We had the good fortune of connecting with Kari Doody and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kari, what’s something about your industry that outsiders are probably unaware of?
People are still under the impression that etiquette school is charm school or that it is just about “dining etiquette.” But it’s really more about being taught proper social skills. How to make a good first impression, how to make yourself stand out from the crowd in a good way. I have heard so many stories from adults in the last couple of years, who in this economy have been laid off and are having a hard time getting a new job. Sometimes the reason they didn’t get the job is because of their lack of social skills. A simple mistake at a dinner table or during an interview could have cost them that job. In todays age of technology our kids are faced with even larger challenges. Face to face communication is becoming less and less. Kids choose to text vs. making a phone call or even having face to face interaction. Social etiquette is not hard. It just needs to be learned and practiced. Because young people are communicating so much in the digital world, their lack of face-to-face interaction can reverberate in every aspect of their lives. Kids are so used to hiding behind screens that they run into problems managing friendships, They have a hard time putting themselves in someone else’s shoes or extending a genuine apology. These are things we have to deal with whether you’re 4 years old or 40 years old. With classes that incorporate everything from dining etiquette and confidence building to interview preparation, Courteous and Cool etiquette school hopes to alleviate parental guilt by reminding us that we outsource plenty of aspects of our children’s education. Relying on soccer coaches, dance instructors and math tutors falls right into the same category as hiring an etiquette expert to teach your child important life skills.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
After having my three children and spending lots of time with other busy moms, I realized that the challenges we have today are very different from the slower paced lives of our childhood. In our busy schedules, and our drive to ‘get it all done’ life has us moving so fast, and that doesn’t leave much time for teaching our children the basics – and who has time? Between school, homework, extracurricular activities, and our social lives, it’s amazing we get anything done. Being courteous, respectful of others and maintaining manners is just as important on the playing field as it is at the dinner table. These skills are key to being a successfully prepared child and adult throughout life. Unfortunately, we are not born with manners, and we all need to be taught proper social skills. All parents want to prepare their children with the necessary knowledge for them to thrive as adults, but sometimes there aren’t enough hours in the day – or enough energy to turn the dinner table into a classroom. I wanted to help kids improve their skills and confidence – and show them that they can have FUN while doing it. Building a company is never easy! My success has not been made on luck. What I do beleive is that when you are passionate about something it shows in your work, and your work then becomes fun.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
To start I would show my friend how may great things our city has to offer. I would start with lunch at the incredible Ausie inspired gumtree cafe and gift shop in Hermosa beach. I would then take her for a walk or bike ride a couple blocks away on the strand along the beach. After a day of shopping I would take her to dinner at The Bottle inn, an italian neighborhood gem. The next place I would take her to is Terenea resort and spa in Palos Verdes for the views and the spa.. The sunsets are magical. Lastly, I would love to take her to experience dinner and a concert at the Hollywood bowl. There is nothing like being outdoors and in the hills with a bottle of wine, good food and live entertainment.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I was fortunate to have been raised by two amazing parents who instilled good manners in our family starting at a very early age. Growing up in Beverly Hills provided many opportunities to meet people from all over the world and attend some incredible social gatherings. My father was a very successful businessman in the advertising business who had a magic way of working with people. I always admired the way he was able to connect with people and create lifelong business relationships with them. I knew he was on to something and that was having great social skills.
Missy Marie Photography & Carol Reach Photography