roleModel Rookie of the Week: Lindsey W
Height: 5’7” Instagram: @lindseykweller Hometown: Gaithersburg, MD
Agency: EMG, non-exclusive
Tell us about your journey to becoming a model?
I like to say that modeling found me and not the other way around. I was working in TV at the local Fox station in DC, and a photographer there approached me and asked if I would like to model for him to build his portfolio. I agreed and that's how it all started. From there I did shoots on the side as they came up, but nothing on a regular basis. I worked in the corporate world for several years doing mostly marketing work and it just wasn't making me happy. After a lot of soul searching and the realization that I am a much more creative person than I originally thought, I decided to take a leap and pursue the modeling full time. A little over a year later and here I am!
How has your experience working with Lauren as a Mentor and a seasoned model helped your personal modeling goals and experience?
Working with Lauren has helped turn my goal of modeling full time into a true reality. I was introduced to Lauren about 6 months after I began working towards becoming a professional model. She was able to move my career forward faster than I ever would have been able to alone. In just a few months I was agency-represented, gaining experience in several different types of modeling, and well on my way to my goal of being successful enough to have modeling be my sole source of income. I am now just over a year into this process and could not be happier with where I am. Lauren is a primary reason I am able to say that. Her guidance and support have been invaluable. I am happy to call her not only my mentor, but my friend as well.
You are in great shape, have you always led a healthy and active lifestyle? If not, what made you change. Was there a defining moment?
I have pretty much always subscribed to a healthy and active lifestyle. I played varsity field hockey and lacrosse in high school and continued my field hockey career through college, playing D1 at Bucknell University. After that I coached and continued to play recreationally. Being active has always been important for me not only physically, but mentally as well, so it's important for me to keep exercise a fairly regular part of my life.
What does being a Model mean to you?
When I think about my identity as a model I think of a series of traits: creative expression, ambition, hustle, organization, resiliency, stamina, and confidence to name a few. All of those qualities have proven to be essential for success based on my experience thus far.
It has been interesting looking back and reflecting on how modeling has helped me enhance each one of those traits within myself over the past year. They are all traits of which I am very proud and want to continue to develop.
What is your favorite modeling gig so far?
Definitely walking in NYFW in February this year. It was a goal of mine from the beginning of this process to walk during Fashion Week, and I am excited to be able to say that I walked for 3 different designers a few weeks ago.
What is your work out routine, do you go to the gym?
Most of my formal workouts are done at the gym, but I really love to walk so I get outside and do that as much as I can in between gym visits. Keeping a regular workout schedule can be tough, especially since I travel a lot for work, so making sure I'm active even if I don't have access to a gym is important. That's why I love walking and strength exercises that use your own body weight because neither require any equipment and can be done pretty much anywhere.
You have done some fit modeling recently; on average what does a fit model make a day in NYC?
I am new to the world of fit modeling, but so far so good! It's not glamorous, but it's very important work for companies and designers, and it's a great way to pay the bills. For a full day of fit modeling work a model can average $1,500-$2,000.
What motivates you?
Being challenged motivates me. The modeling world presents constant physical and mental challenges. Instead of letting them be hindrances, I try to use them as fuel. If someone tell me I’m “too short” I remind myself that that's the opinion of one person and there are plenty out there who will think differently. I use that as motivation to go out and keep working at challenging the height requirements that so many seem to adhere to in the industry. I go to castings even though I am below the minimum height requirement listed, because you have zero chance if you don't put yourself out there. Basically, someone telling me I can't makes me want to prove I can.
Who are your role models/ women who inspire you?
Two women immediately came to mind: my mom and Ellen Degeneres.
My mom grew up very modestly and pretty much had to accomplish everything on her own without much help, financial or otherwise, from anyone else. She was a stellar student, put herself through college and law school, and has become one of the top attorneys in the D.C. area, all while being a mom to me and my sister and supporting us in every way possible. Her ambition, independence, and success are things I have always admired.
Ellen Degeneres is someone else who inspires me. She uses her fame to spread generosity, kindness, laughter, and love into the world. Every day she recognizes and helps strangers in need, often bringing awareness to important issues and causes that would otherwise go unnoticed. She is someone truly using their fame to do good and I admire that so much. I am determined to go be in the audience at her show in LA at some point!
Do you have any upcoming projects you are working on that you would like to tell us about?
I am in the early stages of planning a shoot with a photographer friend of mine alongside a major magazine that should be really fun. We haven't decided 100% on content yet, but the photos will be submitted to said magazine (keeping this under wraps for now!) for use on their social media channels and other platforms if all goes well. Stay tuned!
How long have you been modeling?
I modeled as a hobby for several years and have been working at it full time for a little over a year now. I decided to go for the big leagues much later than your average model, but I think my age has proven to be a real asset. What are your favorite foods to eat?
I’d like to say that I am the pillar of health in terms of food, but I have my weaknesses. “Anything Italian” is probably the best way to describe my favorite foods. I love carbs. Give me some fresh bread and a plate of olive oil and balsamic and I'm a happy gal. I am a big fan of chicken in pretty much any form as well. Chicken wings are my guilty pleasure in that category. I like plenty of healthy things too though. Salads, raw veggies, avocado, and nuts, are some of my go-to good-for-you items.
What advice do you have for young models just starting out?
Keep at it. It is so easy to get discouraged in this industry. I have been many times and it's only been a year. The key is to let yourself be upset for a minute or an evening and then forget about it and move on to the next opportunity.
Be professional, humble, and kind. Your reputation is super important and although the fashion world might seem big it can get small very quickly. Always be aware of how you are presenting yourself and take responsibility for the way you behave. Convey confidence without being arrogant. Be friendly and encouraging to fellow models. Be the kind of person that everyone wants to work with again.