Bada** Petite Women: Moms, bloggers, Entrepreneurs & More
Petite Ave is all about creating an empowering community for petite women. Every Wednesday, we feature an inspiring petite woman who has been handpicked by our team. Hopefully you'll enjoy learning about them! Know of an amazing petite woman who deserves to be featured? Let us know
Standing at 4’11 and 3/4”, Amanda Chatel is a force to be reckoned with. She currently writes for Bustle, Glamour, Harper’s Bazaar, and Mic and is also working on publishing her own book. For Amanda, the cliché of always wanting to be a writer was not a cliché; it was a reality. Writing has and always will be her greatest love (excluding, of course, her dog, Hubbell). Amanda started writing about sex and relationships since a fateful article in 2010 which covered a blowjob class at Babeland. Despite it not being her first choice in format or content, Amanda writes about sex and relationships with a candor that can be difficult given our society’s tendency to suppress female sexuality. In her pieces, she uses honesty and accessibility to encourage women to understand their bodies and their minds. Discussing topics like female sexuality - sometimes unfairly labeled as taboo - can be difficult, but the support of her friends and family make things a lot easier who are liberal and feminist and recognize the importance of what Amanda is doing. She hopes that her honesty and willingness to share her personal experiences will resonate with her audience and make them feel less alone. As Amanda perfectly puts it, “Life is too short to be suppressed. Life is also too short to allow your thoughts to be dictated to you by the patriarchy.” Sex and relationships is by no means the limit for Amanda’s writing, and she’s currently working on a memoir that describes her marriage, its end, and the ways she dealt with the whole experience including consulting a Voodoo priestess in New Orleans and hosting a divorce party at The Plaza. When asked what advice Amanda has for young writers, she said “pitch like crazy” to the publications that you read, and network with other writers who are not your competition, but rather your colleagues. Lastly, she strongly advises you not to have a back-up plan because “Back-up plans make it too easy to give up.”
Avani Patel is the founder of Trendseeder and Director of Harvard Business School’s Startup Studio in New York City. Trendseeder is a program that offers consumer focused start-ups the tools they need to grow by offering access to expertise and growth opportunities. With over 200 mentors in their network, Trendseeder is most excited about working with start-ups that have a great team, a defensible business, and one they can truly help grow. Like most entrepreneurs, Avani has always had the entrepreneurial bug, and Trendseeder was born out of a combination of this natural desire to create and her non-traditional career path. While still in law school at Northwestern, Avani and her sister started a contemporary fashion line, Nasaani, because they were tired of the offerings available to them. Along with founding Nasaani, Avani had a successful career in corporate law. Starting her own fashion line and working in law helped Avani realize what it takes to start a business and that she could’ve really used a program like Trendseeder to scale her fashion line, and this is ultimately what led to the creation of the program. Trendseeder has been a huge success, and Harvard Business School - recognizing her deep understanding of the start-up world - gave her the opportunity to launch and head their start-up studio which supports HBS alumni founders in NYC. When asked what advice she would give to women, she emphasized that there isn’t one specific path to success, and that it’s important to do things you love and can learn from. Most importantly, be open to new opportunities, because if you plan too carefully, you might just miss out on the best experiences of all.
Tiffany Wong is the co-founder of Velé. Velé, whose name comes from the Latin word “wanted”, a brand dedicated to empowering women on both the production and consumer sides of the fashion industry, making them feel worthy and wanted. Tiffany, together with her co-founder, Lauren, had become disillusioned with the fashion industry and its commodification of women: on the production side, less than 5% of garment workers are paid a living wage (80% of those workers are women), and on the consumer side, the industry perpetuates harmful beauty standards and presents the message that women need to define their worth in material goods. Velé offers an alternative by working with a family-owned factory in Spain, where workers are paid three times Spain’s minimum wage, and by creating sustainable basics for all women. All of Velé’s pieces are also ethically produced, and the company focuses on producing pieces that stand the test of time. As if this isn’t enough, Velé also donates 10% of every purchase to Not For Sale, a non-profit fighting against human-trafficking. Velé’s dedication to inclusivity and sustainability stems from Tiffany’s personal experiences. Standing at 5’1”, Tiffany has often struggled to find clothing that fit and never felt that her body type was represented in the fashion industry. Sustainability has also always been important to her, and she started her career in fashion working for YSTR, a clothing company with an emphasis on environmentally friendly production. Though personally passionate about sustainable fashion, Tiffany noticed that the sustainable fashion space was often inaccessible to women of color, and she wanted Velé to be accessible to women of all races which she showcases through the diverse models on her site. When asked what advice she would give to young women starting their own businesses, she advised that they reach out to as many people as possible. In Tiffany’s experience, people are very willing to help new entrepreneurs because they were once in those very shoes themselves.
Sujene Kong is the co-founder of FEND, a foldable helmet perfectly tailored to the city biker. Not only is it easy to fold and place into your bag, but it’s breathable, chic, affordable, and most importantly, safe. Sujene, an avid biker herself, was often guilty of not wearing a helmet, before her partner and co-founder, Christian was involved in a biking accident. The accident was a wake-up call for both of them, and they set out to create a helmet that you would have no reason to ride without. Sujene works primarily on the business side of FEND and has over 14 years of experience working in fashion and merchandising for luxury brands such as Jimmy Choo, Saint Laurent, and Burberry. Sujene’s business mind and experience along with Christian’s background in design and engineering made them the perfect pair to take FEND to the next level. Creating the perfect helmet for the city biker hasn’t been easy, though. Over the last two years, Sujene has made frequent trips back and forth to China to oversee production, helped guide FEND through safety certifications and patents, and spread the word about the product. What’s even more impressive is that FEND is completely self-funded, which has helped them remain true to Sujene and Christian’s original vision of creating a truly safe, convenient, and competitively-priced helmet for the city biker. Sujene and Christian’s vision is to continue creating innovative products that will change the way the city biker approaches safety and to eventually create a full line of bicycle products that will include children’s sizes. When asked what advice she would give to young female entrepreneurs she said, “keep pushing and stay committed to your vision”.
