Aussie Multi-Platinum/International Star Vassy’s Hit Tune “Bad” Reaches 2 Billion Streams On YouTube

Multi-platinum Australian singer-songwriter VASSY is popularly known for her global hits: ‘Bad’ & ‘Secrets,’ with Dance Music icons, David Guetta & Tiësto.  The Hit singles have earned VASSY multiple #1s in over 30 countries, 17 platinum certification and over 2 billion streams.  VASSY has since positioned herself as one of Dance Music’s most prominent and authentic female Artists in the world.

Originally from Darwin, U.S based VASSY made her return home recently, after a long time away.  Missing her family and hometown, she’s enjoying reconnecting with everyone and keeps busy gearing up for her next Aussie release.

Following her successful and recent #1 ARIA Club Chart Hit: ‘Chase’ (with Aussie Super Duo BONKA), VASSY has collaborated with some of Australia’s most credible Dance acts, to provide a huge remix package from the likes of: Random Soul, Rubber People, Mind Electric, Jay Sounds and Kondo. ‘TUFF’ is an upbeat and inspiring new single with its anthemic, driving house basslines. The track begins immediately with VASSY’s unmistakable and heavenly vocals, as she sings inspiring lyrics about resilience and perseverance in the face of adversity.  She vocalizes the message of becoming stronger from struggles and proving doubters wrong, as the beat builds to an exuberant and driving melodic house climax that is sure to move dance music fans around the world.

In 2013, VASSY’s song ‘We Are Young’ went number 1 on Billboard’s U.S. Dance Chart, making her the first Australian artist to debut at number 1.  The song was also featured in Disney’s Academy award-winning blockbuster ‘Frozen.’ In 2014, she collaborated with David Guetta and Showtek on their iconic single ‘Bad,’ which became 7 times double platinum.  The following year she collaborated with Tiësto and KSHMR on their track ‘Secrets,’ which reigned atop the Billboard Club chart and Beatport charts and went straight to number No. 1 in 20 countries.  In 2017, VASSY and Afrojack released ‘Lost’ with Oliver Rosa, which hit No. 1, marking VASSY’s fourth Billboard No. 1 single.

‘TUFF’ follows her recent chart-topper ‘Chase’ (with Aussie duo Bonka) which was #1 on both the U.S & Australian Dance Radio charts.

“I’m so excited about this new release ‘TUFF’ (after years of my career being in America) being able to come back to Australia and to collaborate with so many incredible Australian producers, to put together this all-Aussie line up EP is so special to me.  ‘TUFF’ is a song about perseverance.  No matter how hard things get, you’ve just got to roll with the punches and keep going.  After the success of CHASE going #1 on both the ARIA Club Chart & U.S Billboard / Dance Radio Chart, I wanted to write a song about how one can get through the tough times in life and if they hang in there, they get through on the other side and feel happy about it.  I think most people can relate to this song. Sometimes all one needs is a little push to motivate them not to give up in order to get to the other side !!” – VASSY

TUFF EP REMIX DESCRIPTIONS

RUBBER PEOPLE – deliver a bouncy, modern disco house mix

RANDOM SOUL – deliver their signature sound, a deeper soulful house vibe

Mind Electric – delivers a funky chill, deep slap house mix

KONDO – delivers a punchy tech house mix

This article was sourced from a media release sent by Angie Young of Xposed Media

Kendall Jenner Poses Topless Ahead of Coachella Music Festival

Supermodel Kendall Jenner has garnered more than 8 million likes on a topless photo of herself which she took during Coachella festivities.

In one of the photos she shared on her Instagram account, the stunning supermodel posed topless, wearing nothing but a blue pair of bikini holding a bottle of her 818 tequila in one hand, while using the other arm to cover her chest by the pool of her mother Kris Jenner’s Palm Springs mansion.

The post has been liked over a whopping 8 million times as she captioned the post, “@drink818 tequila by the pool.”

Check out the photo in question below via Kendall’s Instagram account:

Editorial credit: BAKOUNINE / Shutterstock.com

 

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A post shared by Kendall (@kendalljenner)

Find Out More About Glee Star Dianna Agron

By Allison Kugel

Dianna Agron took television fans on an emotional ride playing complex popular girl, Quinn Fabray, on the hit television series Glee, which ran for seven seasons on FOX. The wildly popular show won multiple Emmy, Golden Globe, People’s Choice, and Teen Choice Awards during its tenure. Throughout the series, Agron’s character portrayed a foray of teen girl issues ranging from the common to the more dramatic. From cattiness and romance drama to matters of celibacy, teen pregnancy, and adoption; nothing was off the table. It speaks to Agron’s depth and range as an actress.

Since wrapping the show in 2015, Agron has gone on to build her resume in films, including the winner of this year’s Independent Spirit John Cassavetes Award-winning film, Shiva Baby, and most recently, As They Made Us, starring Agron, alongside Dustin Hoffman, Candice Bergen, and Simon Helberg, and written and directed by Mayim Bialik.

Allison Kugel: I’m used to you as a brunette in this movie and here you are back to blonde-ish.

Diana Agron:  I know, and I’m going back to brunette for another role in a month.

Allison Kugel: How did you like having dark hair?

Diana Agron: I do like it. I think that I always welcome the opportunity to change for a project.

Allison Kugel: Did you know Mayim Bialik, personally, before her film, As They Made Us, came to you?

Diana Agron: I did not. I knew who she was by her work, but we didn’t have a personal relationship prior to this film.

Allison Kugel: How did the role of Abigail come to you?

Diana Agron: It was through my team. I immediately responded to the script and the character.  There is a lot of personal truth to my life, and it was being expressed through this piece. Mayim and I had a Zoom chat in which I felt that we connected deeply in our shared truths, but I had no idea if she felt that I was going to be right for the part. Within the hour I had the call that I was receiving the offer, and it just felt like a complete whirlwind and a surprise. I made my manager tell me the news again, because I thought, perhaps, I had heard him wrong. It was very sweet.

Allison Kugel: The writing in this film was so good that you forget there is a script involved.

Diana Agron: Yes. I think that is what I responded to as well, this very naturalistic feel.  It felt very embedded in truth and experience we kind of shared. We had a very strong open dialogue about grief, loss, love, and complicated relationships. Mayim had really incorporated such a full spectrum of these emotions and how that works through individuals and a family, collectively. It did feel very real, and I obviously can speak personally about the elements that were very real for me. I think everybody brought their own truths to the table and incorporated those into their characters and into the story.

Allison Kugel: I can relate to it very much. I had a very complicated relationship with my dad, who is now living with us. It’s a strange thing because I remember growing up, and especially in my teens and twenties, I thought, “I can’t wait to get away.” We were constantly bumping heads. Now it has kind of come full circle and he’s become a much gentler person in his older years. I’ve become much more understanding of human nature as I have gotten older, so you kind of meet somewhere in the middle.

Dianna Agron: I can understand that completely.

Allison Kugel: On another note, you are Jewish, Mayim is Jewish, I’m also Jewish. We are not always portrayed accurately or reasonably in the media, whether in television or film.  Like other minority groups, we are often made into caricatures. In As They Made Us, you see the complex humanity of a group of people, and what ties it all together that goes across all people of all different groups. That was another thing that I really enjoyed about this film. What is your opinion of how Jewish Americans are typically portrayed?

Dianna Agron: It’s interesting that you bring that up because that was one of the things that I loved so much about this storytelling, is my character’s connection to her Judaism and how that is expressed with her young children as she is teaching them, and how that part of her family aspect is just very causally there. It’s just who they are and it’s a part of her daily life. Obviously, there is a strong connection that she has to it, but that’s not saying or doing so much.  It’s just part of her character and part of her life. I do think that sometimes Jewish storytelling as it shows up in media is much more specific about either the Holocaust or you see it in Curb Your Enthusiasm, and this has been brought up and critiqued about Jews in film, where maybe one half of the couple is Jewish, but the other one isn’t. There are just so many ways with how it is expressed in the media. Not to say that anything is necessarily right or wrong. I think it’s project to project, but I did like that this was just an underlying element to who she was and that it just seemed so normal.

