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40 Under 40 - Class of 2019
Business Observer Thursday, Oct. 17, 2019 1 year ago

Paige Thomas, 33

Co-founder, Elevate Branding Inc.
by: Brian Hartz Tampa Bay Editor

Paige Thomas, owner of Elevate Branding Inc., a Tampa-based brand design firm that has done work for former NBA superstar Dwyane Wade, among other high-profile clients, describes herself as a workaholic who has to schedule downtime.

And even when she does get an opportunity to kick back, she still does design-related things, such as going to luxury and exotic car shows in the Tampa Bay area.

“I’ve always loved cars,” she says, citing Audi, Aston Martin and Ferrari as some of her favorite automakers. “I wanted to design cars, at one point, but my mom said no.”

Thomas is particularly fond of Audis. She has owned several and is a member of Audi Sport of Tampa, an Audi automotive enthusiast group.

“The other car that I really like, that I’m really starting to look at, is the Aston Martin DB11,” she says. “For me, it would be quite expensive, but I just love the design of it.”

The Aston Martin DB11 (prices start at $200,000) might be out of Thomas’s price range now — but give her time. Her breakthrough project with Wade was a brand-positioning portfolio designed to aid the Miami Heat legend’s transition to the business world, now that he’s retired from basketball. She has also forged ties with former NBA Vice President Kevin Carr, who runs PRO2CEO, a Tampa-based consulting company that helps athletes and performers make the leap to business leadership.

Thomas’s ultimate goal, though, is more esoteric and all-encompassing. “I want to bring architecture and design together through brand development,” she says of her approach to her work.

With degrees in architecture from Hampton University and graphic design from Old Dominion University and a background in violin and ballet performance, Thomas looks at brand design quite a bit differently than the average consultant, as evidenced by the creative, outside-the-box brand book she did for Wade. The publication plays with type, color, photos and graphical elements in a way that oozes cool.

Something of a renaissance woman, Thomas's diverse interests can be traced back at least to college. "I scored very well in geometry and anything relating to form and shape," she says. "I was fortunate to practice architecture for a couple of years, but I was an oddball. I was pursuing two degrees at the same time, and what I was doing was never really defined because I was already going against the grain. I’m still crafting that path.”


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