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Meet Chasen Paige of Small Blue in Orange County

Today we’d like to introduce you to Chasen Paige.

Chasen, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I’m 24 years old. I’ve lived in 6 states, been to 10 schools, excluding being homeschooled for a year, and have now lived in 20 homes and counting. Yes, I know that’s a lot. The one thing I’ve learned throughout life is that change is inevitable. You will adapt, it just takes time, and to understand and feel out the hard times. Once you’re on the other side, you see the picture clearer and why it needed to happen. Growth is a huge part in that. You’re never the same person you were a year ago. Sometimes even a week or day can change a person. Life is unpredictable and changes every single second. I’ve always looked up to creative people. I moved out to California, from Arizona, to actually pursue music. My friends still to this day really push me to keep going with that. I’m not satisfied yet tho, so for the time being I wanna get my ideas out in another creative way. I’m into streetwear, being comfy. Being comfy is honestly when I am most confident. I feel me. I remember going to parties and my friends would get all cute and dressed up and I’d want to but just didn’t care that much and went to the parties in oversized tees and leggings. I’ve grown out of that now (a bit) and try to mix up streetwear with fashion. I wanna look good in whatever I am wearing while still being comfy. So going out can be a challenge when it comes to picking out outfits. Especially because I never had money growing up to really understand style. I would get my ‘back to school’ clothes for high school, from yard sales for 50 cents. I just wanted to fit in with the crowd, couldn’t afford it but also felt better just being comfy. I remember in 7th grade being obsessed with wearing basketball shorts and sandals…lol…fashion fail. But I guess I’ve always been somewhat tomboy, with how I dress.

I created a streetwear brand called Small Blue. With my first collection (Trust the Inevitable), though it has stemmed from so many hardships I have gone throughout in life, it was mainly a break up that made me think of everything I’ve gone through. It’s really hard for me to be emotional and vulnerable, I feel annoying a lot of the times when I do let it out. But coincidentally enough, it’s what I’ve looked up to in artists that, that have helped me get through a lot. So I’m going to do my best. I have one full brother, one half sister and one step sister. The first three months of my life, my dad and mom split up, my mom took me and my older brother to Vegas, where my grandparents also lived. We lived in these pink apartments and also a trailer home. My grandparents took us in under their wing, due to living conditions. My mom disappeared for about 5 years. Said she would show up for Easter or any holiday and me and my brother would wait on the stairs by the door for her to never show. My dad wasn’t really in the picture too much at this time. Just visits, he lived in Arizona. My grandparents are angels on this earth and I fully believe have shaped me into the person I am. I wouldn’t have ever been strong without their guidance, into the first years of my life. My mom one day showed up to my grandparents after we paged her to come see us. She came over with a new boyfriend and a baby (my half sister). She asked if we wanted to move to North Carolina and finally be with her. Of course, we said yes. To sum it up, she was physically and emotionally abusive. We moved from North Carolina to Pennsylvania and West Virginia. We got taken away into CPS custody in West Virginia. I don’t want to get into too much detail about what we went through, because it’s hard to revisit. I truly believe that shaped me into the person I am even more. I was in foster care, felt alone, split from my brother for a year with no contact, not even a phone call. My little sister was with me and I had to be strong for her while being so troubled, confused and sad at the same time. I was only 10. Eventually my dad got custody of me and my brother when I was 12. I’ve seen my half sister 3 times I think, in 14 years. The one thing I always have been drawn to, to help me get through everything is music, creativity, writing or art in any form.

Small Blue, was created from a butterfly tattoo I had wanted for so long and still want. I decided to look up butterfly types to find a name for my company. The Cupido butterfly’s nickname is Small Blue. It just stuck out to me. I couldn’t get myself to like any other name. My break up was what made me think of the meaning behind this collection – Trust the Inevtiable. It was a toxic relationship towards the end. My first real love though. I was cheated on and more. It had me thinking when I got the strength to break it off… that I deserve better and need to remain strong for that. I’ve already been through hell, that not a lot of people I know, can understand. Break ups, cheating..everyone goes through one or the other or both. I had to keep reminding myself its normal to hurt, it’s normal to cry, to feel it out, but to trust it. Change sucks, I still struggle with it. But what I’ve learned is, whats for you, will be there. Going through it you question why. You get inside your head..but once you’re out on the other side, you understand, you grow and you are thankful. The skull in the design for this collection represents those hard times, the caterpillar shows you going through it, not understanding why things are changing, confused. But life ends up taking you into a direction where you get stronger and can do what you could never do before. The caterpillar to the butterfly shows evolution. Evolving, change, growth. It shows how it’s inevitable and it’s supposed to happen that way. You won’t understand until you’re there. But the journey makes it all worth it. It’s what gives it a meaning, so to just trust it!

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
It hasn’t been easy starting my own business. I get really burnt out working in the restaurant industry. I get stuck working two jobs to pay all my bills and have had to drop out of school twice because I need more hours at work to pay for everything. I took out a loan to start my business. It terrifies me, I really do believe though that what I can create will eventually make it one day. I have learned its not easy or fast. I’ve learned I should’ve gone about it other ways for sure. There’s more pressure to make it work because I need to pay off these loans. I have to make it work. Not only that, but I want to make it work. I don’t want to stay stuck in the same cycle of never getting anywhere and being unhappy with the jobs I’m doing. Though I love who I work with. Some of them have become family to me, and I needed that since I live out in California without my family. The industry is just not for me and that’s ok I’ve learned. It is for some people and isn’t for others.

Please tell us about Small Blue.
Small Blue means a lot to me. As you’ve seen, it has come from really personal hardships. I want to be known for taking those hardships and transitioning it into something dope, that can also remind or help people. Remind people to keep going. Remind people to trust in change and the journey, and that’s with just this collection. I’m really proud of what I created from those tough times. I can’t wait to show what’s coming and what I’m already working on. The hard times definitely haven’t stopped. I’m growing in ways, I don’t understand at the moment. Questioning why still. But reminding myself to just trust it, as hard as it is..I will be strong. Thats all I want. I want my hardships and lessons to be bigger than me. Thats what life is about for me. I can come to terms easily, that two great people just aren’t great for each other. Anger subsides. Forgive, don’t forget. Be strong. Know your worth. Help others in any way you can. Wish the best for everyone, sincerely. Find balance, forgiveness and strength. Build love. That’s what I want to be remembered for. Just keep going. Trust it.

I also wanna give a hint on what’s coming! It’s about getting inside your mind, owning who you are. Believing in what makes you different. Believing in who you are. It’s actually really dope and I can’t wait for people to see what I have been working on. It’s a lot different from this current collection.

If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
If I had to start over, I honestly don’t think I would really do anything different. I say I do sometimes, because I’ve gotten in over my head at times, but I truly believe those mistakes are how you learn. It’s not like anyone is going to know what to do right away. It takes failing to find a better way to go about it. I don’t believe that if you tried something and failed, that you should think “at least I tried”..I think you should use that to not give up and find other outlets to make it work, until it works. Everything takes hard work and persistence. I always say, anything fast doesn’t last.

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Image Credit:

Alex Gonzales, Kae Cordae

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