By: Krysta Kearney
Apparel stylist, Brandon Dewyea is all this and more. She is the proud owner of Moxie, a consultant company designed to provide services to help men, women and teens find their own sense of style and gain confidence. She doesn’t just talk the talk or even walk the walk, she helps people find their inner Moxie, unleashing their true selves. Her ideals in life match those of her business where she finds strength in helping people gain confidence by breaking down and recognizing what matters most, their true selves. She helps people simplify their lives by filtering out the unused for the purpose to sort what’s necessary, making people feel good, getting them what they desire, and focusing on what’s important to them. This is both in a cognitive sense and on a physical level. She provides services such as closet edits, personal shopping experiences and personal brand development. All are meant to help her clients bring out the best version of themselves and have a successful everyday lifestyle. This not only gives them confidence in how they look but also how they approach life.
Dewyea had noticed that there was a lack of services offered in the fashion industry helping people discover their own personal style no matter what the budget may be. There was a gigantic gap between designer fashion, (what is affordable for the rich and famous) versus fashion to fit the needs of everyday people. As she researched, disparities became increasingly visible and the relevancy of them even more meaningful. The year was 2012 and Dewyea was in pursuit of finding a new career that best fit the recent changes in her life. She had already made the big life decision of leaving her home of a decade in Burlington, VT to foster her relationship with her partner in Saratoga Springs, NY. It was unfamiliar territory for her, as he had a young son and she was stepping into a motherly role. It was important for her to be conscious of the fact that she became a parental figure. While getting acclimated to her new environment she focused on networking and attending a variety of different events. Through this, she spent quite a bit of time getting ready, looking presentable and finding what fit and what didn’t. She decided to start pushing the bar and dressing in what may have been a bit outspoken or against the contrary of what would be expected. One day she recalls deciding to wear a sparkly skirt even though it was a bit daring given the occasion.
This sparked her into looking at what’s available for the everyday person including resources and support. She wanted to find a way that she could help bridge the gap between fashion and accessibility. The capital region had a lot of stylists that mostly worked specifically with name brands or were geared towards women. There was a lack of availability to all demographics, ages, and financial statuses. The more she researched, the vision for Moxie started to flourish and she was able to see how she could bring inclusivity in fashion to her community. This is when Moxie was born.
Much of her influence both in career and life is retrieved from her childhood, where she grew up in a quintessential New England lifestyle in the small rural town of Underhill, Vermont. Her mother (being the independent woman she is), strived hard to create the most exemplary atmosphere she could for both Dewyea and her brother, encouraging self-expression and discovering their own personal freedom. Her days were spent outside, frolicking in the gardens and observing her mother as she prepared all their meals from scratch while maintaining her eclectic yet pristine household. She attributes both her creative and sustainability-focused consciousness budding from here. It was an idyllic life. Much of their food sourcing was from their garden and local farms, their clothing and household goods were often second hand and in general, they had to be aware of where they sourced everything. From a young age she learned how to be resourceful and took note of the ways her mother was able to take all these pieces and create a copasetic and inviting home. Everything was meaningful and held its purpose while still looking proper and fit. The textiles and fabric on the interior spaces as well as the layers of flowers and colors outside appeared seamless even though all was pieced together on a very strict budget.
With her parents having separated when she was just three, then divorced at the age of five, she grew up in two different homes. The home environment that her father created was similar in that it was a healthy and happy space yet it was different in that her father was remarried and they had the financial resources to provide new and name-brand apparel as well as home furnishings. Growing up in these two disparate spaces reflects in everything that Dewyea does, including her own business. She understands a broad spectrum of styles, taking influences from high fashion as well as creating looks while on a budget. Almost seamlessly she adapts to life’s spontaneity of social and environmental changes.
Although Dewyea had a fortunate childhood, it did present it’s challenges. The divorce was hard on her as she always needed to be adverse to change and oftentimes felt stuck in the middle, centering around her parents' differences. Her mother enrolled her in ballet and it played a large role in her life.
