It takes a special kind of person to navigate the role of corporate attorney while still rocking a magenta streak in their hair. Judith Lajoie is just such a person. Her presence is at once calm and centered, yet beneath that lies a torrent of clear business acumen and razor sharp strategic thinking. Couple this with a playful attitude and appreciation for art and beauty that one might not typically expect from an executive in the banking world, and you’ve got Judith. She is the stuff that powerful, admirable women are made of, in spades. We at Goldyn have been lucky enough to get to know Judith over the past couple years as a customer and occasional idea generator. Read below to get to know this beautiful woman and her story a bit more.
Goldyn: What do you do for a living? How does that influence your style?
Judith: I am General Counsel to CoBiz Bank which goes by the name of Colorado Business Bank in Colorado and Arizona Business Bank in Arizona. Prior to this, I was lead real estate counsel to a public homebuilder (Richmond American Homes) and in private law practice.
My style is not particularly influenced by my job. It was influenced by a consistent love of fashion and growing up in New York City. But I do need to dress for work which has allowed me find a way to express myself while looking professional. For me, that means suiting, dresses and pants/jackets with a flair.
Goldyn: How would you define your style in a nutshell?
Judith: “Uptown funk.” Seriously, it is about having some fun, accessorizing well, and adding a pop of color.
Goldyn: What’s your favorite decade and why?
Judith: The forties. Love the big shoulders, buttons, nipped waists and pleats.
Goldyn: Was there a favorite piece from your wardrobe in the past that you wish you still had?
Judith: That one is tough. I recycle a lot of stuff but I do try to keep the fabulous pieces. I gave a way a Fred Leighton Mexican lace wedding dress which I couldn’t get clean and I regret that.
Goldyn: If you could be anyone at any time, who would your fantasy self be, and what would she be doing?
Judith: I would be a dancer. Something along the lines of Janet Jackson or Madonna.
Goldyn: I hear that you are indeed a dancer in your real life… Is that something you did growing up, or is it something you came into later in life?
Judith: I danced for recreation a little as a kid and I consistently took jazz or ballet classes when I lived in NY and later in Colorado. I wanted to learn tap and I found a great teacher in Colorado who I tap with and I fill in with Zumba and these amazing weeks at Gotta Dance in Canyon Ranch (Tucson). Just returned from one.
Goldyn: How do you make time for things like dance with your busy work schedule?
Judith: I make time a few evenings a week and weekends. It is difficult to fit in but if you love something and you want to do it (and stay in shape), you find the time.
Goldyn: Any words for girls growing up today about style and being who they are?
Judith: Just that – be who you are and express that through what you wear. Don’t try too hard. Don’t use too much makeup or wear your clothes too tight or make them too revealing. That is the opposite of sexiness which is all about sparking the imagination. Work to a budget and if you can buy one great piece a year, that is perfect. Strive for well fitting and flattering shapes. Get help from great stylists like Vanessa and her team at Goldyn!