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Miss Vannette: Modeling with a mission


Vannette Tolbert B.K.A as Miss Vannette is a Washington native.She has been featured in Afrikan Insight Magazine, Ovation Magazine, Exposure Magazine, Model coordinator/Model for  http://www.womentodesire.com/  Thique Magazine, Sexy DC Magazine, Jet Magazine Beauty of the Week, Jet Magazine Beauty of the Year, Jewell Shannon/I.B.Concept Magazine, DimePiece Magazine Summer 2010 Issue, Assets Magazine, Seagram’s Gin 2011 Calendar, The Source Magazine, Jacqueline Browne fashion show, War of the Worlds fashion show RLO Fashion Show, Fashion Designer/Model – FSU’s “Africa at Its Best” ShowcaseFashion Inferno Fashion Show, Fashion Fuzion show, Brasil Live Fashion Show , Juelz Santana Fashion Show, Show Coordinator/Model – JQ Promotions Island Fashion Show, Emore’J FCUK Fashion Show Model, Shake Your Booty Boutique Fashion Show, Summer Fashion Finale, Up Against the Wall Fashion Show, model of the month -roundbrownclothing.com, Exposure Magazine feature model, model of the month - www.urbanmusic.tv, feature model - hidvisualcreations.comMar/April 2006 - 2 page spread Thique Magazine June 2006 - promotion for KS Borghese Cosmetics,June 2006 - promotion for Discover Card
June 2006 - model of the week, UrbanMag.net x,July 2006 - JumpOff TV's World Rap Championships Official Jump Off Girl,August 2006 - DUB Magazine Care Show Pepsi Girl, Featured in Sexy DC Magazine
Fashion Inferno fashion show - Washington DC March 2007.

When she not riping the runway she is also a lifestyle blogger; philanthropist and former pageant queen. I first came across her on Model Coverage I was able to interview her in  between her busy schedule. Here is our exclusive:

KSY:What are 5 things you  must have in your modeling bag?

V:strapless bra, scarf, pumps, my makeup bag (just in case), and a hot pair of jeans!

KSY:If you could give advice to an inspiring model who wanted to follow in your footsteps what advice would you give them?

V:The best advice that I can give is to seek a mentor. Find someone who has been successful in the genre you’re pursuing.  Ask them to guide you, run requests by them before accepting, and ask for posing/styling tips.  Experienced models have a wealth of knowledge of the good and bad, so use their knowledge.  I would also suggest seeking legitimate management so that you don’t have to worry about the business, and you can focus on being your pretty, little self.

KSY:What models have influenced your career?

V:Tyra, Naomi, Beverly, Alek and Liyah have all been great inspirations to me because they broke down barriers and opened doors for female models of color.

KSY:Tell us what it was like to be crowned as Miss Liberia in 2004?

V:Pageants require a lot of preparation (and money). I had practiced my dance routine for weeks, practiced my interview questions every day, and spent my miniscule college student income on my dresses and outfits… and the unthinkable happened. The week of the pageant, my best friend died of cancer. She was buried the day of the pageant. That really put things in perspective for me. I changed my focus on winning from winning just for bragging rights to winning so that I could make a difference and inspire young women in the US and in Africa.  I wore the crown with pride and made an impact in the community that year.


KSY:You have been jet setting all over the world. where is your favorite place to go for business and pleasure ( and why?)

V:Domestically – I love NYC and LA. They’re the two cities I’ve traveled to the most. I have lots of friends in both cities, so every time I visit, I have a blast!  Internationally – I loooved Negril, Jamaica. I stayed at the Rockhouse Resort and didn’t want to return home!  I’m African, so I always enjoy spending time in Africa.  I have been to Liberia, Ghana, Benin and Ivory Coast.

KSY:Did you ever finish your E-book, If yes where can we get a copy?

V:Great question! The ebook is still in the works. I hope to have something out by December, at which point I will post links on my website and social media timelines.

KSY:What has been the hardest thing about sharing your life on social media?

V:I hate to say this, because it sounds conceited, but I’m very popular.  I often go out and people I don’t know come up to me like “Are you Miss Vannette? I follow you on Twitter!”  It’s nice to be anonymous sometimes and not have people watching your every move, telling you whether or not you look better in pictures or real life, and trying to use you for exposure.”  It has also affected my dating life.  I try not to tell guys that I meet who I am or what I do right away, but all they have to do is look me up online and
everything is there – so it takes away the intrigue of getting to know me personally.

KSY:How did you get started in modeling? how long have you been modeling?

V:I was always interested in the entertainment industry. I took dance lessons for 12 years and participated in beauty pageants as a young girl, so the desire to get into modeling came naturally.  When I was about 18, I dated a male model and went to a few of his fashion shows. One day, I said to myself, “you can do that!” and so I did! I started working out, studying the art and building my network.  That was nearly ten years ago.
Since I started, I walked on countless runways, did about 100 photo shoots, was published in print about a dozen times and only God knows how many websites I've been featured on and  I served as a national Seagram's spokesmodel during my year as Miss August in the 2011 Women of Seagram's Gin calendar. It's had it's challenges, but I've learned a lot, met some great people, and had lots of fun along the way."

KSY:Have you ever felt intimidated at a social event or photo shoot how did you handle the situation?

V:I have a natural poker face. Sometimes I get extremely nervous and shy, but I push through it. I guess it’s the actress/performer in me.  I just suck up my fears and do what I have to do.

KSY:Tell us why you started your site?

V:I’ve had a website for years. I purchased MissVannette.com in 2008 and had a really innovative design by Michael Antonio. In 2011 I decided that it was time for an update.  I also had a rinky dinky little blog that I built myself and it looked crappy, but so many people were reading my articles and posts that I decided I needed to upgrade my site in order to upgrade my brand. I spent so many hours and sleepless nights planning the new MissVannette.com. It was a lot of work, going back and forth with my amazing web designers at Intuition, bringing all of the pieces together to execute the “pink dress” photo shoot etc, but I absolutely love the final product and I hope that my readers do, too!

KSY:What are 5 steps that anyone can use to becoming a socialite?

V:Everyone is different and every community is different, so everyone’s path to becoming a socialite will be different.  I can say that being charming, being open to meeting people from all walks of life, actually listening instead of waiting for your turn to talk, walking into a room exuding confidence, not being afraid to go out alone, and going to different types of events and meeting different types of people are key tips.  In order to be a socialite, you must bring value to your community. Promoters, event producers, publicists and other socialites will ask themselves, “what value will having this girl at my event bring?” before they invite you. Keep that in mind.

 KSY:What is next for Miss Vannette? How will you continue to grow your growing brand?
V:I’d really like to spend this year focusing on my writing.  I have received a couple of endorsement offers, which I’m considering as well.

KSY:Do you have any upcoming events or projects?

V:I have lots of surprises up my sleeve. There are some potential endorsement deals that I’m looking at. I’m working on finishing up my e-book and laying down outlines for other reading material that I would like to put out. I’m also working on a jewelry project that you’ll hear about soon!

Special thanks to Miss Vannette


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