A Brand New You (cont'd)

"This is so true," she says over the telephone from her home in Ventura, Calif. "And I respect people who are smart enough to know that they need help."

Bunny specializes in color analysis, closet organization and shopping — sprinkling in a little morale and self-esteem, as needed. She says the people who come to her all have lives that are in transition. "It could be a divorce, new job or a retirement. Admits Bunny, "Most people don't go out looking for change unless they're pushed into it."

Because hard circumstances can throw people into change, Bunny makes sure that her techniques are gentle and sensitive. "When I work with a client on her closet, I never say, 'Uh! This is ugly.' I'll say, 'Tell me about this.' " Often she finds a person isn't keeping that polyester prom dress because they want to wear it again. "It's all about special memories," she says in a soft voice.

And memories can be hard to toss. Bunny helps deal with this extra baggage with hypnotherapy. She got into the practice four years ago, when she met a woman who told her that although her outside was put together, her inside still needed help. In her one-hour sessions, Bunny tackles self-esteem issues, problems with procrastination, weight management and smoking cessation.

"It's like getting a pep talk from your mind," she laughs.

"Ultimately," says Bunny, "my job is to try and work myself out of a job." In her business, losing clients is a true measure of success. Bunny recalls one recent graduate: "She was an attractive woman who had no idea how attractive she was. I spent the whole day with her, then walked her to my door and hugged her goodbye. About 20 minutes later, I noticed her car was back in my driveway. I figured she had left something at my house. Instead, when I opened the door, it was this woman's husband. He said, ' I just wanted to meet the woman who made my wife look as beautiful as I knew she always was.' " Bunny says. "That," she adds, "is why I love what I do."

For more information:

  • Judy Pressman (410) 486-4647
  • Bunny Vreeland (800) 755-4083; in California, (805) 984-1237