April 30, 2020

The Chaos Within – Finding Joy in the Details with Lisa Ann Schraffa Santin

by joeyphoenix

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Lisa Ann Schraffa Santin, the host of the Wardrobe Muse podcast, joins Joey Phoenix on The Chaos Within Podcast to talk about choosing the things that serve you (and getting rid of things that don’t), being realistic about your limitations, and finding joy in the details.

Lisa Ann Schraffa Santin is a stylist, mentor, educator, speaker, and wardrobe wizard based on Boston’s North Shore. She works with her clients individually to empower them to find their personal, signature style, because what you wear has an impact on not just how you feel, but how you move through the world. 

She’s also the host of the podcast – the Wardrobe Muse – where she interviews other great North Shore entrepreneurs who share Lisa Ann’s passion and have worked with her on a number of local projects including a recent workshop series with herbalist Rebecca Ingalls called Adorning the Body Positive. 


A fashion industry veteran who for 15 years worked for the upscale women’s clothing brand Eileen Fisher, known for sustainability and simplicity along with great style, Lisa Ann is here to refresh your closet, and empower you to be your most authentic self.

Mentioned in this Podcast

Eileen Fisher
The Wardrobe Muse Podcast
Palmer Pond Botanicals
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Mary Baker Eddy
Ernest Holmes

About The Chaos Within

Hosted by Joey Phoenix, The Chaos Within is a podcast celebrating the weird, the wild, and the creative – featuring makers, doers, artists, and oddballs exploring the unknown and tapping into their creative energy.

The Chaos Within is produced by Creative Collective and is available on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

The Logo was designed by Anton Presents, the intro music is by Paul Senn (psenn@thetau.io) using the Theta-U Creative Circuit System, and the outro music by Chris Wilson Sound using one of Joey’s maternal Grandmother’s haunted music boxes.

Click here for an up to date listing of Virtual Experiences

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Audio Transcript

Joey Phoenix 0:04
The Chaos Within is a podcast celebrating the weird, wild, and the creative, featuring makers, doers, artists, and oddballs. Exploring the unknown and tapping into their creative energy. The Intro Music is by Paul Senn and the outro music is by Chris Wilson Sound.

In the beginning, there was chaos. I’m your host, Joey Phoenix.

Joey Phoenix 0:30
Lisa Ann Schraffa Santin is a stylist, mentor, educator, speaker, and wardrobe wizard based on Boston’s North Shore. She works with her clients individually to empower them to find their personal signature style, because what you wear has an impact on not just how you feel but how you move through the world. She’s also the host of the podcast, the Wardrobe Muse, where she interviews other great Northshore entrepreneurs who share Lisa’s passion, and I’ve worked with her on a number of local projects including a recent workshop series with herbalist Rebecca Ingalls called Adorning the Body Positive.

A fashion industry veteran who for 15 years worked for the upscale women’s clothing brand, Eileen Fisher, known for sustainability and simplicity along with great style.

Lisa is here to refresh your closet and empower you to be your most authentic self. Welcome, Lisa.

Lisa Ann Schraffa Santin
Thank you. Thanks for having me.

Joey Phoenix
I’m so excited to talk to you today. I met you a couple years ago, we were filming a video about wardrobe styling, and I really appreciate what you do before our listeners. A lot of people may not understand when you say refresh your wardrobe. What actually happens. Can you walk me through like the five steps that you take your clients through during a closet refresh?

Lisa Ann 1:47
Oh, sure. Sure. Well, the main thing using what you already have, so we probably have within our own closet, or in our homes, everything we actually need, but we haven’t organized it in a way that’s easy to use. We haven’t really looked at things in a while. So we might go to the same four or five things.

So I help them kind of refresh that whole mode of looking at everything, organizing it better, and then using it better. So we’ll start off with kind of a 30-minute free meet and greet somewhere, you know, this was before social distancing, we could meet it someplace like Front Street cafe and just have a chat, have a tea or coffee, no obligation and just find out if the work felt right for the person.

So just, you know, building their confidence up and then we would go through the process of getting to know what that person wanted to own by using maybe a tool like Pinterest, where they could create a vision board, feel that use that overused term, just with all the things that they would like to own or things that inspired them or looks that they might want to try. That’s a great starting point. And then for visiting with them in their own closet, we just take a look at how to better organize everything physically.