Allison Kugel: Not that the Curb Your Enthusiasms of the world are bad, I think they are great, but we need stuff like this too.

Dianna Agron: Yes, I think it does add to a balance. When I was promoting [the film] Shiva Baby, that whole film centers around one woman’s experience at a shiva, mourning somebody that she kind of knows, and was brought to it by her parents. That was so interesting because everyone who was interviewing us about that film had said to us, “This is like my Italian family, this is like my Greek family,” and so on. We all come from different cultural backgrounds, but there are common truths to dynamics with family, friends, or communities, which are so universal. It’s been nice to be part of both films and have that kind of storytelling be incorporated into my work.

Allison Kugel: Although the material of As They Made Us is heavy at times, there are some really funny moments.

Dianna Agron: Especially Candice [Bergen]. She made me laugh so consistently throughout filming. Her delivery is perfectly spot-on. And she is not trying to be [funny].  Her character is really just expressing things how she sees fit, which is so funny because I think it is very understandable that everyone grieves in a different way. Some people say things that are wildly inappropriate to the moment, and it just feels so real and honest.

Allison Kugel: Towards the end of the film, Dustin Hoffman. who plays your father, his character passes away and there was a moment after the funeral that I loved where Candice Bergen’s character, your mother, starts gossiping about people that were at the funeral. Your character, Abigail, gets mad at her. I actually said this out loud to my screen as I was watching.  I said, “That’s how she’s grieving! She’s gossiping to take her mind off what just happened.”

Dianna Agron: Totally.

Allison Kugel: I think that is actually why people gossip at times, to kind of take our minds off the war in Ukraine, the pandemic, all of these heavy things that are going on in the world. We need to focus on something else. We need to make it light.

Dianna Agron: Sometimes at the expense of other people (laugh). That is so not my experience. I feel it’s the last thing I ever want to indulge in or engage in, but I so understand. That was the thing.  All of the characters are so human and then you have these incredible actors bringing such humanity to the screen in this way, in this story.  I had done a film with Candice about thirteen years ago where I also played her daughter. It was so wonderful to reconnect with her and to connect with her as an adult. I was such a young thing then. That I really enjoyed, and she is just as delightful and just as hilarious as ever.

Allison Kugel: Was there a funny moment on set you can share where you had to kind of like break the tension and just have some fun in between takes?

Dianna Agron: I can’t point to one exact moment, but I will say that every day we were experiencing this wealth of storytelling because we would ask Candice and Dustin about specific projects or what growing up in LA was like back then. They were just so generous and giving. I typically find that most actors love to share, on and off-screen. It’s not one or the other.  It usually is both. There were just many personal moments that they were sharing where you couldn’t believe that the first director I had was so and so and the most famous line in that movie wasn’t originally there and it was just found on the last day of filming and that was so special to be able to really dig in and ask them anything that we wanted. Simon, Mayim, and I were like, “Okay, and then this project, and tell me about this.” I had no expectations.  I thought maybe they would want to go and be by themselves in between setups and take rests. They were always there and game, and just so much a part of sharing at all given times. Then Candice has this very sweet dog Bruce who was always around and every now and then he would pipe up in a scene and we would have to relocate him.  It was really such a joyful experience despite being in an enormous amount of pain and sadness in moments on set.

Allison Kugel: What is Mayim Bialik like as a director?

Dianna Agron: What was so obvious to me after our first chat was that she had already thought about this project, and these characters in this world, so thoroughly that we could have gone and made that film the next day. It was so obvious that it was a story she could tell so beautifully. She really hired such a beautiful team of people that worked so well together. There was a feeling of ease, even though we were this kind of tiny but mighty crew.  Independent filmmaking isn’t necessarily as glamourous or cushioned, but it is my preferred way to work. I love eliminating all the frills. It never felt like we weren’t able to accomplish our goals for the day, which was such a testament to how well-organized Mayim was, and how well thought out and planned every day of shooting was. I loved watching Mayim’s reactions to things.  I was always looking at her to see how she was experiencing what we were filming.

Allison Kugel: Some of the subject matter of this film was about dying and death. What is your take on that part of the human experience? Where do you think we go? What do you think death is all about?

Dianna Agron: I’ve been dealing with many years of my father’s own illness (Dianna’s father suffers from an aggressive form of Multiple Sclerosis) and watching that move through his body. Unfortunately, I wouldn’t imagine there is an enormous amount of time that we have left with him, which is really not what you would wish for at all, and very deeply sad. It has placed a lot of importance on the time that we have. He’s been sick more years of my life than he has been well. The way I have had to process that is that while I would have wanted the version of him, I knew as a very young person to last much longer, I am so lucky to have experienced many other versions of him and still have access to him and connect with him. It takes a toll in many different forms, your cognition, your physical health, etc. Death has been prevalent in my life, because I’ve lost many people that I loved, and it always feels like it wasn’t the right time. I, unfortunately, lost many people when I was very young, and my father is very ill and only sixty-six years old. I pride myself on being very present in the moment with my family and my friends and knowing that your health and wellness are not guaranteed. That centers me a lot.  As [death] relates to everything on the Other Side, it’s not something I often think about, but I’m sure that will be more prevalent the older I get.

Allison Kugel: Soon we will be coming up on the two-year anniversary of Naya Rivera’s passing. Can you tell me what was unique about your friendship with her that was different from your other Glee castmates, or even from any other friendship in your life?

Dianna Agron: Naya was my first friend on set. We were quite isolated because we weren’t involved in the entire pilot. We had our very brief moments in the pilot, and everybody else was very involved in the singing, dancing, and all the rehearsals. So, she was my point person, and we kind of instilled each other with confidence in those moments. She was just very unique and special in the way she carried herself with such confidence and certainty. If she believed in something, or in you as a person, she would always uplift those ideas. She was very, very strong in a way that I think I have adapted to moments in my own life that have been quite difficult, and the adversity you can overcome if you experience it at a young age makes you more resilient. She had that strength in spades. Any strength that I had she had ten times more of it.  It was really inspiring and nurturing to be around. She was also wickedly funny and had the best comedic timing. She is one of the people that I speak about when I say it’s so strange to think she is not here. She had years and years of love and gifts to give people, and I was so lucky to know her.

Allison Kugel: That is beautiful. What do you think you came into this life as Dianna Agron to learn, and what do you think you came here to teach?

Dianna Agron: Whoa, not an easy question! I feel particularly connected to storytelling. When I say that, I don’t mean it as it relates to my job. I feel so connected to the human experience, and that is something that has always drawn me in. I lived in a hotel when I was younger because my dad was the general manager of a few hotels, and I would witness and question… there was a complete, big world of people coming in and out of my environment from everywhere in the world. As I started being able to travel more freely and explore different cultures and people, it is something that really interests me. I feel much better when I’m learning new things about new people and cultures. I think that has led to also me wanting to be a storyteller and connect with people on that level. I think that if that is something I can share and encourage in other people to be really open-minded and to look outside of their own worlds and communities.  Go bigger and deeper to find something really meaningful.

Allison Kugel: Interesting. What is the best advice you have ever been given?

Dianna Agron: I don’t know if it is the best advice, but it was certainly very helpful to hear as it pertains to my life and my career. I had a colleague say to me, “This path of yours is not about what you say “yes” to. It is more about what you say “no” to. I think as you are receiving gifts, be it jobs, opportunities, etc., it can feel difficult to say no to something because you are so happy to be there and to be part of the conversation. I think being really honest with yourself about what serves you and how you can organize your time when you really drop into those truths, so much more magic is available because you’re being so authentically yourself and you’re not compromising for other people.

