Meet The Rising Star Behind The Cover Of The September 2021 Issue Of Sassy & Co Magazine: Arundhati Banerjee

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Arundhati Banerjee’s journey from a South Australian Women of the Year – Emerging Leader, performing artist, pageant winner, humanitarian services to being selected among the top 25 models in Australian SuperModel has been rewarding and fulfilling.

Arundhati also fondly known as Ari is a teenager, pursuing a first-year Bachelor of Creative Industries (Theatre and Performing Arts) from Flinders University with a vision to work and contribute to the performing arts industry.

Sassy & Co Magazine recently had a chat with Arundhati to discuss her journey in the industry plus her experience joining the Australian SuperModel of the Year competition and here what went down:

How did you get into the modelling industry?

It was at the age of 14 when I began my journey into modelling by enrolling with Tanya Powell Models. There has been no looking back since then, be it walking the ramp, being offered Cover Girl opportunities, being featured in various magazines, winning pageant titles, or fundraising for humanitarian causes like Domestic Violence by walking the runway for various fashion shows. The journey has been gratifying and I look forward to learning and contributing further to my future.

Photographed by CAMO PHOTOGRAPHY / Outfit Sponsor BRIDAL FUSION by MASCIA

What do you like most about being a model?

Modelling gives me a sense of freedom. The fact that I can be myself in front of the camera without any limitations keeps me loving it and coming back for more. The skills of poise and confidence I gathered over the years through modeling have also helped me transfer the skills to other areas of my life. The opportunity to travel to interesting places and meet fascinating people from different backgrounds, work in diverse projects such as sustainability, body positivity, and diversity is very fulfilling.

Downside to being a model?

The emotional, and physical stress is quite common in this industry given the requirement to look and behave a certain way. The need to achieve and reach your maximum potential at a very young age, given the life span within the industry is very less and limited, puts a high amount of stress, leading to unhealthy competition, mental health issues, and many other. The environment needs to be conducive; the industry needs to be regulated just like any other workplace.

What has been the most memorable experience of being in the modelling industry so far?

I have chosen platforms and sponsors who resonate with my values and beliefs of inclusivity, diversity, and sustainability. I am an ambassador for a multi-award boutique Bridal Fusion by Mascia in South Australia who not only believes but demonstrates the ethos of body positivity and inclusivity through her dresses. My association with Miss and Mr. Diamond International and Australia and now Australian Super Model of the Year also aligns with the values that I believe. Another memorable experience is one of the catwalks that I did which helped raise funds for people affected by Domestic Violence – it has been a truly rewarding experience. Each of these experiences has been memorable and I had learned from them that modelling is not just about travelling to exotic places, or meeting people, but making a difference.

Photographed by CAMO PHOTOGRAPHY / Outfit Sponsor BRIDAL FUSION by MASCIA

Who have been the most interesting people you’ve met so far?

I am very young, and I believe all those whom I have come in contact with, have taught me life lessons that can be emulated in modelling and as such every other career aspiration I have.

What has been the most valuable lesson you’ve learned while in the modelling/industry. This can be about the industry or about yourself.

The most valuable lesson that I have learned is that it is not necessary to fit into the stereotype – just be unique, be yourself, and take care of yourself and others. Collaborate and not compete as well as build sisterhood are some of the mantras the different platforms and mentors have taught me. Enjoy the journey and strive for excellence and not success.

Can you tell us more about ASOTY?

Australian Super Model of the Year (ASOTY) is a unique platform that meticulously selects its top models that can align with the values of the institution which are diversity, inclusion, sisterhood, and sustainability. Once selected, there is a series of sessions from leading industry leaders on diverse topics such as sisterhood, fashion, sustainability, resilience, mindfulness, and networking. These sessions have aided my understanding, and appreciation, of collaboration efforts, building networks, and sisterhood.

Photographed by CAMO PHOTOGRAPHY / Outfit Sponsor BRIDAL FUSION by MASCIA

Why did you decide to join ASOTY?

The Australian Supermodel of the Year competition is not just a typical modelling competition. The selected contestants complete a series of activities over the next few months to acquire points towards reaching the finals. They include online training modules, mentoring sessions, social media content creation, photography, attitude, teamwork, collaborations, challenges, and working with the sponsors. I believe being part of this competition is about meeting new people and forming meaningful connections which allows me to promote diversity in the industry and the significance of sustainability in fashion. ASOTY believes in building Super Role Models for the industry and this difference in their framework is my reason to be part of it.

What do you hope to gain from joining ASOTY?

