Showing posts with label interview. Show all posts
Showing posts with label interview. Show all posts

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Sisters Succeeding: Bryanne Lawless

Starting your own company is not easy- it takes hard work, dedication, and patience!  A firm believer in the power of cross collaboration, Bryanne Lawless has simultaneously operated 3 different types of businesses but with similar synergies that can be applied across the complete spectrum of marketing and PR. She has developed and implemented creative and unique marketing and PR strategies and proposals that cover industries such as hospitality, fashion, beauty, and lifestyle. Bryanne has extensive industry contacts developed through her regional experience of over 8 years with deep relationships within Southern California. She also garners an industry wide reputation of creating, organizing and implementing small to large scale events that complement client outlook and overall message. A Kappa Kappa Gamma Alum, she now is the Managing Partner of BLND Public Relations, Located in Los Angeles. 

The Sorority Secrets sits down with Bryanne to get the ins & outs of the PR industry, how to get started in the industry, the ups & downs, and her #1 advice to people that are getting into the industry!

1.    How long have you been in Public Relations?
I’ve been in PR and Marketing since I was a child to be honest. I’ve always been quite the talker and putting things together just comes naturally to me.

2.    What sparked you to start your own PR company?
I was working at a local newspaper and found that when I was speaking with clients buying ad space that they had no one helping them with getting the word out and doing PR/marketing for their companies. More than one of them told me that they would love help in that area, and began to ask for my advice. Huge companies had huge agencies representing them but there wasn’t a PR firm in the area representing the local brands.

3.    Who's your dream client?
My dream client is someone who knows what they want. Their branding is on point or they are willing to have us rebrand them. Branding and aesthetics are really 90% of your business now a days and it makes our job so difficult to sell and pitch something that we know is bland. People who often flip flop back and forth on ideas or never see something from Start to finish make our jobs much more difficult.

4.    What are your 3 must-have beauty products?
My Daily Routine :
Purity Face Wash – By Philosophy – My skin is always so clear and fresh with this stuff
My Clean and Clear Oil Free Moisturizer –Never too oily and always keeps me moisturized

5.    What is your schedule typically like day to day?
one: Wake up around 7am to take my maltipoo, Benzo, out for a quick walk to the beach.
two: Head into the office by 9am
three: Conference calls, client meetings, pitching, writing, social media, Emails
four: Leave the office around 6pm
five: This is where it’s choose your own adventure:
    Option 1: Head to the gym (if possible/hopefully)
    Come home and pour myself a glass of red wine and maybe cook some dinner or order some thai!       Plop myself on couch and enjoy some RHOOC
    Option 2: Client Dinner or Event
    Option 3: Drinks/Dinner with the girls for a catch up sesh

6.    What are the ups & downs of being in the PR industry?
It’s a high stress job but the happiness that it brings you when you land a big press placement for the client or have an amazing event is undoubtedly worth every minute of stress. I always tell interns when they start that they will know within a week whether PR is for them or not. It’s not something that grows on you and it’s not something that you get over. You either LOVE it or you hate it. That’s it.

7.    If you can have anyone's closet- who would it be?
Definitely Khloe Kardashian. She is AH-Mazing! Like her, I’m also not the skinniest girl in the room so her stuff would fit me! I’d pick Kate Moss or Leighton Meister but I mean, Let’s be honest mama ain’t fitting into their wardrobes.

8.    What do you like to do in your free time?
Honestly I don’t have a lot of free time. I work A LOT. Having your own business is not easy! Any “free time” I come across is time that I MAKE happen. I love going on quick vacations. I was just in Cabo for 4 days and it was AMAZING.. .However even on vacation I find myself working quite a bit.

9.   Name 3 things in your purse that you can't live without?
MY Sapphire Credit card-The only thing I buy anything with.. I live for the points..Makes me feel less guilty.

10. What is your #1 advice for people that are going into the PR industry?
Make sure you intern somewhere first in college before you declare it as your major so you KNOW that it’s something you love. The business is hard and you really have to be passionate about it for it to work. There is of course things you can learn and grow from - but you really have it or you don't. And there's no point in forcing yourself to fit into someone else's mold.