As They Made Us, written and directed by Mayim Bialik and starring Dianna Agron, Dustin Hoffman, Candice Bergen, and Simon Helberg is out in theatres and on VOD digital platforms on April 8th. Listen to and watch the entire interview on the Allison Interviews podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and on YouTube.

Meet The Superstar Behind The Cover Of The January 2022 Issue Of Model & Mode: Danica Patrick

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By Allison Kugel

As a racecar driver, Danica Patrick broke barriers and set records with her on-track performance.

It wasn’t long before she joined the mainstream ranks by succeeding in the male-dominated world of professional motorsports. With stunning good looks and an unrelenting ambition to top her personal best in every race, Danica was named to TIME’s 100 Most Influential People list, while her figure graced the pages of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. Making her mark in pop culture, Danica has appeared in a record-setting 14 Super Bowl commercials.

In 2005, Danica Patrick stunned the world by leading 19 laps and finishing fourth in her first Indianapolis 500. She became the first woman to lead laps and score a top-five finish in the historic race. In 2008, Danica made history again becoming the first woman to win a major-league open-wheel race in a North American series with her victory in the IndyCar Series Indy Japan 300 race. In 2013, as Danica transitioned to the NASCAR Cup Series, once again making headlines with her record-setting performance in the 55th Daytona 500 race. She became the first woman to win a NASCAR Cup Series pole when she set the fastest time in qualifying 500, and then finished in eighth place, the highest finishing position ever for a woman in the “Great American Race.

In 2018, Danica closed out her time in racing with the “Danica Double” and competed in two marquee events that were cornerstones of her career: the Daytona 500 and the Indianapolis 500.  That same year, she became the first female host of the ESPY Awards on the ABC network.

Doing a deep dive with Danica Patrick, it’s clear that rising to the top of a largely male-dominated sport was as natural as breathing for her. The girl specializes in shattering glass ceilings. Danica is a woman who stands in her truth and unapologetically uses her voice to express her opinions. In this in-depth interview, she bares her soul with strength and vulnerability as we cover everything from her upbringing and early racing days to relationship realizations and overcoming insecurities (yes, she’s dealt with imposter syndrome, just like the rest of us).

Now, retired from racing, Danica is focused on her aptly named podcast, Pretty Intense, her speaking career, and her new role as vigneron and sole proprietor of Somnium Wine, her vineyard in Napa Valley, California, as well as her Provence Danica Rose wine brand.

Allison Kugel: You started Go-Kart racing as a kid, with your family. What was the impetus for turning that hobby into professional racing?

Danica Patrick: I don’t think there was a specific point where I said, “I’m going to try this.” It was more of a natural progression. I remember when I was ten, I thought I would go to college for engineering to learn how to work on my race car. That was my first thought. The next jump was when I was sixteen and I moved to England to continue pursuing racing. I left high school. It was my junior year, and I pretty much didn’t even go [to high school] that year. I left halfway through my junior year, during Christmas break. I guess at that point in time I thought, “Hey, let’s see where this can go,” because there was a talent and there was an interest. I moved to England when I was sixteen and lived there for three years without my family. Then I came back, and I didn’t have a ride. I wasn’t racing, and at that point in time I think a lot of people, and I think probably a lot of parents would be thinking, “You better get your shit together and go figure out what you’re going to do.”

Allison Kugel: Did you have a moment of “Yikes, what have I done? I left school!”?

Danica Patrick: Honestly, I didn’t. I always had a lot of what I would call “blind faith,” that it was going to work, and I say blind faith because there is no way it should have (laughs).  I’m not from a famous family of racing names. There wasn’t some fallback if I didn’t make it on my own in racing. It was just me. There really was no good reason why I should make it, other than the fact that I just really had a lot of confidence that it was going to work out. I believed that if someone gave me a chance it could really be a big deal, and I could do the job. I stuck with it, and it was when Bobby Rahal hired me to drive his Formula Atlantic car, which was one step under Indy cars, which was probably the next step for me. The next point after that, because you never know how long stuff is going to last, thank God, was four races into my Indy car career. I had a big Indy 500 month. I almost qualified on the pole, and I almost won the race my first time there. It wasn’t one moment; it was a series of moments that got me there.

Allison Kugel: Were you aware at that young age, that, for the most part, this was not a woman’s sport?  Like, “I’m doing something that women don’t do.”  

Danica Patrick: No, because that wasn’t the way I was brought up. It wasn’t like I was the only one. Sometimes there was another girl out there. I mean, shoot, at first my sister did it too. It wasn’t a complete anomaly, it was just more rare. My dad taught me to be the fastest driver, period. All through my Go Karting career, it was not about being the fastest. It was not about being the fastest girl. It was always about, “How fast can I go?” And so sometimes that meant I was half a second quicker than anybody else because just being the fastest wasn’t my best. My best was more

Allison Kugel: You had an awareness that you were not competing against the other drivers, you were competing against your own best performance.

Danica Patrick: Yes. I think that was a core value. It’s almost like, there is no ceiling on this.   How far can you take it?

Allison Kugel: Were there naysayers? Was there any bullying or sexism that you encountered? 

Danica Patrick: That’s such a common question, especially being a girl in a guy’s sport, but that is not what happened.

Allison Kugel: That’s good, that it didn’t happen. 

Danica Patrick: You know, any amount of it is human. Trust me, living in England and being a teenager with a bunch of teenage guys and having them gossip, or make jokes, or you could tell they’re whispering about you… but it wasn’t about being a girl. That was about being that age, you know? Maybe part of it was about being a girl, but that’s not what I chose to focus on. What I chose to focus on was that I was at a really pivotal age. Teenage years, boys will be boys, and this is just human nature. If this didn’t just happen at the racetrack, it would have been happening in school.

Allison Kugel: Good point.

Danica Patrick: Look, if someone is pinning me down for something that I’ve done that they don’t agree with, it’s like yeah, okay. But they’re also talking about me when I finish fourth, and you know what, they’re not talking about the guys when they finish fourth. You can’t go off and criticize the bad, because it seems like they’re coming at you because of your gender or something like that, because then there are other things that are happening because of [of your gender] that are great. I’ve always chosen to focus on the good that came with it, and not the bad, and I think it’s given me a really good non-victim mentality. Playing the victim is like an epidemic, and it’s hindering to progress. There is really nothing good that comes from it.

Allison Kugel: Do you think the age we are living in now, with cancel culture, is that what you are referring to as the “victim epidemic?” 

Danica Patrick: I think it’s just a dangerous place to be. I think that anytime you are focusing outside of yourself, is not the right focus.

Allison Kugel: During your racing career, did you ever think about the possibility of grave injury, or the possibility of death? 

Danica Patrick: It is an awareness, but I don’t think it’s something you really think about a lot. I guess sometimes it’s contrast that gives you that perspective, in hindsight. I did the broadcast for the Indy 500 the year after I was finished, in 2019. I’m sitting on this pit row in the pit box with [sportscaster] Mike Tirico. We do a lot of the pre-race coverage, and then it shifts to the booth after that, and we’re done doing the majority of the work. The cars were coming down the front straightaway to take the green flag, and I remember I was having this moment where I was laughing and thinking this is such a different place to be [sitting]. Then I remember also thinking, “They are so crazy.” I knew how dangerous it was. From the vantage point of a spectator, I was able to let it get into my mind more, and into my body, and realize what the consequences were of a bad day, of a crash. Our perception is what creates our reality. If I would have had the perception of how dangerous it was, maybe it would have changed me as a driver, or changed how long I did it, or even if I did it. But I didn’t have that perception. There was an awareness, because I’m human and I’m not blind, but it wasn’t something that I put any huge amount of attention on.

Allison Kugel: Has there been any type of fear or phobia that you have had to overcome?