In high school she struggled in terms of happiness. She was upset, her dreams of being a ballerina became less and less visible, it was a hard time in her life. The one thing she loved had been taken away from her. At this same time, she had entered a new relationship, her first love. He was five years older than her and shortly after they got together, he moved to Arizona. They kept their relationship going and just prior to turning 17 she took off and made the big move west to Arizona and pursued love and lust. At 16, this was quite the move! It was necessary for her own personal growth and freedom. It also helped foster her relationship(s) with her parents in the long term. Looking back, she is so thankful her parents let her go and can’t imagine how hard it must have been for them. Having left so young, she feels like she missed out on some important years with family which is the main reason she eventually moved back east. The time was healing for her. It’s where she found her identity and started to grow into the woman that she is today.
About a year and a half into living in Arizona, she and her boyfriend parted ways. She went to college for business and as a hobby got heavily into kickboxing, which then led to martial arts. Casually one day, one of her girlfriends who was serious about losing weight approached her and asked Dewyea if she could help. Through helping her friend achieve her physical goals, she realized how much she liked helping people and started her career to become a personal trainer. Once she got all her certifications, she became a trainer and taught kickboxing as well as a variety of other group fitness activities. She did this for a few years before moving back to her home state of Vermont. She longed to be closer to family again and to start her life anew, back on the east coast.
Once back in Vermont she quickly discovered she had to adjust to the fitness community in Burlington as it was completely different from what she knew. In order to maintain a full-time work schedule, she bounced from gym to gym around the city. About four years into living in Burlington she launched her own personal training business. The switch was a no-brainer for her and without a doubt a strong career move. It was time to do things on her own terms. She was embedded in the community and had a lot of support from other local entrepreneurs and figured what’s the worst that could happen, she could always fall back on what she had already been doing. She was no stranger to taking risks, once she started working for herself she has never looked back.
Dewyea ran her own personal training program successfully for years and was fulfilled living in Burlington but the relationship with her boyfriend (who lived in Saratoga Springs) had reached a point where they wanted to take the next step and move in together. She had already been a trainer for fourteen years and as much as she loved it, she knew deep down it was time for a career shift. The industry was changing in a way that she didn't quite agree with and she knew it wasn’t in her heart anymore, she didn't have the energy to start the business all over again when moving to Saratoga. She saw the move as an opportunity to rebrand. She and her boyfriend evaluated how they wanted to spend their time and how they wanted to raise his son. She questioned where she fit in the picture and what her new career would be. This is when she started networking and attending various events, which eventually led to Moxie in 2014.
In her personal life she felt like she was always under pressure. She put so much emphasis and care on her new role as a partner and parental figure that she was starting to lose sight of who she was and what she wanted in life. She had great intentions, wanting to create a wonderful environment for the child and her boyfriend but she started to be less concerned about herself and realized that wasn’t ok. She understood quickly what it might be like to go down a path that could lead to depression. She got a glimpse of it and it didn’t feel good.
Thankfully she was able to catch herself and lift up before things ever took a turn. She realized her relationship with her partner wasn’t working, that she wasn’t fulfilled and it wasn’t right for her own needs, nor was she for him. She started to focus on herself and how she fell into her own bigger picture and stopped focusing on someone else’s. What were her goals in life and how could she move forward with the intention to fulfill them? Once she started recognizing her own values again and putting them first, everything started to come together. As she researched more about fashion, lifestyle choices and fulfillment in life, she discovered what she needed.
Moxie is all about lowering people’s stress levels. Dewyea says in a lot of ways being an apparel stylist and a personal trainer are similar. Much of the engagement is the same with clients and many of the same battles are fought, just in different formats. She helps by implementing new strategies in her clients lives, finds what their skills are, figures out what styles they like; all while paying attention to their financial needs! Yes, there are certain packages and prices she offers but she notes that pretty much every client is custom so her services are a la carte. Each and every client relationship is treated differently as everyone has their own unique style and life! After their sessions, it is important she knows the integrity of their closet is in a better place for the next season. She aims to eliminate patterns that clients have had in the past of having a bunch of clothing that never gets worn and promotes a negative environment.