I believe that I have already started gaining through the series of sessions I have been attending the sisterhood that I have built within the institution and outside, change the perception of the industry, and seeing it with a different lens that is more productive and sustainable. Self-love, body positivity, sisterhood have been gainful takeaways so far and I look forward to every session in the coming weeks.

What do you hope to see happen in the near future for models and beauty queens all over the world?

I believe the modelling industry is going through a change, where we will be seeing more of Super Role Models which an institution such as ASOTY is aiming to build. We need our models and beauty queens and kings to be influencers, working for the greater cause of society, as the younger generations look up to them. They can be instrumental in building a healthy and inclusive society.

Photographed by S R MEDIA / Outfit Sponsor BRIDAL FUSION by MASCIA

Meet The Stunner Behind The Cover Of The August 2021 Issue Of Sassy & Co Magazine: Kristina Menissov

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Kristina Menissov began her career as a model in Los Angeles back in 2017. Since then she has worked with several famous designers such as Robert Cavalli, Michael Ngo, Michael Costello, and Jovani Dresses. She has also graced the runway in Los Angeles Fashion Week and Miami Swim Week, not to mention starring in Tyga’s “IBIZA” music video, modeling for Chris Applebaum’s YouTube Channel, and appearing in Model’s Talk. A former Italian-trained Opera Singer, Kristina has parlayed her modeling career into a blossoming singing career. She recently signed with the famed music producer Andrew Lane who is known for such superstars as the Backstreet Boys and Irene Cara. Her first single, “Taking Over LA” was released last summer to rave reviews. She will soon be releasing another hit single with Italian DJ Marzia D’orlando entitled “Breakout.” When not working, Kristina loves playing the piano and spending time with her 4-year-old son.

Sassy & Co Magazine recently caught up with Kristina to discuss her journey in the industry and here’s what went down:

How did you get started in the music industry? How were you actually ‘discovered’?

I was so lucky to meet a great and talented music producer Andrew Lane, he is the one who believed in me and still guides me and we are preparing many more hits together.

What do you like most about singing?

When I am on the stage and performing I feel alive. When I sing at the studio or practicing at home it’s like a meditation to me. I connect with myself. I breathe the right way. And everything becomes so bright and beautiful.

Can you tell us about your song Breakout?

It’s an EDM song with the Italian DJ Marzia Dorlando. When we were writing this song with her it was after our conversation about how much we want to have our breakout moment. That we are ready for it. So all those thoughts inspired us to create. And we love our creation.

What sort of person is going to love this song?

Someone who loves EDM music, someone who loves to dance, and if you need to hear that message that’s it’s time to do that next step you should check it out.

What inspires you to be creative?

It could be everything, I am feeling happy? I’m gonna write a song. I am feeling sad or depressed, I am gonna write a sad song. The way I feel today will inspire me to do so.

Is there anything special that you do to get into a creative mindset?

When I don’t feel like doing anything or creating anything but I have a deadline or an urgent need. I say this: you don’t have to be inspired to be functional. And creativity comes when you start doing something.

What message, if any, do you try to put into your work?

I want to inspire people. That’s definitely what the “BREAKOUT” song was about. On my first single “Taking Over LA” I wanted to show the realistic moments of all the models that live here. So my message is: inspire to create and don’t forget to have fun.

What has been the most memorable experience of your career so far?

Making my first music video “Taking Over LA” I did almost everything myself, starting from location scouting and production ending with styling my outfits. I had a great videographer Maxim Puchkov and amazing and talented HMUA Tetiana Kazak. It was so fun to learn how to do it all. But I hope in the future I can have more help and a bigger budget to have the whole team.

Do you ever find yourself unable to express your creativity to the fullest? What kinds of things inhibit you?

I have ups and downs just like all of us. Some days I would have an idea and without even properly thinking about it I would criticize it so much and put it aside without even giving it a chance.

So answering your second question I would say that the biggest things that inhibit my art are my insecurities and self-judgment mentality.

Who is your greatest influence?

I can’t really think of one specific person who would be a role model for myself, but I definitely had quite a few examples of who I don’t want to end up like, so I tried to do everything the opposite of what I’ve seen they did.

Do you feel that you chose your “passion,” or did it choose you?

I feel like we’ve chosen each other. Since I was a little girl looking so different growing up in Kazakhstan so everyone would always say that this is what I should be doing, so I grew up and chose to do it.

If you hadn’t chosen your field, what would your alternate field have been?

I would’ve been an attorney and fight for human rights.

433What are your future plans? Inside your career or out of it.

I am aiming for a Grammy in the nearest future.

The ‘LIGHTNING FAST’ Round:

1. Last good movie I’ve seen: The Mauritanian.

2. What do you consider beautiful and why? The way a loving mother looks at her child. Because there is nothing more touching and pure than that.