Thanks again to Bryanne for sitting with us!  Feel free to reach out to Bryanne for any questions!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Interview: Wigged Out

Hair. It's one of those things that we spend countless hours styling, curling, and going to the salon to get done. A big part of our identity lies in our hair... blonde, brunette, curly, straight, etc. We love it, we can't stand it, we have good hair days and bad, but it's a part of who we are. 

Now imagine for a minute; you receive a medical diagnosis, and the only way to regain your health is through treatments that cause you to lose your hair. Not only are you dealing with illness, but you're also faced with losing a part of your identity... a part that makes you feel beautiful, and most importantly, a part that makes you feel like yourself.

This could happen to anyone: you, your sister, your mother, your best friend. With the four best friends of Wigged Out, exactly that happened. Not only did Chelsea (diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma a few months before her wedding day) overcome her disease, but her friends provided endless support to her throughout the entire process. From wig shopping to forming their very own non-profit organization in honor of their best friend, we sat down with the ladies of Wigged Out to hear their story.

1. We love the sisterly bond that you share. How long have you all been friends?
Chelsea, Katie and Lindsey met here in Phoenix, where they attended Xavier College Preparatory. It is almost surreal to think we have been friends for 15 years! The summer before we packed up and left for college, Chelsea met Becca on the beaches of San Diego during a family vacation. Ironically, Katie, Becca and Chelsea then found themselves only a few months later in the same dorm at the University of Arizona.

2. Where do you each currently reside, and where did you go to college?
After high school, Becca Chelsea and Katie were Tucson-bound to attend The University of Arizona - Go Wildcats! At UofA Katie completed a degree in Communication, preparing her for what would soon become a very bright future in public relations. Chelsea balanced the completion of a degree in Psychology while serving as the Recruitment Chair for Kappa Kappa Gamma. Chelsea later completed a Masters degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from the University of San Diego in addition. Becca graduated from the College of Nursing, and was also a member of Delta Gamma. Lindsey was Cali-bound after graduation and attended The University of California, Santa Barbara. There she was also a Recruitment Chair for Delta Gamma and completed a degree in Communication. Lindsey later returned to Arizona to complete a Masters in Counseling at Arizona State – Go Devils! (sometimes, even best friends disagree)

Although all four of us have bounced around between Arizona, California and Las Vegas after graduation, most of us have settled back here in Arizona. We are incredibly lucky; three of us live only a bike ride away from each other. As a kid, you dream to live next door to your best friend. We are very fortunate to have been able to make that a reality as adults! We are currently campaigning for Becca to make the move from Las Vegas to Phoenix to join us!

3. Tell us about your journey getting started with Wigged Out-- what inspired you to make this into a non-profit organization?
Chelsea: I was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in January 2011. At the time, I was twenty-six years old and getting married in less than three months. 
After you hear you have cancer, you go numb. When you come back to what is now your “reality” a million questions start to arise, and with these questions come emotions, one being fear.

I remember flying to a wedding at the end of October and the plane having bad turbulence. As I braced myself, I put my hand over my chest and heart and felt a lump on the left side of my neck above my collarbone. Immediately, it did not feel right, but I chalked the lump up to allergies and moved on. A few months later the lump was still there, so I went to my doctor. It turned out to be 
cancer... and my entire world flipped upside down.

I couldn’t help but think, why me? How can this be happening? After the immediate shock subsided, I thought of my hair. How can I get married if I lose my hair? How can I face my world and be myself without my hair? Fighting cancer and going through treatments 
are challenging, but losing your hair adds another level of stress. When you are sick, you know you are sick, but sometimes you can hide it, maybe even fake it. When you start to lose your hair, it is difficult to hide the fact that you are sick. You have a daily reminder every time you look in the mirror. That was one of the hardest parts for me.

I remember wishing I was “stronger” and did not care about my hair loss. That's much easier said than done. Your hair is part of you, and I was not ready to part with it. I could not even drag myself to the wig shop. That is where my amazing girlfriends came into 
play. They went to a local wig shop, picked out an incredible wig & did the research on blonde wigs that I so perfectly was avoiding.