Today’s feature is dedicated to a person whose life ended much too early: Kate Spade. After earning a degree in journalism, she went to work for Mademoiselle, where she eventually become a senior fashion editor and head of accessories. In 1991, she left to start her own line. Like most other entrepreneurs, Kate set out to create what she wasn’t finding: bags that were both functional and fashionable. She often found herself having to choose between the two, and as Kate put it, “handbags should be both. That’s what designers were forgetting”, so she set out to create bags that were less serious, more personal, and timeless. Many years later, her “sassy but classy” style lives on in the form of handbags, shoes, furniture and more. In addition to being a visionary designer, she was a fierce advocate for women’s empowerment and founded the Kate Spade & Company Foundation to help women achieve economic independence. Needless to say, Kate was someone who made a tremendous impact on the fashion industry and beyond and will be truly missed.
Miki Agrawal is the founder and brain behind multiple companies including the gluten-free restaurant concept Wild, period/pee-proof underwear brands THINX & Icon, and now most recently her modern bidet brand TUSHY. All of these companies have received acclaim; THINX was one of Time Magazine’s 25 Best New Inventions, and The Atlantic said that TUSHY will show that the bidet can be embraced. Though all of Miki’s products are different, they all have one thing in common: Miki saw a problem, and fixed it. This is a philosophy she learned from her parents, who taught her to question everything. Each of Miki’s businesses tackle practical, widespread, sometimes taboo-to-talk-about issues with a funny, carefree, and witty attitude, producing bidets that are “the iphone for the toilet” and emphasizing that period-underwear is “patriarchy-proof.” In addition to changing the lives of her customers with her innovative products, Miki has made an even larger impact, as each of her companies also give back. With the proceeds made from each product, Miki’s companies have given thousands of families in India access to clean sanitation, provided 100,000+ women access to menstrual products, and helped break down the taboo surrounding menstruation. Amidst all her entrepreneurial success, the broader impact she has made is Miki’s proudest accomplishment. Miki is also an accomplished author, with one book out and one on the way. Her first book, Do Cool Shit, provides a step by step outline of her entrepreneurial successes, making her creative process completely transparent. Due to come out in January, her second book, DISRUPTHER is a “manifesto for the modern women”, which tackles 13 common beliefs that are holding women back and disrupting them one by one. Despite everything she’s done so far, we have a feeling that Miki isn’t close to being done, and we can’t wait to see what other cool s*** she tackles next.
Standing at 5'2", Nina Faulhaber is the co-founder of ADAY, a clothing line that was named as one of the most innovative in the world by Fast Company in 2018. Dedicated to creating minimal, versatile, sustainable, and comfortable pieces, ADAY pushes for a move away from the clutter of fast fashion towards quality pieces that last, encouraging consumers to buy less. In addition to quality, their clothing is so versatile that you can wear them to the fitness studio and the office. Nina grew up in Germany and competed in gymnastics on the state level, and her childhood wardrobe was made up of comfortable, well-made essentials that reflected her athlete lifestyle. As she got older, she moved away from the world of gymnastics and into the world of finance, first working at Goldman Sachs, and then at Index Ventures where she worked with entrepreneurs. She longed for her childhood wardrobe which was simple, functional, and minimal, but designed for adults. This sparked the idea for ADAY, and Nina and co-founder Meg created the product that they themselves felt they needed. Having raised $3.1 million in venture funding and seeing great success so far, Nina says they’re just getting started. There are still many essential pieces they’re hoping to recreate and many more women to reach. With influential fashion icons like Lupita Nyong’o and Anne V wearing their pieces, we’re sure it won’t be long before many other fashionable women catch on.
Annette Lasala Spillane is the founder of The Artisan Row Accessories (TARA), a fine jewelry company committed to social change. TARA produces fine jewelry with a twist: the jewelry is “buildable”, composed of individual rings, bracelets, and necklaces that can be taken apart and interchanged to form totally new pieces. It’s easy to fall out of love with our wardrobes, and Annette’s brand TARA offers a way to fall back in love by investing in pieces that can be repurposed. Annette’s commitment to social change is also reflected in her company’s mission. Born and raised in the Philippines, Annette partners with Filipino artisans to create pieces inspired by modern art and intended for longevity. She hopes that TARA can instill in these artisans a sense of pride in their work, as well as bring financial freedom to them and their families. The thoughtful design and social awareness of TARA has appealed to a diverse customer base, and the brand’s connection with those new to fine jewelry is Annette’s proudest accomplishment so far. In five years, she hopes that she and the TARA team will still be doing what they love most: making dynamic and timeless jewelry that reflects the identify of its customers.
Standing at 5’0’’, Anna truly embodies the saying “great things come in small packages.” In addition to graduating summa cum laude from the University of Florida in three years, she served as both president of the English Society and senior editor of her school’s Her Campus chapter. As a senior editor, Anna managed 20 writers and under her leadership many articles received national recognition within the Her Campus community. Anna also has bylines with College Fashion and College Fashionista and has already written over 100 articles. Although Anna writes about a variety of topics, her favorite is affordable fashion specifically targeted at college students. When asked about her struggles with finding clothing, Anna shares her frustrations with finding pants that fit and wishes more brands would carry fashion forward petite options. In addition to seeing more brands carry fashionable petite clothing, she hopes for more inclusivity in the fashion space in the form of petite models. Anna shares that this is a mutually beneficial opportunity for both shoppers and brands as it helps more women relate to the brand and therefore helps the brand sell more clothing. In five years time, Anna hopes to gain enough experience to start her own digital fashion magazine. Given Anna’s love for fashion and writing and undeniable ambition, we have no doubt she will!