3. What haven’t you done yet that you wish you could? I didn’t buy a dogecoin 6 months ago.

4. Complete this sentence: “If I had no fear, I’d…” parachute jump.

5. What is the one “flaw” you wouldn’t change about yourself? My stubbornness.

This New Lingerie Range From Dita Von Teese Will Definitely Take Your Breath Away

This vintage-inspired lingerie line, dreamed up by Dita herself, offers show-stopping details and intricate lace. The exclusive plus-size collection is only available at Playful Promises.

This collection offers show-stopping details and intricate lace. With a cult following on social media, with 222k followers on Instagram, The Dita von Teese range shouldn’t be missed. 

Multiple sets are on offer and boast luxury lace in delicious colour-ways, perfect for fans of the pin-up and lovers of all things opulent. This beautiful lingerie line captures the spirit of retro glamour, while being accessible and functional from moments of everyday beauty and luxury. 

Evelina 

Dita created Evelina combining her love of embroidered detailing on soft tulle bases. The blue and black monotone floral embroidery is dramatic against the fine soft stretch mesh but is still easy to wear, beautiful lingerie. The bra is a sheer cup bra with a soft subtle lift from the unique satin petal inserts. The straps are velvet with velvet bow trims. The high waist brief has a full embroidered front with delicate scallops along the waist and a sheer mesh back with fine elastic trims. The suspender features a wide embroidered front that sits high at the waist. The suspender had 6 velvet garters for stability and function. This is a must for lingerie lovers! 

 

The Rosabelle 

The Rosabelle bra is a non-padded bra with dramatic rose embroidery on a light nude tulle with satin diaphragm and strap details. A sheer support sling in the cups provides perfect lift and shape. Satin straps and satin ribbon trim detail. The Rosabelle high waist thong features a trimmed satin banding and a thong back. The Rosabelle suspender has four garter attachments for stability and peek-a-boo cutouts. For a limited time only, you can get 20% off The Dita von Teese range.

Photo Credit and Article Source: Laura Lambert of The Authentic Agency

Fashion Designer Of The Week: Introducing The Talented Larissa Lampitelli

http://www.toddwhite.org

Larissa Lampitelli was originally from New York and her passion for clothing started at a young age when she began working in a specialty shop that carried beautiful, luxury lingerie. She quickly recognized the exceptional quality that these products had and developed a deep appreciation for this form of precision and craftsmanship. She found that this is where her love for lingerie began.

She studied at the Fashion Institute of Technology and worked as a designer for a licensing sleepwear brand for years. She recently started her own namesake brand – Larissa Kate Lingerie. The line features ethically handcrafted lingerie for the modern woman seeking luxury and individuality. She believes that women are a work of art therefore their lingerie should be too. With a strong commitment to providing women with self-empowerment, she has proven to her loyal following that lingerie can be for them to assist them in feeling beautiful inside and out.

Sassy & Co magazine recently caught up with Larissa to discuss her journey in the fashion industry and here’s what went down:

How did you get into the fashion industry?

When I was young I worked at a specialty shop that carried silk lingerie and organic soaps. I was quickly drawn to these types of unique products, specifically clothing, and became interested in the story of each garment; Who made it? How was it made? Is it an ethical piece of clothing? All these things are a reflection of what you stand for and what you wear can become an extension of your personality. As a result, I studied design at The Fashion Institute of Technology and specialized in Intimate Apparel. I love the challenge of working with a small, delicate canvas and making pieces that are unique and versatile and the one wearing them.

What do you like most about being a designer?

I love creating! Being able to conceptualize a clothing idea and then the process of making it come to fruition is very rewarding. The process can be time-consuming and tedious, but when you are doing something you love, it can become quite therapeutic. It’s icing on the cake when a consumer is drawn to a piece I’ve made and decides to buy it.

The downside to being a fashion designer?

For me, it would have to be the business side of having my own company. I am very creative so for me to sit down and crunch numbers isn’t always fun. The cost of production can be daunting as well – I might have a few ideas and products I want to release but will have to scale down once I realize just how much it will cost for each idea.

What has been the most memorable experience of being in the fashion industry so far?

My most memorable experiences would probably be all the pop-up shops I’ve done in New York City. Hustling and trying to get my product in front of as my people as possible. Ranging from having pop-ups in bars, the bottom of a mattress store (lol) to eventually joining another brand and selling for a summer at a storefront in SoHo. I now sell to specialty boutiques that appreciate ethical fashion and mainly on my website, but I still love joining a group of artists for an occasional pop-up and meeting new people.

