African Fashion Week Minnesota

Wendi Russo

more on Wendi Russo.

Tell us about yourself

I’ve lived in Eden Prairie since 2004 moving to Minnesota from Los Angeles for my TV Hosting job at Shop HQ channel.  As a former mentor with Big Brothers Big Sisters in LA, I started mentoring with Kinship of Greater Minneapolis and Advocated for additional mentor volunteers across the state as Mrs Minnesota America 2008.  In 2011, I founded “The Winners Way” public speaking & pageant coaching and have since coached 6 Mrs Minnesota’s along with Miss MN USA 2022 and Outstanding Teen MN 2023, but the bulk of my business is out of state with hundreds of state and national winners across virtually every pageant system.  Today I represent 6 Italian jewelry lines on Shop HQ channel as their On Air Guest and jewelry expert  on Nationwide Television.

Tell us about your industry experience

I began modeling as a  teenager and after moving to New York City, I was a commercial print model, and actress in many commercials, informercials, industrials, independent films.  After a move to Los Angeles, I pursued a career as an actress, booking guest starring roles on TV Shows, co-starring and lead roles in films and continued print modeling. For the past 20 years I’ve hosted TV Home Shopping with Shop HQ and Guesting with HSN.  

What is your biggest dream

To leave an impact to women that they are worth it, to see my daughter become a Dermatologist and to retire somewhere warmer!

What does it mean to be your own kind of beautiful

Everyone is their own kind of beautiful. We each have unique qualities that add to our beauty- I always say that every woman has a Queen within them- that’s why I love coaching, to help women see their own inner beauty.

How would you describe your fashion style

I like a mix of high-low-  I’m a collector of vintage designer fashion and mixing it with affordable staples creates “the moment”. I dress for the occasion, the location and for the desired “impact”.

What is your best piece of advice

You are worthy,  you deserve abundance and you have talents that are being honed to be a gift to others.  The storms you are facing now will be your testimony and inspiration to others later.

Describe some obstacles you have overcome in your life and how that has changed or shaped you

Growing up in a single parent home, feelings of abandonment by my father, broken relationships, de-valuing myself, abusive relationships, divorce, despair, suicide attempts to developing faith and a relationship with God that he loves me and will always be there for me when I ask.