Welcome to Ufront Media Insights. I had the pleasure of interviewing Model and Entrepreneur Ms. Chela. She was recently featured in VICE NEWS on HBO about dancers becoming bartenders and using her personal brand to do much bigger things in her life.
Chela has expanded her brand to 1.5 million followers on Instagram and growing. She now advertises for various companies such as eyelashes, haircare, makeup, clothing, sneakers, jewelry brands.
Roger- What inspired you to start modeling and what sparked your interest in become a dancer?
Chela- I became a dancer because after years of working a 9-5 job. I realized that the money still wasn’t enough to pay my bills and help me support my family so I decided to dance to make extra money.
I only started modeling because Hip Hop Legend D.J. Kay Slay approached me with the opportunity of being on the cover of his magazine and I used that exposure to start to build a platform for myself. I’ve been modeling for the last 3 yrs.
Roger -Tell me about your childhood and where did you get your mindset to work hard from?
Chela- I had a great childhood. My mom was a single parent and worked two jobs to support my siblings. I have learned my work ethnic from her just by watching her daily to .
Roger- What inspired you to use Instagram to promote yourself vs any other platform?
Chela - In my opinion, Instagram is the most popular of the social media apps. It’s become the easiest to generate income through. Second, I can take pictures within the app or use photos that already exist in my camera roll. Third, I can share photos instantly to my audience, not only on Instagram, but also Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, and Tumblr. All these tools are necessary for me to build my audience.
Roger- How do you separate yourself from the another girls as a model?
Chela- I don’t follow the stereotypes. I look at these opportunities as a means to an end like my new calendar I just created and it is going very well. I use the calendar as a great way to promote my personal brand.
Second, I also host many parties and events within the New York City Area as another way to expand my brand to make sure my audience knows that I am at the hottest events around the town.
Roger- On Vice News you shared your thoughts about a strippers strike. Why are the rights of strippers so important to you ?
Chela-I gave an opinion on the strike. I’m not a part of it in any way. I’m not concerned with how effective it is either. I just felt that what I’ve experienced personally and how I’ve chose to deal with it is what has worked for me. I decided that I didn't want to be taking advantage of anymore so I just made some strategic moves that would put me in a better place for my brand. Watch my interview on Vice Media below and your audience can see the full interview called From The Pole to the Bar: Why Strippers are Becoming Bartenders to get the real story behind it.
Roger-What are your future plans within the entertainment business?
Chela- I don’t intend to be a part of night life much longer. I’m focusing toward TV and other media related products in the future. I firmly believe my future looks bright cause I get so many good offers for branding opportunities.
Roger- What advice do you have for anyone who wants to follow in your footsteps?
Chela- Night life is a last resort. I will say it again Night Life is a last resort. A means to end. People often get lost in it. It’s only for strong minded people and make sure you have strong team behind you to support you as well because you will go thru some dark days but you have to keep focused on your goals and write them down. One of my favorite quotes from the bible Write the vision, and make it plain…
(Habakkuk 2:2, New International Version). I believe this and I apply this verse to build my brand because the more you focus your attention on your vision the more your faith grows. Taking slow and steady faith steps on your vision journey opens the door for opportunities to succeed. If you choose to activate your faith, you will courageously move forward in following your promised path that leads to vision success.
Roger: Wow! Thank you Chela for this interview and for more information about her go to @therealchelasway on Instagram.