Danica Patrick: A million (laugh). There are many things that I’ve had to overcome. I’ve had to overcome the fear of not being good enough. I think that was a programming I got from a young age, from my dad pushing and pushing me. But if I had to choose between a dad that pushed me really hard and got me to where I am or have a dad that let me just do whatever I wanted and was easy going and not hard on me, they both have consequences. I’m happy to get the one that I got, but it doesn’t mean that I didn’t have something to deal with. My dad pushed me a lot and I had this sort of narrative in my head that nothing was ever good enough. If anyone ever criticized me for being lazy or not trying hard enough, I would get defensive. I would get triggered by it, because that was a wound, that feeling that I wasn’t good enough. That could show up in perfectionistic ways in work or in my relationships. It’s something I feel like I’ve had to deal with, and I’ve had to learn how to take compliments and to own the good things I have done, and to acknowledge that they are enough and that I am enough.

Allison Kugel: By the way, that is one of the most common things I hear from people I interview. These are all people at the top their respective industries. It’s a common trait among high achievers. 

Danica Patrick: Thank you for sharing. I think the more it’s talked about, the more we understand. It’s important for people to understand that you get your patterning and programing from your family; from your parents, generally speaking, and that there is work to do later. My biggest accomplishment outside of my racing career, my biggest personal accomplishment, has been accountability and taking ownership for my part in things. It’s knowing that I attract my current reality based on my perceptions, based on my fears, based on my frequency. All of that stuff gives me my reality, and I am the creator. What we resist persists. If you constantly have a fear of not being good enough, you are going to constantly attract people that make you feel not good enough.

Allison Kugel: That reaffirm that, yes. 

Danica Patrick: Exactly. What we are trying to do is correct the original wound, right? We think, “Well, I’ll prove it to this person, that I’m enough.”

Allison Kugel: Yes, and that shows up, big time, in our romantic relationships. 

Danica Patrick: Exactly. We can’t fix it. It’s just a pattern showing itself over and over again to get you to change, do it differently, and see yourself and your part in that pattern. Another one is the mom stuff. This sort of fear of abandonment, which lends itself to co-dependency and being afraid to be alone. Once I was alone, I was like, “Wow, there is a lot of empowerment here.” I realized that the way I would show up would be really not as empowered and not as confident. I think the professional lessons have been more along the lines of effort, and I’m not going to bullshit around, you get out of it what you put into it. Sometimes things happen that are wonderful and they’re natural and they flow. When you are in flow, you’re doing what you should be doing, and things do come to you when you’re doing what you should be doing. Once you know what you want, things just happen, and it flows.

Allison Kugel: Whenever somebody says to me, “Well, I really wanted to do this, but I have to make a living,” my response to that is, “I don’t care where you get your paycheck from. If you want to do something and it resonates with your soul, do it. Do it at night, on the weekends, join a club for it. Don’t let anybody take that away from you and don’t shortchange yourself.

Danica Patrick: You can turn your passion project or something that you do on the weekends into your whole world. I always feel like the ceiling for things that are your job, but not your passion, at best is like an eight out of ten. There is no ceiling to what happens when you do something you are passionate about. All of the best stuff we have in this world comes from someone’s passion. When you set out solely with the goal of making money, I could almost guarantee you that it’s not going to last forever, or it’s not going to be that successful. Even if it is, it won’t feel good because that’s not what the human experience, your emotions, and your heart wants. Your heart wants something so much more expansive. Money is just energy. It’s just an exchange of energy.  You do something great, and you get money. It’s over. That’s transactional. When you set the goal to change people’s lives, to inspire people, to give people hope, to make them smile, there is no end to that.

Allison Kugel: Absolutely. It just expands and expands. Let’s talk about your podcast, Pretty Intense.

Danica Patrick: The name of the podcast comes from the title of my book, which came out in 2018, as a three-part book. It’s the mind, food, and then it’s fitness and the body. It starts with the mind, because what stops us from finishing anything that we want to accomplish? Our mind. We all know what it takes to eat healthy, we all know what it takes to work out or to lose weight and get fit and strong or build muscles. It’s not rocket science, but it’s our mind that stops us from being consistent and disciplined. So, the mind is where it starts. Then it gets into food and talks about the diet and how I live and eat, along with recipes that I wrote and photographed. The last part is on the body, with a workout program that I wrote that takes you through 12 weeks. I love health and wellness, and anything to do with physical and mental wellness is just my jam. The idea for the podcast, Pretty Intense, really got going in the beginning of 2019. I love to talk to people. I love to ask questions. I learned that I had to learn how to listen better (laughs), because I’d never done interviews, previously. I’d always been the one being interviewed, and my job is to ramble on to give you things to write or to air on TV, but I had to learn how to listen which was a good lesson. My podcast is all about diving in with people, and the most rewarding thing is when I get to the end of the interview, especially if it’s someone who does a lot of interviews, and they say, “You ask questions and got me to talk about things I ‘ve never even talked about before.”

Allison Kugel: Isn’t that the coolest feeling?

Danica Patrick: Yes, that’s the best. Your thinking, “Wow, all these years and I’m the one that got an interview out of you that you’ve never given before!” You do such a good job too.  I love these questions.

Allison Kugel: Aww, thank you.

Danica Patrick: I’m sure you get that too, and that always feels so good. I believe one of my jobs here is to wake people up and to be a little bit of an initiator and that spark. I want to teach people that we are more alike than we are different. Division is another epidemic right now. We are finding and figuring out every possible way for people to divide. It just seems like it continues to compound, and it’s such a detrimental process to the human experience because community is literally the foundation of wellness. When people are taken out of community, just like in the body, when you take a cell out of its cell community, it goes rogue or kills itself.  The same thing happens in the human experience, and we have been put in the worst of positions in the last year and a half to be out of community.

Allison Kugel: If you could travel back in time and be able to alter any famous historical event, where would you go and what would you attempt to change, or bear witness to?

Danica Patrick: I just want to go back to the time of Jesus and see how that really went down, be there for it, and see what happened. I also have such a deep fascination for Egypt, for Egyptian mythology, and for the ancient times of the pyramids. I would really want to go back to how the pyramids were built, who built them, who used them, and how people were living back then.  What was the technology that was used? And to be able to see if there were really giants, was it extraterrestrial, was this anti-levitational or gravitational technology they had back then, that they decided to not use anymore? The building of the pyramids, I would love to see what that was like, what living was like then, and how they did it. And maybe Adam and Eve. Was there really Adam and Eve? Was it just two people and where was the Garden of Eden? Did they just appear? That would be interesting, because I think I’d just be sitting there watching nothing happen. Things in books from that long ago, we get the story wrong. If two people look at exactly the same thing happen, there are two different stories, and now you’re expecting these stories to get passed down in the Bible years after it actually happened. You’re telling me they got it verbatim? You’re telling me they didn’t get poetic with it? You’re telling me there wasn’t interpretation being written? I think there was probably a lot of stuff that didn’t happen exactly like we think it did.

Allison Kugel: That’s an interesting one. Do you pray? And if so, who or what do you pray to? 

Danica Patrick: Yes, I do. How I pray has evolved and been confusing at times, even to the point where that’s become part of my prayer, like, “I’m not sure who to talk to right now,” so I cover them all.

Allison Kugel: Laughs.

Danica Patrick: I think a big underlying reason why prayer is so powerful is because you’re asking, you’re creating your own intention, you’re allowing yourself to know what you want, because so many people don’t even know what they want. They’re just a passenger in life. I think that having goals is important. There’s that manifestation nature of it. With prayer, there’s that manifestation part of it, especially when you get into the emotional side of it, whether it’s Tony Robbins, Joe Dispenza, Bruce Lipton, or Gregg Braden.

Allison Kugel: All brilliant people…

Danica Patrick: They will tell you that you have to anchor your future by embodying the true feeling and emotion of what you envision, visualizing what you want, anchoring into that future life that you want, whatever it is, and then embodying that feeling and really letting it become a part of you. Your mind can’t tell the difference between a truth and a lie.

Allison Kugel: You’ve been watching the same stuff as me (laugh).

