Sometimes in life, others will see things we have yet to see within ourselves. Modeling wasn’t always apart of Nija’s vision. Struggling with self-esteem issues and insecurities for years, she didn’t imagine herself as a model. Until one day, she took on an opportunity that changed her life.
Facing her fears, Nija modeled in her first shoot for a limousine company. “I realized in that moment it was just me and the camera and no one else. That’s when I knew that I really loved it.”
And this was only the beginning! Being pleased with the outcome of that shoot, she went on to book her own modeling gigs. Using Instagram as a platform to market herself, she also partnered with well-established photographers. This catapulted her into the fashion world.
Meeting with designers who had their own brands and shows for NYFW gave her the chance to strut down the runway.
“My first wow moment was when I got picked to walk for NYFW. I had no prior practice of a model walk. I just put on my heels and said whelp, here I am. Fifty models showed up and he said he would call the numbers and let us know who made it. My number was the 2nd number to be called.”
Confidence and tough skin in this industry are key. “A lot of times you meet models at fashion shows and they feel like if they share gigs with you it’s competition.”
Freelance modeling has been Nija’s niche in this industry. Setting up her own shoots, doing her own hair and makeup is what makes her stand out amongst other models. “Freelance is the way to go until you get that big break.” Expresses, Nija. Having that freedom and range to book your own shoots and creatively direct them allows you to grow as a model.
Growth within her own life has reflected throughout her career. Building up confidence has taken Nija places she did not see herself going, but now she can never look back. Being the cover face of a big magazine is what she is striving for. But more importantly, she wants to inspire young girls. “I want to touch lives. I want to inspire other females who feel like they don’t have what it takes.”