Lana Neyolova looked at herself in a mirror and twirled. “Why am I an engineer?” she laughed.
Kellen Ball sat on a couch nearby sipping champagne at 3 in the afternoon on a Thursday. “This is the life,” he sighed.
Neyolova and Ball had officially been rebooted. The two techies were this year’s participants in GeekWire’s Geek Style Reboot, a day of pampering and style guidance from the pros at Nordstrom in downtown Seattle ahead of the annual GeekWire Gala.
Neyolova, the manager of engineering at Sine Draco Aviation Technology, and Ball, a program manager at Remitly, started their day with a hydrating facial spa treatment and ended it on the dance floor at the nearby Showbox for the big party. This is the second year GeekWire has thrown the contest for geeks in need of a refresh before our holiday bash.
Nordstrom also provided lunch, one-on-one personal wardrobe stylists, beauty and makeup styling, hair styling at Gene Juarez salon for Neyolova, and beard and hair styling for Ball at Weldon Barber. And I tagged along for a good portion of the day, watching the two techies unwind and transform.
Ball was paired with Nordstrom personal stylist Char Sullivan, who picked a range of items to suit Ball’s style. While he said normally wears chinos and a button-up shirt to work, he moved out of his comfort zone with his final choices for the party — including a maroon color for his jacket.
Neyolova was paired with Nordstrom personal stylist Molly Berg, who picked eight different options for Neyolova to try on, including assorted gowns, jumpers, dresses, jackets, throws, shoes and clutches.
Each time she emerged from the dressing room she looked as if she had settled on the obvious choice. She beamed at herself in the full-length mirror.
“This makes me feel very feminine,” said the single mother of two. “This is so fun!”
After styling, Ball and Neyolova headed in separate directions to get their hair taken care of. Neyolova was styled at Gene Juarez salon, and Ball got a hair and beard trim at Weldon Barber.
They returned to Nordstrom for a consultation at the store’s beauty counter, where they sat side by side and had finishing touches put on their faces for the night.
Back in the personal styling department, it was time to dress in the final outfit choice.
Here’s a breakdown of what Ball selected, linked to the item’s page on the Nordstrom website:
- Topman Jacket
- Brax pants
- Johnston and Murphy Shoes
- Nordstrom socks
- Nordstrom Perfect Pre-folded Pocket square
- Tommy John Undershirt
And here’s what Neyolova went with, again linking to Nordstrom:
“It was fun to see myself in those outfits — everything was perfect,” Neyolova said. “I never have a lot of occasion to dress up like that — I’m in the office working my desk job, so this was definitely new to me.”
Ball went in expecting a great Nordstrom experience, and he said the teams delivered, above and beyond. He thought he’d get a little bit of advice and maybe reshape how he views clothing and style.
“What I got out of the day was a refresh both physically and emotionally,” Ball said. “The people we met today were incredibly kind and really just wanted to bring out a healthier, happier me.”
“So much love,” Neyolova added, beaming at the folks who took such special care of her and Ball all day.