Andrea Lynn Patrick Forte is CEO/Owner of Patrick Talent Agency and Editor-in-Chief of Gladys magazine. She launched her career in the entertainment industry as a dancer. In her teen years, her hours of training and dedication paid off and at age 16, she was selected as Miss Dance Pennsylvania. She was crowned Miss Pennsylvania USA in 1980 and Miss West Virginia America in 1983.
Dear Andrea, tell us more about your early beginnings in the Fashion Industry?
I started out in the fashion industry as a model in Los Angeles which was an incredible way to learn about fashion, designers, photography and the creative process. In 1991, I launched Patrick Talent Agency, a nationwide modelling agency and we have worked with many fashion clients and beautiful models from all over the world.
I have dedicated my life to empowering people globally to achieve their dreams. Through my talent agency, clothing line, magazine, and our movement we are truly inspiring others to go after their dreams.
I always was an entrepreneur coming from a family that was self-made. I was being sought out to be a spokesperson nationwide for many years and saw a need in that industry for a fair talent agency to represent this field. I was responsible for providing the hosts for all three of the main shopping networks. I have been a columnist for a fashion magazine, designed a clothing line and then Gladys, the magazine which I started in 2009.
I knew that I was destined to make a profound impact on people. It has been a blessing to be able to interview over a thousand men and women over the years and tell their inspiring stories through the audience of Gladys.
Today, I am the Editor-in-Chief of the award-winning Gladys LLC and in this position, I attracted readers, followers, and a powerful audience that was begging for more content, products, and services. I earned the relationships and influence of those I had previously worked with and brought them along on my Gladys journey. We are celebrating our 12th year of publishing in 2020 and our readership keeps growing! Gladys is available in print at newsstands across the country and in digital form through the website for our international audience.
What do you wish you had known about this industry before you started?
The publishing industry isn’t all glamorous. It’s putting in very long hours and working hard to achieve your vision. We never wanted to be a throw-away magazine like so many are. Our customers tell us they save our magazines, they are keepsakes to be passed along. That touches my heart. I’ve also learned in everything, but especially in business to listen to my heart and my gut instinct. When it doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t.
What does Gladys stand for?
My mother Gladys was my inspiration for starting this magazine. She passed away in 2007 and she was a very fashionable, beautiful and inspiring woman. She taught me that I could do anything in my life if I worked hard and kept my values true. This magazine is dedicated to anyone who has been inspired to pursue their dreams by someone they love. We call them our Inspirations – our Gladys’s and we all have someone like that in our lives…
Our magazine represents the values and qualities that my mother passed on to me - sincerity, loyalty, fairness and integrity in everything we do.
What makes a great editor?
The key to being a great Editor-in-Chief begins and ends with the power of relationships and serving your client’s needs. You must form a team to fill in your knowledge and talent gaps while supporting each other. There is strength in collaboration, beauty in communication, and respect in a job well done.
How do you balance the desire to honour Gladys legacy with the need to move it forward?
Because our demographics range from 8 to 80, we try to feature all of the latest fashions along with featuring models who are just beginning their careers. Young girls aspire to be published in our magazine and we are thrilled to give them their start.
Our Gladys Girls fuel our brand. Spreading positivity and inspiration. We also work with some of the best public relations firms who bring us talented actors, actresses, singers and artists who are creating a buzz.
How do you get the best out of the creatives you are working with?
I try to inspire and empower those I work with to be as creative as they can be. I give them plenty of room to present their vision to me. It is a collaborative effort however, my vision and my gut decisions are what I rely on. There are so many decisions I need to make daily and after all, is said and done, I either receive the praise or the criticism and I am responsible for making things work.
What's your greatest luxury?
Spending time with my incredible husband is my luxury. My husband gives me great advice with Gladys and he is my rock. We have created a beautiful life together and we try to live a life of true balance. My life has been a blessing and that is my greatest luxury.
On another note… we are going through one of the most challenging times in American history. Our thoughts are with all of our Gladys readers, subscribers, advertisers and businesses who have stood by us throughout the past 12 years. We will stand with you and support you during this time. We are stronger than you think, we will come through this stronger than ever and we will be providing an escape through stories, aspirational fashion and positivity!