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Celebrity Stylist Andy Paige Preaches Entrepreneurship, Empowerment

Fashion mogul and TV personality talks personal branding at event co-sponsored by Westphal College of Media Arts & Design

Celebrity stylist Andy Paige stopped by Close School HQ before her appearance at Westphal's URBN Annex Screening Room.

March 7, 2014

by Joseph Master

Celebrity stylist, fashion mogul and media darling Andy Paige stopped by Westphal’s URBN Annex Screening Room Wednesday to talk entrepreneurship and personal branding to a full house of student entrepreneurs.

While known the world over as “The Budget Bombshell” for her work on NBC’s Starting Over and Celebrity Apprentice, TLC’s Ten Years Younger, STYLE Network’s How Do I Look and SOAP Net’s Soap Talk, it was Paige’s Southern charm that won over the audience.

In an act that stunned some — but not anyone familiar with her television and radio work — Paige personally greeted each member of the audience as they walked into the auditorium. She remembered each face, stopping sporadically to address audience members by name without skipping a beat.

"To be successful, you not only have to create a unique identity for your products, brands and ideas, but also for yourself,” Paige said. “Fitting in doesn't do anything for your career. You need to stand out just as much as your ideas.”

According to Paige, daring to be different with your personal style and branding can translate into the most extraordinary career opportunities. She encouraged the men and women in the audience to embrace their masculinity and femininity as a force of empowerment.

“If you’re going to wear glasses, make sure they’re stylish. If you want to own a pair, grow a pair and get a pair,” she said.

Humble Roots to Rakish Riches

For Paige, success was never a given. In fact, it was an outlier. Paige came from a poor family in Alabama and dropped out of high school at 17. She then made the courageous trek to New York City – where she became one of the very first successful plus-size models with Ford and Wilhelmina Models. From there she earned a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree from The New School. Now an entrepreneur and CEO of a company that bears her name, Paige developed her own line of affordable, all-natural-hair cosmetic brushes and launched “Style in a Box” – a thrifty bundle of accessories that aims to offer an immediate style boost.

During her discussion, Paige proudly displayed her GirlyGoGarter® — a garment she invented that can hold everything from a cell phone to keys that easily adheres to the upper thigh for easy access. The product, which Paige made available for purchase last year, was named the number one product of 2013 by WWDMAGIC.

With television and radio appearances, speaking engagements and more product launches on the horizon, Paige’s message of empowerment should only get sweeter.