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Who have been the most interesting people you’ve met so far?

I love meeting other local small business designers who are in a similar boat as me. Sharing ideas with them and being able to support each other means we all win!

I also love meeting my customers and seeing people in the clothing I make. When someone likes a product to the point they have to wear it out of the store brings me happy tears.

What has been the most valuable lesson you’ve learned while in the fashion industry. This can be about the industry or about yourself.

Push yourself to step outside of your comfort zone. I am an introvert at heart, so it’s important for me to push myself and get out of my comfort zone to better the brand, excel, and also grow as a person. It’s important to not worry about what other people think of you. Go with your gut and follow your calling.

http://www.toddwhite.org

Is your family supportive of you being a fashion designer?

Yes, my family has always been supportive of my dreams. They used to worry about me not having the security of a corporate job but once they saw I made a few sales and it was more than a hobby for me, they were in my corner.

If you could go back in a time machine to when you were just getting started, what would you do differently?

I would say to intern for your dream company because that will most likely result in a foot in the door. I also think networking is key, you never know when or where a person you met along the way will be able to help you in your career later on. I remember I pushed myself to talk to one of my ideas at a fashion trade show and that resulted in her recommending me for a job.

What is the best advice you have ever been given?

Keep hustling. You have to do everything it takes to make the dream happen. Keep emailing those buyers, pushing your product, and make it happen! No one is going to hand your dreams to you.

What are your future plans? Inside your career or out of it.

My passion right now is my clothing line – Larissa Kate Lingerie. This past year has set my production back a little but my goal is to keep growing my business. I am currently working on a sustainable, size-inclusive new collection that’s made in the USA.

Meet The Woman Behind The Cover Of The July 2021 Issue Of Sassy & Co Magazine: The Amazing Failepou Peni

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Failepou Peni (otherwise known as Fai) is the director and founder of Pacific International Runway (PIR) – one of the most prominent Pacific/multicultural fashion companies. They source out established and emerging fashion designers from the Pacific Region to give them exposure to the mainstream fashion industry. They also teach basic fashion design in PNG, Samoa, Solomon Islands, and Australia and provides mentorship in the fashion industry. They always look for new faces within the modelling sector; collaborating with various groups, especially with the young generation to allow them to experience and work under various designers or anyone in the fashion industry.

Besides Pacific International Runway, Failepou is also the lead designer and stylist for the clothing brand “Lepou” as well as the director and licensee of Pacific Int RealEstate Pty Ltd – a company that provides mentorship by guiding people in their property investment journey. Her overall goal is to be the best she can ever be by sharing the gifts she has been blessed with. Her accomplishments include helping the young and mature know and understand mainstream fashion as well as guiding them to produce their first collection via the PIR platform. As the PIR founder, she has enabled herself plus 6 designers to represent their own culture (Samoa, Tonga, NZ, Cook Island, Solomon Island, and Australia) in Hollywood – their garments were showcased during the red carpet premiere for Disney’s Moana held in Hollywood, Los Angeles. She was a part of the team that took PNG textile printing to a new level by utilising their artistic skills and enabling them to design their own cultural prints on fabric, whether it be hand-printed or sublimation prints, transforming their skills into a sustainable income. She has also been helping many families buy their first homes, dating right back to 16 years ago, and now, she’s helping them build their portfolio in property investment by teaching them to become more financially secure.

Outside of work, she considers herself as just an ordinary person. She’s a devout Christian who loves Jesus with all of her heart – she considers Jesus as the core of her life. She also loves hanging out with her husband and kids, along with her extended family and friends. She believes that having a balanced life is important and she’s a firm believer in treating others as you would want to be treated. She doesn’t feel the need to look at what others are doing; she just focuses on what she can do because she knows her worth so she has no fear.

Sassy & Co magazine recently caught up with Failepou to discuss her journey in the fashion industry and here’s what went down:

How did you get into the fashion industry?

I started at the age of 11, helping my mother, Ane Fasavalu Saipaia, when she was a sewing teacher in New Zealand, Samoa, and Australia. Watching and admiring what she did made me want to get into the fashion industry.

What do you like most about being a designer?

Creating nothing into something, also creating garments where the wearer gets to wear the dress not the other way around, and seeing your clients get the wow factor not just the smile.

The downside to being a fashion designer?

For me, every designer is different. I personally enjoy and embrace the fashion industry with each challenge to transform difficulty into positivity. As a creator, you know your capabilities, your strength, and weaknesses. If you’re working on your weakness, then it becomes no longer a weakness because, without your weakness, you will not know your strengths. For me, a downside always becomes the upside.