Danica Patrick: I can tell you watch this by your questions. I have a bookshelf full of all of this stuff, and by the way, that is my favorite thing to do with my podcast, is interview these kinds of people. I’m so fascinated with Quantum Physics, with science, with manifesting, with spirituality, and wellness.

Allison Kugel: It’s the new frontier, right? The previous generation didn’t have access to this information.

Danica Patrick: They didn’t, and I think possibly people were repressing this information. I think a lot of things have been repressed over time, because the answer to ninety-nine out of a hundred a question is money. A lot of things have happened because someone was making money from it. Whether it’s wellness, whether it’s Nikola Tesla who had free energy figured out and they decided instead to figure out how to get people to pay for it. Even water. It seems silly when I go to the store and buy a five-dollar bottle of water, if I’m traveling or something, they find ways to monetize everything.

Allison Kugel: Let’s talk about your wine company, Somnium Wine. Why have you chosen to purchase a vineyard and invest in your wine brand? 

Danica Patrick: I bought a piece of dirt, planted it, and made Somnium Wine. It started from nothing and then Danica Rose came about more recently with the opportunity to make an authentic rose. I always felt my brand has been rooted in authenticity, so I felt like this was in alignment, to make a rose from Provence, the birthplace of rose. The purpose of wine is about being present with the people that you are with. The goal is to get people to connect and to create memories together, to tell stories, to open up to one another. I want my wine to facilitate old school gatherings where you talk to each other, spend time together, make a meal and sit down at a table together. Communities are, again, a hallmark of wellness.

Hear the extended, unfiltered Danica Patrick interview on Allison Interviews. Allison Kugel is a syndicated entertainment journalist and host of the Allison Interviews podcast. Listen at Apple Podcasts, Spotify and YouTube. Follow on Instagram @theallisonkugel.

Learn about Danica Patrick’s Somnium Wine and Danica Rose collections, and tune into Danica’s Pretty Intense podcast at DanicaPatrick.com and Apple Podcasts. Follow on Instagram @DanicaPatrick.

Meet The International Model Behind The Cover Of The October 2021 Issue Of Model & Mode: Mischaela Elkins

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Mischaela Elkins was crowned a national delegate in the 15th Anniversary Ms. Universe competition for 2021 after two rounds of qualifications and eliminations. She is a businesswoman, model, author, and masterclass coach. She studied Business Administration in undergraduate and graduate school and holds degrees from Indiana University (B.S.) and IE Business School (MBA) respectively.

Before receiving her MBA from a globally recognized Top 10 School, she also sat for the qualifying exam and was accepted in the Mensa High IQ Society – scoring in the top 1%> of IQ scores globally. Between undergrad and MBA she also attended programs with Universite de Geneve in International Banking and Finance, completed her Foundations for the CFA accreditation and exam, and completed a Business Analytics and Economics Pre-MBA Summer Program at Harvard University.

While studying as an undergrad she worked as a professional model, predominantly in couture, evening wear, jewelry, and bridal after attending an Elite Fresh Faces open call in 2009. She completed her model training through the Barcino Modeling Agency in Barcelona, Spain. Barcino’s Model Academy taught her everything about the business side of modeling (contracts, terms), model etiquette, casting conventions, and more. Mischaela was runway trained by Mandy Dyonne, a world-renowned top agency runway coach who has trained the Victoria’s Secret Angels for the VS Fashion Show and model trained for Chanel, Fendi, Dior, and more. Mandy is also a runway walk trainer for the top agencies Elite, NEXT, and for the Elite Model Look contest.

As a model, she has worked with top-tier brands such as Graff, Paloma Blanca, Van Cleef & Arpels, Cle de Peau, Calvin Klein, Vera Wang, Nicole Miller, and more. Commercially she has worked for Warby Parker, Amazing Cosmetics, and Intercontinental Hotel Group. She has appeared in Vogue Italia, Vanity Fair, Glamour, Lucky, and more. Mischaela has worked with top internationally known photographers including Scott Schuman (Vogue Paris, Vogue Italia, Interview) and Kirsten Miccoli (Vogue, Glamour Italia) among others. As an influencer, she was named to Glamour Mag’s Hot 100 in 2016 and was appointed a Flagship Brand Ambassador for Elizabeth Arden and its eponymous luxury salon and spa. She holds influencer deals with NatureLab Tokyo, P. Volve, and other brands in wellness and beauty.

Mischaela competed in the Miss Jetset 2021 competition, placing in the Top 15, Top 10, then finally Top 5. Additionally, she was a delegate in the Miss Vizcaya Swimwear modeling competition hosted by luxury swimwear brand Vizcaya Swimwear – sponsors of Miss Universe USA and Miss United States. She took home the IGM Model of the Year nomination in 2020, as well as received a Victoria’s Secret Bombshell nomination in 2021.

Mischaela has represented the title of “Miss Peru” a total of 3 times. She holds the Miss Elite Beauty Peru and Miss Model Beauty Peru national titles. In the Miss Elite Beauty competition, she won 4 subtitles: “Miss Photogenic”, “Miss Ideal Model”, “Miss Glamorous Beauty”, and Best Evening Gown”. She was named a Finalist in Top Model Peru Season 14. Finally, she competed in Ms. Universe 2021 on the International stage representing Peru. Mischaela was also selected for Miss Global, representing her heritage as Miss Indigenous Americas for the 2021 edition of the competition in Bali, Indonesia – on the same Miss World stage that Megan Young was crowned. Her ambition is to represent Peru at Mrs. Universe after she is married.

Mischaela was coached by Natalie Glebova, Miss Universe 2005 in soft skills such as interview, public speaking, and winning mindset. She was also trained by The Refinery – a pageant grooming and preparation academy run by Miss Earth 2001 and former Miss India Shamita Singha and the team that has worked with Aishwarya Rai, Sushmita Sen, Lara Dutta, and Manushi Chhillar as well as countless Miss India contestants and supermodels. She was fitness trained as a model and beauty queen by John Benton of John Benton Model Fitness – the trainer for Victoria’s Secret models and beauty queens the world over.

She is a published author of 3 self-help books and the creator of a self-help Masterclass that counts thousands of people in 105 countries around the world as students. Mischaela is an Achology Certified Life Coach and the creator of “Angel Academy” a spiritual “flight school” for those looking to get in touch with their inner divinity and gain their wings to transform themselves and their intuition, their wealth abundance, and their romantic relationships and dating life. As a businesswoman, Mischaela won the Porsche 30 under 30 in Business Award and has won the Crain’s Chicago Business for best use of Social Media to grow digital presence. She is employed with the #2 globally ranked bank/financial institution.

Leveraging her Ms. Universe Peru platform she is a brand ambassador for LA MER, Swarovski, Mikimoto, Shiseido, Selfridge’s “Ocean Project” Initiative, and Parley for the Oceans. She has partnered with Oceana, 4 Ocean, Water.org, UN Water, and other nonprofits as Miss Peru. Her key projects during her reign include: Sponsoring and advocating for the Nazca Protected Area’s Formal adoption as part of Peru’s Bi-Centennial Goals, working with international collaborators on the Lima Water Project, and developing ACQUAVENUS – a consortium of international beauty queens engaging in ocean conservation and water preservation projects, campaigns, and initiatives globally.

Model & Mode Magazine recently caught up with Mischaela to discuss her journey in the modelling world and here’s what went down:

How did you become an international model and beauty queen? What’s it like to model internationally?