My friends also started thinking of a way to raise money in order to help fund my wig and other hair accessories (as these items tend to be pricey), and so became Wigged Out, Inc. What started as a kind gesture of helping a friend sick with cancer and grieving 
her hair loss has evolved into something much greater. Focusing on helping others to be able to feel like themselves at least when they look in the mirror.

4. Chelsea, what was it like trying on a wig for the first time? How did you feel?
Chelsea: I was still very much grappling with accepting my cancer diagnosis. In addition to having to accept this overwhelming fact I had to address the possible changes my body would experience as a result of my treatment. I was honestly not ready to admit that my hair was going to fall out. My straight blonde hair had been the counterpart to my personality for so long, I could not imagine one without the other. I was able to walk down the aisle and had to address a whole new list of questions and concerns. I was standing in a shop and looking at 10 wigs that I had to imagine myself walking down the aisle in. None of them looked like me, none of them were me. Two months away from the biggest day of my life, I left the store in tears. I didn’t feel like I was going to be able to find a wig that looked like me.

5. We love your mission of empowering people who have experienced medical hair loss. Does any story stand out in your mind where you felt the impact of your hard work?
When Chelsea was diagnosed, we all experienced something we never imagined, we could barely fathom. It really opened our eyes to the incredible emotional, psychological, physical and financial struggle that medically related hair loss bestows upon an individual and their family. It is the story that inspired us to come together and one that will forever be a special part of all our hearts.

6. Chelsea, what advice do you have for other women going through a similar experience?
I think I would encourage someone to really use your support system and ask for help when you need it. I know it was not something that necessarily came easy for me. I think as women we feel like we must remain strong and our focus on supporting those around us rather than asking for help when we need it. It takes a lot of strength to ask for help. If perhaps you need a particular type of support, look to the organizations in your community (like Wigged Out) that can help support you. In establishing Wigged Out in the wellness community, we have learned about so many of the amazing community resources that are available.

7. As a whole, what advice do you have to support someone you love who is fighting an illness?
Watching someone you love and care about go through a similar experience is incredibly challenging. We would definitely suggest reaching out, even when someone says they’re ok. I think at times the person you’re supporting may not even know what they need, so being there and being available is really important. Simple things if possible – doing a lot of the research about wigs took a huge task off Chelsea’s plate at the time. Listen, listen, listen – it may feel like you did not do anything, but it may have been just what they needed. Finally, continue to be there, after the dust settles. Many of the people that reach out in a time of immediate crisis are not as available months later. Continue to reach out, even when it seems things are getting better.

8. How has this journey together made your friendships stronger?
Our 15-year friendship has afforded us many celebratory opportunities and carried us through some incredibly trying times as well. You truly see the inner beauty and character of an individual at these particularly vulnerable moments. Each experience has made us inexplicably better people as individuals, and undoubtedly better friends to one another.

9. What's the greatest lesson you have learned through starting Wigged Out?

Starting something from scratch is s a lot of hard work! It takes a significant amount of dedication. More than anything though, you need to be passionate about what you are doing in order to be successful.

10. If each of you could be remembered for one thing, what would it be?
As a whole we would love to be remembered for giving back the friendship, loyalty and support we have been able to provide to one another. Being a part of something greater than ourselves has been hugely rewarding for each of us. We would be so blessed to leave behind the legacy of something that could continue to grow and help others after we are gone. 

To learn more about Wigged Out, visit them on their website and Facebook page. Thank you for sharing your story with us, ladies!

Monday, February 3, 2014

TSS Co-Founder's Inverview: Ali

1. Where do you currently reside and what do you love most about it?  I live in hot but beautiful Scottsdale, Arizona.  I was born in Toronto, Canada (dual citizen over here) but have lived in AZ for most of my life!  Definitely the best part of living here is being close to my family & friends.  Everyone lives right around the corner from me!

2. Describe your closet.  Color, patterns, stripes!  And solid black or grey.  I love a pretty printed top (especially of the silk or flowy variety) and a pair of J Brand jeans.  That's my uniform.  Add in a sparkly statement necklace, or an eclectic scarf.  A well-tailored blazer and a few maxi dresses top it all off!

