The first time you visit fashion and lifestyle brand GrayeNote.com, you can’t help but feel the energy and enthusiasm of its Founder and Editor-in-Chief Andrea Graye. This New York-based fashion stylist has a flair for making all things in a woman’s life, from wardrobe to the kitchen, that much lovelier – and in a fun way!
Andrea also has multiple sclerosis, which, according to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, “is a chronic, unpredictable disease of the central nervous system (CNS), which is made up of the brain, spinal cord and optic nerves.” While this has challenged her physically, she has not let it affect her indomitable spirit. Even after her most recent health episode, which forced her to take a brief hiatus, Andrea picked up right where she left off. Motivated “by the idea of helping, loving and supporting women” through her God-given talents, she not only continued to write and shoot videos for the site – she launched the Graye Note podcast, available on GrayeNote.com or iTunes, soon after. It’s why we chose Andrea for this week’s feature and say to our latest Modern Muse, “UGauGrrl!”
What inspired you to do the work that you do/motivates you today?
“Women and the idea of sisterhood inspired me to start Graye Note. I love the idea of sharing life, sharing tips, sharing encouragement, and always finding a path to do it in an entertaining way. I’m motivated by the idea of helping, loving, and supporting women.”
How did you get to where you are and what challenges did/do you face?
“I got to where I am today by having more belief in myself than fear of anything. When I started Graye Note and when I began working as a fashion stylist, it was because I realized I was put on this earth for a reason. I believed that I was created to write, and entertain, and style, and (someday) design. In believing that, I believed in myself, and then there was no more room for fear.
“The greatest challenge by far that I face is working with such limited health. My personality is loud and passionate, and I can’t control that. If I turn on the camera to record a video for grayenote.com, everything I have comes pouring out of me. When I struggle with extreme fatigue, migraines, cognitive confusion, and word-finding issues from MS [multiple sclerosis], I don’t feel like myself. It makes being me hard, and that’s very sad. ”
Who is your she-ro?
“My she-ro is Rachel Zoe. She has built a tremendously successful fashion brand while creating jobs and staying true to who she is. I literally cried while watching ‘The Rachel Zoe Project’ because it was the first time in my life I saw someone whose heart saw the fabric and the cut and the structure of a gown the way I did.
“Fashion is so much more than labels and price tags and trends. It’s true, exquisite art. To create beauty, to see beauty, and to style beauty is the most fulfilling and inspiring part of my life. I love Rachel Zoe because she encourages women to dream big and expect great things.”
What does the term”UGauGrrl” (“you go girl”) mean to you?
“To me, ‘UGauGrrl’ means finding what you were uniquely created to do, believing in yourself that you completely have the ability to do it, and marching out into the world and nailing it.”
“All I know is, for whatever I am right now, I want more.” – Rachel Zoe
Learn more about Andrea:
Do you know a #ModernMuse who has an amazing story to tell? Send us her story to firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to know her: 1) Name, 2) Age if under 25, 3) Ethnicity, 4) Location, 5) Relationship to you, 6) Why you think she is a #ModernMuse (what is she doing or has she done to make Inspire, Empower, Impact the world or the community around her?). We’ll let you both know when we’d like to publish her story, send her a few more questions and will share it on our social media channels. Looking forward to your submissions!