Today we’d like to introduce you to Lellies Santiago.
Hi Lellies, thanks for joining us today. We’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
I want to first start off with thanking you guys for wanting me to be a part of this and sharing my story. Where do I start? I first began modeling in 9th grade from doing school fashion shows to hair shows. I would definitely say runway was my first love, I practiced everyday in the mirror walking back and forth in my hallway of my house just trying to perfect my walk and my poses. I remember times when I would have fashion show practice and we would be practicing for like 5 hours of walking back and forth and I was the only girl with 6inch skinny heel shoes (fun fact my father always put me in heels as a kid I started wearing my baby heels at five so heels were definitely my thing).
As I got older around senior year, I began to realize I wasn’t the average height for runway which you had to be at least “5’6” and here I was 5’3 hoping they would make an exception. I started to venture out and try new things obviously at the time Instagram was just coming up and I found a photographer that I thought was dope and asked if I could shoot with him. I remember we shot outside for 3hours that day for two outfits, yes I know that’s a long time! But I was getting my feet wet little did I know that a simple shoot would open up more doors for me. I later was contacted by a well-known director in Jersey by the name of “Nimi Hendrix” and I did my first video shoot ever. Man was I scared! But for some reason, I did a great job so much that after that shoot, he started contacting me more and more and that’s when the buzz started for me of who Lellies was. I’ve done videos with fabulous Lil uzi vert, Jeremih, Rick Ross, Lil Durk, and more. I just don’t want to go name crazy but my main focus was to get my name up in my city and that’s New Jersey.
Today I am an all-around influencer. I work with an amazing brand that goes by the name of “African Pride” and also a company called “Darling” I am a hair model; some call me the braided queen because I always have the most outrageously loud and creative styles seen and I have to thank my stylist/ sister Xia better known as “Braided”. To carry on, I am an actress I just did my first short film that’s coming out soon so I’m super excited about that and I have some really amazing things coming soon that I can’t elaborate on but I will say I’m so very humbled and thankful to be where I am to influence and also help aspiring models the best that I can. If I had to give some words to an up and coming entrepreneur, it’s don’t give up, whatever you put your mind to, you can conquer it just be you and be smart.
I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
Some of the obstacles I faced was not being tall enough in the beginning of my career. Also, not having all the followers other girls would have and that affected me a lot being in a world of social media and everyone going by your following to know how good you were was definitely a hard time for me but then I had to realize that my time would come and I just had to keep pushing and putting out quality content.
Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
I am an influencer, actress, and hair model, right now I would say the thing I’m known for is my hair! My braided styles are the talk of social media. The thing I’m most proud of is being able to influence woman on simply loving themselves. I’m a big advocate of knowing your worth and being confident. The thing that sets me apart from others is that I’m unapologetically myself. I go hard for what I love and I’m a hustler if I can’t get it one way, I’m going to always have backup plans and be successful.
What matters most to you? Why?
My father matters the most to me. I lost my mother at a very young age and my father has been there for me from day one; my morals, my mindset, and my hustle mentality it all came from him. I couldn’t of picked a better person to be in my life. All I want to do is make him proud.
- Email: Selinalellies@gmail.com
- Instagram: https://instagram.com/lelliessantiago
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/lelliessantiago
Photographers of the photos submitted @xander.foto @bornvisionary @leefparks @camchampszn