I started out going to the 2009 Elite Fresh Faces Model Call alongside 300+ other models. I was one of three girls to receive a callback to meet with agents for the New Faces division and model development. I worked as a model full time during undergrad and transitioned to part-time or special projects work in my mid-twenties as the career of a fashion model isn’t that long. As I have a more international look, being of mixed heritage, I have had success in evening gown, bridal, and swim in my late twenties to thirties after working on fashion, luxury, and beauty campaigns. Working more in swim has led me to get involved with pageantry, as most pageant organizations have age limits set to late twenties through mid-thirties. I wanted to participate before I no longer could, and with international systems and align with international brands. International beauty pageants and winning those global/world titles are an excellent way to move into the international market in modeling. The key challenge with international modeling is to not bend to pressure to morph or change into that market’s beauty standard just to be available for any and every campaign. As a person of mixed heritage, the chameleon’s ability is naturally there, and its best to stand firm in your look and make that your signature…never look to change drastically to please everyone..instead work on perfecting your walk, your poses, your looks, and your fitness and naturally those who are on your level of professionality and want your natural look will gravitate to you. It’s never a dull moment collaborating with a set of professionals who are speaking 2, 3, 4, or 5 languages on set and you will learn so much about other cultures doing your due diligence as a model and researching the references the team has in mind for the set, garments, influences for the visuals, etc. That’s the part I love most about international modeling, the background work that every model should be doing on what the influences for the vision and what we are shooting for has really leveled me up to become a more cultured and worldly person. I am grateful for that polishing I am getting.

What has been your greatest triumph, to date?

My greatest triumph to date has been winning the Ms. Universe as Miss Peru the year after Miss Peru, Janick Maceta, was top 3 at Miss Universe. As I’m the first Miss Peru to also be a member of MENSA – it’s an honor to be Miss Peru in my own way and bring more than just beauty, modeling prowess, and beautiful gowns to the international stage.

what has been your greatest lesson, and how have you used that lesson in your life?

My greatest lesson in life has been that there is truly no competition. We are all equal, we’re just all different. The path that is truly meant for me, is and always will be meant for me. Competition comes into play when people take society’s conditioning to idealize a specific type of success, notoriety, fame, wealth, etc. from a specific place and in a specific way. When we limit ourselves to only so few ways something can happen for us then we naturally have to compete with others. This is the scarcity mindset. Be it for success, love, money, notoriety, press, you name it…..there is no competition when you’re on the path that is divinely created and destined for you. Only you can walk it. We are all, in our highest and best form, just out here driving side by side on our destined paths…completely equal and completely NOT in competition.

I’ve used this lesson in life to have grace and peace about things not working out so that other things can truly come into my life and really be for me. From every modeling job to my pageant wins, corporate career processes that have gone well, to the books I was destined to write…I found the least resistance and the most flow by being open and only open to what was truly aligned with me. There was then no forcing, there was only focusing…because the right opportunities and right place at the right time type of divine alignment started happening and doors opened and I was able to walk through them in peace, joy, and elation.

If you could travel back in time and alter one historical event, where would you go and what would you attempt to change?

My belief system centers around the fact that everything is fated and not an accident. Even negative and dark events have to occur for some reason, even if we cannot accept or process why, to advance us all or create ripple effects to other later events. For that reason there isn’t really anywhere I would go and attempt to change what has happened. I trust the bigger plan of the universe and the universal creator.

What do you think you came into this life to learn, and what do you think you came here to teach?

I came into this life to learn how to blend the spiritual and the material. I came here to master intellect and rational thinking merged completely with intuition and knowing. I came here to master these and then teach them and this very thought that we are spiritual beings on a physical journey, who must leverage rational thought guided by intuitive exploration and curiosity is at the heart of my books and masterclasses. I really believe we must care for our energy field and spiritual growth in the same way we get haircuts, manis, pedis, and care for our outer self. Both are vital to this reality and this human experience, and they must be held in balance. Overemphasis on either one over the other is the root of all misery.

What projects are you working on right now?

Right now I am working on completing the self-help courses that coordinate with each of my books, as well as a very large business endeavor that I can’t share right now but I’d like to think it is my “big idea”.

In terms of my Ms. Universe and Miss Peru platform, I am working on a number of key projects that I’m really excited about.

If I had any advice for someone pursuing pageantry I would advise them to get really clear on their platform and the types of projects they want to work on before ever even choosing a system. As they go they can then etch out exact campaigns – but the guiding principle is still to be very focused and niche.

I have 3 large-scale Ms. Universe projects that I’m working on and naturally, these are internationally geared – helping promote the Earthshot Prize by Prince William the Duke of Cambridge and the initiative’s focus on cleaner oceans. I’m also working on a few campaigns relating to the Sustainable Markets Initiative by Prince Charles, to promote eco-conscious business and sustainable capitalism. His Terra Carta initiative is part of this. Lastly, I’m working on a Coral Conservation project and the Mr. Goodfish sustainable fishing campaign with the Prince Albert II de Monaco Foundation.

I’ve also created a petition of my own to personally petition Victoria’s Secret to pursue eco-friendly ways of downsizing their brick and mortar footprint, as their key activities have been damaging to local water tables and that will eventually impact the ocean.

For Peru specifically, I have two key projects in works: supporting the Lima Water Project and helping promote international collaboration between Peru and the US and Switzerland to bring clean water to Lima from the Andes, and I’m working to petition and hold the Peruvian government accountable for securing and sustaining the Nazca Marine Protected Area which is an off coast Pacific area home to hundreds of key species that exist only there. This protected area concept exists to protect the feeding, mating, and migratory patterns of these animals so that their biome is secure and the entire ecosystem doesn’t fold under and die out due to imbalances in species numbers, behaviors, etc.

Combining the two, and in order to continue my platform for my lifetime, I have created ACQUAVENUS which is a consortium structure for international beauty queens to come together to support, promote, and collaborate with each other on ocean and water conservation projects globally.

Lastly, I’ve secured a handful of brand partnerships in order to promote and spread awareness for the ocean conservation work being done by major international brands. I will be working with LA MER to spread the word on their Blue Heart Ocean Fund. I’ll also be working with Shiseido to share their work and message with the We Are One Ocean initiative which calls for the protection of 30% of the world’s oceans by 2030. As Ms. Universe, I’ve partnered with Swarovski to promote their Waterschool initiative which seeks to inspire and excite children to take action and become informed about ocean conservation and water preservation in their own communities so that we can inspire the next generation of water defenders and warriors. Lastly, I’ve joined forces with L’Oreal to promote their ocean conservation and preservation efforts as a company as well as specifically highlight the work they’ve done under the Biotherm research arm to ensure their ingredients are sustainably harvested. As an exclusive, I’ve signed on as a spokesmodel and face of Leilani Shells, an innovative fine jewelry company that plants corals in Bali, Indonesia with every fine jewelry purchase.

What would you still like to attempt in your career?

I’d still like to build off of the ocean conservation and water preservation work I’ve begun as Miss Peru and later Ms. Universe.

My long-term goal is to work for the United Nations on the ground in Peru as a Director for UN Water or for Oceana in the Pacific Ocean of coastal Peru. My long-term ambition after building wealth as a businesswoman and entrepreneur is to pivot to United Nations work with a UN body or as a United Nations ambassador between the US and Peru.

After pageantry, my immediate concern is to focus on entrepreneurship and build out my self-help and spiritual wellness empire. Although it may seem like my endeavors are unrelated, I truly believe when we build a healthier and more healed emotional and spiritual world – we can bring our masculine and feminine energy into balance and stop suppressing our feminine energy. By being more in tune with and healing our inner feminine, we can have more respect for the divine feminine energy that is mother nature and our planet earth.

What Advice Would You Give To Those Hoping To follow your footsteps?

The best advice I can give to those hoping to follow in my footsteps is to do the healing work to be able to embrace all that you are without being torn apart by competitive mindsets and thoughts that you aren’t good enough. Competition and hierarchy are illusions put in place to control us. If I’ve learned anything it’s that the path that is meant for you won’t miss you. We ALL have a specific role in life and a divine destiny and that path is ours and ours alone, which means there is no competition on that path. There is only competition when we get caught up in scarcity mindsets that there are only a few ways to win. When we need the applause, approval, and validation of society we will naturally gravitate towards what society puts on high. That leads us to try to step into occupations and dreams that aren’t even ours…they are just what society tells you will bring you the love, adoration, fame, and fortune you think you need to fill up the hole in your heart. That hole can only be filled by YOU, your self-love, and healing.

