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Last name: Raelia lewis
Agency: Click on the models Philly / Yanii Models / Wilhelmina Chicago / Heffner Management
Claim to fame: Lewis is a The next American top model alum which has been featured in commercials for Pepsi, Kiss USA and Mizani.
Raelia Lewis first introduced herself to officers as a child in Philadelphia. When the kids in the neighborhood were skipping rope and antics, she looked for modeling agencies in the Yellow Pages. “As far back as I can remember, I’ve always been interested in modeling,” she said. Hello beauty.
At fifteen, she was spotted by a local agency called Icon Models. “We trained like every Thursday,” she continued. “I did fashion shows. I did hair shows and it was cool for a while, but then decided that I really wanted to go mainstream. Luckily for Lewis, the mainstream modeling mecca was less than a hundred miles away. “When I was 18, I started trying to sign in New York,” she said. “I started sending my photos to the agencies.”
She eventually looked west for opportunities, submitting to several reality shows. “I went to LA and tried to sign there. It took me really, really, really a long time to sign, ”she said. Lewis supported himself and financed his transportation to castings and auditions by taking a job in the hotel industry. “I was a waiter. So what I did was just took extra shifts. And I saved my money and went over there and I was broke. So it was literally by the grace of God that I was able to do it, ”she said.
” I have succeeded in The next American top model at 22 after trying more than four times for a reality TV show contest, so they included The face and three seasons of The next American top model. And I was rejected by everyone. And then a fourth time I tried to The next American top model, I did. “The preproduction process and overblown storylines put together by the show created an environment full of unexpected triggers for Lewis.” It was so, it was like a low-key and traumatic experience, ” she said, “I felt like they pushed us beyond our limits. We didn’t really understand what we were getting into. So it was very difficult.”
“It was like a really scary lonely experience,” she added. The television exposure was difficult for Lewis to bear without the benefits of reserving work from it. “For a while it was really, really difficult. And it was almost like I regretted doing the show, ”she said. “It was almost like holding a mirror in front of what I didn’t know was going to happen or what I thought I had to be.”
Being sequestered prompted some of the candidates to come together, and although Lewis was not left with a contract, she befriended with similar goals. “It was really, really, difficult after the show. As if I had no direction, no one wanted to kick down the doors, try to sign me. So I was really back to square one, ”she admitted. She moved to Los Angeles with some of her casting mates after her stint on the show. “We all came from different places. We wondered why we didn’t collect our money, ”she recalls. “Let’s just go out there and just try to make it happen. Lewis eventually realized her initial dream of signing to New York through her efforts, but she wasn’t claiming victory until she got a paid job. “I was always worried because I went through so much disappointment that I was like, let me see what’s going to happen because after you sign up you have to book.”
Lewis had no problem booking. She has appeared in commercials for Pepsi, Bare Minerals, Kiss USA, Mizani and more. “After signing in New York, things really started to pick up speed. I regularly worked as a full-time model, ”she said. “It was really great, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t difficult. You know, I still get rejected a lot sometimes. Almost 20 years of experience have prepared her to be proactive. “I have this thing where I don’t depend on anyone for it… for my career. I’m not putting my, my life in nobody’s hands. So when things are slow, I don’t look at the agent and get mad at him. I said, “Well, what can you do? And I just use that mindset and keep moving forward. ”
She pushed towards entrepreneurship by starting two retail businesses that offer swimwear and accessories. As a model she is often overlooked for swimming campaigns as an owner she can give herself a reservation. “I was sick of waiting for someone to come get me. I was tired of looking outside of myself for validation and financial support. She is not worried about the saturation of the modeling or fashion market.
“If you work hard enough, there is enough space.”
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