Branded as “A Consumer’s Best Friend,” Trae Bodge is a trusted source for money-saving tips and advice.
She shares her passion for helping people save money and get the best value from their purchases on her website, across social media, and through over a thousand appearances on various network affiliates and national shows including Marketwatch.com, MSN.com, Millie Magazine, GMA, Today Show, NBC Nightly News, CBS Mornings, and Inside Edition.
From Art Student to Entrepreneur, Brand Advocate, and Media Coach
Bodge's business journey was shaped by her experiences as a woman of color. “I grew up in Newburyport, Massachusetts, which was an all-white town except for me and one other girl of color,” says Bodge.
After high school, she went to New York City to attend art school but quickly realized she was not in the right place. She then pursued further education at the University of Massachusetts but didn’t finish her degree.
Instead, she went straight to work for a beauty company that specialized in custom blending discontinued products. She was lucky to work with owners who encouraged employees to be innovative and figure things out.
From that valuable experience, she started her own beauty business in the mid-1990s with two partners. The company still has a worldwide presence to this day.
Helping Clients Build a Powerful “One Take” Media Presence
Today, Bodge works directly with brands, TV producers, and editors to develop timely, compelling content, including topics such as budget-friendly Mother's Day gifts, egg inflation, expensive groceries, and saving money on day-to-day expenses from home.
She enjoys staying busy with multiple businesses to keep things interesting and allow for cross-promotion between her ventures. By understanding both sides of the fence, she can serve her clients better.
Over time, Trae noticed that many brands needed media assistance. So in 2019, she co-founded One Take, a coaching firm that helps business leaders improve their media skills and on-camera presence.
"I find media coaching enjoyable because it helps people feel comfortable on camera and perform their jobs better," says Bodge. "It's fulfilling to evangelize about these brands in unique ways that don't feel like commercials."
Double Digit Growth During Covid While Focusing On Well-being
“When Covid hit, everything shifted to virtual and social unrest arose. The economy suffered, and my services became highly valued,” says Bodge. “As a woman of color and a certain age, I was already equipped for virtual interviews. Clients were seeking ways to save money and my skills were a perfect fit.”
Her business experienced growth of 35%, 30%, and 25% in the first three years of Covid. Now that things are settling down, she has streamlined her work to minimize being on air multiple times a day.
Trae now only works on projects that are aligned with her brand. “This allows me to have boundaries and spend time with my family, including my teenage daughter and husband, as well as my pet rabbit. It's possible to have a dynamic career without constantly hustling,” says Bodge. “I'm glad ‘hustle culture’ is becoming a dirty term.”
Connecting with Like-Minded Leaders in Kiplinger Advisor Collective
As a member of Kiplinger Advisor Collective, Trae Bodge is looking forward to connecting with like-minded individuals to share ideas. "I'm interested in getting to know people," she says. "I'm psyched to have more opportunities to continue making meaningful connections and talk with professionals I respect."