And then we go through everything and really ask some of those fun, but hard questions like, you know, Marie Kondo style, you know, does this bring you does this serve you have you used this? If it doesn’t work for you, could we donate it and have it work for someone else? So we kind of go through that whole process. And then the end of it after we’ve edited out some things, I use my expertise to help create new sort of outfits or looks using all the remaining pieces and I’m putting them in a styled way that maybe the person has never even realized could work. So we emerge with like, all new looks from things that you’ve already bought and paid for and had in your closet.

So it’s not about what you, your style, it’s about this person, and what they already have, and you help them hone down their own style.

Exactly. So you know me, Joey, but maybe people in your audience don’t it would be foolish if I went about town trying to make people look like me. My style is very unique. And it’s very much me. I’ve cultivated it over, you know, 25 years. But if I was to try to get someone else to look like that, it wouldn’t work. So each one of my clients gets an individualized experience that suits them that works with what they’ve already chosen. And that really makes them feel like they’re being authentic and they’re being themselves.

Joey 4:52
That’s really lovely. What have been some of the responses from your clients for after doing this work

Lisa 4:58
Because the work is very intimate. People have said, like, they feel like we’d become friends. Some people have invited me over for dinner. Oh, no, that’s not a requirement for working with me. But people have felt free. They use that word. And Rebecca, who you mentioned at the top of this podcast was that I was working with for developing a joint work, but I also did her closet. And the thing she kept coming back to was it was very freeing, to be given permission to release the things that no longer works, and to find them a home, a good donation spot where they would land and serve someone else. And then she felt owning less things, but knowing how to work with them better, was really freeing, because she could get up and get dressed. This is my motto in 10 minutes or less every day.

Joey 6:00
You just said, the part about releasing what’s no longer serving you. And that sounded like it comes from many years of experience. Can you tell me about your journey to getting to the point where you can say, I can help you adorn the body positive, and release what;s longer serving you.

Because I’ve gone through a lot of physical changes because as we move through phases in our life and our bodies mature and change, trying to dress at I’m 55, the way I dressed when I was 28 isn’t going to work. So you know, I’d be very comfortable with the phases in life that move you through, and things that you’ve purchased that you know, might have investment pieces 10 or 12 years ago, that feel like you don’t want to release them, just having that permission to know that they served you well when they were working and for whatever reason now that things have changed, allowing it to go to someone else and letting it be a product, a piece that would help them eases the pain of releasing, but a lot of what you’re getting at I think Joey at the very core is self acceptance.

So, you know, when people move through different life’s stages and, and places in their life really being okay with who you are today and not trying to look back or there’s the people that look forward too much. They’re not going to care about how they dress till they lose 10 pounds or 20 pounds or so you either have people that have, you know, they look in the back of their, you know, going backward or people looking too forward. And it’s all about being present now and using things that work for you right now.

Joey Phoenix 7:58
It’s really important. I think like something that we all should accept to adopt on our own, I suppose like I’m curious about your journey personally, and how you have become this very positive. And I talk to you’re just like always smiling and always bring bright colors that’s really refreshing. And like, Have you always been this way? Or was there kind of a moment where you realize this is the person that you want it to be? and work towards that?

Lisa 8:29
I think, wow. Yeah, that’s a big question.

I had a lot of influence from both of my grandmothers on my dad’s side of the family and my mom’s side of the family. And they had gone through a lot within, you know, immigration, living through the Great Depression. So I had a lot of wisdom given to me, you know, at a young age, so I sort of cultivated out of those things as I moved through a more modern life. So I always sort of had gratefulness at the core.

And using things well, and being of service to others. So I can say that those are the things that have sort of been my thread throughout my entire life.

And I think, I don’t know, for me, I’m lucky I have, I have the ability to read and to absorb material and I would read a lot about metaphysics or new thought, which, you know, that’s a whole other podcast we could get into. But, you know, some of the famous people that might, you might know would be like, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Mary Baker, Eddy, Ernest Holmes. So they just all talk about you know, you create the life you lead your thoughts. So what we think becomes what we are living. So you are tending to think, in a positive way and with gratitude, your life will exemplify that. And that’s a discipline and that’s not always easy. It sounds very arrogant…

It does take a lot of discipline because it’s so easy to get negative and you know to become discouraged. So you know, it’s it’s keeping your eye on the ball so to speak you being going, trying to be pleasant to be of service to people be grateful all the time.

Yeah, I agree and I am. I hear you saying too like mindfulness is a practice that can infiltrate all aspects of your life. And it’s funny because like in your you did that with closets, but also with other parts of your life that you focused on closets. I think it’s an important lesson to be like, if you Be mindful in one area, how will that spread to other areas of your life as well.

