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Carmela Montanari

Our Positive Woman is Carmela Montanari, who started as a traveler, became an actress, and transformed into a self-esteem specialist. Her repertoire is a sensitive blend of what she learned at home in a family of very elegant women, from her experience of living in various places around the world, from the know-how acquired as a fashion program presenter, and from her experience in cinema, where she began to see life as a screenplay. Unlike most current stylists, she goes far beyond the latest fashion show in Paris; she reaches the soul. Just like in a movie, she sees each person as the protagonist of their own story, then translates this perception to the world through a powerful and silent communication tool: style. The work is from the inside out, so her clients embark on a journey of self-discovery without return.




1. How did your career start? I specialize in self-esteem, image consulting, and I am the creator of the InsideOut Method. My background is in theater and cinema, and my method is the result of an atypical life and extremely enriching and challenging experiences. I was born in Porto Alegre and left Brazil at the age of 4 due to my mother's profession, who is an anthropologist and museum curator, and worked in international organizations such as Unesco and OAS. I lived in various countries during childhood and adolescence, and had to quickly adapt to diverse cultures, languages, and behaviors. I experienced war, lived with Andean indigenous people in the mountains, lived in Europe during the fall of the Berlin Wall, experienced earthquakes, snowstorms, dictatorships, and suffered all kinds of bullying at school. This dynamic made my sense of belonging muscle (the muscle we usually use in adolescence to fit into the tribe with which we identify most) very toned. I understood in my soul how much appearance can actually make a difference between being happy and unhappy. I started studying theater at the age of 10 and became a professional actress at 17, when I lived in Buenos Aires. Since then, there have been soap operas, theatrical performances, feature films, and TV commercials. All this experience, combined with the years I spent hosting a fashion show, interviewing international and national stylists, modeling experts, beauty specialists, and market behavior, led me to create the Inside Out Method. A method that heals emotional porosities and highlights all strengths and virtues in the image. It happens from the inside out. And that's why it's so effective.


2. How is your business model structured? My specialization in self-esteem is fundamentally based on more than a decade of individual consultations, both in person and online. I also provide consulting and training for companies and give lectures and mediations at events. I take care of professional posture, impression, image, but also of life details, the darkest fears, and defense mechanisms. I am attentive to everything because my work only ends when the person reaches where they asked me to. And most of the time, when the person arrives, they look for me for a repositioning in order to pursue other dreams. Therefore, I am always connected with my clients. I have some service options in my showcase, from the most streamlined to the most complete. However, it is not uncommon for me to customize some journeys so that the process encompasses all the needs of those who hire me.


3. What was the most difficult moment of your career? I have a few. I'll tell you about two moments that served as a "turning point" in my life. The first one was many years ago. When I covered the São Paulo Fashion Week (SPFW) for E! (Entertainment Television) for the first time, it was very intimidating. The people working at the event were almost all dressed in black, with sunglasses and that blasé air. I arrived eager to make friends and was completely ignored. It was clear that I didn't belong in that environment. I walked through the corridors of the Biennial with that symbol of "not belonging" on my forehead. And it was very difficult to break that barrier. When I realized that friendliness wouldn't save me, I changed my strategy. I went to talk to the event's head of security and told him that I really needed that opportunity and that I was being blocked at the backstage doors, at the fashion show doors, and at the press conferences because no one knew me. He radioed his security team and asked all his employees to collaborate with me. And he gave me his personal phone, assuring me that if I had any problems, I could call him. The next day, I became an omnipresent being. I arrived before all the teams to interview the designers, was well positioned to interview celebrities, and those blasé people with sunglasses started to notice me. And since I came from another field, not from fashion, I asked questions with genuine curiosity, real questions about the subject, moving away from the mechanical interviews that fashion shows usually do. In a short time, I gained the industry's trust and sympathy. And so it went on for almost 8 years. Fashion and beauty became a passion and a field of great learning and many opportunities. I even made great friends during that time,who are still very special and dear to me today. The moral of the story: I adapted to the challenge without losing my character. Even when opening up completely to that new universe, I kept my identity intact. The second one was during the pandemic. Humanity was caught off guard. Most of my consultations were in person, so I traveled all over Brazil to serve my clients. It was a time of great doubts and uncertainties. I had no idea how I would continue. Gradually, I developed possible formats so that the service could be delivered 100% online with the same quality as in person. I ended up turning closed doors into a window to the world. In mid-2020, I started seeing clients outside of Brazil. Today I have clients in 14 countries.


4. How do you balance your personal life vs. your corporate/entrepreneurial life? I am the mother of a beautiful boy who breastfed for two and a half years. I always had to organize my schedule around his hours. I often went to events and gave lectures and trainings in companies with him in the stroller breastfeeding during breaks. Now that he is older, I have more autonomy to dedicate myself to work. But I still feel like that seesaw of the modern mother who wants to be present and available but doesn't want to give up on achieving professional dreams. My husband is an actor/entertainer, and in our house, tasks are divided not by weight but by skills and aptitudes. Each one does what is easiest and possible for them. Since we are different and complementary, we can balance well in our routine. And, in that sense, our life is harmonious. I very much need the logic and organization of my husband, and he needs my emotional intelligence. We make a good team.


5. What is your biggest dream? My biggest professional dream is to expand awareness about the importance of self-esteem. In general, people understand self-esteem as a prize, as if they were only deserving of self-love if they achieve certain goals, and it is exactly the opposite. Self-esteem is the path that leads us to our dreams; our positive self-concept and our security are the key to fulfillment. I am in a hurry for this theme to be understood, chewed, absorbed. I dream of becoming a reference in my field.


6. What is your greatest achievement? When I was an actress, I had the opportunity to star in a film produced by TNT, a project by the Argentine Juan José Campanella, already awarded with the Oscar. I was directed by the great film director Flavia Moraes in a road movie from Porto Alegre to Montevideo. I played Alicia, a Uruguayan. It was a sublime experience, a character full of nuances, a film full of poetry, a great achievement. Today, in my role as a self-esteem specialist and image consultant, I am flooded with oxytocin. Every day I receive feedback from clients who have achieved their goals after going through the Inside Out Method. People who have achieved a dreamed goal, solved some emotional knot. Clients who say they started looking at themselves with love and acceptance, or achieved the desired position, got married, are in a better relationship with a family member. In short, every day I achieve something through my clients' achievements. And do you know what my clients call me? Fairy Godmother. If that's not an achievement, I don't know what is. On a personal level, my greatest achievement is being Érico's mother. My son is definitely the best part of me. Due to a circulation problem, I lost several pregnancies. I managed to maintain my son's pregnancy in a sequence of correct choices, and the day he was born, something fantastic happened inside me. I felt complete. I felt whole.


7. Book, movie, and woman you admire. I am a great admirer of Oprah Winfrey; she was an impeccable actress and became one of the most relevant women of our era. Her presence in the media gave dignity, legitimacy, and belonging to thousands of women, and her intelligent and generous speech influenced my generation. I'll give you two book recommendations: the novel "Island Beneath the Sea," where the protagonist, a slave in Haiti, manages to preserve her essence and self-respect despite surviving barbarism. The book is by one of my favorite writers, Isabel Allende. And the book "You Can Heal Your Life," in which, through her own examples, the author Louise L. Hay teaches how to awaken positive ideas to live fully. I studied cinema and am passionate about the seventh art; I love classics, but I'll recommend a recent film, which reflects phenomenally on what self-love is: "I Feel Pretty," produced and masterfully acted by actress and comedian Amy Schumer, and available on Netflix.

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