EvolveHer: Unpacked Podcast

EvolveHer Unpacked: Episode 7 Robin Harris

November 13, 2020 Robin Harris Season 1 Episode 7
EvolveHer: Unpacked Podcast
EvolveHer Unpacked: Episode 7 Robin Harris
Chapters
EvolveHer: Unpacked Podcast
EvolveHer Unpacked: Episode 7 Robin Harris
Nov 13, 2020 Season 1 Episode 7
Robin Harris

On this episode of EvolveHer Unpacked, Amanda and Alicia sit down with Robin Harris, the Founder & CEO of Model Atelier, a luxury fashion brand for the Vertically Blessed & Shop.Confidence, an athleisure line that raises money for Chicago Public School student & "confidence chats".

Robin grew up as the youngest of six children in North Lawndale and battled with her own struggle with confidence over the years. In this episode we unpack the pivotal moments throughout Robin's journey and learn about the time she realized her height was actually a very valuable asset. Soon after, Robin launched a global modeling career with Ford Models, was inspired to go back to school to get an MBA and create a luxury fashion line. Model Atelier quickly caught the attention of the vertically blessed players of the WNBA and working together they took her platform to the next level. Robin's story is an inspiration to us all and reminds us how important it is to key your eye on the target & celebrate every aspect of ourselves. 

MORE ABOUT ROBIN HARRIS:

The founder of MODEL ATELIER, Robin Harris, is a former fashion model represented by Ford Models, with an MBA in International Business. Robin Harris has been in the fashion industry for over 15 years, traveled the world working as a professional model, designer and creative director. Robin created MODEL ATELIER to fill the void and frustration that tall women have when it comes to finding stylish clothes that’s the perfect fit and length. She took her company from dream to reality by separating the brand from its competitors and became the first official fashion boutique of  WNBA teams and the WNBPA. Model Atelier has been worn by world renowned athletes such as Candace Parker, Cappie Pondexter, Cheyenne Parker, Stefanie Dolson, and Nneka Ogwumike. Clients have worn Model Atelier on the red carpets to the ESPYS, OSCARS, WNBA ALL Star, TV shows, and more. She's listed as Crain's 40 under 40, and has been featured in renowned fashion and business magazines and now she's on a mission to use fashion to empower and boost the confidence of young girls worldwide.

Follow Robin on Instagram.
Follow Model Atelier on Instagram and Facebook.
Follow Shop.Confidence on Instagram

About your hosts:
Alicia Driskill is the Founder & CEO EvolveHer, a community that unites the skills and resources of working women to create a more equitable future. Prior to launching EvolveHer, Alicia worked as VP of Global Partnerships at WME | IMG, one of the world’s most innovative companies. She also served as a Senior Executive at Live Nation and People.com. After a 17 yr career in entertainment & media working alongside the industry’s elite, Alicia decided to evolve her own career path and disrupt the Chicago market by opening EvolveHer, Chicago’s first creative workspace designed for women. Follow Alicia on on Instagram and LinkedIn.

Amanda Chin, Partner and Head of Growth of EvolveHer, is a sales leader and business development strategist with over a decade of experience scaling businesses and brands. She has partnered with global Fortune 500 brands in digital marketing strategy and business development working at technology companies including Amobee & Xandr.

Support the show (http://evolveher.community)

Show Notes Transcript

On this episode of EvolveHer Unpacked, Amanda and Alicia sit down with Robin Harris, the Founder & CEO of Model Atelier, a luxury fashion brand for the Vertically Blessed & Shop.Confidence, an athleisure line that raises money for Chicago Public School student & "confidence chats".

Robin grew up as the youngest of six children in North Lawndale and battled with her own struggle with confidence over the years. In this episode we unpack the pivotal moments throughout Robin's journey and learn about the time she realized her height was actually a very valuable asset. Soon after, Robin launched a global modeling career with Ford Models, was inspired to go back to school to get an MBA and create a luxury fashion line. Model Atelier quickly caught the attention of the vertically blessed players of the WNBA and working together they took her platform to the next level. Robin's story is an inspiration to us all and reminds us how important it is to key your eye on the target & celebrate every aspect of ourselves. 

