Sheila Johnson is a multi-talented model, wardrobe stylist, photographer, blogger, blogging coach, and social media lover.
As a model she has worked for renowned designers such as KAS NEW YORK and Byron Lars Beauty Mark. She has received exposure in a variety of magazines, and her work has given her opportunities to travel throughout the United States.
What motivated and inspired you to start your own business?
Honestly, what inspired me to start my own business was the simple fact that I’m a model, actress, photographer, and wardrobe stylist—a renaissance woman all in one. Being in the career that I’m in, you don’t always get paid right away, and sometimes you don’t get paid at all being a model and/or photographer.
The fashion industry demands a lot for so little, and it’s probably because there are so many people willing to do it for nothing, just for the exposure. I wanted to change this and to stop being in debt, so I started couponing on websites like cashcoup.
Couponing led me to where I am now with wanting to put everything together and teach other women how to be amazing at everything they are gifted at and how to make money doing it.
The one thing in the fashion and modeling industry we lack is guidance, and when I say guidance I mean financial guidance. There are way too many models out there in debt, who need to learn how to build wealth and just don’t know how to do it.
I plan on changing this.
I guess you can say this is my way of putting all of my gifts and talents into helping others.
Tell us about your business.
With modeling I created iamsheilaj.com as my endeavor, because I believe no one really understands how the real world of modeling works or how models financially struggle for every penny. That’s the very premise that got me to start extreme couponing, a need that eventually grew to become a fun hobby. Now I simply can’t get enough of it.
This is the same principle that led to me to blogging and creating StylingWithSheilaj.com. The site is designed as a lifestyle blog set up to showcase my life, my personality, and other interests as well. With God at the forefront of my blog, nothing can stop me.
I plan to expand my blog and my website to be more than a site where people can come to learn about me and see my portfolio and personality. I plan to expand into the realm of teaching other creative individuals, bloggers, entrepreneurs, artists, models, actresses like me to show them that they can do what I do as well.
I want to give back my knowledge to others, because I know there are other people trying to make it and want to know that they can succeed and do what makes them happy.
Are you currently running any promos/contests/giveaways that you would like our readers to know about?
At the moment, I am not doing any promos or contests. However, I am in the launch process of my new apparel line that you will be able to purchase very soon.
I have a lot of accomplishments! One of them is getting booked for a BareMinerals shoot without having a modeling agency to book it through.
Where is your business based?
Based in New York.
What were the first few steps you took to get your business up and running?
Let me be very honest: I took steps, but I never really took steps. I have hustled my way into getting where I am now. However, I also go with the flow of things. I go with what feels right and never make a full decision until I know it is the right one to take.
What has been the most effective way of raising awareness of your business and getting new customers?
The most effective way of raising awareness of my business is through Instagram and Facebook in groups.
What have been your biggest challenges so far?
The biggest challenge, honestly, has been raising capital for my business so that I don’t have to fund it by getting a loan. I may have to work twice as hard to get myself out there, but I would much rather do that than to say I had to get a loan. I want to earn everything on my own without the help of any loan.
The only help I want is from God himself.
How did you overcome these challenges?
I am still going through these struggles as we speak, especially when I have other people in my life telling me to get a real job with more security and a 401k. That regular job thing is not for me and never will be.
How do you keep motivated through difficult times?
I read a lot, I am currently reading Believe Bigger by Marshawn Daniel Evans, and that book has been helping a lot as of recently. I just started that book and I am already halfway through it.
How do you distinguish yourself from your competitors?
By being myself.
I can’t put myself in a box, and I never want to tell anyone else to do that either. I always want people to know that they can be themselves. I tend to be a nerd, and I love anime, mangas, comic books, and video games.
I would hide that about myself, and in hiding myself I lost myself. Ever since I started embracing everything there was about me, everyone else started to embrace me as well.
What is the best advice you have received recently?
To let God take you through it, because he wants to bless you in this moment of disaster.
What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs?
To be yourself and to keep fighting for your dream, because the only person that is stopping you from accomplishing this dream is yourself.
What are your favorite business tools/resources and why?
Oh my! This is very good question because, I have a lot of tools and resources that I use currently to help me with things. I have so many that I am actually creating a resource page on my website.
What is a good article or book you have read recently?
Believe Bigger is definitely a good read. And in fact I plan on putting together a list of books that every entrepreneur should read.
What are you currently learning about for your business or looking for help with?
I am honestly looking for help with automation and copy writing because these are things that I am really not that great with.
What are your goals for the next few months and how are you striving to achieve them?
I want to make 6 figures by the end of the year. It may seem hard, but I definitely want to accomplish this. I am consistently praying to God and asking him for the way to show me how this is possible.
What social media outlets do you use? List them below.
Instagram @iamsheilaj, @stylingwithsheilaj, @renaissancewomanbiz
Facebook Group www.facebook.com/groups/730491877115281
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