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Left to right: model Michaela Nu, fashion designer Abigail Drake, Paige Krejci ans Paige's mother Debbie Krejci
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Paige Krejci isn’t a typical 18-year-old girl, and she’s okay with that.
She’s a model who has traveled around the world. But the experience of growing up in Akron isn’t something that’s lost on her.
“I know Ohio has shaped me,” Paige says.
Paige became interested in modeling at age 14.
“We were completely against it and just ignored her requests for several years,” says Paige’s mother, Debbie Krejci, owner and designer of Rituals Jewelry. “After she kept at us, I looked into it. She was tall and thin enough, so we met with a few agencies to see what they thought.”
With a few years of experience on her résumé and a portfolio full of photos from various fashion shoots as well as Fashion Week in New York City, Paige has worked in Hong Kong and Thailand, where she says most people haven’t even heard of Akron, Ohio.
“Being from Akron has definitely made me a down-to-earth person,” Paige says. “I grew up a free person.”
Before becoming a model, Paige attended King Elementary School, Miller South School for the Visual and Performing Arts and the International Baccalaureate program at Firestone High School. Her mother credits Miller South’s drama program with giving Paige the confidence to pursue modeling.
When it came time for Paige to model abroad, she switched to an online school, and although it was difficult, she graduated from high school a year-and-a-half early.
“I definitely think I’ve missed out on being a ‘typical girl’ and have missed out on a lot of normal high school events, but I honestly love what I do,” Paige says. “And looking back at it, I would have regretted choosing to be a ‘typical girl’ rather than pursuing something I love.”
Paige is currently with Docherty Talent and Modeling Agency in Cleveland and with APM Models in New York City. So how does her mother feel about handing her daughter over to be managed by an agency?
“Her agent is fabulous and wants what’s best for Paige too,” Debbie says. “That’s not always the case, so we’re lucky to have her with a good agency.”
Debbie says Paige sometimes goes on 12 castings a day when she’s in NYC, but she’s prepared to deal with anything that comes her way. She speaks to adults, shakes hands and, Debbie says, probably does more mini-interviews than the average person ever will.
When Paige is away from home, Debbie talks to her about as much as she does when Paige is in Akron, but as any parent would, she and Paige’s dad, Thad Krejci — a lieutenant in the Stow Fire Department — do worry about their daughter. [Their older daughter, 25-year-old Rachael, is the chief financial officer of a local company.]
“I miss my family the most when I am off traveling,” Paige says, “But we’re always talking one way or another.”
Paige says it’s also been difficult staying in touch with friends, but she knows the ones she does talk to will remain close for a very long time.
Debbie says Thad is Paige’s biggest fan.
“She’s very poised and confident and comfortable in her own skin; those are good qualities in a young person,” Debbie says. “We are very proud of her, not because she’s a model, but because she’s a good strong person who follows her dreams.”
So what advice does Paige have for aspiring models?
“Never let anything get to you,” Paige says. “You’ll hear a thousand ‘no’s’ before you hear a single ‘yes.’”
Writer Audrey Fletcher is a junior at KSU working on her bachelor’s in magazine journalism.