3. What was your favorite part about being in a sorority?  Meeting new people.  Not only did I meet lifelong girlfriends (and soon to be bridesmaids!) in my own sorority, but I met a lot of great people involved in Greek life as a whole.  Even after graduating, it's so cool to see how the Greek connection introduces you to new friends as well.  It's instant common ground.

4. What did sorority life teach you that you applied in the real world?  So many things!  The biggest lesson I learned was while I was Recruitment Chair.  I stressed so much about making every little last detail perfect, I lived/breathed/slept recruitment.  But you know what?  It all came together beautifully, and I didn't need to worry as much as I did.  My sisters helped me every step of the way.  With hard work & support from my sisters, we did it!

5. What are 5 beauty products that you can't live without?
St. Tropez bronzing mousse:  Listen, ladies.  In college, I swore by the fake bake (sorry, Mom!) and now I won't touch a tanning bed with a 10-foot pole.  I do like having a sun-kissed glow; this stuff is my tan in a bottle!  Check out my post on St. Tropez for application tips.

CND Vinylux Nail Polish:  I also did a post on this product, it's my manicure life saver!  For the girl who likes to change her polish more frequently than gel nails, but doesn't have time for constant chipping, this is my happy medium.  Try Romantique & Wildfire, my staple colors!

The Balm Bahama Mama bronzer:  I discovered this thanks to my favorite beauty blogger, Maskcara.  It's the perfect color for contouring!  (p.s. her video on HAC changed my life!)

Milani Eyebrow Pencil:  Brows are EVERYTHING.  I have naturally sparse eyebrows, so this gives me the fuller look that I love!

Mac Dollymix Blush:  I've worn this blush color for years.  Maybe it's the hot pink color, maybe it's the rosy cheeks it gives you (or maybe it's both).  It's pretty, and pink.

6. What do you love most about working on TSS?  Getting creative!  I get so inspired thinking about new perspectives, new content, and new products.  Brainstorming for the projects we work on (like the You Can Sit With Us video) excites me.  I love feeling like we can make a difference, big or small.

7. What is the best advice you were ever given?  At ASU, my professor in a design class told us a quote that stuck with me.  "Every child is an artist; the problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up" (said by Pablo Picasso).  This can be taken literally, and in a broader sense.  Never lose that sense of childlike wonder.  Never be too "grown up" to lose sight of pursuing your wildest dreams.  Embrace your mistakes; they could create a masterpiece.  I could go on for days about this quote; I truly love every interpretation behind it!

8. Who is your celebrity style crush?  Can I pick three?!  Miranda Kerr, Kate Middleton, and Blake Lively can do no wrong in my book.  When it comes to Kate, nobody can rock a Jenny Packham gown with such elegance.  With Miranda, I would do anything to play dress up in her closet.  Her street style is impeccable!  And Blake will forever be Serena Van Der Woodsen to me... one of my favorite fictional characters.

9. What are your top 3 stores to shop?  Nordstrom, especially the Savvy department, is my spot.  I love "treasure hunting" (as I like to call it) at TJ Maxx & Marshall's.  I'm also hooked on the accessories & bright colors found at J. Crew!

10.  What do you like to do on your day off?   Relax!  We love going to movies and trying out new restaurants.  And since I'm getting married this May, wedding planning is also on my agenda!

11. What else do you do for work?  A little over 3 years ago, my fiancĂ© and I started 224 Apparel, a Greek Licensed clothing company.  I've always been entrepreneurial, and I fell in love with designing Greek apparel when I was in college.  I knew that I had to do something creative to be happy, and I dreamed of being my own boss.  I work hard everyday to follow my dream!

12.  What are your interests/passions?  I'm a total art nerd.  I have artists on both sides of my family, so art was a huge part of my growing up!  I'm beyond excited to go to Paris for the first time this summer on my honeymoon with my fiancĂ©.  He better get ready for hours upon hours with me at the Louvre nerding out (...hint hint when you're reading this, babe!)

Monday, January 27, 2014

TSS Co Founder's Interview: Sakura

1. Where do you currently reside and what do you love most about it?
"I currently reside in Phoenix, Arizona and I love almost everything about it!  I'm originally from Reno, Nevada and decided to come out to Arizona to go to Arizona State University (go Sundevils!). I graduated 2 years ago and decided to stay in Arizona because I love the sunshine and love the people and the energy here!"