Lisa 11:00
And you know, just also being mindful about using too much. I think that I don’t want people walking around in sackcloth and Ashes isn’t feeling, you know, blue and but we have to look at what we’re taking from the earth, we have to look at our global footprint we have look at sustainability. And I think events of recent day have illuminated that even more. Yeah. So we are, you know, as we both know, in the midst of a pandemic, and you know, spring shopping has not really been the same for that reason. So I guess what is it like being a stylist during a pandemic? And how do you keep going through all this? Well, you know, so much of my work is education, empowering women, and helping them use what they already own that a lot of this stuff we can still do using this zoom technology, or other technologies that take us to the virtual space. So always my biggest challenge we before this is getting women to trust themselves, trust me and to trust the process.

In some strange ways, I think I’d be better off come this pandemic, because I think people are going to really play say, I really want to tackle that closet, wardrobe, but I want to own less and I want to use everything I own. Because people are going to be on tighter budgets. So it’s going to be really interesting for me, I think I’m actually well positioned within this chaos.

Joey Phoenix 12:34
That’s actually really good to hear. And I think like, what this is all for be more introspective, and be more intentional with how we spend our time, because we have so much of it, but it still feels like not enough at least it’s been my experience during the end like people are taking on home improvement projects and like studying, you know, many things all at once and then having days where they don’t feel like doing any of that.

And I again think your positivity is really inspiring, because like, it’d be very easy right now to just like to not try to not try to change not challenge ourselves to just like, hide in our blanket forts and pretend like everything is fine. And you’re like, everything isn’t fine, but there are some things you can do to make yourself feel better. And this is one of them.

Lisa 13:20
Yeah, I know. For me personally, we had this weird plumbing issue in the house over the last week, and it would have meant that we wouldn’t have been able to take hot showers because we only have washing shower right now. And I almost lost it.

Because so many things are out of control. Like the only thing I wish we don’t control anything but but by the way, the only thing I felt like I could control was my own personal space.

So that was really interesting that that touched me in that kind of dramatic way. And I think right now, taking on smaller pieces and projects within your space that only take a couple of hours is probably a good thing. Although, you know, if someone wants to start a huge home renovation project, who am I to say? No. But that’s feels daunting. So I, if I had any recommendations for people out there, it’s like, take a small thing that you can do for an hour too. And that’s how you kind of can feel like you’re doing something but not too much.

Joey Phoenix
Yeah, it’s like one of the things that’s not serving us right now is like trying to take back control, because you’re saying we don’t have control. And so what are the things that we can do, we can make a beautiful meal, we can put on an outfit that we love and dance around our house, we can listen to a podcast, we can enjoy our lives in a small way. And even though we can’t have what we had before for a little while, for sake of public health and safety, we can have beautiful moments in the middle of that.

Lisa Ann 15:09
So absolutely. And then using that as a template, I hope for going forward, I really, really hope that this is a watershed moment and that we do have a lot of positive change that comes out of this.

Joey Phoenix
I hope so, too. So Lisa, where can people find out more about you and what you do and hire you?

Lisa Ann 15:21
How fun so I have a website and it’s a really simple website. So there’s not lots and lots of information on there, but all of the key things are there and it’s LASSWardrobe.com. I also try to show up in social media spaces. So I have a Facebook business page that people can find me and that’s all my name’s Lisa Ann Schraffa Santin Stylust. And then I do have an Instagram account as well. And that’s LASS_Stylist

I’ll be sure to include all those in our show notes for people to find as well.

Lisa 16:00
Excellent and you know, they can listen to the wardrobe Muse to first figure out if they even sort of like me, my personality, because that’s like no cost easy way to spend a little time getting to know me and then they can reach out I do do the first 30 minutes as a sort of free consult and just let people talk about you know, anything they want. ask me any question. Just spend 30 minutes together, see if it’s the right fit. Yeah, and this can all be done virtually to right on zoom now.

Joey Phoenix16:31
Well, thank you, Lisa, for so much for sharing your truth and your time with us.

Thanks so much for having me. This was great.

Joey Phoenix r 16:39
The Chaos Within is produced by Creative Collective. Creative Collective connects creativity, community, and commerce across the North Shore as a collective of creative professionals, small businesses, organizations, and individuals. They coordinate a series of events, traditional and non traditional marketing initiatives, resources and best practices to define why creativity matters in all aspects of life.

In the beginning, there was chaos. Then you make it yours

Transcribed by https://otter.ai