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Meet Shettima Webb of Model Esteem in Pilsen

Today we’d like to introduce you to Shettima Webb.

Shettima, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
Model Esteem was birthed out of my own personal struggles with low self-esteem. I was constantly as a child teased and bullied in school which caused me to develop very negative self-images about myself well into adulthood. It took me a long time to fully discover who I was and my purpose. My Grandmother “Pearl” paid for me to attend modeling and acting school when I was a teenager.

Although I didn’t pursue the arts as a teen, the seed was sown in me to model, act and do many things in the creative arts arena. I am so grateful for my Grandmother seeing something in me that she wanted me to tap into and my parents supporting as well.

In 2009, I entered into the Miss Illinois Plus America Pageant and won to go on and place 5th in the nationals. From there I linked up with a plus size organization called Four Yours Truly Full Figured Modeling Organization to do freelance modeling before I got signed with an agency. It was with FYT that I begin to gain confidence about myself with the various fashion shows and also be around amazing women. House of Duvall was the first celebrity designer that I ever walked and teaching me to own the runway. Modeling was a way in order for me to gain the confidence that I needed in myself.

In 2013 after modeling all over Chicago, I decided that is was time for me to help others gain the confidence that I did through modeling. I got signed to an agency in 2015 and it was there that I wanted to combine both the knowledge of being a signed model and what it took to be in the industry along with building confidence in youth and adults.

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?
The struggles that I had in the beginning was trying to solely live off the income of my business.

Also, another struggle was figuring out how I would market to clientele that I can’t reach on social media? I had to really find other ways to get my brand to a larger audience. I strongly suggest business owners, unless you have a significant amount of capital to not quit your day job. You will need funds to invest in your business for things like marketing. I really businesses do not focus enough on marketing to a larger audience. It really was a hard road that I had to realize and that was you can still be an entrepreneur and have a full-time job. Always make sure you have some sort of capital to fund your business even if it’s a full-time job.

The other issue was once these ladies were trained, what jobs were they going to get? Everyone will not be signed to an agency or it might take a while to find the right agency. So I switched my business model to not only include training and development but also seek out jobs for my clients as well which entails partnering with businesses.

Model Esteem – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Model Esteem is a modeling, performance arts and brand ambassador organization committed to building self-esteem and entrepreneurship for youth and adults through the arts. We also represent companies in a positive way to increase their brand awareness. We specialize is training and development in modeling, performance arts and entrepreneurship. We produce various showcases to highlight talent and work with small to large businesses as brand ambassadors.

What sets us apart is that we are committed to developing self-esteem, anti-bulling through the arts, entrepreneurship and positive brand awareness for companies. I do my best to hire as many young people as I can that would otherwise not be able to get work.

What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
My proudest moment is when my clients that I have trained with me book PAYING GIGS through Model Esteem or they come back and tell me how much Model Esteem has helped them in their own personal development and self-esteem. I really LOVE what I do which is empowering people to be their very best self. That goes way beyond modeling and acting.

I have had the wonderful opportunity to be featured in several local media outlets. One of my favorites was being featured on Chicago Proud.

http://abc7chicago.com/society/formerly-bullied-chicago-woman-works-to-boosts-self-esteem-of-youth/1718576/

Pricing:

  • 1 hour in person consultation or online is $50
  • Workshops prices varies $35-$100
  • Photoshoot $200

Contact Info:

  • Address: Lacuna Lofts
    2150 S Canalport
    Suite 2a-11
    Chicago, IL
  • Website: www.modelesteem.com
  • Phone: 708 612 6549
  • Email: modelesteem@gmail.com
  • Instagram: modelesteem_iloveme
  • Facebook: Model Esteem


Image Credit:
Dean Reid
Calm Photography by MG

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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