I've gotta say that 2015 was quite a year for me and I'm sure you've noticed that I've been MIA from regularly posting. There really aren't just enough hours in the day and I apologize if you've felt abandoned or wanting for new information. I haven't forgotten you!
There is always method to my madness, however. I basically devoted myself to being a workaholic in overdrive for 2015 so that I could position myself to make 2016 the kind of year where I could pick and choose how much I wanted to work (or not work) without worrying about making ends meet. You know, grown up stuff, lol.
That being said, below is a quick recap of what 2015 held for me. Hopefully it will show you why I was absent as much as I was from my Modeling 101 blog and other related projects:
|Being interviewed live during a TV news morning show about my|
chalk art business, The Chalk Chica.
CONTINUED TO FLOURISH
As some of you may or may not know, when I'm not in front of a camera or on a stage, I own and operate my own art business. Chalk art, to be specific. It is because of this business I run that I am able to make my own schedule, call the shots and be secure enough financially to pursue my other passions in life.
Being a shorter model, I knew I couldn't rely on modeling income alone to maintain my lifestyle, pay my bills, etc. so it was important to me that I pay attention to The Chalk Chica and continue to ensure that my clients were happy and that the opportunities that came my way got bigger and better. Thankfully, they have.
I not only had the chance to travel out of state for work, I also secured a client who is partnered with Kevin Hart and I will be working with them throughout the year as a chalk artist at their community events nationwide. That includes several trips this year.
I WON MS. USA PETITE 2015!
If you follow me on social media (IG, Facebook, Twitter) then you probably already know this but if you don't, in October of 2015 I was crowned the new Ms. USA Petite in Florida. I hadn't competed in a pageant since 2008 so in a sense I was coming out of retirement. The pageant bug never left me but it took some time to find a pageant system with a division that allowed women in their 30s to compete.
I was fortunate to find the USA Petite system. By "petite" they mean height, not size. Contestants had to be 5'6" or shorter in order to participate. I went to Florida for the competition, where I represented my home state of California. After making many new friends and having such an amazing time, I got to experience what it was like to be crowned and realize all the hard work and preparation I went through being rewarded.
As Ms. USA Petite 2015, I plan on spending my time as a titleholder for 2016 traveling, making appearances and promoting my platform, Citizen Schools, which focuses on creating apprenticeship after school programs in middle schools to help students identify what career path they want to pursue later on in life. I'm also an avid supporter of promoting the arts and arts education programs in K-12 schools throughout the country.
Additionally, I get the pleasure to take a free cruise to support my sister queens in the Teen and Miss divisions, who will go on to compete at the Universal Petite Pageant (the Ms. and Mrs. divisions do not have any further levels to compete at). Then I'll crown my successor at the 2016 USA Petite pageant in Florida in October.
NEW DANIA DENISE BUSINESS ENDEAVOR
I think I'm too entrepreneurial for my own good. I'm always looking for ways to expand and reach others and after 2015, I think the timing is right to add another branch to my Dania Denise brand by making my mentoring, coaching and consultation services official with a new website.
I've always mentored, coached and consulted over the past few years but it was more a word of mouth type of thing. After coaching my protege, Jennifer Smith, to two pageant titles, taking on a new pageant student and helping many aspiring models embark upon their modeling journeys, I realized that I have the power to really connect with others and give them the opportunity to realize their dreams.
So I'm launching DaniaDee.com, which will be my new business venture of offering in-person mentoring, coaching and consultation services for not just modeling but acting and pageants. Please note, this is a paid service and while I'm not out to break anyone's bank account, I do require being compensated for my time, efforts and any travel involved. This is an opportunity for those who really want one-on-one assistance with whatever their career goals are in the fields of modeling, acting and pageantry. My online/email services will still be free so you can still email me your questions or leave questions in comments on my blog posts and I'll reply back so none of that will change.
The website is close to being finished and I'll make sure to make an official announcement once it's ready to go.
As you can see, 2015 has been a whirlwind and with 2016 already shaping up to be even better (acting work has picked up, including my first national commercial, set to shoot this week!), I can't wait to bring Modeling 101 back to life with even more information and insight for you all to enjoy!