Fashion and beauty expert, Style Commentator, Humanitarian, Founder GLAM4GOOD
Whether she is styling Michelle Obama, being featured on The Today, Oprah, or Bloomberg TV, Mary Alice Stephenson is a testament to the fact that fashion and beauty transcend all industries. Moreover, that fashion and beauty can be a force for good. In addition to being the founder of GLAM4GOOD, an organization that harnesses the healing power, joy, and attention that fashion and beauty can bring to honor courage, ignite self-esteem, raise awareness and inspire social conscience, Mary Alice has been a Make A Wish ambassador for 15 years. With a heart as a big as hers, we should all take a page from Mary Alice Stephenson's book.
Q: Where is home?
A: After living in Brooklyn for the last 20 years I just recently moved to a little town on the Hudson which added fresh air, big trees and a lot more zen to my hectic life! But, I spend most of my time these days at my non-profit GLAM4GOOD which is headquartered in Downtown Brooklyn at City Point.
Q: Mantra you live by?
A: Improving the lives of others is the ultimate form of style.
Q: How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
A: Dedicated. Dependable. Doer.
Q: Favorite song of all time?
A: It’s a three way tie and it’s old school and cheesy but these songs always make me teary eyed. Amazing Grace + Here Comes The Sun + Somewhere Over The Rainbow
Q: Complete the sentence: I got my big break when...
A: No one ever gave me a “big break”. I have worked non-stop for fruition in my life. There have been many people who have supported my dreams along the way but I gave myself the biggest break when I decided to believe in the only person who truly had the power to make my life spectacular…me. Once I got her on my side the rest was easy.
Q: A woman you admire?
A: There are so many women I admire but I would have to say my Mom would be number one. Without her incredible dedication and commitment to helping my son and me, my career, GLAM4GOOD would not exist. Love empowers miracles.
Q: ‘Other’ is about loving what makes you different. It’s about being yourself. What’s ‘other’ about you?
A: I believe that anything is possible with commitment, perseverance and heart.
Q: Complete the sentence. When I wake up in the morning I say...
A: THANK YOU to the goddess above because I am alive and able to live and love freely. When you work with women and girls who have go through so many horrific challenges, experienced so much pain or passed, you realize quickly what a gift it is to be able to wake up to a new day.
Q: Best advice you’ve ever been given?
A: “Learn to turn shit into gold.”
Q: Your advice to an emerging maker?
A: LIVE YOUR MISSION: Eat, breathe and do the work every day. Over and over. If you don’t truly feel it is your purpose…don’t do it. Success takes total commitment. Go big or go home.
SHOUT IT FROM THE ROOFTOPS: People can’t help you if they don’t know what you need. Let people know in every way, every day, how important your work is and how and why they can and should support you! Remember, if you don’t care nobody else will. People can’t get behind something if they don’t understand and see it. Show them.
MAKE IT MATTER: Emotion, honesty, spirit, purpose. When it’s real, people feel it and want to support it. A community will rise around your work when there is an emotional connection. So tell your story, your brand’s story, or the stories of the people you are helping in an authentic powerful way. Don’t fabricate, don’t amplify, don’t pretty it up. Be real, be raw and knock em alive. The truth is your best marketing tool.
Q: The time I nearly gave up…explain?
A: Sometimes following your heart and your truth takes a lot of courage. I have come up against many obstacles and there were times when I thought I would not be able to continue GLAM4GOOD. There was a day I remember thinking there is no way I could continue doing our empowerment initiatives. This was before I was a 501(c)(3) and was able to accept donations and grants. I had sold my jewelry, my clothing, and my art to continue to #GLAM4GOOD. I remember sitting at my desk trying to get people to donate clothing and accessories for 200 girls in need and thinking why does this have to be so hard. Why don’t I just go back to being a fashion director or editor-in-chief and do something that has more stability and financial rewards. Then the doorbell rang, it was a massive shipment of jewelry from Dana Lorenz of Fenton Fallon. When I opened the boxes there were 100’s of beautiful pieces that I knew would make the girls we were empowering for their prom feel so special and happy. There was so much joy in those boxes. I just stood there and cried like a baby. Somehow I knew at that moment that even when I had doubts, and felt frustrated that I did not have the tools I needed for the amount of people reaching out for help, that the universe would deliver something like this package of treasure and give me the faith to keep on track. There have been many moments like this where the universe says…. “Girl you have to keep going with this!”
Q: Complete this sentence: The future is female because...
A: Without us there is no future.