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Conversations with the Inspiring Ahriel Mullings

Today we’d like to introduce you to Ahriel Mullings.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
Modeling first came about because I had a friend that was a photographer and one day he asked if he could take pictures of me for fun. After the photo shoot, we both realized that this was something I was pretty good at. Modeling came pretty natural to me and the shots came out amazing. At first, it was just a hobby but then, when I noticed all the good compliments I was receiving I became intrigued and wondered what it would be like to do this professionally. Hence, where I am now. As a little girl, I would always watch America’s Next Top Model because Tyra Banks was always a young black woman I looked up too. I always told myself that if she could put her mind to something and accomplish her goals then so could I.

Today, not only have I been modeling for over a year, but I am also in the process of creating my own brand and business. So, be on the lookout for something great in the near future.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Nothing in life that is worth having is easy. This has definitely been a bumpy road. Some of the obstacles I face are because I am not your average size for a model. I am a petite model which in some areas doesn’t get the same recognition or respect as runway models or high fashion, etc. The good thing with petite models is that we are great for commercial and print modeling. Even though I’ve had my struggles I don’t let that break me. That is actually my motivation to push myself harder.

We’d love to hear more about your work, what you are focused on and what you feel sets you apart from others.
At the moment, I do have a full-time job working as a Welcome Coordinator at Oak Street Health, but outside of work, I am a model, brand ambassador, and an entrepreneur. I model on the weekend for specific clients while doing Trade for Print work as well to build my portfolio. Alongside modeling, I am working on building my own business from the ground up. My business and my brand intertwine with one another. My brand is AhriBanks which is also the model name I go by, and my business is a marketing and promotion business geared toward unique underrepresented artists in Chicago

What sets me apart from others, is that I too feel like a unique underrepresented artist in Chicago that hasn’t gotten her shot yet. I am working so hard to be noticed by worldwide brands who will appreciate my artwork, and I know that if I can succeed with myself first, then I will be able to help any other artist that comes my way, as long as they are humble and ready to put in the work

It would be great to hear about any apps, books, podcasts or other resources that you’ve used and would recommend to others.
My favorite podcast has to be “The Hey Girl” Podcast by Alex Elle created with sisterhood and storytelling in mind. It promotes woman empowerment, self-care, and self-love. Right now, I’m all about the betterment of oneself and how do we adapt to change as an individual and I think this podcast helps me in those areas.


  • Photoshoot (2-3 looks) $100
  • Videos (promotional/commercial) $125 (pricing depends on length)

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Darel White Photography

Getting in touch: VoyageChicago is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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