Tonya Mezrich, CEO of Mike&Ton, Principal Fashion Expert and Style Correspondent for StyleBoston, & Principal Brand Ambassador and Executive Advisor for Dunwello.com.
What is keeping you busy these days?
Recently I am extremely busy launching the Maven Campaign for Dunwello.com. I was brought into Dunwello on the heels of the tech startup getting funding from Twitter execs as announced in Bostinno.com.
A little background about Dunwello: Dunwello is a young, hip tech startup with powerhouse “it boys” Matt squared (Lauzon and Brand) at the helm. I was beyond thrilled to come on board with Dunwello, and revved up to spearhead the Maven Campaign. After having partnered up for several Mike&Ton fashion shows with Gemvara (the online jewelry company started by Lauzon in his dormroom at Babson), I knew Matt Lauzon was someone to keep my eye on. The idea of individuals being able to brand and market themselves online is a natural progression from Yelp and Angie’s list, and Dunwello has the slick, easy way for pros to accomplish this, with none of the hassle or negative energy. When you go to some of the current reviewer sites, you are looking at businesses, not individuals, but the real information you are digging for is the name of the actual pros. Matt and Matt came up with the idea to quantify this on a user friendly platform where SEO for Dunwello profiles is easily bumped up. When Lauzon asked me to join the team, it was a no brainer–I was honored to be a part of this ground breaking company. I’m very thrilled about my role as Principal Brand Ambassador, because I get to hang out with my friends and tell them about the cool things we are doing at Dunwello. I am in charge of making sure we have highly respected Bostonians contributing reviews of the best professionals in Boston—aka The Maven Campaign. When asked to explain what a Maven is, you could best describe it as the same as the “verified check mark” prominent individuals get with Twitter. Becoming Maven #1 was supremely cool for me. I am looking forward to adding a top roster of Mavens to join me in helping promote and give a shout out to their “team” of pros who make life easier and better for them. I personally always want to tell people about how great my hairdresser, Violet Furxhi is. Or how Tavi Delarosa or Nelse Kairini create beautiful makeup on me or my models for mike&ton. So naturally it is a great feeling to be able to help local individuals brand and market themselves. Most individuals don’t have the time or budget to hire or do their own PR. This functions as a way of getting the word out about what you do best.
What are you loving in fitness and fashion right now?
I’m loving Flywheel. It is quick and a great workout. In 45 minutes I can burn 400 calories. I know it’s only one cookie, but the amount of sweating you are doing, you really feel great when you leave the studio.
For fashion, I am digging digging in my own closet! I have found that re-purposing different outfits in different ways has been very satisfying, and my wallet also appreciates it! For example, I have been “all seasoning” some of my dresses. Adding leather leggings under a spring or fall dress, instantly turns it into a winter safe outfit. It also makes them a bit more edgy, and I finish the look by pulling the leggings over my pumps. I also love little socks with pumps. It’s another way of carrying shoes that wouldn’t necessarily be worn in the winter into winter. I found these cute foot panties at Daniela Corte Boutique, and have gotten many compliments on them. I also like little fishnet ankle socks from American Apparel. I can wear them with pumps and it gives the pumps a “bootie” look.
How do we keep in touch and learn more about you?
We asked Tonya to share how she got started in the world of fashion:
I have always had a love for fashion. Even at a young age, to my mother’s chagrin, I remember insisting on wearing a certain pink dress every single day. I think my daughter has a little of that in her. At 2.5 she’s already insisting on choosing an outfit on her own every morning, even if that means wearing Toms shoes in the dead of winter.
My fashion profile grew shortly after Ben and I were married. I got named one of Boston Globe’s Top 25 Most Stylish People by Carol Beggy. I think I was actually #4 right after Tom Brady. It was from this moment on, that my love for fashion really began to blossom and turn into something entirely cool, on it’s own path. I could no longer leave the house looking like a slob, wearing lululemon sweats and not brushing my hair. (which in my husband’s opinion, was not such a bad thing—I think he was growing tired of my “comfy attire.”)
It was about this time that I met my close friend, Michael DePaulo. He was, at the time, designing couture gowns and wanted to get further exposure for them. We were introduced by a mutual friend, and hit it off immediately. I wore his creations to the Sony Columbia Pictures “21” red carpet premiere, and began to regularly wear his fashions to many of the national and local events we attended.
Soon thereafter, we decided to open mike&ton. We started with a full collection which consisted of dresses, skirts, tops, jackets and pants. Into our fourth collection, we decided to pare down to our signature pencil skirt—The Travel Skirt—so named because it is made with a luggage zipper and is perfect for the jetsetting mike&ton woman.
Along my path, I helped launch the TV show StyleBoston, a half hour lifestyle TV show. I served as host of the show and developed and produced my own segment titled Fashion Forward.
Shortly thereafter I was tapped by NECN’s The Morning Show to produce and star in my own TV segment, Tagged By Tonya, a weekly style and fashion segment that educated New England viewers on anything from how to tie a summer scarf to what were the most effective and fashionable winter parkas for the slopes. I now remain the go-to Fashion Expert for NECN.
Recently I have returned to StyleBoston and have taken on the role of Principal Fashion Expert and Style Correspondent. With my fashion expertise and contact with the fashion community it was a natural role for me to fill. I am looking forward to covering events, giving backstage peeks at fashion shows, and teaching my audience about anything and everything in the fashion/style arena as I myself learn more and more about the ever evolving world of fashion.