2. Describe your closet.
"One word: Simple. I have a lot of solid colored shirts so I can mix up my tops and bottoms with everything and anything.  My one go-to pattern is polkadots... always.  There's nothing wrong with wearing basics just as long as you dress it up with accessories!"

3. What was your favorite part about being in a sorority?
"Oh boy... where do I even start?  Can I say, 'EVERYTHING'? I loved being a part of the exec board and making a difference in my chapter, I love all of the relationships I built with my sisters that are still my best friends to this day, and I loved being surrounded by smart, motivated, young women, that motivated me everyday to be my very best!"

4. What did sorority life teach you that you applied in the real world?
"So much, but the two most important things that I learned was about networking and leadership."

5. What are 5 beauty products you can't live without?
"1. Bedhead Blowdry Serum- it's my favorite voumizer for your hair and it lasts for about 3 whole days!
2. L'Oreal Voluminous Mascara- I've used it since I was in middle school! It really is the best mascara ever
3. Seche Vite Top Coat- Because I love to switch nail polish color often, I like to do my own nails. This topcoat was shared on TSS by a reader and I honestly don't know what I would do without it! It dries up super quick and it makes your nails look like gel!
4. Neutrogena Makeup Remover Wipes- There are nights where I'm just way too lazy to wash my face to get my makeup off so I use this makeup remover wipe to take off my makeup! They're nice and wet, but not too wet and it takes your entire makeup off with one wipe!
5. Laura Mercier Foundation Primer- I am a firm believer that using a primer makes a world of a difference! I've tried out a lot of primers, but this one is by far my favorite!"

6. What do you love most about working on TSS?
"I love everything about working on TSS, but I think what I love most is the fact that I get to be creative in all aspects.  I get to be creative when thinking of posts, designing, connecting sororities to sororities, and so much more!  Another thing that I love about working on TSS is that we are creating a platform to showcase the positivity of Greek life and crush all of those 'stereotypes' of sorority women."

7. What is the best advice you were ever given?
"To always be humble and be nice to others.  This advice is something that I apply to my life every single day."

8. Who's your celebrity style crush? 
"Who other than Olivia Palermo & Audrey Hepburn? They have classy & fabulous written all over them!"

9. What are your top 3 stores you like to shop at?
"1. J.Crew, 2. Gap, 3. Madewell.  Oh... Target definitely is another one to add!"

10. What do you like to do on your day off?
"Working on TSS, it's very difficult for me to have a 'day off' because I'm constantly thinking about TSS and work! But on my free time I love to take my puppy, Winston, to the dog park or hang out with friends!  I also love Pinterest because it gets my creative brain going and I get so motivated and inspired!"

11. What else do you do for work? 
"I am currently working on a couple different projects and I also am Head of Design for a Mexico based blog called, Estoes Purpura!"

12. What are your interests/passions? 

"I absolutely love everything that has to do with graphic design, blogging, and photography- basically being creative!  I also love reading about new businesses and start-ups! "

Friday, January 3, 2014

6 Shoes That Should Be In Every Girl's Closet

Meet Grace!  She's a journalism major currently attending University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill!  She has a passion for fashion and has been blogging for nearly 4 years!

Read all about Grace and make sure to check out her blog,!

1. Who or what inspired you to start your blog?
"I always enjoyed dressing stylish during the start of high school. My friends and classmates would always comment on what I was wearing and ask me where I got it from. It became more common and that's when my friends encouraged me to start blogging. At first, it was more of a fun "project" that I wanted to try out and I haven't regretted any bit of it since."

2. Your favorite color combination?
"That's a toughie. On Pinterest and Instagram, I usually hashtag #favecombo on the majority of all the color combinations out there but if I had to choose... I'm crushing on orange + cobalt blue / pink + orange / anything with a pop of red. It's kind of funny because before blogging, I never really wore the color pink. Or thought to wear it with orange. It's simply amazing how blogging has given me the courage to try new things."

3. What is your major?
"I am majoring in journalism of mass communications at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill."

