Paige Bird brings female empowerment, student opportunity to ASU clubs

The editor-in-chief of Metiza shares her goals of expanding publication through including diverse contributions

Paige Bird, the editor-in-chief of Metiza, recently spoke to ASU clubs about her publication, its goal to empower and give a voice to young women and the journey that got her to where she is now.

Metiza, which reached its first anniversary in mid-February, is an online platform focused on maintaining a positive community centered on “real stories of substance,” ranging in content from relationships and beauty to hard news and art.

The original idea for the publication came from a conversation Bird had with a longtime friend about the scarcity of positive, nurturing content online for young women.

“We were trying to figure out how we could make the world a better place, essentially, and decided if not us, then who," Bird said. "And if not now, then when?"

The site has reached millions of visitors, a growth Bird never predicted.

“I don’t think either of us anticipated it having the trajectory that it did,” she said.

Her friend, Selina Petosa, had a background in advertising and digital strategy while Bird had experience in beauty and education, having previously worked in the beauty industry and as a high school teacher.

Bird said the setup was perfect.

“I’m convinced that, that’s the way that the world works: that you follow your passion and when you’ve learned the lessons that you need to, the next thing presents itself,” she said. 

Metiza ended up being that next thing. After a year, the site has had roughly 3 million unique visitors, with 30 percent of visitors returning on a regular basis.

As for the content, Bird said around 50 percent of the site’s content is contributor-written. While there are a handful of writers for the site in the Phoenix/Scottsdale area, Bird said the contributor base is national.

In addition to young female adults, Bird regularly recruits experts in fields like beauty and nutrition to write for the site.

“It’s been adventure to see who shows up and the conversations I have,” she said.

Metiza has also featured contributions from male writers, something Bird wants to increase in the coming year.

A self-proclaimed “people person,” Bird describes her path to getting in touch with ASU’s I Am That Girl (IATG) and The Fashion Journalist clubs (FJC) as “serendipitous.”

She reached out to the clubs after deciding to take her outreach offline and in person. She said the two clubs aligned with Metiza’s goals.

“You’ve got social justice and female empowerment and all of that goodness with I Am That Girl and then you’ve got these rock stars that are into beauty and fashion (and) the journalism aspect of it,” Bird said. “It was like 'Yahtzee!'”

The response from both clubs was quick, Bird said, and she met with both the Tempe and Downtown Phoenix chapters of IATG as well as FJC after school reconvened for the spring semester.

“There are phenomenal young women in every single group that I went to,” Bird said. “They’re so different, but they all have this commonality that’s really cool.”

Sabrina Dyson, a marketing freshman and member of the Tempe chapter of I Am That Girl, attended the meeting Bird spoke at.

Dyson said Bird spoke about Metiza's mission as well as how empowering one’s self can empower others.

“I definitely took away that there’s a really large community you can always go to,” Dyson said. “You never have to feel on your own or that there’s someone who doesn’t relate to you.”

MacKinley Lutes-Adlhoch is a journalism freshman who heard Bird speak at a fashion journalism club meeting.

Lutes-Adlhoch, who has just started contributing to Metiza, said she thinks Paige and the Metiza staff are doing a great job in helping to fill a void in the media industry.

“She’s extremely inspiring and just hearing her talk — the energy that she brings to a room is really awesome,” Lutes-Adlhoch said. “It just gave us all a little boost to work harder in whatever we’re trying to achieve.”

As for how students can get involved, Bird said it’s quite simple.

“Go on, click around, find some stuff that really resonates with you," she said. "Share that. Then, what do you not see? Fill that gap. If not you, then who? That’s kind of how Metiza came about … if we’re not gonna do it, then who is?”


Reach the reporter at cmlnarik@asu.edu or follow @carsonmlnarik on Twitter.

Like The State Press on Facebook and follow @statepress on Twitter.


Get the best of State Press delivered straight to your inbox.