Perfection is a road.not a destination, reads the front cover of a brochure for image consultancy service To The Best.
Your guide down that road is Dr Shadia Metwally, a former pharmacist who started To The Best around two years ago in Dubai, where her husband works, and brought it back with her to Cairo in February of last year. To The Best aims to enhance people’s “personal image.
This career path may seem a little unexpected for the former pharmacist, who only closed down her pharmacy a year ago. However, Metwally’s, penchant for giving advice predates her medicine-dispensing days.
“All my life, people have liked to take my advice, she says.
The spark for her consultancy was ignited in Belgium in the early 1980s, when Metwally discovered Color Me Beautiful and had her colors done. At the same time, she took courses and attended lectures about body language and non-verbal communication in Brussels.
The final product, To the Best, came together about two years ago in Dubai, where she started giving lessons about the concept of personal image and how to improve it.
For Metwally, the concept of personal image is multifaceted, depending on three factors: your relationship to yourself, to your work environment and to your social environment.
This image, according to Metwally, comes from the look of your verbal communication, as well as your non-verbal communication.
“What are the signs that we project that really help to give the message that we want? she asks.
It’s also a concept she feels people are not aware of.
“In the Middle East, people are not really aware of the personal image, she says, adding, “Now in the Middle East, they forget a bit that simplicity is beauty.
“It’s a new concept. Everyone thinks that they look their best, especially people in top management. Everyone tries to do their best, but sometimes you need to fine tune, she said.
According to Metwally, the company targets both males and females, from every age group and occupation – from housewives to working women, physicians to people in the field of communications. The majority of clients, however, are women, she said.
“This project is really important for different social classes, sexes, ages, she added.
Clients choose between Program A and Program B.
Program A is more business-focused, with an emphasis on communication, but still retaining some physical aspects. Program B, the more popular one, is less work-environment related, more to do with the look .
Some of the sessions take place at her home, and at other times she goes to clients’ offices.
During the first sessions, she gives the client a dummy profile , designed to give customers an idea of what they will get from her services. From ties to lapels, to the exact shades of makeup you should choose from, Metwally has touched on almost every detail of a person’s appearance.
Everything from the cut of your collar to the lapel of your jacket has an effect, Metwally said. “If you have a round face, your collar should be a European classic.
“Perfection is very boring, she said, adding that she aims to teach customers how to create their own style. And it takes about four sessions to do this.
During the first three sessions, Metwally analyzes both the personality and physical image of her clients. The client completes a written personality test, created by Metwally. She then focuses on what she refers to as actual image , which includes everything from complexion and body shape to lifestyle and social style.
In the fourth session, they are presented with a file, giving image and communication advice down to the very last detail.
Communication skills rely on posture, she says, positive body language, and a well-oriented position to others.
Metwally says she has a knack for deciphering people within minutes of seeing them. “I can really, in less than a minute, see what is going wrong and which domain we can ameliorate. I can read body language very well, she says.
“It’s not only psychology, she says of her service, “It’s psychology that helps in getting the look.