When she was just 16 years old, Gayle Theodora Drake so enjoyed helping outfit other people in the latest fashions, she would lose track of time doing it.
"People were always calling me for fashion advice," said the owner of GTD Image Consulting, who added she always felt happiest helping people curate their wardrobes and create their own personal styles.
Now, she has turned her passion for fashion into a business.
GTD Image Consulting began in 2010.
“I love the fact that now I can help others to stand in their own spotlight, build their own confidence," said the longtime Rancho Palos Verdes resident. "Some people need help with that.”
Drake provides concierge services, with customized packages.
She will review, audit and curate clothing wardrobes as well as provide personal shopping services for coordinating outfits. Her services even involve caring for the clothing once its purchased, through dry-cleaning, repair and storage.
If you need help sending your unused clothing to a resale shop, Drake can help with that, too.
She also assists clients by packing for trips and providing a digital travel “look book;” and she consults on both clients corporate and personal image. Interior design and decorating is also within her company’s purview.
“There’s a huge trust factor involved. Sometimes I’ll show up even when regular clients are not home; they’ll say I’m their fashion fairy godmother,” she laughs.
Drake will design a custom look for client special events, for example.
"I’ll put everything together so it’s ready to go, down to the jewelry. Often, clients don’t have the time to do this themselves, and they have to be ready when they come home from work to go to a black-tie event or cocktail party.”
Drake said she can also work virtually and sometimes travels to different locations to vacation homes both domestic and international.
Drake has a team that assists her, which is important, as her business continues to expand.
“I have clients on the west side as well as in the South Bay,” she said. “I also work with seniors quite a bit, helping them to downsize their home or closet space, or helping active seniors to maintain their wardrobes to match their social lives.”
Her work with seniors started with a request to help with the sensitive process of reclaiming closet space after the passing of a spouse. Today, along with consolidating and organizing a closet and wardrobe, she’ll make sure clothes are in great shape and even picked up from a cleaning service.
“I may see them on a weekly basis. It’s really a time for people to look forward to enjoying their clothes and jewelry, both putting items together, and examining what they have. I often hear the story behind some of these items. When one client passed away herself, I was able to share these stories with her family.”
Drake also offers an online store that sells clients’ clothing items after a closet purge; and she can also work through estate sale connections to help with an entire home of art and furniture if a client wants that type of assistance, she explains.
In the past year, Drake has added a new aspect to her extensive fashion resume, editing the fashion section of the high-end quarterly publication Dreams magazine.
But helping others with their wardrobes comes first.
“I love what I do. It doesn’t feel like work,” she said.
For more information on Drake and her services, visit gayletheodoradrake.com.