At a young age, my mom always encouraged me to embrace my height and thought that I should pursue modeling. How does a girl at only thirteen years old with no connections start modeling? We did not live in a big city and we didn’t know anyone in the modeling industry. Back then, there was no information about modeling on the internet and little social media to connect with anyone. If I was going to get anywhere in modeling, we would have to really work hard. Although this seemed impossible my mom and I were determined that modeling was something that I was destined to do. My mom and I would have our own “photoshoots” together thinking that this was what I needed as a new model. We would look at magazines and work together on different poses based on what we thought modeling was like. We did all of my wardrobe styling as well as hair and makeup, and even planned out locations for our “photoshoots”. My mom took all of my photos from a small digital camera and she even created and printed free comp cards from her home printer. We had a great time together trying to start my career.
My first real “in” to modeling was an unexpected conversation with a cashier at a local department store. She admired my height and my looks and insisted that I start modeling. Our response was “thank you, we hear that a lot”. However, this time she told me that there was a casting coming up soon for a local fashion week and I should audition. My mom and I were very thankful and excited for this unexpected opportunity. We prepared for this casting by binge-watching a popular modeling show on tv. I was very nervous at the audition, but I ended up booking three designers for this runway show (I later learned models were not supposed to walk for more than two designers, but they had made an exception for me). I will never forget the feeling I had during my first real runway walk. I loved everything about it and my adrenalin, confidence, and love for modeling bloomed more as I walked for each designer. As soon as the runway show ended, I made my way to my mother with tears of joy and said “This is what I really want to do! New York here I come!”.