I began modelling because a photo shoot of mine went viral on facebook and from that point on I have been modelling non-stop for 3 years and loving every moment of it! I’m very thankful that one of my passions turned into a successful business as well. My business hurdles have been different to most. As the first international model with down syndrome it is been very hard to establish a benchmark on how much I should charge and how much people are willing to pay, luckily there is now many more models with disabilities in the industry so people are now expected to pay a fee. In the beginning some people thought including me if I was been paid enough? It has been a very hard trend to break but finally I am being treated more like a professional model should be treated.
What books are you currently reading? And your recommendation for entrepreneurs to read?
I don’t really read a lot, I am at the moment writing a book on my journey.
Did you ever deal with contention from your family and friends concerning your entrepreneurial pursuits? How did you handle it? What would you do differently in hindsight?
No my mum has been the most supportive person of all my ventures. She manages the business side of my modelling, so I don’t think she could be more supportive! She is so proud of what I have achieved and works tirelessly to make it happen for me.
What would you say was the single most influential factor in your business success?
My drive to change the way people look at disability and to make the fashion industry more inclusive. This makes me want to be more successful and makes me work harder each and every day.
What do you know today that you wish you would have known when you first got started as an entrepreneur?
I wish we had taken more chances, there was a lot of opportunities that we turned down as we were so new to the fashion industry and we did not understand how things worked, but now we feel comfortable in our business model so we are opening up to take a lot more chances.
What advice would you give to an upcoming entrepreneur locally and internationally?
The best advice I could give to someone wanting to start out their business is to work hard and stick to your goals. If you work hard the results will follow. I know a lot of people who start something and when it gets difficult they move on to something else my best advice would be to never give up and never stop believing that you can achieve whatever you put your mind to. I also believe you should start small and grow the business slowly, it is the businesses that put all their assets into it right in the beginning that if they fail fall the hardest.