From interning at BCBG to dressing Big Sean, Kate Beckinsale, Ariana Grande, Victoria Justice, Tia Mowry, and several other notable clients, Vic Sanders is certainly a woman who’s not afraid to take risk to live the life she deserves. Right after walking out of her college class in Alabama, she packed her car and drove to Los Angeles to fulfill her dream. Today, she titles herself as a “freelance life-liver” because her current work as an influencer positively impacts her life, as well as the lives around her. I had the honor to interview the LA based influencer at the Project Beauty Expo (PBE) in Chelsea, Manhattan.
PBE is “a platform for women to connect with Indie brand founders, network with bloggers, beauty enthusiasts, support future makers and artisans, and provide women education in beauty, wellness, and lifestyle.”. At the event, Vic spoke on a panel of other movers and shakers — Lauren Ash, Selena Idris, and Lauren Napier. Learn about their incredible brands and efforts below:
Lauren Ash: Founder of Black Girl in Om and co-founder of Party Noire and Lifestyle with Ivory + Ash.
Selena Idris: Founder of The Brown Crown Project baby and children skin and haircare.
Lauren Napier: Founder of CLEANSE by Lauren Napier.
Speaking with panelist Vic styles gave me what she gives to so many others — inspiration and motivation to live to the absolute fullest. Vic states,
“My goal is to inspire people to live their best lives — whatever that means. It can be your relationship with yourself, another person, your job, if you really want to travel. I want to inspire as many people as I can!”
She’s utilized her determination and drive from her beginnings to inspire others to take risks. Her dream was to use her love of fashion to take on a career as a wardrobe stylist, but she needed to take a leap of faith.
“I dropped out of college my senior year, with only three classes to graduate, and packed my car to drive from Alabama to LA. I started an interning for a stylist. My first big gig was in Jamaica styling Santigold for a tour and Big Sean had a music video and the BET Awards. She couldn’t be there, so she sent me. I had to style the “Ass” video with Big Sean and Nicki Minaj.”
Like many young women going into wardrobe styling, she realized it was not the most luxurious profession.
“I thought styling was going to be glamorous! I though you got to wear heels, makeup, and you’re always looking pretty. That is not the case at all. Nine times out of ten, you’re in sneakers, sweatpants, jeans, and you’re running around 30 to 50 pounds of clothes!”
Glamorous or not, Vic loved her styling celebrities; however, she felt, “it wasn’t really fulfilling.”
“What was fulfilling was when I was on a panel for KJLH in LA. When I saw the line of women who wanted to speak to me just about how I inspired them was a different feeling than dressing celebrities. That’s when I made the transition of being a stylist to being an influencer.”
While being in influencer, she spoke and mentored at a girls’ home. Her experience made her realize that she made a meaningful move, not only in her live, but in the lives of others.
“I really connected with one of the girls. I wasn’t allowed to take their phone numbers; so, I left my email address with one of the girls. A year later, the girl emailed me and said, ‘I’m out of the home. I started using drugs. I’m in an abusive relationship. Then, I sat down, and looked at the vision board we created together and started crying. It made me want to change my life. I want you to know that I now have a corporate job, signed up to go to college, and got off drugs!’ I was like, ‘Oh my God! I really changed somebody’s life!'”
She inspires so many others to work as a “freelance life-liver”. It’s no secret that it’s difficult to break into any industry as a woman, especially a woman of color. Her advice for being successful in those industries is to remain true to yourself:
“You have to know who you are, and know why you’re doing what it is that you want to do. If you’re in it for the wrong reason, than that industry is going the shape you into something that you may not want to be. If you know who you are and what your goals are, then you will be fine.”
Many self-starters run into the issue of others who do not understand why they would go through an entrepreneurial, freelance journey — a field that seems to be unstable with hardly any benefits. During the panel, Vic makes the point,
“Oprah doesn’t have a 401K. She’s not sitting at home worrying about retirement plan, because she is the retirement plan. You have to think the same way. It may be uncomfortable. You may be at home eating Ramen for a couple of months, but when you look back seven years from now, you’re going to laugh about it. You’re gonna be so much better off!”
Lastly, Vic believes in inspiring society through not only through her words of encouragement, but through beauty and fashion. Art has played a positive role in influence in today regarding social issues, and the beauty and fashion industry is a part of this art.
“The beauty and fashion industry are driven by women. Recently, there has been a shift on what we see as beautiful because now we have the content literally at our fingertips. I’m able to see women that look like me and act like me; whereas before, we relayed on the print magazines that were run by white men. We weren’t able to see the real story, the real people, and the real women who are beautiful.”
“Back in Cuba, they have no advertisements whatsoever. There is no standard of beauty. All women there are so free and confident because they look at each other and that’s the beauty standard. If we can sort of shift the marketing material that we have, it will change the way that we view beauty.”
Sources: Project Beauty Expo