1. Marcela, thank you for joining us for this short interview. For the sake of our readers, please tell us a little about yourself.

Thank you for having me. I would best describe myself as a self-made business owner and model who built my career starting from the very bottom. After moving to the United States, I worked relentlessly to stay afloat financially while also pursuing my dreams of becoming a model. I’ve been involved in modeling for about a decade now, but it wasn’t until two years ago that I turned professional and found success. I would say that I’m known best in the modeling industry as someone who successfully made the transition from a social media model to a published model in one of the most popular and desirable publications. I’m also someone who strives to motivate young women all around the world to follow their dreams.

2. You have a very large following on social media. What approach did you take to build your social media platforms?

Well, it’s somewhat of a long story. I was born and raised in Costa Rica in a town that provided me with little opportunity to get ahead in life. One day, my Mom told me she had accepted a job in New York, and we relocated there not too long after. New York was much different than the small town I was used to, and I credit the bright lights and tall buildings with sparking my desire to become a model. When we first arrived, things were really tough. I worked all day as an Uber and Lyft driver, and that was barely enough to get by financially. At the time, social media was starting to become very popular, especially with platforms such as Instagram and Snapchat. I noticed that many other women were making a lot of money as social media models. I’m a pretty confident person, and I thought to myself, if they can do it, why can’t I? I started researching social media growth strategies and trends, and I began posting content consistently to all of my social media platforms. I also started engaging with other models and influencers online, as well as contacting popular brands for potential collaborations in the future. Things were slow at first, but over time my following started to grow. I now have almost one million followers. It’s pretty surreal to think about sometimes.

3. What companies have you modeled for, and how did you come across an opportunity to model for an elite publication?

Once I started gaining popularity online, especially on Instagram, a lot of brands began contacting me to work with them. Some of these brands were ones I had messaged a long time ago in hopes that they would one day collaborate with me. I’ve been very fortunate to work with some of the most popular brands in the social media space. A few of my favorite so far are PrettyLittleThing, YOINS, Cozy Earth, and Vigor Labs, but there are many more.

In terms of getting a publication opportunity- it’s something I had always wanted to do. Social media is really great, but being published in a magazine is something I have always dreamed of. Even on social media, I was always looking to improve my skills so that I could be ready for an opportunity one day. It all started when I was on a work trip in Punta Cana which is located in the Dominican Republic. While I was relaxing during some down time, I received an invitation from one of the most sought after magazines to attend a photo shoot nearby. I was so excited, and I felt completely prepared for my opportunity. I ended up having one of the best photo shoots of my career, and I was published just a few months ago in April of 2020. This was a life-long dream of mine, and now I am looking forward to the next opportunity.

4. How did you find success in such a competitive industry?

I would attribute my success to a few things. One of the most important things I’ve learned is to remain patient at all times. It’s so easy to become desperate for an opportunity, but if you give in to that feeling you have already lost. Equally as important is the ability to remain true to yourself in an industry that often attempts to take your authenticity from you. When I first began my career as a professional model, I was well aware of the fact that many other women shared similar looks and physical features that I have, but I also understood that people connect with authentic individuals, which I truly believe has separated me from the competition. Almost all of my fans on social media view me as their friend, and they share a special connection with me, as I always try to be warm, open, and welcoming to them. I appreciate all of their support so much.

5. Aside from modeling, what else are you most passionate about?

I’m so passionate about modeling, but I’m just as passionate about making a positive difference in the world, and I plan to do so through the platform I have on social media. What’s the point in having a platform if you don’t use it to influence positive change? I am very involved in both the “Me Too” and “Black Lives Matter” movements, and I’m striving to take meaningful actions towards raising awareness in every way possible. Personally, I’ve made numerous donations, and I’ve also founded numerous fundraisers for organizations such as the CDC Foundation to help combat Covid-19. I’ve also created fundraisers for organizations that are assisting people in other countries during the pandemic as well. My most recent project has been raising awareness on the humanitarian crisis in Yemen. I believe this is a topic that is often overlooked, and not spoken about nearly enough.

6. Marcela, you have an amazing story. Where can readers keep up with you online?

You can keep up with me on my Website, or feel free to follow me on my Instagram.