Working in Pittsburgh’s fashion and events scene, Charissa founded her first PR business and magazine at age 22. Using her first-hand experiences to position creative professionals publicly, she has worked with clients internationally. She chose to keep the business in Pittsburgh devoted to growing the local industry, “Working in the industry, I’ve seen true struggle for fashion or beauty brands starting out simply because they were not New York or LA based. I wanted to change this,” Charissa is quoted in an interview with PR Couture. She was named a finalist for the Entrepreneur of the Year Award by Stiletto Women in Business, nominated for the Athena Young Professional Award of 2018, a recipient of the Jefferson Award for Public Service, nominated for Yahoo! Women Who Shine and honored by Pittsburgh Magazine’s Women in Business Spotlight.
A stage background in theater, pageants and modeling introduced her to the fast-paced industries of fashion and entertainment where she worked entry level with companies Victor’s International Modeling Agency, Barbizon Model & Talent, The Talent Group, Miss Pennsylvania USA, the Fashion Board at The Mall at Robinson and Nancy Mosser Casting. Privileged to work on the set of blockbuster films Adventure Land, She’s out of my League, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Zac & Miri and Jack Reacher with Mosser Casting, the entertainment business stuck.
Coordinating shows for Pittsburgh Fashion Week, she became acquainted with the local fashion, music and entertainment scene. Producing Pittsburgh Fashion Week’s “stand-in-room only” opening shows for three years, she considers the event as one that really put Pittsburgh artists on the map. “This event can create jobs for designers and give them the opportunity to pursue a career in this industry without having to go to New York,” Charissa is quoted by Pittsburgh Tribune Review.
Charissa has been a published writer published with DisFunkshion Magazine in bookstores nationwide, Mod City Magazine, Miss A Magazine, Maniac Magazine, Modern Latina, Hello Perfect, Girl Talk HQ, Girl Zone, Front Row Monthly and Women in PR. (See Published Page). Within her portfolio she was privileged to meet and interview names Lauren Conrad, Mario Lopez, Arden Cho, Zandra Rhodes, Ivana Helsinki, Noon by Noor, Whitney Port, Willow Shields, Tom Cruise, Ryan Reynolds, Kristen Stewart, Alexa Vega, Austin Butler, Betty White, Jes, Seth Rogen, Joe Maganiello, Ashley Rickards, Emma Watson, and The 1975.
Business aside, Charissa is a frequent traveler and reader with a passion for nature and the arts. She is devoted to supporting and representing women in business and start-ups and is passionate for empowering today’s working class women and fundraising for underprivileged children. Among her charity contributions, her business has been fortunate to support Gwen’s Girls, Women’s Center & Shelter of Greater Pittsburgh, Fair Girls, Make A Wish Foundation of PA & WV, Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Pittsburgh and Autism Awareness Society of Pittsburgh. Charissa’s event benefiting Gwen’s Girls was quoted in the Pittsburgh Tribune Review.