Whitney runs a blog called Desourire, from the French word “sourire,” meaning “smile.” An aspiring fashion designer, she began blogging at the end of 2013 as a way to share her style and fashion interests. At the time, though, Whitney was studying law; she wasn’t allowed to pursue fashion-related studies because it wasn’t seen as a lucrative career path. While she had a slight interest in law, she ultimately realized that becoming a lawyer was not for her. After receiving a degree in England and going to law school in Nigeria, she moved to NYC to study fashion design. Spending time in these three different cities has influenced Whitney’s approach to fashion--she says that it inspired her to dress like the woman she wants to become. To Whitney, style is a language, and hers is chic and unique to her own tastes. She dresses for herself and doesn’t follow trends blindly. Whitney hopes that her journey shows her followers that it’s important to pursue the things that matter to you. For her, that’s fashion: five years from now, she hopes to be a successful fashion designer, influencing fashion and impacting lives in Africa and beyond.
Sophie started her first blog when she was 13, but only began blogging regularly after moving to London for her university studies. She’s currently studying geography at Queen Mary University of London, and loves that the subject allows her to explore the world in so many ways. After graduation, she hopes to pursue an MBA and continue learning about the world’s issues and how to resolve them. Sophie describes her style as overall classic, but living in London has inspired her to try more bold colors and patterns. She uses her blog to help her petite audience find these styles and others more easily. As a petite woman, Sophie has experienced the difficulties of finding clothes and feels that short women are underrepresented by the fashion industry and strongly believes in starting a conversation around this. Sophie has completed some exciting projects recently, including interviewing one of her favorite influencers, Robbie Tripp, and she’s looking forward to blogging about summer styles in the next few months. She’s hoping to get involved with more brands and grow her audience within the petite community.
Hayley is a technologist and inclusion advocate in the tech industry. She is the founder of Lady in Tech, an award-winning tech and lifestyle brand dedicated to inspiring women to become technologists, creatives, and entrepreneurs. She shares the stories of entry and mid-level women in tech, hoping that these relatable and accomplished ladies will empower the next generation to enter the industry. Hayley believes in the importance of inclusion and diversity work because tech plays such a crucial role in the future of humanity. As she puts it, “we must work toward creating a future where the people who imagine and build technology mirror the people and societies for whom they build it.” Outside of her inclusion and diversity work, Hayley writes a column for Forbes and consults startups in the Bay Area. She also moonlights as an organizer and community builder for various women in tech organizations in the Bay Area. Hayley’s hard work is inspired by the belief that the best way to make a positive impact on the world is through building technology.
Standing at 5’3’’, Debra is a mom of four, published author, and successful entrepreneur currently running @get_colour. Having spent years working in law and TV, Debra was struck by how hard it was to get her hair professionally styled as a woman of color with super curly hair. Finally, she decided to take matters into her own hands, and Colour was born. Made for women of color, Colour is an app that connects users with stylists for in-home hairstyling. Currently the services are available in Atlanta, but Debra hopes to launch a new range of services and expand to a second city in the coming year. When asked what advice she would give to aspiring entrepreneurs, she says, “be scrappy, and just start!” When she’s not growing her business, Debra is busy raising four (soon-to-be five!) kids. For other moms trying to do it all, she stresses the importance of creating a village of supporters to help with childcare and embracing your identity as a working mom. When life gets hectic, her advice is to be confident in the skills that you bring to the table not despite, but because you’re a mom.
After graduating from Harvard, Logan worked at Google, running their behavioral economics team. During that time she founded the popular Talks at Google Modern Romance series, a set of interviews with dating and relationship experts. Now Logan is applying decision-making insights from behavioral science to relationships to help people find and nurture romantic partnerships. She’s currently in New York as a TED Resident, preparing to give her TED talk this summer. Logan is particularly interested in dating tools like Tinder and how they’ve changed the relationship landscape. She’s noticed that technology and social media often exacerbate common dating problems by offering too many choices and creating false perceptions of reality. Motivated by research showing that our health, happiness, and overall life satisfaction hinges on the quality of our relationships, Logan wants to help people actively invest in their romantic partnerships. As part of this mission, Logan is conducting research and working as a dating coach and break-up consultant. Through her work, she’s noticed that everyone is facing similar challenges around dating, and sometimes it helps just to let people know they’re not alone. Logan says that both her dating consulting and her research into modern relationships have been rewarding experiences. She’s been able to create space for vulnerability and allow people to have important conversations that point them toward stronger romantic relationships.
A fashion journalist based in LA, she started her career as a fashion editor at the Style Network, and that’s where her blog began. Since then, she’s amassed a wide following, and her styling tips have been sought after by brands like Express and Herbal Essences and featured in a number of online publications such as Elle and Harper’s Bazaar. She’s also had a number of features talking about fashion and beauty on Bravo, NBC, and E! With her feminine, polished and timeless style, Sydne provides tips for classy outfits for every season and occasion. One of her current favorite petite trends is the combination of wide-leg jeans with platform shoes, which she swears make her look a foot taller. Sydne is committed: she posts tips like this everyday on her blog and every week on her YouTube channel. Currently, she’s focused on spring trends and promoting confidence through bright, happy colors and patterns. She loves providing this kind of advice--her goal is to empower women not only through fashion, but also home, travel and wellness. Throughout her blogging journey, Sydne feels grateful to have made connections with so many people. She doesn’t consider her followers to be just followers--they’re her #ssInstaFam. She’s formed meaningful friendships through platforms like Instagram and built up a support system that stretches around the world.
