“Style is like an introduction, and it reels people in. If you look good, people will be interested in learning more about you,” says Brand Maven, Aaja Corinne Magee.
Chicago’s Brand & Image Maven, Aaja Corinne Magee is quite the ‘Jane of All Trades,’ from being featured in local and national mediums such as Jet Magazine, Today’s Chicago Woman Magazine and WVON 1690AM. And when she’s not building her style portfolio, Aaja Corinne pushes her platform to motivate entrepreneurs through her empowerment campaign, ‘The Maximize Movement.”
Aaja Corinne chats it up with RowASeat1 about the importance of branding, self-image and her latest writing project… Take a seat and check out the exclusive interview below.
RowASeat1: When did you fall in love with fashion?
Aaja Corinne Magee: So many people have told me that I’ve always been into fashion, but I don’t believe that it became a true interest until college. I was heavily involved in the performing arts for most of my life, so when it came to selecting an area of study for college, I knew that I wanted to do something artistic. Fashion was an area that I had yet to explore, so I just went for it. I didn’t know that it would become something I loved.
RowASeat1: As a brand maven, when consulting with a client how important are these three elements: Package, Position and Empower? Why?
Aaja Corinne Magee: I believe that they are all extremely important. Those are my three pillars to personal branding. Packaging has to do with the look, the image. People that have signature style just have more overall brand appeal. Style is like an introduction, and it reels people in. If you look good, people will be interested in learning more about you.
Positioning is all about the field that you want to play on. It’s important for clients to be clear about the audience that would best resonate with their brand message, so that we can develop a strategy to get them in front of those individuals. When you are clear on your position, it makes it easier to establish your own lane as well as build your authority and influence.
Empowerment, for me, brings it all together. I call my audience “game changers” because I believe that everyone I serve has something unique to offer the world. So often though, we doubt our gifts and abilities, which minimizes the impact that we can have in the marketplace.
We have to be equipped from a head and heart place in order to fully maximize our potential. I give a weekly inspirational message on Periscope, Mondays at 8a CST, entitled “#MaximizeMondays” to provide thought-provoking inspiration to help my game changers jumpstart the week on the right note.
Aaja Corinne Magee: Image is everything. It’s so much more than wardrobe; it is every touch point that allows someone to shape perception about you. When you look the part, people will perceive you to be more capable. When your image is questionable or irrelevant to your target audience, people will doubt that you can play the part.
Take Tiffany’s as an example. The quality of the jewelry is amazing, and the presentation is just as stellar. If you received a Tiffany’s ring wrapped in newspaper, it wouldn’t be as dynamic. Your presentation should always be as good as your substance. It’s what makes you a total package.
RowASeat1: When styling my clients I feel…
Aaja Corinne Magee: Excited. Creative. Valuable! No matter how many times I style someone, it’s still humbling to know that my clients trust my vision enough to let me create from a blank canvas.
I truly enjoy the transform process. Seeing my clients’ confidence skyrocket and hearing them say that they feel like a new person is the most rewarding aspect of the job.
RowASeat1: Name your favorite designers.
Aaja Corinne Magee: Ralph Lauren. Calvin Klein. I love their modern classic approach. But I’m very eclectic and honestly, not big on labels. I’ll shop anywhere and at varying price points. I’m always on the hunt for hidden gems.
RowASeat1: What’s the best advice do you have for upcoming business owners about branding?
Aaja Corinne Magee: Stop taking cues from people on your level and brand from a place of purpose. Sometimes, it’s very tempting to fall in line with what others are doing that seems to be successful at the time, but there is no longevity in that. When you own your “it” factor, you’re sure to find sustainable success in the long run.
RowASeat1: How are you inspired?
Aaja Corinne Magee: I’m inspired by the pursuit of purpose. When I first began my career in fashion, it didn’t have real significance for me, but as it evolved and I began to understand how the right brand image could really help someone reach the next-level, it became real to me. I’m continuously inspired by each client that I’m afforded the opportunity to serve, and knowing that my work matters.
RowASeat1: What’s next for Aaja Corinne The Brand?
Aaja Corinne Magee: I’m working on a book. I shared a little bit earlier about how I encourage others to brand from a place of purpose. I believe that purpose is the “it” factor that will differentiate one brand from the next. The uniqueness of your purpose puts you in a place of being untouchable and ensures that you are meeting a need in the marketplace.
My book discusses my personal journey along with some concepts to help you consider the possibilities of your own purpose.
RowASeat1: Name five things you can’t live without.
Aaja Corinne Magee: I’m not too attached to things, but Jesus and my husband are essentials!
To keep up with Aaja Corinne Magee’s journey, be sure to follow, support and share her on all of the social media handles listed below: