05 Jan Karen Gouin, A Woman Who Exudes Style & Elegance. A Vogue Woman.
As we enter 2019, we will continue to Celebrate Very Special and Inspiring Women. In anticipation of my first Vogue Woman Feature of the New Year please know that you will be especially touched and inspired by the stories of not one but two very special ladies. I am bursting with excitement to share them, but before I do I want to honour our ladies that were celebrated in 2018.
Over the next week each of these very special ladies will have their stories re-published to allow anyone who missed them another opportunity to pay tribute to these truly inspiring women.
The Vogue Women: Who are these women who truly exude Style and Elegance.
“She is always seemingly put together no matter what she is wearing. She is beautiful from the inside out. While this is often given as a compliment,,what does it really mean? This woman, who is she? While she may have a unique and wonderful sense of personal style, her beauty seems to radiate. She fills the room simply by her presence. Her smile is warm, her eyes penetratingly sincere, yet she exudes confidence. She is real. Age and life’s journey, while imperfect, are not barriers to her, but rather stepping-stones to a greater personal self. She sees every day as a gift to be embraced. She is comfortable in her skin, she knows who she is, and wreaks of humility.”
These women have the Vogue Factor. They are women who are re-defining that which is Vogue,, defined in the dictionary as: What is popular, favorable, or fashionable at a particular period and time. They deserve to be celebrated and that is what I endeavor to do, celebrate these very special women.
Meet Karen Gouin. This is her story.
Karen is one of those women that ladies refer to as “always put together” like she stepped out of a fashion magazine. She admitted being referred to as a “fashionista”, on more than one occasion, a term that anyone who met her would agree upon. I met with Karen in her (beautifully decorated) home to learn more about our “Vogue Woman”. As we sat down to chat it was evident that her style was important to her in her everyday life whether she was with others or by herself. She had on a great pair of faded darker blue denim jeans, the ones with unique designer placed worn torn spots. She wore a grey/brown, white blended relaxed lightweight V-neck sweater with a chunky beaded turquoise necklace with hints of brown in it. She also wore bracelets and earrings. For a couple of our pictures she tossed a scarf around her neck with the perfect mix of paisley turquoise, browns, greens, white. Her blonde very short edgy haircut speak of how confident she is with her personal style. She has flawless skin and wears very little make up. She attributes this to facials and skin care, and proper nutrition. And we can’t forget that oh-so-beautiful genuine smile that would light up any room.
This was Karen, everyday!! IT WAS EFFORTLESS! She has a presence! She possesses the “Vogue Factor”.
Our definition of the Vogue Factor, however describes a woman who is not only beautiful on the outside, but beautiful on the inside. Karen clearly radiated that “inner beauty”. Although she shared of her love for royal blue/black clothes, bold prints, statement pieces, Jimmy Choo shoes, scarves, chunky fun costume and real jewellery, she said that that was not what her life was devoted to.
She stated that her first love was God, and her children. She truly believes that the beauty that she possesses inside out is from her faith and trust in God, and the peace and joy that she has as a result. She was not born into affluence, but her life evolved into it. She became a nurse, a career that she loved and received great satisfaction from. She married, and had 3 beautiful children, two sons, now 21 and 19, and a daughter, now 16.
Her seemingly perfect life came to an abrupt halt just over 3 years ago. She was thrown into the whirlwind of a divorce, and if that wasn’t enough she was diagnosed with breast cancer at the same time. Combined also with the passing of her father six weeks after, and her mother-in-law’s days after that, this beautiful, independent, strong lady with the tough exterior was breaking into little pieces on the inside.
All of this pain and adversity had shut her down and she was broken. Karen was beaten down and refused to be defeated. She turned to the only place that she knew to go to, her God. She worked through her pain and struggles with the help and aid of much prayer and support from her Christian friends, and the power of God.
Karen underwent surgery and radiation and is now cancer-free. She shared that while the goals in her life at this time focus around her young adult children, she still lives life to the fullest taking nothing for granted. Karen loves her friends, and she loves life!!
She smiles as she confesses to still have a bit of a fashion, shoe, and clothes addiction, but everything in perspective. Karen believes her own mantra “Life breaks you, then makes you”.
She said that while she used to live to look beautiful on the outside, she now wants God’s light to radiate beauty from the inside out. It’s truly evident that Karen is both beautiful inside and outside. When I shared with her that it is my belief that “the most attractive thing that a woman can wear is confidence”, her response was that she totally agreed, however most important to her was that she knew where her confidence came from.
Truly, Karen is a fashionista. She exudes style and confidence. She is this month’s Vogue Woman, which is by the Lynnpike Fashion Stylist definition: “A woman who is both beautiful inside and out”.
We are grateful to Karen for sharing and being so real. Much thanks and blessings to you Karen!
If Karen’s story has been an inspiration to you, your comments are welcome. Perhaps you or someone you know will be the next featured Vogue Woman. If you wish to inspire others with your story or tell me of a lady that you see as a Vogue Woman, please contact via comment or email. You will be contacted for a personal interview.
Who will be our next Vogue Woman? Perhaps You