On this page we highlight interesting women of all ages, sizes, nationalities and abilities who are living life to the fullest and giving back in ways that highlight their best gifts and passions.
Today we meet Annapolitan Paula McLoud, who recently opened a new Sandro Ferrone store in the Westfield Annapolis Mall. Sandro Ferrone is a detail-conscious, affordable, ready-to-wear Italian fashion line with more than 200 stores in Europe, Asia and Canada. Ms. McLoud’s location is the first in the United States.
Entrepreneurs of any sort are a gutsy bunch. From the first moment I met her, I could tell that Ms. McLoud embodies true grit, beauty and wit, with a kind heart to match. I admire any woman with such gusto and appetite for life.
Home State: Washington’s Crossing, New Jersey
Education: American University, College of Public Affairs, Criminal Justice
Class of: 1975
Greatest Source of Pride: I am most proud that I am Morgan’s mother. I have two stepsons, Charlie and Ted as well. Being a mom is the best thing I have ever done.
Recipe that represents my favorite tastes: Shrimp and Lobster Curry, submitted by Morgan McLoud Pette, Paula’s daughter.
“If you are going to do something, do it right or don’t do it at all”.
Greatest Passion: Treating people with dignity and respect.
Defining Moment: Giving birth to my daughter. Prior to that, I was all about me. Morgan was a gift that changed me from being a self-centered individual to a giving individual.
Advice to Women Younger Than I: Wake up every morning and do at least one thing you love. Many young women I meet these days are very focused and dedicated. This is wonderful but I would also tell them to have fun along the way.
Fun for me is: I love styling women. I love to see the look on their face when they feel their best and feel empowered to project the best in themselves. If you feel good about yourself, you can have a positive day, and I like helping ladies do that.
Right Now I Am: The owner and manager of Sandro Ferrone, a clothing store featuring made-in-Italy, Fast-Fashion brands and affordable price points for every shape and size.
This Came About Because….I was working in sales selling paper to huge publishers and printing companies—when I was forced into retirement. It wasn’t expected and I wasn’t happy about it. My friends know how much I love fashion and love to style them. And my daughter told me to do something fun, so I opened a clothing store.
Of course, it’s not all that simple, but it wasn’t too hard either. I have dear friends in Italy who are third generation owners of retail clothing stores there. At one time they owned high-end, high-fashion outlets. After the financial crisis of the past few years, no one in Italy was buying expensive clothing, though. So they reopened their stores with a Fast Fashion concept under the label Sandro Ferrone, and haven’t been able to keep their products on the shelf since. Alessandro Ferrone laid the foundation for Sandro Ferrone after WWII and quickly turned his fashion trade into a formidable business. Today, Ferrone produces and globally exports over two million articles of clothing annually.
Fast Fashion is the idea that designers and manufacturers can see a singular piece on the Milan runway, and then quickly turn out a similar look at a more affordable price. Fast Fashion isn’t couture, because it relies on different grades of fabric and machine sewing, but it is well designed, timely and trendy clothing at a reasonable price. In my store, most of the clothes are designed and manufactured in Italy and range from $25 to $299. That is our most expensive item!
Our style can be described as European chic. That really is the best way I have to describe it. Sandra Ferrone has really broken the mold by providing truly wonderful styles and details for all sizes, shapes and ages. We aren’t pandering to a particular customer. Our goal is to make every woman look and feel like her best self.
We have three major labels:
- Kate is a young, hippy chic look available in sizes 0-12.
- Sweet Lola is for curvy gals and is available in sizes 12-18.
- Sandra is very Euro–sleek and contemporary– and is available is sizes 0-12.
My goal is to make Sandro Ferrone in America extremely successful. We have exclusive rights to the brand on the East Coast and look forward to opening other locations in the coming years.
Favorite Quote About Me:
“My mom is truly unique, elegant and timeless. When she enters a room, she demands a presence because of her beauty and sense of style. She has such a rare quality of understanding women and their bodies and how to make them not only look beautiful, but feel beautiful and that’s why she succeeds in her business.
My mother is independent, fearless and never takes “no” for an answer. Her determination and drive is what has taught me to be the woman I am today. She looks at life with so much respect and lives each and every day as if it were her last. It is because of her that I too, have so much love and joy for life, and for that I am forever grateful”- Morgan McLoud Pette, daughter.
Paula’s Best Styling Tips for Women of Any Age:
Tip #1: Be simple, but be elegant. If you wear a statement dress then you should be simple with jewelry and vice versa.
Tip#2: It’s all about the fit. Be sure it represents your body in the best way.
Tip#3: Throw your shoulders back and walk into the room as if you own it!
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