A lover of all things fashion, Maisa is a student at The Academy of Art University, works at a fashion tech start-up, and somehow still manages to find time to run her own blog. Growing up, Maisa experienced a variety styles--while she currently lives in San Francisco, Maisa spent her childhood in Scotland and Bangladesh, where she was born, and moved to London at age 18. Maisa says that growing up in two cultures allowed her to pick styles and make fashion choices that best fit her personality. She leans toward European style but is interested in Bangladesh’s role as an influencer in the fashion industry. Bangladesh is the second largest fashion exporter in the world, and Maisa wants to encourage questions around sustainability in the country’s manufacturing. Maisa cares a lot about sustainability in fashion--while she loves the industry, she knows that sometimes it can negatively impact society and the environment. Her answer to these problems comes in the form of her other passion: technology. She believes that if these two worlds are merged, industry practices will become more sustainable and businesses and leaders will be held accountable. She’s excited about the possibilities of this combination and hopes to contribute to the conversations around fashion-tech in the future.
A lover of clean, classic fashion, Vivienne works as VP of sales for an ethically-sourced jewelry company called Soko. Soko works with over 3,000 artisan entrepreneurs in Nairobi, Kenya, who make jewelry pieces by hand using all sustainably-recycled materials. Vivienne oversees the sales team to coordinate logistics to over 600 stores around the world including Reformation, Barney’s Japan, and Nordstrom. Vivienne is also a writer for Forbes, where she focuses on millennial female entrepreneurs. Through her interactions with and personal experience as a woman in business, she has wise advice for other women following the same path. For getting press, she says to be persistent and continue reaching out to writers--you never know when you’re going to send an email just as they’re looking for a story. And in general, she stresses staying balanced amidst the extreme highs and lows of being in a startup. It’s important to not be emotionally invested in each swing and know that even the low moments are learning experiences. Overall, Vivienne has noticed that women entrepreneurs are committed to solving problems and impacting change in their industries--and she is no different. In her career, Vivienne has helped Soko create more opportunities for marginalized communities and worked with female entrepreneurs to further their companies. She’s realized that in both her career and life, her goal is to help people and make positive change.
Though she grew up in Poland, Paulina has always been drawn to American culture. She moved to the U.S. after finishing college in 2012 and since then has worked three different jobs and earned another degree. Now, she works as a social media coordinator and lives in Napa, California. Paulina loves to dress up for dinner dates and wine tastings, but overall she’s embraced the laid-back California vibe--she describes her style as comfortable and feminine. Her current favorites for fellow petite women are high-waisted anything. She loves that the style makes her feel taller than 5’2” while also highlighting her curves. Paulina shares tips like this on her blog, Shenska, which she started back in 2015. She’s always had a passion for photography, and had a few different blogs before rebranding and beginning to blog more seriously. Though she works a 9-5 job, Paulina considers Shenska her creative business. She hopes to continue expanding her work with brands, creating video content, and connecting with her followers. For women hoping to start blogs of their own, Paulina stresses having patience. It can often be a challenge--she herself has struggled with time management, comparison, and brands who don’t realize her full potential and value. But by taking the time to listen to your audience and being willing to put some money into your blog, she says, you’ll end up with the best content for you.
In 2016, Leah was working a corporate job and had just been accepted to law school. But with the prospect of long hours, student debt, and little guarantee that she’d end up in the field she wanted, she made the bold decision to change her path. She quit her job, spent four months traveling, and created Urban 20 Something. Leah’s mission is to “help young professionals get out of quarter-life traps”. She initially used Urban 20 Something as an avenue for freelancing while abroad, but since then it has become a website of resources for anyone looking to make a new career move or build a side hustle. She particularly focuses on live trainings, which she says are her favorite way to create content because they break down the anonymity of the internet. Urban 20 Something is Leah’s own side hustle - during the work week, she has a job at an NYC nonprofit that works with charitable giving. The balance can be a challenge, but she loves doing the humanitarian work she’s always dreamt of while staying true to her entrepreneurial spirit. She says that ultimately, the decision to leave behind law school and pursue new goals was one of the best she ever made.
A social media and content strategist by day and blogger by night, Bianca started fashion blogging after graduating college, and now has expanded her content to include her love of food and travel. Bianca’s blog was born from chronicling her experiences as a petite, plus-size woman. Much of her content focuses around body image and body confidence, and she says that blogging has positively shaped her self-image. She stresses that body love is a journey: you won’t feel confident every day, but it’s important to treat yourself kindly. If you wouldn’t say it to your best friend, she says, don’t say it to your reflection. Bianca has been everywhere from Prague to New Orleans, but her favorite trip was to Japan, where she checked an item off her bucket list by participating Japanese Onsen, or nude hot spring. Though at first she was nervous about not meeting beauty standards of thinness, she overcame her fear of judgement and ended up loving the experience. There are many more places Bianca hopes to travel, from the garlic festival in Gilroy, CA to a bungalow in the Maldives, and plenty of things to look forward to in the coming months. Topping the list is getting married to her high school sweetheart and partner of eight years. She’s also continuing to grow her YouTube presence, where she plans to share her adventures and show that people of all body types live fulfilling lives. It all comes back to the goal of her blog: to show the possibility of a lifestyle not limited by size.