Typically, Dewyea performs a closet clarity session where she analyzes their closet and identifies clothing that goes unnoticed, what should be eliminated, and teaches how to pair certain items with others. They tailor pieces that don’t fit and rid of clothing that doesn’t get worn. She also shops for many of her clients and brings her finds back to her space, creating a desirable environment for them to try the clothing on and see what works and what doesn’t.
In June of 2020, Dewyea took on a new and larger space. This was a big leap for her, it was during the pandemic so she had to put a lot of trust in herself and in the world, hoping that the economy would bounce back. Now, in July of 2021, she is already seeing the benefits of the space. A lot more possibilities have opened up for her. Soon she plans to host workshops again and start creating video tutorials.
Not only is she giving clients support but she is also helping them make decisions about clothing that fits well, looks good, and coordinates. She wants her customers to feel both confident and comfortable. How do people want to show up in their lives and implement that into their everyday? Dewyea helps people make mindful purchases, there is nothing more rewarding than when she saves people more money than if they had been shopping themselves. In talking with Dewyea about this, she recalls some instances that stand out. Such as helping a woman who had just graduated from college, stepping into her career, and being confused as to what to wear as a professional. It’s challenging, especially on a low budget.
She also spoke of a male client, a man that feels like the odd one out and uncomfortable with his shape. He is fresh out of the military and never really had to think of the clothes he dressed in. Then, there is the women who have gotten lost along the way. Fashion and dressing ourselves is not something that we are taught. As life takes you it gets more and more confusing. As our lives change, our bodies change. Dewyea loves witnessing the transition of people recognizing they are beautiful and handsome and how simple tweaks in their wardrobe can make them feel so much more confident.
Sometimes the sessions can be very emotional. Trauma from the past, unwanted memories and even happy thoughts can conjure up feelings. She explains this is a good thing, it also helps her understand more about who they are, where they are in their lives and helps her make a difference beyond just their sessions. It can help translate their findings into an everyday lifestyle. She likes to encourage people to explore but to also feel safe while making these transitions. People break down and feel discouraged, they may be fed up with their closets, or have an event to go to where they feel the need to impress or just don’t have the capacity to think. Usually by the time someone reaches out to her they are open to her advice because they are ready to do something about it.
During the closet sessions they get so much done. She says that people also enjoy just having the pressure off themselves. It's a lot easier to have someone else go through your closet and help you reason with certain garments and styles. It doesn’t have to be all on them.
There is a lot on the horizon for Dewyea. Currently, she is in a state of reorganizing and structuring her business to better fit her future needs. Recently she created quite a few clothing designs that she plans to continue to work on in hopes to potentially launch. She noticed there are a lot of items on the market that don’t work well for her clients such as underwear, camis and a variety of wraps. In addition she wants to create more online experiences and tutorials on how to help people to present themselves better and with more confidence. She also is seeking more public speaking jobs. Dewyea is always in the pursuit of simplifying people's lives and making them feel better about who they are. What she does helps people feel way more confident about approaching the world and whatever obstacles life throws at them. By shifting integrity in attitude and someone's approach in the presentation of themselves, she assists in changing people's lives forever. Many of her fearless moves in life reflect in her acts of kindness and words of encouragement towards others. Dewyea learned a long time ago what it takes to Find Your Moxie and with spending her career helping others do the same, she uplifts and inspires. Please check out Moxie’s website to see the array of services that Dewyea offers and to learn a bit more about who this Fearless Female is!
Here are the links to the Moxie website and her social media pages!
Q + A
Q: What are some of the biggest words of advice that you give people in terms of self-image?
Q: Do you have any insight for women?
Q: What keeps you motivated?
Q: What does the word Moxie (Moxxi) mean to you?
Q: Do you have any mentors or role models?
Q: Do you have any favorite quotes?
Q: Any advice on taking a leap?
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