MORE ABOUT ROBIN HARRIS:

The founder of MODEL ATELIER, Robin Harris, is a former fashion model represented by Ford Models, with an MBA in International Business. Robin Harris has been in the fashion industry for over 15 years, traveled the world working as a professional model, designer and creative director. Robin created MODEL ATELIER to fill the void and frustration that tall women have when it comes to finding stylish clothes that’s the perfect fit and length. She took her company from dream to reality by separating the brand from its competitors and became the first official fashion boutique of  WNBA teams and the WNBPA. Model Atelier has been worn by world renowned athletes such as Candace Parker, Cappie Pondexter, Cheyenne Parker, Stefanie Dolson, and Nneka Ogwumike. Clients have worn Model Atelier on the red carpets to the ESPYS, OSCARS, WNBA ALL Star, TV shows, and more. She's listed as Crain's 40 under 40, and has been featured in renowned fashion and business magazines and now she's on a mission to use fashion to empower and boost the confidence of young girls worldwide.

Follow Robin on Instagram.
Follow Model Atelier on Instagram and Facebook.
Follow Shop.Confidence on Instagram

About your hosts:
Alicia Driskill is the Founder & CEO EvolveHer, a community that unites the skills and resources of working women to create a more equitable future. Prior to launching EvolveHer, Alicia worked as VP of Global Partnerships at WME | IMG, one of the world’s most innovative companies. She also served as a Senior Executive at Live Nation and People.com. After a 17 yr career in entertainment & media working alongside the industry’s elite, Alicia decided to evolve her own career path and disrupt the Chicago market by opening EvolveHer, Chicago’s first creative workspace designed for women. Follow Alicia on on Instagram and LinkedIn.

Amanda Chin, Partner and Head of Growth of EvolveHer, is a sales leader and business development strategist with over a decade of experience scaling businesses and brands. She has partnered with global Fortune 500 brands in digital marketing strategy and business development working at technology companies including Amobee & Xandr.

Support the show (http://evolveher.community)

Alicia (00:02):
Welcome to the Evolver Unpacked podcast, a show dedicated to sharing the untold journeys of leading female entrepreneurs, executives, and allies, as they navigate the ups and downs of life, career, and family. We are your hosts, Alicia and Amanda, sit back, relax, and get ready to unpack the stories of the messy, middle and experiences that ultimately help define their success.

Amanda (00:27):
Thank you so much for coming in today. We're so excited to talk to you. I think the first time I met you, Robin was it was at that dinner. It was a dinner.

Robin (00:37):
Thank you so much for having me I'm super excited to be on. And I'm so excited about what you guys are doing. You're putting positive vibes in the airway,

Amanda (00:46):
Which is what you're all about. So jumping in, tell us about you.

Robin (00:51):
Sure. Sure. So I am man, so many things and in a humbling way, um, I'm CEO of two fashion companies, Model Atelier and Confidence Apparel. My husband and I co founded confidence foundation, which is a nonprofit that serves inner city youth. I am a mom, I am a sister. I am, you know, I'm that girl that you could call or text and be like, Hey, you got this. All right, whatever this fear or doubt is right now, it's just noise. We need to overcome that and just do it. I'm that girl. So I think that's a cool intro as to who I am. Yeah.

Amanda (01:32):
I love that. Um, and something I want to dive into is your that's who you are part of who you are, but I know your, your model or our model still. Yes. Oh goodness. Tell me about how I want to dive into a little more of that. Like how do you got to your clothing line and your nonprofits take us through like the deets of that? Ooh,

Robin (01:57):
So we about to go real back. Okay. So the deets I grew up in North Lawndale and that's still today, actually a pretty rough area West side of Chicago. I started modeling man many, many, many years ago, but I started out, um, knocking on the doors of the top agencies and I was hearing nos. I was hearing you're too tall, sorry. Or we already [inaudible].

Amanda (02:31):
I always hear, I was like too short. There's no way

Robin (02:35):
It was told. I'm too tall. Um, at that time. And then, um, I started out with the Ebony fashion fair tour. Okay. And Ebony fashion fair tour was an extension of Ebony magazine where they would take, uh, 12, uh, models, 10 women to, uh, 10 women 2 male models. And we would tour 182 cities in nine months. Oh man. On a tour bus doing runway shows in these Oak couture pieces. And it's all just for our audience, women of color, people of color, just to see that high fashion, you know, in that, in that world. So I was able to really get some serious runway moves before I got signed with, um, elite athletes, I got signed with elite and after the tour, and then it kind of took off from there. I was able to do more runway kind of established myself as like the it girl, you know, the girl to girl who could rock any outfit on the road way.