Astrid has loved fashion since she was a little girl, when she dressed the mannequins in her mom’s clothing boutique. She has since gone on to study fashion merchandising at F.I.T. with a specialization in product development. Now she works at The Children’s Place as a sourcing assistant for denim, women’s bottoms and jeggings, which she juggles with running her blog. Astrid is proud of her independence and fearlessness, which have helped her navigate college and the fashion world. Not only did she move alone from Florida to New York to pursue her degree, but she also came to the U.S. from Ecuador at age 13 and learned a new language and culture. Her Ecuadorian heritage is still an important part of her life--her passion for style comes from her family’s culture and attributes much of it to her grandmother.
Astrid says she puts a lot of time and effort into her outfits because it makes her feel beautiful and confident, and she hopes to inspire her readers to feel the same through their clothing choices.
Christina is a long-time lover of fashion, but was never really drawn to designing. Instead, she found her passion in fashion merchandising, the back-end strategy that guides the creation of collections from retailers, which she pursued as an undergrad at the Fashion Institute of Technology. Now, Christina lives in New York and has been working on commerce strategy and analytics at Bustle for about a year. While she’s not directly involved in fashion, she’s still able to pursue her interest in using data and analytics to develop commerce strategies. For her, having a full-time job alongside her blog is the perfect balance--it allows her to keep blogging as a fun creative avenue, so she actually looks forward to creating content at night and on the weekends. Though she’s definitely busy, Christina makes time for one of her favorite activities: travel. She first realized her love of travel after spending a semester abroad in Shanghai, and since then has traveled everywhere from Malaysia to the French Riviera to her recent favorite, the Canadian Rockies. Traveling now factors heavily into her blog, which she launched it in 2013. She’s loved the process of learning to build a brand, develop partnerships, and create strong content, but ultimately, her favorite part of blogging has been the community. Some of her closest friends are fellow content creators, and they have become a close-knit support system in the midst of big city life.
A typical day in April’s life is busy from start to finish. As a medical doctor, blogger and mother of four, she truly does it all. Her mornings and evenings are devoted to her kids while her work day is spent taking care of patients, so blogging is fit into nights and weekends. April says that balancing the three is incredibly difficult, but it’s worth it: she is able to do the gratifying work of helping others while staying in touch with her creative passions. While The Blue Hydrangeas is about two years old, April began her blogging career in 2007 as a newborn and maternity photographer. She took time off from blogging after starting a family of her own, but came back to blogging and photography after realizing she missed having a creative outlet. Now April spends her weekends creating content, with her eleven-year-old daughter taking all of her photos. She loves searching for new shoot locations, styling outfits and capturing the beauty in everything around her. As we continue into 2018, April is looking forward to growing her blog and seeing where it takes her. In February, she’ll be leaving the Midwest for the Caribbean warmth to collaborate with a hotel, and she hopes to work on more projects like this in the future. But even as she pursues her career and blog, April’s family is at the heart of everything she does--most of all, she is excited to watch her children grow into the wonderful people that they are.
A Detroit native currently living in LA, Natalie started blogging just over a year and a half ago. Driven by that familiar problem of too-big clothing (she’s 5’1.5”), Natalie set out to find and share her favorite petite pieces. She shares everything from graduation dresses to job interview outfits, all sized for ladies under 5’4”. One of her biggest influences is fellow blogger Sazan Hendrix of @sazan, who Natalie admires for her down-to-earth personality and engagement with the community. Reflecting on 2017, Natalie shared that her proudest moment was graduating from college with a BBA in marketing. She was the first in her family to earn a degree, and worked hard for over seven years to fund her own education. Now she works as a technical recruiter, where she hires people in the IT industry for different companies. With more responsibilities it’s often a challenge to keep up with blogging, but she tries to make time every weekend to plan new content. Natalie is no stranger to setting and achieving goals--from making her dream move to LA to completing her undergraduate education to balancing work and blogging, she dedicates herself to everything she pursues. Her advice is to tackle big projects by taking them one step at a time so that they seem more manageable. She’s setting even more goals for herself in 2018, including improving her writing and having a more positive outlook on her self-image and blog material. She wants to create thoughtful content instead of creating content just for the sake of it.
Now a personal stylist, Trina got her start in corporate marketing. She began blogging in February 2016, and uses her blog as a platform to share her favorite looks and fashion tips, especially for fellow petite women. She loves mixing and matching prints and styles to create colorful, feminine outfits. A resident of Boston, Trina’s wardrobe has shifted to accommodate the weather, replacing stilettos with more practical flats and sneakers and adding warmer pieces. She’s been battling the New England cold with lots of layers, but she still keeps it stylish--her go-to winter look is a thin but warm turtleneck that can layer without the bulk. She recommends similarly streamlined pieces for other petite women, because the less bulk, the taller we look! Her sense of style is a necessary part of her work as a personal stylist. When working with clients, especially petite women, she builds a wardrobe that flatters each individual’s body shape. She stresses that ‘petite’ is not a one-size-fits-all term and petite women come in all shapes and sizes, so she approaches each wardrobe as completely unique. Being a mom, working as a stylist and blogging can often be a juggling act. Capturing daily outfits and sharing wardrobe advice every week can be more time-consuming than it seems. At the same time, though, Trina really enjoys the process--she loves the opportunity to work with brands she likes and create content that people identify with. In the new year, she hopes to continue expanding her blog by discovering more brands that are well-made, fashion-forward, functional and affordable.
