ADA — It would be difficult to not notice Andrea Adams-Miller in a room full of people and she counts on that.
It is part of the message she has delivered across the United States and around the world.
It is also what she wanted to tell the young women from throughout Hardin County as the keynote speaker for the First Annual Women Empowerment Conference in Ada on Friday.
Adams-Miller. who calls Findlay home, is a successful publicist with offices in Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., and Baltimore.
In recent months, she has traveled to London, Paris and Cairo.
At each stop, she wears a bright red dress which represents her outgoing nature.
It wasn’t always that way, she told the high school juniors and seniors who took part in the conference.
She grew up an only child and a lonely child, Adams-Miller said.
She had few friends except the books she read constantly.
She concentrated on perfection in school and when an illness caused her to take home a C and a D on her report card in the eighth grade, she was devastated.
“I thought seriously about killing myself,” she recalled.
“I wanted to be done, but then I realized it was going to be OK.”
She said a poem by Shel Silverstein helped save her life and encouraged her to believe in herself again.
As a plus-size woman, she said, people judged her and her response was to wear black to mask her size.
“I wanted to wear red, but I didn’t because I wanted to blend in and look like everyone else,” she said.
But when she first appeared in public in bright red, the response surprised her.
People saw her in a new way and told her how beautiful she looked.
Red became part of her new message and she named her new company the Red Carpet Connection.
“I am proud of who I am,” said Adams-Miller.
“I walk past a mirror and say to myself, ‘Man, I look good.’”
It really doesn’t matter what people look like to the world, she said.
The important thing is how they look to themselves.
“People have their opinions. If they are not my child or my mother, why do I care what they think of me?” she asked.
“Try to be selling yourself all the time. Let people know what you bring to the table and to the world.”
Find something you enjoy, she told the girls, and make a niche for yourself and share that talent.
Yet even if that plan leads to success, said Adams-Miller, there still will be difficult times.
“You will still have crazy days and the only one who can get you out of it is yourself,” she told them.
To cope with those hard times, said Adams-Miller, she has adopted a mantra.
“I tell myself, ‘All’s OK, Andrea. Everything works out for you. It always does,’” she said.
“Find your own mantra … Honor yourself so you make good decisions.”