What has been the most memorable experience of being in the fashion industry so far?

The very first fashion show that I directed was held at Campsie in the 1990s, that was when my husband had to drive all the way to Campsie from Fairfield to pick up my finale garment which was still being completed by my mother to be given to the model at the runway, it was a showstopper. it’s the most memorable experience that I will always remember for it was the last time that I would work together with my mother in creating this last piece and having a husband who journeyed with me then and now in this fashion industry. I have many memorable moments and experiences with a list of clients but this memory will always top them all.

Who have been the most interesting people you’ve met so far?

The most interesting people that I have met would have to be the people of Papua New Guinea. The people of PNG are very creative, artistic and they have the willingness to learn and embrace knowledge about the fashion industry. I was blessed to be a part of taking this project of teaching the people of PNG.

What has been the most valuable lesson you’ve learned while in the fashion industry. This can be about the industry or about yourself.

As a designer of fashion, you are the creator, as a creator, there are no limits. Understand your clients’ forecasts and trends. Knowledge is key to a successful path.

Is your family supportive of you being a fashion designer?

Yes, my immediate family grew up with fabric in their faces (laughs).

If you could go back in a time machine to the time when you were just getting started, what would you do differently?

The simple answer is to have the two greatest supporters in my life; having my mother, Ane Fasavalu Saipaia, and my sister Maisagamai Taoai with me today.

What is the best advice you have ever been given?

Having Jesus Christ as my core.

What are your future plans? Inside your career or out of it.

Not only am I a fashion designer, but I am also a real estate licensee. My future plan is to encourage and empower anyone whatever age, culture, or profession. My advice for anyone is to continue to strive until you get what you want. if you fall, get back up again and keep going until it’s yours. You alone have the choice to decide your future. My plans will always be to live my life to its fullest, to who I was created to be.

Meet The Entrepreneur Behind The Cover Of The June 2021 Issue Of Sassy & Co Magazine: Oogii Flower

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Artist Credit; Zol Ame

It never ceases to amaze us how much precious time most people waste trying to find that imaginary shortcut that’ll lead to massive wealth and entrepreneurial success when the only real way is staring them right in the face: genuine entrepreneurs who want to be successful in business needs to put in a lot of careful planning, research, and hard work – and that’s what Oyuntsetseg Olonbayar aka OOGII Flower has done over the years.

OOGII started her career at the age of 20, by getting a degree in Journalism. She then entered a competition that was searching for someone who would be a newsreader on Mongolian National TV. After a lot of effort and perseverance, she eventually won the contest, which is held every 14 years. Eventually, though, she realized that her passion was not really in being a newscaster but in fashion. So, she left journalism to focus more on fashion. This risky move has eventually paid off, as she has built one of the fastest-rising fashion empires. She went from creating glamorous and comfortable shoes to making exquisite handbags and now accessories. She has also expanded from an online business to a retail store in Japan and just recently in Mongolia.

Like many successful high-profile fashion designers, OOGII’s career has had a lot of highlights. For example, she got the chance to collaborate with Germani Jewelry to create a range of products for weddings. In addition, her high-quality designs have received positive comments from several customers. One of the most memorable feedbacks she has ever received was from footballer named Robbie Farah. Robbie gave her a really good review because he was impressed by the comfort of the shoes she makes. Fashion has also paved the way for her to meet a range of interesting people. For example, at a function celebrating International Women’s Day, she got to meet influential designer Carla Zampatti which is still one of the highlights of her career in fashion.
 
OOGII believes that the fashion industry can be difficult for people to get into. There are several things that designers need to learn before they can actually start making money from their designs such as learning to limit their production costs. You also need to have a realistic idea of how many products you’ll be able to sell while using the best materials. For example, OOGII uses sustainably farmed snake skins to create her shoes. By mastering this aspect in her business, OOGII has made it easier for her to produce more high-quality shoes at a comfortable pace. Despite her rapid rise to success, she hasn’t lost sight of the most important things in life. OOGII admits that she has been fortunate enough to get plenty of support from her friends and family. Her family and fiancé help keep her grounded and ensure that she continues to stay true to her values and beliefs.
 
Crossing from journalism to fashion has enabled OOGII to travel to many new places and meet inspiring people. Now that she’s on a roll – she has no intention of slowing down. She wants to start designing her own clothing label soon, as well as creating multiple new products. Brace yourself Australia, because OOGII is soon to take the Australian fashion scene by storm!