Though she currently resides in London, Eni grew up in Nigeria--she credits her childhood there for her love of bright colors and bold patterns. She describes her style as Parisian chic, and while she’s drawn to a range of trends, comfy knitwear and the Gucci belt bag are currently at the top of her must-have list. Eni has been blogging for two years, but she got her start in the art world. She studied illustration at university with the intention of becoming an illustrator, but realized as her blog grew that she was more interested in fashion styling. After spending some time juggling both, she made a tough choice and threw herself fully into fashion. Now, Eni is a certified stylist--her training has taken her from runways to magazine shoots, and she’s gained more confidence in her own style. To succeed as a stylist, she says, it’s crucial to be organized, prepared, and ready to improvise in case of any unexpected obstacles. Though styling takes up much of her time, Eni is still focused on her blog. She says her favorite part of blogging is having her photo taken and the self-confidence that brings. Even though having photoshoots in public sometimes draws attention, she’s learned to get over it and enjoy herself. In 2018, she hopes to grow her blog even more, continue her work as a stylist and become an even bigger influencer.
Allison runs a blog called West Coast Aesthetic, but by day she’s an Art Director at Amazon where she primarily works with home interiors. Her projects vary, but she can usually be found mood-boarding creative concepts, forecasting the next interior trends or art-directing on a photoshoot. She’s always been interested in art, design and fashion; she’s been making art in some form since she was old enough to reach an easel, and her childhood career goal was to become a fashion designer. Now, between her job at Amazon and her successful blog, she gets to do a bit of both. True to the name of her blog, Allison is a west coast girl. Born, raised and currently based in Seattle, she says that the laid-back west coast vibe has had a big influence on her style. She embraces both comfort and fashion, combining neutral colors with bold pieces. Her style blurs the line between “I would never think to put those two things together” and “Those look great together!” Allison loves her creative job and the fun outlet her blog provides, and her goals are only getting bigger. She’s been working on the draft of a book for the past two years, and hopes to finish and publish it before she turns thirty. It’s a lot to juggle, but Allison is dedicated to her pursuits. She shared her favorite piece of life advice with us, and it’s clear from her work that she has internalized this statement: If not now, when?
Shira runs a popular NYC style blog, but she also has a full-time job in social work, therapy, and eating disorder coaching. As an eating disorder coach, she works one-on-one with clients to facilitate and support their recovery process. This can range from meal coaching to shopping for clothes with a client who has undergone weight changes, and Shira loves the personal aspect of the work. Though she has to balance a day job with blogging, Shira has found ways to make the two overlap. She describes herself as a body positive blogger, and much of her content centers around body image and self-acceptance. Recently, she’s become more selective about the brands she features, only sharing those whose clothing goes past a size 8-10. With the average woman being a size 16, brands should carry at least 14-16, she says--all people, regardless of size, should be able to feel beautiful in their clothes. Her commitment to body positivity speaks to many women, from those struggling with eating disorders to body image issues and everything in between. Shira says one of the most rewarding parts of having a blog is hearing from these women about how her messages have inspired or helped them; their words make all the challenges of blogging worthwhile. As her blog grows, Shira plans to keep creating body positive content. She wants her followers to value themselves not as numbers on a scale or clothing tag, but as human beings who should feel comfortable, confident, and beautiful the way they are.
Rachelle describes herself as “a regular girl with a corporate job in IT and a very real budget”, and her blog is all about finding fashionable, affordable pieces for the average woman. She has to balance blogging with a full-time job, but she says planning and discipline make it work. Her weekends are often dedicated to Pink Sole, whether she’s shooting new looks, planning out content, or learning new photo editing softwares. Rachelle characterizes her signature look as feminine with a twist--she has a lot of classic staples but likes to play around with colors and trends. Living in South Florida, she embraces light, airy summer styles. But while it is never truly sweater weather, she still has tips for fall/winter looks: she recommends that petite girls look out for well-fitted camel blazers and faux leather jackets to pair with booties. In the past few years, Rachelle says that her style has evolved quite a bit, and she loves being able to document that through her blog. She also really enjoys working with brands she admires and connecting with her readers. Blogging is not without its challenges, especially with the pressures of social media to stay relevant and produce content on a regular basis, but Rachelle does her best to focus on her own process. Her hope is that her readers see themselves in her blog and are inspired to embrace their style. She wants PinkSole to be an honest portrait of herself: a woman in her 30s who dresses for herself and does so with confidence.
Nadia started her career as a blogger in 2010, but since then has become a triple threat: she’s also a Wilhelmina model and, in addition to designing for BooHoo and Lord & Taylor, has recently launched her own clothing line called by Nadia Aboulhosn. Her secret to juggling it all is to stay super organized and to work even when she’s not in the mood. When asked about the inspiration behind her fun and trendy clothing line, Nadia says her designs draw inspiration from a variety of places; however, lately, she’s been looking at the aesthetics of the late 90’s and early 2000’s, particularly the music videos of Missy Elliott and Busta Rhyme. One common theme in Nadia’s designs is women’s empowerment and body positivity; the motto of by Nadia Aboulhosn is “For those out of line” or for those who don’t want to follow societal expectations and want to forge their own path instead. Nadia says that when she began blogging, she simply thought of herself as a girl sharing her favorite clothes and not much more. But as a petite and curvy woman, she has become an inspiration to others who don’t fit into the traditional molds of the fashion industry. Now she has embraced that role and plans to continue advocating for body positivity. She hopes to encourage her followers to be their authentic selves and embrace their personal journey.
