Sasha-Lee Taylor: Girl Boss, building confidence levels, at her new role as Director.
Sasha-Lee Taylor, is not only an established Model, Author and Philanthropist, she now has taken on the role of Boss babe and become the director of Ace Models International West Rand. We sat down with the inspiring Future Female and got chatting about her latest role.
1. You recently became the Director of ACE Models Int. West Rand - how do you juggle such a busy schedule?
From my school days, I have always enjoyed being busy and on the go. Juggling many responsibilities motivates me to continue going and growing in all aspects of my life.
I’m very grateful to have an awesome support system at home from my friends and family that help me cope and stay grounded in what most people who claim to be a very busy lifestyle. My passion gets to be reflected daily and I am blessed to do a job that I love.
2. What makes the modeling industry one that you enjoy?
I think a lot of people have this negative idea about the modeling industry at which they assume that it only focuses on the outside appearance of the individual, but it’s so much more than that! it’s about building self-confidence, self-development, personal growth, and many more skills for everyday use and that’s why I love the industry. It focuses on the outside as much as the inside of the individuals and I am grateful I get to help them shape into successful and inspiring individuals.
3. Describe a typical day in the life of an "Ace Models Int" Director?
I always begin my day with a workout at the gym - I use this as a stress reliever, from there, I will attend meetings with my team, perform admin tasks, visit schools, organise classes and photo shoots and in the evenings there are training and "shaping" classes.
4. When did you first discover your passion for modeling and pageantry?
As a child, I was very shy and introverted, my mother enrolled me in a modeling school to help me build and boost my confidence levels. Fast forward to winning a few pageants, I fell in love with the industry and how it can help young girls and even boys grow, shape their minds, confidence, and growth and find out that following a career in this industry can ultimately become their dream job - whether it’s in the modeling industry or not. I enjoy it, even more so, when I see my students blossom into the young, confident and successful adults they are today.
5. Do you believe a modeling coach should have specialised skills?
The industry like many can become cutthroat if you do not develop coping mechanisms and skills to manage your expectations. I have come to realize, with negative criticism that was pushed my way, that you need to learn the difference between constructive and destructive criticism. My motto is if it’s not going to help you better yourself and position in life then you need to let it go and focus on what you doing and what is right for you. So in a sense, yes, I do believe passing on skills and experiences with your students is important to help them realise that if they do not immediately succeed and they receive criticism, to work through it, process it and then adapt, apply and use it to enhance their strengths.
6. How do you deal with negative criticism in the workplace?
I often feel, as a woman who is often judged for my industry choice, that we need to remember not to let anyone or anything get in our way, we just need to continue to stay in our own lane focusing on what we good at and the success will follow. Hard work and consistency always pay off. To not focus any attention on negative aspects or judgemental aspects and to keep striving to succeed to the best of our abilities.
7. What do you think is the most important aspect of unlocking our potential as women as business owners?
If you can dream it, you can be it. It’s important to dream and I try to encourage all of my students to believe in their dreams. Being a woman in the beauty pageantry and entertainment industry that I am often perceived to just be a pretty face. I feel like striving to make my mark, showing people the hard work and effort I make, mentally and physically, will ultimately aid me in showing people that as being a business women I can have it all, I can do it all, and there is a whole lot of substance behind my pretty face. I have a brain, I am a business owner and I am proud of who I am!
8. What motto or words do you live by in the workspace?
"Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice and most of all, love of what you are doing or learning to do." - Pele
Personally, for me, it has not been smooth sailing or easy feat. It has been a rocky road or lessons and learning my inner strengths to get to where I am today. I started coaching modeling fresh out of high school, 5 years ago from my parent's garage, before then taking over HMC Pageantry Academy from Ghene Oosthuizen and Meghan Warby, who gave me the opportunity to have my own studio, which was amazing but at the same time, absolutely daunting! I was a full-time student and writing my first children's educational book, I felt like I was drowning in work. The number of times I had to watch models not win a pageant or place at a competition, broke my heart, and there were plenty of times where I thought it would be easier to quit to avoid the disappointment and heartbreak, but thankfully God has other plans for me, and I honestly couldn’t be more excited and passionate about this journey with ACE. I am grateful to have learned a big lesson from this industry, is that you can’t win everything, and that’s okay- it’s not by any means a reflection of who you are if you don’t win or place at a pageant or don’t get that casting you went for - your time will come, we need to trust in that.
9. What are some of the challenges faced in the modeling industry?
I have learned that no one is going to believe in you if you don’t believe in yourself. You will not always get picked or place in a competition and that is also okay. Your value is not based on other people's perceptions but starts with you at home. Confidence will come, success is paid off with hard work, determination and many long hours. What you put in, you will get out!
10. What important lesson have you learned from being in the modeling industry?
The biggest one is definitely, stop overthinking it, just start at the beginning and go for it. It’s important to not compare yourself in this industry, stay in your lane, stay focused on your goals and always give your best. If you lay everything on the table, you have done your part. You will not always be everyone's cup of tea but that simply means something else where you are better suited is coming your way and you have to stay hopeful and positive it will come.
11. What advice would you give to someone wanting to start a business in the modeling industry?
That you need to come in willing to learn, to grow, to work hard. You are going to have many ups and downs, which is the same in every industry. You have to love you and be prepared to show the world your passions, fight your place and remember that you are doing this for you and no one else. Nothing comes easy ever!
12. What are some of the positive perks of being in the modeling industry?
I’ve definitely enjoyed meeting a lot of people in this industry from all different walks of life. No day is the same as the next, so that is always refreshing. Having the chance to mold and shape young people's lives is always so rewarding when you see how much they develop when you read about or watch their successes come into fruition. To see confidence levels boom - that is rewarding. Perks such as getting product drops and going to splashy events is also quite fun!
13. Which celebrity/model do you have "catwalk-envy" for - international or local?
Catriona Grey definitely gives catwalk envy! Her Miss Universe performance was outstanding.
Her confidence is inspiring! She is definitely someone I look up to.
14. If you could align your modeling agency with any celeb, who would it be and why?
You know this was a fun one to think about, but personally I don't think anyone in particular. The individuals who come to the agency and are apart of the family don't need to compare themselves to anyone. Each person is unique and aspiring and I love that about the agency, we keep it original, unique and we are all a family here, supporting each other as we grow.
This lady is one to keep an eye on, The Boss Babe is our Women Crush Wednesday and going from strength to strength.
Good luck with everything you do...
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Pics: Supplied & Van Vuuren Photography