Become empowered, build confidence with style

Have the information to make informed decisions and make life’s journey smooter

I’m the first to admit I’ve never enjoyed shopping. So, it’s fair to ask, “Why did you buy a women’s retail clothing and personal styling boutique?” The answer, because I believe it makes all The Difference for women. Pun intended.

I hold a strong belief that if people have the information to make more informed decisions, life’s journey can be smoother, more financially efficient and set us on a path of success and happiness. This is true whether it’s in the world of finance or fashion.

Fashion is more than the latest pant length, fabric choice or shoe craze. When personalized, it is everyone’s individual language and allows us to speak without uttering a single word. It’s a reflection of our personality, lifestyle and unique qualities. Plus, it has the magical ability to empower and transform.

Unfortunately for many, shopping isn’t fun. It can be a source of frustration, wasted money and leaving with a feeling of not fitting in. Perhaps you are too tall/short, have a long/short torso or are frustrated with another part of your body that doesn’t fit mass-produced items? When you can’t find clothing that is both attractive and fits you well, it reinforces the idea that you aren’t normal. At this point, information can be both your friend and ally.

At The Difference, we provide women with information to translate their personal style into clothing, accessories and make-up that fit, reflect their true personality, help them feel empowered and build confidence.

Empowerment is all about confidence, and fashion is an amazing conduit to reflect that. Power dressing has evolved since the days of relying on shoulder-pads and pinstripes for a little chutzpah. We no longer need a flashy outfit to communicate confidence, only the right outfit that boosts the spirit, talent and skills within.

I learned this at the age of 25 when I started going to The Difference, now 25 years ago. As a young woman starting my financial planning career, I didn’t have a clue on how to dress my age and reflect my knowledge and professionalism. At The Difference I learned how clothes reflect a message and how to create the message I wanted to send while still reflecting my true self and not conforming to fit in.

In fact, there is a scientific term to describe this occurrence and it is called, “enclothed cognition.” It’s defined as the influence clothing has on an individual’s psychological processes. What does this mean for us? To put it simply, the clothing we decide to wear can have an impact on the way we think and the way we feel. 

If you wear clothes, you are participating in fashion and you’re sending a message to those around you – whether you’re trying to or not. Your closet isn’t frivolous, it contains a myriad of channels to heightened performance and a selection of gateways to reflect the best version of yourself. At The Difference we discover and honor women’s stories to help them put the best version of themselves out into the world.

Heidi Johnson Bixby is the owner of several businesses in the Vancouver area, including Johnson Bixby, Integrated Tax Services and The Difference.

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