Meet The Man Behind The Cover Of The March 2021 Issue Of Sassy & Co Magazine: Steven Ozbun

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A veteran entrepreneur, music producer, and home builder, Steven Ozbun is currently the CEO of the sunglasses and apparel brand TradingLooks.com. He managed to grow his company from a team of 3 to well over 150 team members as well as expanded their product line from zero revenue to a whopping $20 million annually.

Ozbun calls his first true love to be music. As an 80’s baby, he was influenced by some of the most iconic artists of all time such as Elvis, Cher, and Prince. Because of this passion for the music industry, he established Spinindustry Entertainment which was a production company that produces his music, as well as undiscovered talents, no one has heard of yet. What’s truly unique is the vision Ozbun had for this type of music – it was a blend of house music and hip hop which is somewhere around 120 to 128 bpm repeating hip hop phrases on a house beat. Ozbun goes by the artist name of “OZ music nation.” Under this name, he has produced 20 original tracks and has released five mixes. From a passion project – Ozbun has grown his passion project into something much more.

Just recently, Ozbun founded “Continuum Residential” which is a design and build firm specializing in finding first turn historical candidate homes and re-imagining them leaving character and modern, amenities. This is all done while doing their best to use the properties’ original footprint.

Originally going to school to be an architect, the vision comes naturally for him. In the Continuum Residential portfolio are five homes in different phases of construction in Point Loma spread out across Ocean Beach, Sunset Cliffs, Plumosa Park, and Loma Portal. The properties span across architectural types mid-century modern, Tudor, Spanish, and beach bungalow – all homes are being re-imagined with hotel-like amenities and true to era modernized flair.

In addition to these brands, Ozbun also continues to provide marketing and strategic consulting services to select clients in consumer-driven industries. You can learn more information about these services via his website www.stevenozbun.com.

Sassy & Co magazine recently caught up with Steven to discuss his journey to entrepreneurship and here’s what went down:

Can you tell us more about your journey to entrepreneurship?

2008 was a great year to launch a company, right? For most, absolutely not. We didn’t let this get in our way. We hit the ground running and never looked back so we were so excited about our marketing and website products and the problems they solved. I loved the industry and the people. I had a blast, I loved what I did. In about a decade we grew from a team of 3 to well over 150 team members, expanded our product line from zero revenue to $20 million recurring, annually and most of all, we were filthy rich in company culture. Our team loved their jobs and our clients loved our team, products, and successes.

Why did you start Trading Looks?

I love sunglasses, I remember once, I spent half of my paycheck on sunglasses yet they were constantly lost, broken, or borrowed indefinitely. So I decided to create a way to solve the issue of expensive sunglasses that do not last by providing fresh new pairs regularly at a low monthly fee.

Why do you think so many startups fail before reaching their full potential?

Creating something from nothing comes with a set of extremely challenging pieces and situations. I see many startups fail due to being too concerned about the immediate impact a decision has on the company rather than the long-term effects, losses, and gain that decision may be catalyzing.

What would you say is the secret to your success?

As a business owner, our number one customer is our team. Always put your team first, make sure they are valued, love what they do, and are in the right role for their success. Watching a team grow into leaders is probably the most enriching piece of entrepreneurship.

What is your definition of success?

Rich is happiness, rich is friendships, rich is love, health, and success. Success is not the title on your business card or the zeros in your bank account. Success is failing miserably, success is being broke but happy, smiling; no matter how your day is going. Success is an accomplishment, reputation and giving it your all, and being proud of who you are. Are you set up for success?

What are your future plans for your business?

More marketing. It’s exciting to grow brands in extremely different markets and industries. I have always been into real estate design and development as well as entertainment and fashion.

Meet The Model Behind The Cover Of The February 2021 Issue Of Sassy & Co Magazine: Madison Croft

Madison Croft is currently 19 years old and she has been modelling and acting internationally since the young age of 14. She’s a personal trainer and owner of MadBodz Fitness – a thriving small business. She loves her job as every day she gets the blessing of helping people on their journey to improving physical and mental health. Maddie has always loved the saying “Choose a job you love and you’ll never have to work a day in your life” and she feels she has definitely achieved this! Her ultimate goal is to have a successful career in the modelling and acting industry and she always says that she will never give up on that goal.

Towards the end of last year, Madison was crowned the first runner-up at the first-ever Australian Multicultural Fashion Awards for the year 2020. It has been a long time coming since she has been participating in pageants and modelling since the age of 14. She is currently a personal trainer and owner of MadBodz Fitness, and she is very passionate about educating people on the importance of living a healthy lifestyle. She also works as a gymnastics coach, a model, and an actress.

