Paige Dzenis is the associate online editor for FASHION Magazine, where she covers all things beauty, the latest wardrobe choices of Kate Middleton, parties and fundraisers across Toronto and other pop culture moments. Paige also paints her nails on a weekly (if not more frequent!) basis for FASHION’s Nail Corner column which features designer and trend-inspired nail art designs.
Did you always want to be in the media? If not, what other careers were on the horizon?
Yes! I started writing at a young age – shout out to the Town Crier newspaper for giving me my first column (all about pre-teen life) when I was 11 – and did a B.A. in media studies, always thinking that post-grad I would end up in journalism. However, I started a working in advertising as a copywriter and then creative director. I could have easily continued down that path, but after five years I decided it was “now or never” and, well, here I am.
Where would you like to be five years from now?
Hopefully in Toronto, but I’ll have lived in another city/country between now and then. I also have always wanted to have kids at an early age, so… babies!
Any advice for people getting started in your industry?
You won’t want to hear this, but: it’s all about being in the right place at the right time. Practically speaking, start working, no matter what the job is. My first full-time job was being a secretary for Saudi Arabian engineers, but those skills got me in the door for my next job, and so on and so on. Entry level jobs are extremely hard to come by these days, but once you have a few years of work experience under your belt – no matter the company or industry – it’s much easier. And, just like in high school and university, extra curriculars are everything. Be involved in the industry you want to work in, make connections, do social media properly and it will all work out.
What are your favourite media outlets, not including your own?
CBC Radio is my everything. I have my morning routine down to an exact science based on whatever segment Matt Galloway or Anna Maria Tremonti is doing.
Online, I check Buzzfeed, Gawker, The Cut, Toronto Life, Slate and a whole slew of blogs constantly, but generally any breaking news comes through Twitter.
And TV-wise, I’m obsessed with Law and Order SVU and my PVR records such classics as The Voice, How I Met Your Mother, Modern Family, Person of Interest and Nashville. Oh, and I’m rewatching the entire series of Gilmore Girls right now.
Best interview you’ve ever had? Worst?
I always love backstage beauty interviews. I’m into my third season covering Toronto Fashion Week and World Mastercard Fashion Week and it doesn’t matter how crazy it is, the makeup artists and hair stylists are always so enthusiastic and energetic. It’s contagious.
Worst interview… basically any time an “exclusive” turns into a PR saying “Oh, we ran out of time so now five of you have to go in together and can ask one question each.” Come on!
Best advice you’ve ever been given?
“The girls who ask for orchids get orchids.” It’s from my mom, and basically a mantra about making sure your goals and objectives are known not only to yourself, but to anyone who could influence your life. Works for both your career and personal things.
What rule(s) do you live your life by?
I try to always be positive. It’s not necessarily a “rules of attraction” thing, but I don’t believe in dwelling on negative emotions. Keeping a smile on will always transfer into making someone else’s day, whereas sour puss-faced people are the most uninteresting and uninspiring people to interact with. I also never use the word ‘jealous’ because it really just means “I wish I could do that thing too but I refuse to take control of my life and make it happen.”
What’s the most important tip you can give PR pros?
When you’re sending an invite to an event, please include a text version of the details with your invite jpg. I hate transcribing tiny text from an image when making a calendar reminder. Copy-paste is so much easier!
Best experience you’ve had with a PR pro? We love to hear about #wins.
I once tweeted with a friend about a nail polish colour she was wearing and a week later it arrived on my desk. No hashtags or @brandnames were used–just the genius monitoring of a PR pro.
Product samples that arrive in too-large boxes and with unnecessary, over-the-top press materials. Throwing these things directly into my recycling bin hurts my soul.
Horses! Will someone send me a horse, please?
Um, I tend to keep many things going on my nightstand at once. Right now it’s: the latest issue of Descant, the third Game of Thrones book, The Omnivore’s Dilemma and a teen fiction series by the Go Fug Yourself girls.
Best place on earth?
Texas. Houston, Austin and Marfa.
My sister and I cook dinner for our parents every Sunday night and it’s pretty perfect.
My mom. She has progressive MS and yet everything I said earlier about avoiding negativity and staying positive? I get that all from her.
Favourite app (or whatever you are downloading these days)?
WhatsApp. I’m an Android girl, so WhatsApp is the only way to get my emoji fix.
Pool or ocean?
Ocean! Or pool! But lakes are beyond terrifying.
Voicemail or email?
Email. Though as long as you’re not calling to make sure I received an invite or a package, please call.
Fashion week show you’re most looking forward to?
Joe Fresh. It just hits the right notes every single time.