Last night's book party/jewelry trunk show at Bethesda's Ginger was a hit. The store filled up with friends and fans of jewelry designer Suzanne Somersall and writer Cathy Alter, who was signing paperback copies of Up For Renewal, her account of how she rose from the depths of post-divorce bourbon-and-bad-boy hell to ... I won't give away the ending. Only to say she did it by following the advice of women's glossies. Silly? No; it worked. Obviously. Life coach Stuart Schneiderman's blog praising Cathy's book basically says, when in trauma, "outsource decision-making." Eureka! When last night Jane Pennewell appeared as though out of the pages of a glossy in breezy silk trousers, a billowy linen blouse and chic haircut, she looked so sharp, I had to stop sipping chardonnay long enough to ask, "Who is she? And, how does she know how to dress like that?" Easy: she's an image consultant Cathy interviewed for her recent Washington Post story "The Minor Makeover." Again, when in doubt, outsource decision-making. As it turns out, that's what Pennewell did. She says after tragedy struck her family and she couldn't/didn't want to get out of bed, a friend got her up, dressed and out--every day. Pennewell ultimately decided to stay up, reinvent herself and dedicate herself to helping people do the same. Hence the warm smile. Everybody has a story. Each provides a peek behind the cover and a chance to find new means of survival, which sometimes requires a little reinvention.
Image consultant (right) Jane Pennewell with friend and client Ann Tognetti
Cathy Alter signs books and shows off snazzy shoes from Ginger
Cathy with friend and Ginger owner Gretchen Hitchner
Jewelry designer Suzanne Somersall