism from Columbia College Chicago. The Chicago-native enjoys writing about almost anything, but since she also has a passion for music, writing reviews of albums has become one of her favorite past times. Aside from GMO, Ebony freelances for a variety of publications and volunteers in her community.

Ebony can be contacted at
Follow her on Twitter at @EbonyEyes_GMO