By Emily Bastaroli
Point Park News Service
Tori Mistick recalls coming down the stairs of her Squirrel Hill childhood home showing off her latest outfit put together from clothes from her mother’s closet.
She would also dress up her Barbies in outfits she made from common household items including band aids and wrapping paper.
“People always say I was really into fashion. I would dress up in ridiculous outfits,” Mistick said at the Beehive Coffeehouse in Southside.
Since then Mistick has been an influential presence in the Pittsburgh fashion scene as well as a volunteer in her community, helping to market local businesses. She is currently the director of Pittsburgh Fashion Story and has her own business, Marketing With Style.
Mistick said there is limited opportunity to get involved in fashion here, especially 10 years ago. That did not stop her, though. She started reading local fashion magazines and going to fashion shows.
“Luckily, I had a cool mom who took me to fashion shows,” Mistick said, explaining that her mom would let her borrow shows and clothes to go to the shows.
Mistick would sit at the fashion shows and take notes. During one of these shows, a director thought she wrote for a magazine, so she just went along with it. They let her go backstage and in to the after parties.
“I kind of snuck in [to the Pittsburgh fashion scene],” she said, laughing.
That then led her to volunteering and organizing shows, and eventually working for a magazine, where she met local designers, store owners and makeup artists. After graduating high school, she became the assistant to the coordinator of Pittsburgh Fashion Story, and eventually became the director.
The Pittsburgh Fashion Story is an annual fund-raising event for Partners for Quality, an organization that helps adults and children with developmental disabilities like autism and Down syndrome. Mistick is responsible for organizing the fashion show, contacting local boutiques, designers, models, hair and makeup artists and DJ to get them involved. This year, Mistick was proud to report they raised $25,000.
Not only is Mistick making her mark in Pittsburgh’s fashion scene, but she is also helping local businesses make their presence in social media. When Mistick worked for an ad agency a few years ago, she promoted them through social media. But the agency found no value in it.
“I saw there was a huge value and the clients did want it. So I started my own business doing just social media,” she said. “I proved them wrong.”
Mistick now represents local businesses through ThinkShadyside, an effort to raise awareness for all attractions in Shadyside. Out of the 120 members, 70 are independent retailers, and Mistick does all of the marketing, newsletters and social media for them. She also has her own business, Marketing With Style, which focuses on lifestyle clients, such as stores and non-profit organizations from Molyneaux Flooring to Caesar’s Designs. For these clients, she does social media marketing and some PR.
When Mistick is not working from home, she likes to take her two chocolate labs, Lucy and Lola, hiking in Frick Park, and spend time with her boyfriend.
“I’m pretty low-key, since I have, like, 18 jobs,” Mistick said jokingly, but the said, “I do like having all these different jobs! I’m able to interact with so many different people on a daily basis…Just talking to my clients motivates me. They all believe in their stores and causes so much that the enthusiasm is contagious.”