4. How long ago did you start your blog?
"I started my blog in 2010. Three (or almost four!) years and going strong."

5. Who is your fashion icon? Why?
"My fashion icon is Olivia Palermo because the GIRL CAN DRESS. There is not one outfit that I have seen on her that would make me think otherwise. I'm obsessed with the way she takes classy pieces such as a blazer and makes it edgy paired with leather leggings. She doesn't have just one set style but various combinations and looks that inspire me to step out of my comfort zone and try myself."

6. Who is your top 3 favorite bloggers?
"Blair Eadie from Atlantic-Pacific, Rachel Parcell from The Pink Peonies, Caitlin from A Little Dash of Darling"

7. 5 beauty products you can't live without?
"1. Revlon lipstick -- red, pink, plum. I'm kinda obsessed.
3. My Chanel lipgloss collection (does having 3 make it a collection?)
5. CoverGirl's smoky shadow blast stick (in blue + bronze)
Truth be told, I actually don't wear any face make-up because I don't really need it. Just eye make-up! It's a plus on rushed, late mornings!"

8. What do your friends think about your blog?
"They really enjoy it actually! It's quite funny when we're texting or meeting up for coffee dates and they'll be like... "love your outfit on your latest instagram. I had to check it on your blog" or make jokes like... "did you blog that outfit too?" sort of thing. It's the best to have friends that support me and visit my blog daily."

9. What are you doing when you're not in class or working on your blog?
"I love to run. I can't go three days without running or it just feels weird to me. Running keeps the stress away and helps me clear my mind."

10. What would you like to do after you graduate?
"Thinking about the future scares me, but it also excites me at the same time. I'm ready to graduate and step out into the big world, but I'm also contemplating what it is that I really want to do. I would preferably like to relocate and move to New York City, or any big city for that matter, to be a fashion stylist or even as a style editor for a fashion magazine. 'The Devil Wears Prada' really sets the tone for me there."

A special thank you to Grace for sitting down and chatting with us!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Spotlight: Asha from GirlTalk HQ

We first came into contact with Asha when we first launched The Sorority Secrets. We really admired her outspokenness and quest to empower and enlighten women through her platform, GirlTalk HQ, which you will learn more about. Asha is not a sorority woman, but she reminds us that we are all in a sisterhood as woman as we continue to stand up for our rights and uplift each other. Asha wears many hats so we sat down with her to learn more about her--check out our Q&A session below!

1. The Sorority Secrets' embraces diversity and we love how well-rounded you are. Tell us about your journey and how you ended up in LA?
I studied a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Film, media and journalism at Griffith University in Australia, and started working in TV in my final year. I had an agent and would regularly audition for jobs as well as do background extra work. I worked for 5 years in Sydney on some pretty major networks like Nine Network Australia, Fox, MTV, Disney and Fashion TV before deciding I wanted to further my opportunities overseas. I moved to Los Angeles Feb 2008 and 4 months later landed a job hosting a huge Nickelodeon show in Florida. Despite the economy crash and employment being hard to find, I have hustled a lot over the past 5 years in LA and hosted, written and produced content for,,, TV Guide Network and had some small acting roles on ABC's 'No Ordinary Family', a Wells Fargo Commercial and a new Bil Paxton/Jon Hamm baseball movie called 'The Million Dollar Arm Contest' coming out in 2014. 

I really love LA for the variety of opportunities available and the unique path you can create for yourself than aren't necessarily possible elsewhere.

2. GirlTalk HQ is such an amazing, inspiring site for young women. What inspired you to start GirlTalk HQ?
Thank you! I realized, after being an entertainment/pop culture host for 10 years, I needed to find my passion. I wasn't just passionate about celebrities. I figured out, after going through some personal struggles, that I really wanted to do something to empower my generation of women. I saw what Oprah was doing for her age group and wondered "why isn't anyone doing this for the younger women?" I was so sick of seeing girls tear each other down, compete and just buy into the media hype of slagging each other off, and picking apart a woman's appearance to make ourselves feel better. Where was the support, encouragement and celebration of each other? 
I started and intend it to be THE number 1 go-to daily newsmedia site for young women to come and find articles that will inspire and empower them. I wanted it to be the only media site in the world aimed at women that only contains positive messages, as there are plenty of negative and bitchy sites out there. Once I figured out my passion, and did something about it, I finally found my calling in life and realized what all my TV experience was useful for. 

