Etiquette classes seem like a thing of the past. But one local businesswoman is bringing them back.
Walethia Aquil, director of Grace and Charm Academy, noticed something that successful people all have in common.
"They were the kind of people who walked into a room and people just wanted to know 'who is that person?' People always wanted to hear what they had to say. That's what's missing," Aquil said.
She studied and created the Grace and Charm Academy. It's the only school of its kind in Flint. On Tuesday it opened doors with a celebration at a new location in downtown Flint.
"At one time, people didn't see a need for grace and charm, didn't see a need for manners or etiquette. What difference does it make how I eat or how I show up, as long as I perform. But today's business environment is so competitive, the jobs are so competitive, you must have something about you that sets you apart," Aquil said.
Charm and grace are no longer about trying to balance a book on your head. The academy teaches people how to network and present themselves in a business situation.
"We're all turned off by the person at a networking event, 'hi my name is Bill Smith and I sell widgets. My widgets will make you money. Here's my card, call me tomorrow.' Why should I call you?" Aquil said.
The academy teaches people how to find their brand, what makes them stand out to do well with clients. Also this summer, she is holding classes for young girls, teaching them modeling and grace with a touch of class.
"She is just wonderful with the girls. She teaches them about etiquette and charm, and how to speak in front of people," said Debbie Garrison, sales manager for the Flint and Genesee Chamber of Commerce.
Aquil said etiquette isn't dead. She believes people can be great at their business, but only go so far without charm.
"If you don't know how to project yourself, if you don't know how to carry yourself, walk, sit, stand, it's all for naught. You won't get very far," Aquil said.
Grace and Charm Academy's summer boot camp is for girls ages 5 to 14. It focuses on confidence and beauty from the inside out. The classes for professionals will begin this fall.
To enroll in any classes or seminars, find Grace and Charm on Facebook.
Copyright 2014 WNEM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
Wednesday, July 30 2014 5:57 AM EDT2014-07-30 09:57:07 GMT
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