"Sparkle like you mean it."
If you’ve ever been in need of some advice, inspiration for your hustle or craved some affirmation from The Universe that you have “made it”, allow me to tell you that you’re not alone. I’m officially two months into my thirties and I can comfortably admit that I, along with many friends, family members and colleagues, am on a mission to love my life completely. One of the ways I am doing this is by examining people I admire, learning their stories and celebrating their triumphs as humans, even when they face challenges. For that reason, I am extremely excited to share some thoughts from one of my all-time favorite creatives who has paved her own glimmering path to success, Hayley Paige.
You might know Hayley as the head designer of Hayley Paige, Blush by Hayley Paige or Hayley Paige Occasions. Her designs have been featured on red carpets, runways, and television, including TLC’s “Say Yes to the Dress”. Her connection to Boston is reflected in her college internship at ELLE with Boston-educated Editor-In-Chief and Project Runway judge, Nina García, her design work for the very first Marchesa Eterna bridal collection for Priscilla of Boston and, most recently, her 2019 brand ambassador and design role with Boston-based jewelry brand, Hearts On Fire. Her collection with Hearts On Fire is an extension of her sparkly persona, one that transcends her social media profile known for offering intimate glimpses into her projects, adorable dog Winnie and love for her recent fiancée, Conrad Louis. (P.S. Congratulations, Hayley!)
I recently got to play in a few of her bridal designs so I could experience and show you, firsthand, the elements that were incorporated into the jewelry collection, inspired by her Behati, Harley and Sloane styles and now available for purchase. Keep reading for peeks at my looks, images of the jewelry and morsels of sage advice from this lover of love and believer of pink…
You became the head designer for JLM at 25 years old, is there anything you would tell your 25 year-old self about love, or life, that you’ve since embraced?
The main mantra I keep in my head is “hustle and heart will set you apart”. I think it’s important to work hard and be brave! In mastering your craft, try not to just form habits, but actually create intent and feed your purpose.
I really admire your hustle and the way you draw your own, sparkly crayon line towards success. Do you wake up every morning covered in glitter or do you find yourself making your own magic and if so, what’s the “recipe”?
I always have and continue to keep my plate very full with work and side projects. If you really look at how much time you have in your day, there’s a lot of hours that you can put into something when you get home at night. You just have to plan it out and say, “This is what I’m going to do.”
You have dressed celebrities, influencers and other incredible women in your sartorial creations and now, through your magical jewelry designs. Was there any particular moment thus far in your career when you thought, “I made it!” and can you describe it?
Two years ago I traveled to the UK and Ireland for a few specialty trunk shows. I had this special, almost outer body, moment where I couldn’t believe my gowns were being tried on and enjoyed by international women. That evening my sales director and I were staying at a hotel where a wedding was taking place, and we decided to crash the wedding! It ended up being such an intimate, yet worldly moment for me and the bride was just unforgettable.
I imagine there’s a lot of pressure to be innovative in designing. How do you keep things fresh and exciting without burning out?
For me, inspiration is always multifaceted, typically comes with a unique soundtrack, and manifests in the “infinity and beyond”. After all, there is always another gorgeous to design for and another beautiful gown to design! I love tapping into different decades, personalities and energies as opposed to feeling confined to an artistic theme. Design is about storytelling and being playful in my environments. Whenever I get into designer ruts, my go-to fix is getting out of my element and out of my head. This could include traveling to different places, learning a new skill or just a workout!
Being a fixture in the bridal and wedding industry for so many years, you must hear so many morsels of advice about the wedding planning process. Do you have a favorite?
Yes, and it revolves around wedding dress shopping, of course! I encourage my brides to try on at least one gown that she didn’t expect to go for (one that’s not already on her Pinterest boards or saved to her Instagram). You would be shocked at how many times a bride walks into an appointment thinking she's Jessica Rabbit and leaves as Cinderella.
While the designs you create are worn out of love and celebration of two people, they also capture the unique style and love for the individual. What important qualities of self-love inspire you the most?
One major quality of self-love I try to keep in mind is not putting myself into a specific category. We are much more than our job title, relationship status, salary, etc. It’s so important to be your own biggest fan and really fight for yourself in every aspect of your life.
If you were to choose, which piece in your jewelry collection personifies your unique approach to life or love?
I love mixing metals, so I love the variety we offer in stackable bands. My favorite is the Say It Your Way Behati Oval Engagement Ring, which is quite ironic because Conrad pulled inspiration from this specific design to custom make my engagement ring! What I like most about this ring is the vintage-looking halo of diamonds, which vary in size and give it a unique twist.
This line, a first for you in jewelry (but I hope not your last!), is uniquely named for styles in your bridal arsenal. While the names are stunning and unique, is there a consistent message or theme you try to convey through your designs?
A message I like to consistently convey is the importance of personal empowerment and emotional value. It is so meaningful to seek a bone-deep comprehension of the bride I design for and I find her to be as unique as she is chic, and I design with her substantial individuality, enthusiasm and candid happiness in mind.
I love that you believe in the power of dress-up! What is the first feeling you hope a future bride notices when trying on these pieces?
I want her to feel like the absolute best version of herself and channel a feeling I call ‘supercaliswagalisticsexyhelladopeness’
You now have couture, bridal and jewelry under your belt. What’s another creative space you’d love to launch in?
In the years to come, I’d love to make our designs more accessible to a larger audience. Whether that is a capsule collection of ready to wear pieces or making our emoji app, Holy Matrimoji, available on Android, there is certainly more to come!