3. How did you start your career in TV hosting?
I had an agent in Australia who would send me to various auditions. It's funny because originally I thought I wanted to be an actress. But in my final year at University, I auditioned for a daily kid show on a big network in Australia where we had to write our own script and showcase who we were. I got the job, beating out hundreds of other people. And then it clicked to me, I didn't want to be an actress, I wanted to be myself on camera. I love talking to people and am much more comfortable being myself than playing a character. So that was a huge revelation for me. Once I figured that out, I just kept going from job to job without a break in between for 5 years! 

4. What are your thoughts on body image for the younger generation? How do you think the media plays a role in that?
The media plays a huge role, as well as fashion and advertising. Because of a handful of key power people at the top of those industries, especially fashion, we were all taught to think that skinny is beautiful, the ONLY way to be beautiful. Thanks to the media, we are taught as young women that being a reality TV celebrity is the only way to be considered successful. Thanks to certain types of advertising, we are made to feel anxious about ourselves, we have a lot of self-loathing and low-self-esteem as this is a marketing strategy to make consumers buy their products. Once we buy the product we will only then feel confident, happy, beautiful, successful, intelligent etc. 

But thankfully there are many organizations and women who are taking a stand and blowing the lid on this controversy. They are showing the next generation what reality looks like, and are promoting positive messages relating to self-esteem, body image, success and individuality. 

5.  If you could trade places with any celebrity for 24 hours, who would you trade places with and why?
Hmmmm. I'd say Oprah Winfrey. I would love to know what it is like to be the world's biggest female media mogul, and see what it really takes to run a successful network which she created herself. I would love to walk in the shoes of a pioneer woman like her! 

6.  What are 3 different beauty products you can't live without?
Bio Oil. It helps with my dry skin and works magic on scars! 
Mitch Stone Essentials Lustre Drops. I get frizzy hair after I wash and dry it. This serum flattens the frizz and makes my hair shiny. 
My red blast flipstick from Covergirl. It is a lip stain. I don't wear a lot of heavy makeup, but having color on my lip makes me feel all dolled up! 

7.  How was it being involved with Tyra Banks' Show, America's Next Top Model? What was your favorite moment on the show?
It has to be one of my favorite recurring jobs. The show films for 3.5 months at a time so it's a great freelance gig for me in between other jobs. I have been the photo shoot coordinator for 5 seasons and absolutely love it! I have made a lot of good friends on the crew, traveled to some amazing places (Toronto, Macau, Hong Kong, Jamaica and Bali) and love the fast-paced high energy of creating a show like this. I have personally enjoyed seeing the creative process of a fashion photo shoot come together, as well as seeing Tyra Banks herself be a host, executive producer, decision maker, photographer, makeup artist and mentor on the show. She is incredible and a huge inspiration to me. 

I can't say I have one favorite moment, but I love the travel, and making friends with the local crews we work with there, and all the awesome freebies I have gotten over the past couple of years! 

8.  LA can be a tough crowd. How do you stay grounded? 
I have a few things. Not all of my friends work in the industry so I get to have a healthy balance in my social life. Learning to acknowledge that work is work, and you have to sometimes "check out" or "sign off" to give yourself a break, especially if you work in digital media like I do. I love to read, go to the beach, go for walks and eat good food. I don't go out or drink a lot, and I don't go to a lot of parties, except when it is for work or networking.  I also go to church and meditate and pray a lot. That helps give me a bigger life perspective so that I can daily acknowledge that the world does not revolve around me, but I have a duty to be the best ambassador and contribute with the gifts and talents I have been given for a positive reason. 

9.  What are some of the greatest lessons you have learned being in the TV/Entertainment industry?
Listen and observe. Don't be too quick to promote yourself or think highly of yourself. Do you research, learn as much as possible, always find ways to improve and get better at your craft. Be aware of your digital presence, as it will be a key indicator to potential employers of who you are outside of work hours. Most of all, remember it is entertainment, so have fun and don't take yourself too seriously. Stay humble always! 