Most people won’t know this, but at the age of 14, she was suffering from depression because of constant bullying at her school and even on social media. It was at this point that she was advised that by joining pageants, she would be able to make friends with similar interests and likes, and she would become much more confident and self-reliant – that’s the main reason why she started competing in pageants. After three years in the field, she says that she has made more friends and now possesses much more confidence in her communicative abilities.

Being a beauty queen and a model has its own perks of course. Madison enjoys having the opportunity to meet new people, encourage, empower and educate other teens on several issues, do charity work, and be an ambassador. The kicker for her is that she’s able to do all of these amazing things at the age of 16!

Of course, every upside will also have a downside as well. She does not look at them as downsides though – she prefers to look at them as lessons from which she can learn from. During her stint at pageantry, she has learned to stay true to herself, be who she wants to be, and not conform herself to the opinions of others.

Being successful in the fashion industry is tough. She has learned to be confident in her own skin and form, and not to be concerned with changing anything about herself for other people. She doesn’t focus on her looks too much these days, instead, she is more focused on her charity work and public speaking instead. She has always had her family’s support and encouragement in her foray into pageantry and she believes that her family’s support is the key reason for her tremendous success at such a young age.

Moving forward, Madison dreams of having a successful career in acting, modeling, and the fitness industry.

Here’s A Sneak Peek At The Latest Photoshoot For Sassy & Co

Sassy & Co’s mission is to provide you with affordable, ethical, and sustainable clothing and accessories you can feel good about.

Fast fashion is still the worlds largest polluter shortly after the oil industry, causing mass devastation to our planet and people involved, with many local communities affected, the pain is endless.

The history and hands that are behind every item of clothing are to be respected, taken care of, and cherished. To mend rather than discard and to protect rather than trash.

When clothing is made properly, it lasts longer and is a little more expensive.

Learning to treat our clothing as an investment rather than disposable will be a major key in turning this issue around.

Meet The Stunner Behind The Cover Of The November 2020 Issue Of Sassy & Co Magazine: The Beautiful Roxette Arisa

Photo Credit: Lasonic Sivongxay

Beauty and fashion expert, wildly successful Japanese American YouTube / Social Media guru Roxette Arisa is making a name for herself in the skincare, beauty, and fashion space with over 75 MILLION views and 1.2 MILLION subs on YouTube alone. Whether she is giving tips on how to perfect your makeup for mask-wearing, providing how-to-tips for taking that lust-worthy passport photo, comparing designer and drugstore brands with a split face tutorial, or giving how-to-style basics by using clothes you already have in your closet, Arisa is a quickly rising star who is highly respected for her expertise in the beauty and fashion world.

Arisa’s rise in the beauty and fashion world is quite different from her contemporaries. Growing up in Culver City, California she always knew from a young age what she wanted to be: an Olympic figure skating medalist. She began skating at the age of 4, training and practicing to perfection. By the age of 15, she moved to Detroit where she was selected for the Jr. National Team as part of a duo ice dancing partnership. Arisa then moved to Canada, where she was being groomed to compete internationally for Canada, and in 2016, at 17 years old, she and her partner placed Silver at sectionals solidifying her stance as a competitor. But soon after, her world was rocked when her partner suddenly retired, and in 2017 she found her dreams of competing in the 2018 Olympics in Pyeong Chang all but a fleeting dream. The reality was that it would be near impossible to find a new skilled partner in time. But Arisa had found another passion.

Since a young age, she had worn makeup for skating competitions and as she got older, she realized that she had found an appreciation for applying and learning new makeup techniques. She often trained in skating for 8+ hours a day, but at night she would spend her time watching makeup tutorials online and she decided to create a YouTube page herself. To her, makeup was something that always gave her confidence and she wanted to share her advice with others. Before long, her following and views began skyrocketing and she realized that when one door closes another one opens. She decided to retire from skating and instead focus on her new passion – the beauty and fashion world. She packed up her bags and moved back home to Los Angeles. Around this time, brands began to take notice. In only a couple of years, Arisa has quickly become a favorite for beauty and fashion brands alike, and has become a beauty ambassador to Smashbox, e.l.f., partnered with brands like Revolve, Olay, Murad, NARS, Maybelline, MAC, Instagram, Clarisonic, Neutrogena, Kate Somerville, CeraVe, IPSY, L’Oreal, Lorac and created her own collections for Milani and SIGMA to name a few.

Sassy & Co Magazine recently caught up with Arisa to discuss her journey in the industry and here’s what went down:

Can you tell us more about yourself? How did you get started in the industry?