Born in Jamaica, Cheryl grew up in Florida before eventually moving to California to pursue her career. Before blogging full-time, she worked as a magazine writer and online editor, then a social media marketer. What started as an outlet for planning her wedding has become a site that covers style and beyond. Cheryl combines her love of fashion, beauty, and entertainment into a blog that features everything from outfit tips to movie and book reviews. Standing at 5’2”, Cheryl has the most trouble shopping for jumpsuits and flared jeans. She suggests persistence in finding stores and tailors that can make these styles accessible to petite women. In general, Cheryl feels that women of any size should be able to participate in the latest trends. This fall, she’s especially into denim on denim looks, trench coats, plaid and sock boots. She follows her motto - “When your fashion is inspired, your style is inspirational!” - in all of her outfits, whether she’s putting together a bold patterned look or styling a new accessory.
Cassie’s lifelong love for fashion drew her to the blogging world, but she was initially worried that she wasn’t stylish, tall, or thin enough to be a blogger. It took some time for her to realize that the qualities that make her different from the traditional “fashionista” actually give her a unique perspective on fashion. Following this theme, Cassie centers her blog around themes of body positivity. She has found that body positive activism is important both in developing her own self-confidence and inspiring it in others. Her interest in equalizing fashion runs from promoting body confidence to advocating for inclusive sizing. As a curvy woman standing at 4’9”, she has had her fair share of challenges finding clothes that fit. Clothes are rarely proportioned for petite, plus-size women, and there are few stylish pieces even among larger petite sizes. But Cassie refuses to be limited by her size—if something doesn’t fit, she finds a way to make it work. She encourages other petite women to learn what cuts and brands work best for their bodies and not be afraid to change the design of a garment. Cassie celebrated her five year blogiversary in July, and she says that her body confidence has grown since she started, allowing her to experiment with styles that she once would have avoided. She believes in personal style as a mode for self expression and hopes that her followers feel empowered to love themselves, embrace their bodies, and to explore their identities through fashion.
Kryz is a blogger, designer, and bestselling author from Cebu City in the Philippines. Prior to blogging full-time, she studied Communications Technology Management, Business Enterprise, and Luxury Brand Management. Her blog began in 2009 as a school project and has grown into an internationally recognized site, which Kryz says has been an unbelievable experience. When she’s not blogging, Kryz designs an accessory line called February Lifestyle. She works with local artisans in the Philippines to create handmade products and promote their work to a global audience. She also published a book in 2016 after over a year of writing and editing. Called Behind the Blog, the book gives a behind-the-scenes look at Kryz’s life offline and was a bestseller in the Philippines. Though she stands at 5”2’, Kryz doesn’t have much trouble finding clothes that fit—living in Asia, petite sizes are fairly normal. And when she can’t find a size, she says, there’s always the kids section! She describes her style as playfully sophisticated and often posts styling advice on her blog, from outfits for different weather conditions to looks for specific events. Overall, Kryz hopes her blog sends the message that everyone should be themselves. She wants her followers to accept their uniqueness and know that it makes them special.
A petite blogger from Vienna, Jasmin isn’t just taking the fashion world by storm—she also has a passion for music, and is trained as a classical singer and pianist. This love of the classics carries over into her style as well, which she describes as a fresh approach to elegant dressing. She loves pairing feminine items with more structured pieces for a striking, dynamic look. Standing at about 4’10”, Jasmin knows the challenges of finding the right size, especially when it comes to shoes. Many designers don’t carry shoes below a size 5, so if she finds a pair that fits, she’ll buy them in several colors. When it comes to clothing, she isn’t afraid of dressing outside of the box and wearing styles that aren’t deemed to be “petite-friendly” such as midi skirts or mom jeans. In this way, she hopes to be a resource to her followers—she gives styling tips for petite ladies on clothes of all kinds. As her blog grows, she hopes to continue connecting with her readers and encouraging them to feel amazing in whatever they wear.
Standing at a little over 5’4’’, Alice is a pro at not letting roadblocks get in her way—fashion or otherwise. A wellness blogger from San Francisco, she started blogging after being diagnosed with Hashimoto’s disease, a condition in which the immune system attacks the thyroid. Her health problems led her on a journey of holistic healing, and she created AliceInWondrland as a resource for others who want to embrace healthy living. Alice follows a number of rituals to keep her body healthy, including eating intentionally, taking herbal supplements and plant medicines, and practicing daily mindfulness meditation. When it comes to pushing through obstacles, Alice champions the mantra “Just Show Up” as a way of opening up to new and challenging experiences. Ultimately, that’s why she created AliceInWondrland: as a community where everyone can feel supported in their vulnerability. She knows how difficult the healing process can be, and wants others who are healing to know that they are not alone.
Standing at 5’1”, Alysse is living proof that small is mighty: she is a writer, designer, plus-size fashion blogger, professional speaker, and body-positive advocate. In 2012 she founded Ready to Stare, a size-inclusive apparel and accessory brand. Alysse created Ready to Stare as a celebration of the fashion misfits who are often excluded by the industry. By designing bold pieces in sizes S-5X, Alysse hopes to send the message that style is for everyone. In pursuit of this message, Alysse began a project called #DOPEatAnyHeight with tall plus-size blogger @ramona_o. The two women, who stand nearly a foot apart, create campaigns wearing identical garments to challenge the idea that plus-size women can’t wear certain items. As for her personal style? Alysse describes it as Golden Girls meets Mob Wives: gaudy, unapologetic, and in-your-face. While there are brands that she loves, she often struggles to find petite plus-size clothing at all. There is a common misconception that petite means small in both size and stature, so the petite plus-size demographic is often overlooked by retailers. Moving forward, Alysse hopes to partner with a brand to create a petite plus-size collection. She wants people to know that this market exists and is important.