10. If you could be remembered for only one thing, what would you want it to be?
Being a promoter of positive, inspiring and empowering messages for millenial women, through the media. I want to be remembered as the young woman who was the biggest supporter and encourager of them all, who lead a generation of women to think, feel and act the same to their fellow sisters. 

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Meet Alicia Our New Health & Fitness Contributor!

We have very exciting news that we just couldn't wait any longer to share with our readers- meet our new Health & Fitness contributor, Alicia!  We're all about eating healthy and working out... but we're not exactly fitness experts.  Alicia is the perfect addition to our team!

A few times a month, Alicia will share all of her tips & tricks on eating healthy and working out.  Bonus... she even has yummy and healthy recipes in store for us too!  Read her bio & interview below, and get to know Alicia personally!

Alicia Holmes is an Arizona native with an intense love and passion for health and wellness.  She serves as a health coach, personal and group fitness instructor, a fitness model, and has a passion for what she does.

Alicia’s thirst for knowledge about health led her to the Institute of Integrative Nutrition.  There, she became a certified health coach, with the intention of helping to improve the quality of life for others through nutrition and overall wellness practices. 

Given her athletic background in competitive gymnastics and cheerleading, coupled with her extensive knowledge of physical fitness and performance, becoming a fitness trainer was a natural step for her.  For the last four years, she has been training clients on a personal level, and has recently started instructing group fitness classes as well.

Upon meeting her, it's apparent that she finds true joy in being able to inspire others to improve their health and happiness.  She loves sharing her knowledge of nutrition and fitness!

1. How did you get into health & fitness?
"It’s been a journey, but my dad’s cancer sparked my interest in nutrition.  I have a blog post on that on my website.  Years later I started marketing for an organic supplement company, and also began fitness modeling.  That’s when I realized I couldn’t quench my thirst for knowledge on anything health related."  

2. How many times a week do you workout?  What do you do?
"I try to get a good work out in at least 3-4 times per week.  Sometimes it’s more, and sometimes I just don’t have the time.  I love group fitness classes though, especially bootcamp style workouts.  The energy is awesome and I get such a killer workout.  For fun I also love hiking, hot yoga, and swimming."

3. What is your go-to snack when you're in a rush?
"Fruit, but I also try to always have my homemade protein bars or bites handy; sometimes a girl needs a little more than a banana!"

4. You have gorgeous hair- what's your secret?
"Thank you!  I don’t really have a secret, but eating as healthy as I do does help to grow strong, thick hair.  Also not washing it everyday if I can avoid it, which is convenient for my busy lifestyle."

5. What is your favorite part about working and eating healthy?
"My favorite part about working out and eating healthy is definitely how I feel.  I haven’t always been so healthy, I look back and it’s like night and day.  I have so much energy, I feel vibrant and alive.  I hardly get sick, and I sleep like a champ."

6. What's the worst diet you've heard of and why?
"That’s a tough question to answer.  There are so many fad diets out there that are pretty extreme.  I believe in moderation.  No carbs?  No fat?  95% protein?  Are you kidding me?"

7. What's 3 things you always carry around in your purse?
"I never go anywhere without lip balm and snacks.  Those two are easy.  Hmmm…  Floss!  I always have a travel size floss on me."

8. What's one of your favorite workout classes? 
"I really like doing Amenzone workouts, they are really challenging, but I love that.  And the workouts are different every single time, so you never know what to expect.  Except that I will definitely be sweating.  A lot.  I also really love hot yoga."  

9. One food you cannot live without.  Why?
"Just one?!  I feel like I have tons!  Right now I guess it would be bananas.  I have been having at least one a day lately.  But they are so tasty, and healthy.  And they are perfect before or after workouts, in my protein smoothies, and they are so portable."

10. What do you think is key to living a healthy lifestyle?

"Having fun with it.  If you make eating healthy and exercising fun, it’s easy to maintain.  We all like having fun.  But the second you start to take things too seriously, it tends to all fall apart.  Go hiking or make a healthy dinner with a friend; find a way to really enjoy eating vegetables by experimenting in the kitchen.  Eat cleanly, but have a treat now and then. Don’t sweat it if you miss one workout.  It can be easy to get carried away, but if you enjoy yourself, your meals, and your workouts, maintaining a healthy lifestyle is easy."
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