I met Paige when she was a Junior at Kansas University. I remember sitting across from her over coffee and thinking 'this girl is going places'. She did some freelance design work for our church in Lawrence and I was always impressed with her commitment to excellence and creativity. She's a born leader and it's been such a joy to watch her (via social media) transition to and then thrive in Dallas. Paige has navigated her entrance into young adult life with grace and poise and has planted herself in a place to grow and remain. Cheers to you, Paige!
1. Hi Paige! Tell us a little bit about yourself, what you're doing in Dallas and how you got there. What prompted you to leave your full time job and work for a start-up?
Hi Tori! I’m a full time Creative Lead for the tech/fitness startup StudioHop, I teach fitness before and after the work-day, and I am super active within the fitness and entrepreneurial communities in Dallas. To put it simply, I’m always on at least 5 different payrolls, I work from sun up to sun down, but I wouldn’t want it any other way.
2. I've been following you on social media for a few years and have been so impressed by a) the amount of encouraging content you're putting out there and b) the way you seem to be going for it - both professionally and personally! What has motivated you to pursue new opportunities, learn, grow, and take advantage of what's in front of you in this season?
Honestly, the Lord. Alongside the encouragement and love I feel from Jesus and my faith, is the love Dallas has shown me as a city and new home. I moved to Dallas in June 2015, two weeks after college graduation, pursuing design at Fossil Headquarters. I knew I was excited about Dallas, but I had no idea what God had planned for me down here. Because of a long-distance relationship I was in at the time, I put a time-frame on Dallas and only thought I’d be here a year or two. Now being single, working for a different company, I feel the most alive I ever have before (and am getting far less sleep, so crazy how that works out). This city, it’s a REALLY special place. It was made for hungry young people like me, eager to be doing more and more.
3. When and how did you decide to leave your job at Fossil and what do you do with StudioHop? Can you identify some of the challenges and rewarding things about this decision process?
Fossil was such a great home to me; I felt supported, invested in, and I genuinely liked going to work every day. After a year with the company, leadership was changing drastically which caused my position to get shuffled around. I found myself really dreading going into work, and was no longer satisfied in my creative work (I was pushed to production design because of budget cuts, and was tired of laying out the same ol’ box die line day after day) I was ready for a change. StudioHop was always the dream, but with the company being so young, there was no room to hire me on full time until October 2016 when the company had done enough fundraising to bring me on. I was scary – leaving such a large secure corporate company, to be the fourth full time employee at StudioHop, but I thought to myself, “Paige, you’re 23, it’s now or never. You’ll regret it if you don’t!” so I made the leap and left.
4. When you first moved to Dallas, how did you get connected to community? What did you go in looking for and how did you approach the transition?
I still find this so funny, but I made most of my first friends from Instagram. I found other young, creative women, and set up coffee dates with them. From there I joined Circle Seven Five which is a young professional network for women (and was SUCH an influential part of me growing my community at first). I knew after college, having such wonderful friends there, I wanted to make sure I was meeting the RIGHT people in Dallas. It can be easy when you move to a new city, to hang out with just about anyone so that you’re not lonely, but I fought those lies of loneliness and just waited until I felt genuinely connected to people – which is why my network grew so organically – they were true people, inside and out. I’m blessed with the absolute best community here.
5. What sort of advice would you offer to someone relocating to a new city? If we could learn from your journey, is there anything you would have done differently? Anything you'd recommend prioritizing?
The biggest lesson I learned when I moved, like I said above, stay true to yourself. It’s just like in any transitional phase, you can bend your beliefs and morals to be ‘accepted’ by the general public, or you can remain exactly who you are & who you want to be, and pray it out during loneliness. The right people will fall into your life when they are supposed to. I highly recommend prioritizing work over anything else at first. Get plugged into your job, work hard, stay late, prove to those around you that you deserve to be in the position that you’re in. If you’re not happy, it is OKAY to look elsewhere. Don’t be public about it, but I like to think life is too short to be unhappy each and every day you go to work. 8-5 makes up SO much of your life – chase a career you’re passionate about and do not stop until you wake up each morning GRATEFUL to be going into the office. Also just be extra friendly – when you’re in a new city, friends can be made ANYWHERE. So jump on opportunities to make conversations with those who you make connections with.
6. What's your favorite part about working for a start-up? What does your job and daily responsibilities look like?
My favorite part of working for a start-up, is that I get to wear so many hats. I can never predict a day, because I’m being pulled in so many directions, but it keeps me on my toes! I’ve learned more in the past 6 months about business, than I ever had throughout college and working for Fossil. Day in the life of Paige: wake up at 5 am to workout or teach a couple fitness classes, eat the Tupperware breakfast I packed once I arrive to the office around 8:30, design, photograph, email and problem-solve the day away until about 6pm when I head home! Of course that’s a very condensed version, but overall, I come home VERY tired every night.
7. How has your faith and outlook on life shifted or been affected through your transition to Dallas? Do you feel you reached new levels of ownership in your personal life as you entered into young adult world? If so, how?
My faith has never been stronger. There is just something about being on your own – relying on God and God alone for strength and comfort. Over the past two years (exactly! My two year anniversary was last week) I have grown more than I have in all the years before combined. I feel so confident and strong in who I am, all thanks to God for the story He’s written for me.
8. What are some daily, weekly, or even monthly rhythms you put in place to help facilitate your personal, physical, and professional growth?
I don’t think I’m ever on a strict rhythm, each and every week looks SO different but they all have one thing in common – they’re full. I work 8:30 – 5:30 and instruct in the mornings so that leaves lunch breaks and evenings to make plans. I’m usually booked two weeks out but I love that. I plan meetings with girlfriends, entrepreneurs, companies, new friends, etc. It’s so fun getting to connect in the middle of the day too – fuels my afternoon.
9. What does living wholeheartedly mean to you? And how have your views on this sort of lifestyle evolved over time?
Living wholeheartedly to me means being authentic to yourself in every part of your life. Being true to who you are, how you’re feeling, being transparent but also having grace on the days when you have no energy left. I think it will always evolve for me, as I continue to take on whatever comes my way but I want to stay true to my roots. People have always meant the most to me – others are the reason I do everything I do. Without the ability to inspire and encourage, I wouldn’t have fuel.
10. Is there anyone or anything that's been inspiring you to live wholeheartedly recently? Maybe a favorite author or podcast?
I’m inspired by my boss, Natalie Wolfe, who is the CEO of StudioHop and has grown our company from the bottom up over the past two years. I also cling to Jake Thompson of Compete Everyday, a close friend of mine and mentor, truly a rock star in all areas of life and pushes me to the be the absolute best person, teammate, designer, athlete and believer I can be.
Paige Forrest Martindell is a 24 year old Kansan currently living in Dallas, TX. She's a fitness instructor by morning, Creative Lead for StudioHop fitness/tech start-up by day, and freelance designer / amateur chef by night. She's always on the move, but she wouldn't have it any other way. A good sweat fills her soul, but she wouldn't be who she is today without Jesus, her loving parents, supportive siblings and the rest of her dynamic community. She recently began blogging, but loves keeping her focus on her digitally journal - good ol' Instagram. She uses these outlets as a form of encouragement and strives to shine light on everyone around her, even if it's for a 45 minute sweat sesh. | Follow along on her journey at paigeforrest.com.