No occupation, no relationship, and no amount of public adoration is going to make you feel truly loved. Heal your wounds, we all have them, and then pursue the path that was put in your heart. That is the only way to be successful in a way that endures and also feels fulfilling. Overnight success, paying your way to the top, etc. is just ego-driven nonsense that just enriches others and leaves you empty. Please remember this.

Emerging Model Of The Week: Introducing The Beautiful Bebe Dyl

Bebe Dyl (handle-bebe_dyl) has always been in the performing arts industry since a very young age. She has taken part in dance competitions, performances, and acting lessons as well as showcases. When she was 14, she joined an acting agency and after a few years when she was 17, she was asked if she wanted to be a part of the acting agency’s modelling section and she has been modelling ever since.

Model & Mode Magazine recently caught up with Bebe to discuss her journey in the modelling world and here’s what went down:

What do you like most about being a model?

I love the fact every time I do a shoot it’s always different which excites me as I don’t know what to expect. I also love all the team and the people I meet. I have met some of the most amazing and talented people who have taught me so much.

The downside to being a model?

I would say personally for me the only downside is that I sometimes miss going out with my friends a lot and have to cancel plans last minute. I also think starting with the knockbacks and “not good enough” comments can be very tough on your confidence but you have to get used to it after a while.

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

I honestly think it was the first-ever shoot I had which was for Pepsi. It was so new to me and exciting and I had the best two days and met the most amazing people.

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

Honestly, I have met so many I can’t choose but it has to be all of the hair and makeup artists. I hear so many funny and interesting stories from their previous shoots.

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

I have learned so much already and I’m only just starting my modelling journey but the main lesson I have learned and will always keep with me is just to be confident and believe in yourself no matter how many knockbacks you get, and not to take things so personally.

Is your family supportive of you being a model?

Yes very, they were very indecisive at first about it but as soon as they saw how much I enjoyed my first test shoot and saw me having the photos they knew it was right for me.

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

I would honestly just tell myself to relax, I didn’t sleep for the week before my first shoot as I was so nervous but as soon as I got there they all made me feel so welcome.

What is the best advice you have ever been given?

To relax and be confident and comfortable in your own skin.

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

Well, I would love to keep modelling for as long as possible, but I also am very passionate about business and would love to own my own business in the future, maybe even my own modelling agency.

The ‘LIGHTNING FAST’ Round:

Last good movie I’ve seen: Atonement. this has to be one of my all-time favourite films although it makes me cry every single time I watch it.

What do you consider beautiful and why? Confidence. I personally feel that confidence is the key to beauty, it makes you a completely different person.

What haven’t you done yet that you wish you could? I love travelling so much so I would absolutely love to have a shoot abroad somewhere, I think would be such an unforgettable and exciting experience.

Complete this sentence: “If I had no fear, I’d… walk up to a group of people around my age and just start a conversation” I wish I had the confidence to do this.

What is the one “flaw” you wouldn’t change about yourself? I would probably say my stubbornness. I am very stubborn with most things how eve I personally feel as if comes in handy in certain situations.

Inside The Mind Of Makeup Junkie Bag Founder/CEO Meredith Jurica

Meredith Jurica is the founder/CEO of Makeup Junkie Bag. She was recently named by USA TODAY as “One of the Top 10 Travel Bags” with more than $10 million in sales and a breakout appearance on ABC’s “Shark Tank.”

It all started after making several bags for herself, and when MJ’s friends loved them she began to make bags as gifts for her friends and family. It didn’t take long for the cosmetic bag to become the hottest thing on the block-on lots of blocks. With her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in speech pathology, she didn’t feel qualified to start a business, not even a small one based in her home. But she loved her cosmetic bag so she became the founder, owner, and lead seamstress of Makeup Junkie Bags. She had a “baptism by fire” into the business world though when she was swindled and robbed of her designs (even though it was patented), the text on her website shamelessly pirated, and $100,000 of inventory was lost to Hurricane Harvey. Despite this setback, she still persevered, and her bags eventually brought in $1 million the first year.

The Makeup Junkie Bag’s magic – what sets it apart from every other travel makeup bag is that it lays flat, which allows easy and full access to all materials while eliminating the chances that the bag will fall over sending products everywhere.

Makeup Junkie Bags are handmade in Texas, sold in more than 2,000 stores nationwide, and come in more than 400 trendy styles and seven different sizes. Each of the bags is characterized by a signature brightly colored zipper, a suede tassel, and MJ hand-selects each designer fabric for each of the lines. From the trademark “Glam Stripe Bag” to the newer “Later Alligator,” Makeup Junkie Bags are on a constant quest to find the fabrics that reflect their customers’ lives. They are the company for the working woman, the loving (and often exhausted) mom, the grad student, and the social butterfly.

Model & Mode Magazine recently caught up with Meredith to discuss her journey as an entrepreneur and here’s what went down:

Could you please tell our readers a brief background about yourself and how you started your business?

Hi, I’m MJ, the founder, and CEO of Makeup Junkie Bags! Before starting my business, I was a Speech-Language Pathologist after obtaining my Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in the field. I departed from my job as a Speech-Language Pathologist to stay at home with my two young daughters. As an avid lover of makeup, I was tired of makeup bags not meeting my standards and decided to get crafty in my spare time. It turns out I was solving a problem many people were having. A few short years ago, starting with one simple sewing machine at my kitchen table, I made an adorable lay flat cosmetics bag in my kitchen for personal use. I loved how the design housed all my modern-day large cosmetic palettes. Then the fairytale happened and Makeup Junkie Bags was born. People took notice and wanted me to make them one.

Fast forward to five years later, a design patent, an appearance on Shark Tank, and a Good Morning America sales event – my sweet little project has turned into a national wholesale company. We make everything with love in Houston, Texas at my private facility. My company now has a retail website and wholesales to thousands of retailers nationwide. All of my bags are “Handmade in Texas,” and carry a lifetime guarantee. I have continued to expand my lines over the last three years to include handbags, cosmetics, apparel, and other accessories. As a true “makeup junkie”, I own tons of makeup. Modern-day cosmetics are so much different than the cosmetics that have been around for years. Now we see all these large artist pallets and full-sized brushes that are supposed to make us look like Heidi Klum and Tyra Banks (laughs). I was frustrated that no cosmetic bag company was keeping up with the storage of modern-day cosmetics. I had an upcoming trip and so in preparation for my travels, I went to the local craft store and purchased materials to make my own cosmetic bag that would house all of my things. I wanted it to pack flat, be leak-resistant, and open up down the middle so I could see everything. The design did exactly as I intended it to and I was so pleased. I mimicked the 12-inch size I had made for my makeup and made a larger one for my shower toiletries as well as smaller sizes to pack face creams, eye care, chargers, etc. I was excited to take them on my trip and never really knew it would turn into a business.

What are you currently doing to maintain/grow your business?

I am continuing to expand my line so be on the lookout for new products coming soon!

What social media platforms do you usually use to increase your brand’s awareness?

Instagram and Facebook.

How did your business stand out?

Word of mouth, going Live in our showroom, marketing and we do several markets throughout the year, which helps in reaching hundreds of people. Always smile, be kind, and have great customer service. I have a patent on my lay flat medial line zipper bags, so there are no others on the market like it.

What form of marketing has worked well for your business throughout the years?

Social Media and word of mouth.

What is the toughest decision you had to make in the last few months?

What Makeup Junkie Bag do I want to use for each outfit. There are so many to choose from, so it’s hard to pick just one.

What money mistakes have you made along the way that others can learn from (or something you’d do differently)?

I was paying way too much for supplies until I was educated on how things are sold from retail price to wholesale to distributor to manufacturer.

What new business would you love to start?

I would love to own a little village of vacation rentals near the beach. It would be fun to be responsible for lots of families having fun vacations.