Growing up I was a competitive figure skater for 20 years and was always doing my makeup and hair for competitions to match the competition dresses I would wear. The confidence I felt when I put on a red lip or a smokey eye was a little bit addicting and I just fell in love with the world of beauty which led me to find the beauty community on YouTube and to eventually start a channel of my own. For my first couple of videos, I remember filming on my floor with my laptop webcam and a lamp turned sideways to give me some “light,” which is so funny to look back on. It’s been an amazing journey getting from those lamp and laptop days to now when I’m able to combine my two passions – beauty and fashion – on all of my platforms.

How did you develop an interest in fashion and what drove you to pursue that passion onto social media?

I’ve always loved fashion. I think fashion and beauty go hand in hand. Fashion is a form of self-expression and at the end of the day, I’m an artist – whether that be in makeup or in putting together an outfit in my head that I know is going to make me feel and look bomb. To me, fashion is a feeling – I want to feel confident and I want to inspire my followers to be confident.

What do you like most about being an influencer?

I love being able to connect with people all around the world. It’s such an amazing feeling to meet someone and know that you touched their life in any way possible. I definitely would say I have a special bond with my followers and think of them as my friends and my little online family.

In what way has social media changed your life?

I think at this point social media has really changed the world. I mean it’s the fastest-growing form of advertisement/marketing, it’s a way to connect with anyone and everyone around the world, and it’s a place to share what means the most to you. I know I definitely would not have had half of the experiences and opportunities that I have had without social media. It’s still surreal to me that I have built my career from the ground up by sharing what I’m truly passionate about. I’m forever grateful to my fans and followers because I really would not have the life I have today without their support.

What are some of the difficulties of being in the industry?

I think the biggest difficulty is comparison. It’s so easy to compare yourself to others online but you have to realize that everyone has their own journey and their own path. My dad always says “Everything that is happening to you, is happening at the right place and at the right time for YOU, because that’s just the way it was meant to happen.” That’s something I like to think about when I feel myself falling into that deep hole of comparison.

How does your thought process differ when creating content for Instagram versus content for YouTube?

Instagram and YouTube are totally different platforms. Instagram is all about the aesthetic and when I’m creating content for IG, I’m looking for something that will catch the viewers’ eye while scrolling. On YouTube – I feel like I get to share every part of me. I really get to connect with my followers on YouTube so my content is more laid back and truly a piece of me.

Photo Credit: Lasonic Sivongxay

What are your long-term goals for your social media accounts?

I really do think of my social media accounts as an art form. I want to continue expressing my creativity and growing and learning with my followers. I love photography and cinematography so I would love to expand on those art forms and implement it into my work on social media!

When choosing whether or not to work with a brand that wants to work with you, how do you decide? Which brand sponsorship(s) are you most proud of?

It’s actually really easy for me to decide what brands to work with because I never work with a brand or promote products that I don’t genuinely use. That’s something I’ve always stood by ever since I started making videos. I think of my followers as friends so I would never want to break their trust by promoting a product that doesn’t work for me. I’m super proud of the work I’ve done with Maybelline New York. They are a brand that I have been using since I was a teenager so it’s just so surreal to be able to work with them now. I also did a really cool AR video with MAC Cosmetics where my subscribers could actually try on different shades of lipstick in the video. That was a fun project! Smashbox Cosmetics and Dior Makeup stand out to me as well when I think of projects that I’m super proud of and grateful that I got to be a part of.

If someone is going to make your life into a movie, who would play you?

Miley Cyrus! I love her and everything she stands for. A lot of people say we look alike!

What are your future plans? Inside your career or out of it.

I have lots of plans and aspirations when it comes to my career, some of which I can’t talk about yet *wink wink*, but one of the things I would love to do is get into more traditional media – super interested in hosting and acting! On a personal level – I’m trying to give my apartment a little makeover right now and finally start decorating it. I’ve only lived here for 3 years – wish me luck!

The ‘LIGHTNING FAST’ Round:

1. Last good movie you’ve seen. How Do You Know? with Reese Witherspoon, Paul Rudd and Owen Wilson

2. What do you consider beautiful and why? I’m a true believer that beauty shines from the inside – that’s what my mom and dad always taught me.

3. What haven’t you done yet that you wish you could? One of my dreams is to go to the South of France!

4. Complete this sentence: “If I had no fear, I’d…” try to recreate Britney Spears’ “I’m A Slave 4 U” performance at the 2001 VMAs! Unfortunately, with my fear of snakes that definitely won’t be happening any time soon.

5. What is the one “flaw” you wouldn’t change about yourself? One of my figure skating coaches once told me I needed to get my ears stapled back because they were too big. I think it’s important to love every part of yourself – this is a journey I’m still on but I think my ears make a nice little setting place for all the gold hoops I wear.