Today we’d like to introduce you to Shaye Strager.
Shaye, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
My career path certainly has led me to exactly where I want to be today– but it took some windy roads to get here. I graduated from college with a dual degree in Visual & Spoken Communications and English, so my first job was at a news station in Roanoke, VA. From there, I became a spokesperson for a wellness company (using my television and public speaking experience) which led me to Washington, DC. It was just a year in the nation’s capital when I realized I wouldn’t truly be happy until I was in NYC. And, like many 23-year-olds, I thought I had enough money saved and moved to Manhattan– without a job. Of course, it took teaching aerobics at 5:30 a.m. and a temp job at an ad agency to make ends meet the first year.
But then, an opportunity to apply for a job with the Jewelry Information Center (JIC) came my way. I literally ran my resume to Sixth Avenue and dropped it off at their offices– and got the job. It was 1997/1998, the era a minimalism in fashion– and the jewelry industry was looking for a go-getter to call fashion designers and ask them to put fine jewelry on their runway presentations. I called everyone from Oscar de la Renta to Carmen Marc Valvo. The JIC was a nonprofit, so on my board of directors was the heads of Cartier and Harry Winston. We could pull jewelry from any brand the fashion designer wanted– as long as it was a luxury brand (aka fine jewelry and watches). This is when I was able to forge designer relationships that have stood the test of time.
I began to get calls to bring jewelry for fittings for The Oscars, movie premieres, the Met gala, etc. I began contributing for CBS New York, The View and other entertainment news programs on fine jewelry and fashion. This job leads me to another agency, and another after that until I found a perfect home in Studio PR, a PR/styling agency that I ran with Jim DeMattei (of John Hardy, Philip Stein and Christian Dior fame) in 2005. Studio PR gave me the opportunity to use all of my skills in runway styling, fashion styling and high-end public relations. We had both corporate and individual clients– some of which I have the immense pleasure of still working with today.
2012 was a transition year — we made the decision to leave our beloved NYC and move south to raise our daughter and give my husband a new opportunity within Deloitte. We were in Charlotte for a minute, then a rental and finally bought a house in Atlanta. I opened Strager Style to focus my efforts on styling– traveling between NYC and ATL to do it. And, though it was a bit slow in the beginning, I have found the most amazing clients in ATL — who are as lovely as they are talented. I continue to be in New York several days a month, but keep busy every moment in between with clients in Atlanta, Miami and Washington DC.
Has it been a smooth road?
I feel the biggest challenge was trying to navigate a career while also making time to be present during times in my daughter’s life when she needed me the most. Making it a point to put the phone/blackberry away to focus on her is a challenge but one worth overcoming every single time. Work will always be there. Making my time with her and my husband count is equally important to me.
So, as you know, we’re impressed with Strager Style – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
Strager Style is in the simplest terms a strategic fashion styling agency. I have corporate clients, like Cadillac, Deloitte and Kaiser Permanente, where I style executives, brand ambassadors and counsel rising partners on wardrobe and the workplace. I have individual clients who range from CEOs to Vice Presidents, doctors, musicians, lawyers, philanthropists, artists and world travelers.
My goal with all of my styling is to help my clients incorporate their brand messaging into their wardrobe choices and assist them with selecting items that best represent their personality and style. I want their fashion choices to stand up to their talent. All the time.
Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
Atlanta is a city in a forest! I say that all the time and I mean it. I love how green and beautiful the landscape of ATL is— so many of my client’s homes and offices feel like they are covered in lush blooms.
I think I’m one of many who doesn’t love the traffic situation in ATL. Coming from NYC, I miss the effectiveness of mass transit and the ability to get from one part of the city to another…quickly.
- Strager Style sessions begin at $150/hr
- Day rate for Closet Overalls, Photoshoots and styling projects: $1,500.
- Website: www.Stragerstyle.com
- Phone: 917-952-5677
- Email: Shaye@Stragerstyle.com
- Instagram: @Shaye_Strager
- Facebook: Shaye Strager
- Twitter: @ShayeStrager
Southern Seasons Magazine, Ben Rose Photography, Kim Evans Photography and Cadillac House