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

I can’t really think of anything I would do differently. My journey has helped me learn and grow so much and I am happy with where I am.

What is the best advice you have ever been given?

Fall down seven times, stand up eight.

What advice would you give to a newbie Entrepreneur setting up their first business?

It is a lot of work to get started and nothing is ever easy but stay focused and don’t give up on your dreams.

Featured Event Of The Week: Mrs. Universe Australia & Miss Supermodel Universe

What: The Mrs. Universe Australia pageant is for the most honourable woman. According to our rules, she must be between the age of 18 to 55, have a family, her own career, and be involved with a significant cause in favour of other people. Our pageant is not just open to married women, it’s also open to divorced or widowed women. The idea that unites them is the motto “against violence” which in different years covers different causes.

The pageant “Super Model Universe” was created with the idea to present new models for the world podium and its best modeling agencies. The pageant’s participation requirements are: Girls 18-27 years, height minimum 175 cm. Boys 18-26, height minimum 180 cm.

Where: Dockside Darling Harbour (2 Wheat Rd, Sydney NSW 2000)

When: Sunday, October 31, 2021, at 6 PM – 9 PM

Tickets:  Contact Maryrose Salubre on 0423 710 659

Meet The International Model Behind The Cover Of The August 2021 Issue Of Model & Mode: Robbie Canner

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Robbie Canner is a 63-year-old international model, an international and national judge, and the director and owner of Ms. Australia, New Zealand, and Oceania World Universal as well as Ms. Regal World Universal and Ms. Majestic World Universal. She was crowned Ms. World back in 2018/19, and she’s the reigning Ms. World Universal Elite 2020/21. She’s also a public speaker on the topic “Age Is No Barrier.”

Since winning the Ms. World title, her public profile has considerably grown, allowing her to promote her platform and raise awareness and funds for cancer research. Winning major international titles in her 60’s has given her a platform, showing men and women from all walks of life, that age is no barrier to what anyone can achieve.

Since losing her son to cancer, her emotional and mental stress led her to visit thoughts such as, “I don’t to be here anymore,” or “I want to be with my son,” but eventually her inner strength led her to still want to continue living, have a say and give direction to help others in any area of situational, emotional and mental stress – assuring them that things can get better in time.

She loves chatting to future queens and friends that she meets along her journey and she wants to help them achieve their hopes and goals.

Model & Mode magazine recently caught up with Robbie to discuss her journey in the industry and here’s what went down:

Could you please tell our readers a brief background about yourself?

My name is Robbie Canner and some of the titles I’ve won include Ms. World 2018/19, reigning Ms. World Universal Elite 2020/21 and I have also won Ms. Classic Australia MAQ 2016, Ms. Classic Global United International 2017 Minneapolis USA, and Ms. Global United Lifetime Queen. I’m also a national and international judge, national and international director of my pageant Ms. World Universal, Ms. Regal World Universal, and Ms. Majestic World Universal. Furthermore, I’m a pageant coach and mentor, guest speaker, international model and I have appeared on a number of TV shows.

How did you become an international model? What’s it like to model internationally?

To become an international model on world stages is something I’ve always dreamt about – I was never expecting it to happen. But winning the title of Ms. World at 60 years old certainly made that dream come true. My first runway show was New York Fashion Week and then came National and International magazine covers and stories, radio interviews, and magazine features. To model on the same runway with world supermodels is totally humbling and some I still call my friends. Waiting at the back of the stage before walking on a runway – my nerves were all over the place, I was thinking “what if I stumble or fall off my heels?” but once on in front of world media and stars in the audience, I just wanted more and more. I have had invites to Paris, Milan, South Africa, and Orlando Fashion Week and have been booked again for New York Fashion Week in 2022.

What has been your greatest triumph, to date?

My greatest achievement to date is growing myself to where I am today. There are stepping stones to my journey; like my guest appearance on “Interview” with Andrew Denton on Channel 7 – speaking about my story to a live 200 guest audience brings reality to my dreams and I realized then that I just wanted to open up avenues for others to have opportunities to get to where I am.

What has been your greatest lesson, and how have you used that lesson in your life?

I have learned many lessons in my journey; I learned that age is no barrier to achievements, I learned that I needed to love myself, and I also need to grow out of my personal barriers. When I lost my 22-year-old son to cancer to face a life of total sadness that I have built around myself, I learned to still give dreams a go and that I need to go out and spread this self-growth to help others and support their self-growth.

If you could travel back in time and alter one historical event, where would you go and what would you attempt to change?

I would change my outlook on bullying which I had to deal with at school. I’ll remind myself that bullies are just jealous of who you are and that criticism of self is the best form of flattery. I would want to grow through this adversity and realise that my dreams can be taken away from me so I need to learn to advance my growth through this experience.

What do you think you came into this life to learn, and what do you think you came here to teach?

I came into my life to learn about what I could achieve by just putting my mind to anything in my sight. We have the option of grabbing hold of these opportunities or choosing to let them go. I decided to follow my dreams and now I can teach, mentor, and develop women of all ages through grooming, deportment, public speaking as well as face any adversity head-on.

What projects are you working on right now?

I am presently working on my Ms. World Universal Pageant system, a book, modelling, podcasts, magazine interviews, and one of the most exciting opportunities – I have been approached to film a documentary. The outline for this documentary is underway now and I’m also looking at an international airing so I am so excited.

What would you still like to attempt in your career?

My career is pretty awesome at the moment but some of the things I would still like to achieve are to go on The View, be interviewed by Oprah, or go to lunch with Christie Brinkley. But most of all, I want to stay strong, fit, healthy, and stay on the path of growth.

What advice would you give to those hoping to follow in your footsteps?

Be true to yourself, learn, listen, train, follow your mentors and ask for help from those who can help to place you on the path you wish to follow. At 63 years old, I am still asking for directions from those who are at the top of their game in coaching and development.

Talented Aussie Artist Amarni Finally Set To Release Her Debut EP & Single

AMARNI is a talented artist from Sydney who has been quietly, yet confidently, working hard on her music.  She’s released 10 tracks in the past 2 years and has sold out at all the venues that she’s performed at. “Fierce, Controversial, Talented, Independent, Unapologetically herself and most of all an absolute show stopper.” These are the words media, fans, and the music industry has used to describe the 23-year-old Rapper/Singer/Dancer AMARNI, who hails from Sydney, Australia.

AMARNI first gained praise and a major fan base, after her debut single: ‘Pretty Little Thing.’ The track has clocked over 3 million streams to date, across all platforms. The bold, infectious, club anthem, allowed AMARNI to share the spotlight at ‘Rolling Loud’ with the likes of Kayne West and TYGA, which then lead her to go on the road and open for ‘Cash Money Records’ RNB sensation Jacquees.

Although 2020 was a challenging year faced by many globally, this did not slow the Australian talent down.  From continuously closing brand deals, making music videos, and ensuring her new releases such as ‘Make Moves’ and ‘Mashallah’ featured in global charts & major playlists, she didn’t miss a beat.

AMARNI kicked 2021 off by dropping another hit: ‘Beyonce’ (through the independent recording label ‘New Levels’) which has already hit over a million streams on Spotify alone.  This young star is scheduled to debut her first-ever 7 track EP titled: ‘F*CK LOVE, GET MONEY’ on August 13.  The EP will showcase to fans and Industry everywhere, a version of AMARNI they have yet to see.  With critics describing it as raw, real, honest, fiery, and most of all AMARNI’s most passionate body of music to date.  The 23-year-old delivers a mix of RNB, Rap, and even melodic tracks on this EP, opening herself up to her audience for the first time ever through her lyrics.

This campaign is the beginning of Australia’s next biggest export, as global touring, major collaborations, and even her own merch range ‘INRAMA’ are ready to be announced within the coming months.

For more information, you can visit her social media pages:

Website: www.AMARNI.com.au   I   Insta: @Amarni   I   FB: @AmarniOfficial   I   Twitter: @Amarni