Lorraine is a journalist, media strategist, podcast producer and host with a special interest in fashion, entrepreneurship, sustainability and tech otherwise known as FEST. For anybody starting his/her own business in the fashion industry, Lorraine is someone you must know. Lorraine spent the first 10 years of her career writing for various publications including WWD, Harper’s Bazaar, Women 2.0, Ozy, 7X7 and Fast Company to name a few. In 2015, Lorraine started a podcast series called the Spirit of 608 for and about women at the forefront of FEST. Most recently, she launched PressDope, a digital DIY PR platform for FEST brands. Standing just under 5’2’’, Lorraine, like most petite women, struggles to find pants that feel like they were made to fit her height. Even so, she’s never shopped the petite department because she assumed it wasn't for her. She tells Petite Ave that she was surprised to learn that petite clothing has nothing to do with body size, but rather is all about length and proportions. We were especially excited to hear Lorraine’s advice for FEST founders who are trying to get press. She said in most cases, the media isn’t really evaluating your product and its quality. Instead, they are looking for companies that elevate their own reputation and status as a writer. This means journalists look for companies with a contemporary website, strong social media presence, and an interesting digital tone and story. Having said that, it still takes a lot of time and work to get press. The key is to genuinely interact with journalists on a consistent basis over social media, email, etc. months before you’re hoping to land a piece.
She is the co-founder of Enat, a company that works with small business owners in Ethiopia to make jewelry and leather goods consciously and sustainably. The company maintains a fair relationship with their partners, who set their own prices, and the leather comes from animal by-products from the local food industry. Olivia has been surrounded by the green movement her whole life - both of her parents are environmental scientists who compost everything and have an at-home worm farm - so building a socially responsible company came very naturally to her. Standing at 5’4’’, Olivia forgets how small she is until she’s standing next to people who are much taller than her. She’s a huge fan of tailoring her own clothing, and often wears high-waisted pants and skirts to make herself appear taller. Aside from being a badass business owner, Olivia is a pretty cool person, to say the least. She’s a world traveler (33 countries and counting), loves learning new languages (working on French right now), and used to be a food blogger while living in Argentina for several years.
Her blog focuses on finding quality pieces at bargain prices. Aside from running her own blog, Kayla is an elementary school teacher in inner city Brooklyn, a volunteer at her church and local nonprofit for children with Down Syndrome, and an exercise fanatic. Standing at 5’5’’, Kayla isn’t technically petite; however, she often finds herself shopping in the petite section to find clothing that actually fits (especially pants with a shorter rise and length!). We of course had to ask Kayla for tips on how to find great pieces on a budget. She had three main tricks: (1) Shop at end of season: February for winter, May for Spring, August for Summer, and November for Fall. (2) Look for similar alternatives on the retailer's site. For example, if you see a cold shoulder top you love, try doing a search for “cold shoulder” to see what else comes up. (3) Shop at your local resale shop: many are highly selective about their items and only purchase on-trend pieces. Aside from wearing stylish clothing, Kayla shares that “the best look you can ever have as a woman is confidence! Own who you are and your own personal style, be unapologetic, and you will shine!”. We couldn’t agree more.
Toshada Uma is an 18-year-old petite model, blogger and social media maven who has alopecia. Standing at just 4'8'', Uma is definitely creating a name for herself in the industry. Besides breaking barriers in modeling, Uma is also helping expose her followers to an unconventional type of beauty. Through her custom-made wigs, DIY beauty projects, beauty tutorials and blogging, Uma is helping people think of beauty in a completely new way. When asked if she thinks there's room in the fashion industry for petite models, Uma says "definitely". As she puts it, "I feel like that is the one body type that is so under represented in the fashion scene. We opened our arms up to plus size models, to tall women, to medium height women, to all sorts of body types, but I feel like tiny women have been sort of excluded from this movement."
Stephanie runs her own personal style blog called Sunkissed Steph and is currently a fashion editor at POPSUGAR. We were especially excited to find out that Stephanie lives in the Bay Area which is also the home of Petite Ave. Standing at 5'1", Stephanie said she always struggles with finding clothing that fits (especially jeans that are short enough) and always get things tailored. In 2016, she had an amazing opportunity to design a collection of athleisure pieces with @sunandcobalt and made sure to include a shorter inseam option for us petite ladies! We were also interested to get her take on fashion in the Bay Area versus other major cities like NYC or Chicago. Stephanie said people prioritize comfort over all else which she calls the “Silicon Valley effect”. “From sneakers and low heels to jeans and the occasional hoodie, I find myself gravitating toward comfort over almost everything else.”
Tanya is one of those women who somehow does it all. Standing at 5’2’’, Tanya says she struggles to find pants for petite women with curves. As she puts it, “We’re not small in every direction!” Tanya has a MD and JD from the University of Miami and Georgetown University, respectively, and is currently homeschooling her kids while being a part time IP lawyer. I know what you’re thinking - how is that even possible? Tanya has three kids (one boy, two girls) aged seven, four, and two and runs a Youtube channel where she shares her thoughts on homeschooling, motherhood, ADHD, and more. Making the decision to be a homeschool parent isn’t an easy one, but Tanya and her husband felt homeschooling was the best option given the unique personalities and talents of their kids. Wondering what a typical day looks like? They start most days with a morning walk, and then let the school day flow through a balanced rhythm of head (academic), heart (fine arts and spirit), body (physical activity), and hand (handicraft) activities. Homeschooling has vastly expanded her kids’ social schedule, and their weeks are peppered with various playdates and group homeschool classes. Aside from being a homeschool mom and lawyer, Tanya is also an avid reader, a skincare product junkie, and an expert eye-roller.