Robin (03:47):
And, uh, after that I moved to Ford models, uh, which is where a lot is my career started to go international. I was able to travel the world with Ford models, um, South Africa, London, Paris, and actually see myself in these major billboards and then commercials, um, overseas. And when I tell you that was incredible, um, for me, not only to experience the world from that, that way to actually come back to my hood and actually talk to young girls and boys and say, guess what, I'm a product of your environment. I am a product of this environment. So modeling was amazing. It afforded me, you know, the luxuries of wearing these beautiful pieces and meeting all these cool people, you know, but they came to a point where I was like, you know what? I think I actually hate this job. I was like, I literally, and I used the word hate because it was so much mental pressure on me to stay thin to wonder if you know, no, I'll get the job or to see me at a job.

Robin (05:00):
Yeah. The only me, the only version of me there, it was just starting to be mentally tough and not fun anymore. Right. So I bow down, but while I was modeling, I'll say this while I was modeling, I got my, um, my international business degree and my master's. And after I stopped modeling, I started my own company called Model Atelier. So that was super fun. We we've been in business for about five, six years now, but I tested out that market. What model Tilly is, is a tall women's clothing brand. And we catered toward our tall sisters, how girls, you know, for me being on the runway, the closest fit after I came off the runway, I could not find that same, you know, piece at a department store or the, the actual specialty store. So Model Atelier filled that niche where I came from a background of fashion. I knew like the, the standard of luxury or really nice, cool clothes, but I wanted to make it at a fraction of the price and still tailor it towards women. You know, that's tall and I want to dress well, yes. Yeah. Tall. Are you? Oh, I'm six one. Yeah.

Alicia (06:14):
I'm five, 10, and my daughter is very tall and so, the doctor was like, I think she's gonna be around six feet.

Robin (06:21):
You rock it. Yeah. Five Three and a half over here. Hey, we own it. No matter what to wear high heels.

Amanda (06:31):
Um, that's amazing. So I want, this is why we unpack even further. So Lawndale, know, that neighborhood well growing up in the Southwest side of Chicago. So let's jump into that. I, this is the part so interesting. Like how take me through, you know, growing up in neighborhoods like that, you see, you know, you don't see a bunch of supermodels that's for sure. So what was it in, was it an upbringing thing with your parents? Like what was it that, you know, being around your neighborhood that you decided like I'm going to be a model and how did you get there?

Robin (07:09):
Ooh, that's a good question. Um, so Lawndale North Lawndale tough. I've seen things that little girls should not see and, um, being the youngest of six and my mom's single handedly raising all of us, I, I was just determined. I think the movies really helped me live outside of the world that I was living in. And, um, I looked up to the Tyra banks of the world, you know, and I just love the whole fascination of just seeing this really strong, curvy black model on TV. So I have to say that, um, looking towards to Tyra and the movies really kind of take, took me out of the mindset of where I was at the moment. So I was really driven when it came to education. Education was actually, school was my outlet. Like I love school, I loved it. I felt safe. I felt like I can, you know, succeed there. And, um, and that it was, it was just helping me. So going forward with how I decided if I wanted to do this or not, I would just prance around the house. Uh, in my mom's heels and her jeans was my long flowing hair. And, um, I don't know. I just knew it, there was nobody in the household to say, you're going to be a model. And I was, I'll say that

Alicia (08:36):
For sure was your mom's supportive.

Robin (08:38):
She was, but only to what she was able to do, she didn't know anything about that world. You know, she didn't know anything. They only knew parents only know what they see on TV. So of course she was very cautious of making sure I didn't fall into the wrong spots of model modeling, but it, it wasn't, she didn't know. She didn't know the things that I would face or even how to coach me through those situations, because it was just all new to everybody. You know, I was the first one to do it and, you know, explore it. So, um, so yeah, it was, it was really great, but I always, I have to say it was I'm driven and I really don't know if my surroundings started that right. Or if it was just something God planted in me to say, although you're here, this is not where your, where your story.

Amanda (09:30):
Yes. And I, I really, really love that because Alicia and I are both passionate about young women, especially youth, and a lot of the times growing up in those neighborhoods, like with some of my friends, like very young friends growing up, you see them go down the wrong path, but it's, there's no way to, they that's the world they know. Right. So exposure's key, which is why you obviously launched your confidence foundation. Um, and then going back to the Tyra thing, representation of yourself matters a lot in the media and growing up for me, like being Asian American is not until now that we're getting our moment. And so I it's like really interesting, like, to your point, like your, your mom, your parents only knew what they are, your mother only knew what she knew and take us through. How did you keep going, knowing that you were one of the very few like Black women going out for, you know, the different showings? I mean, that's what they're called, right? Showings?

Robin (10:31):
So for me, I would say I had a, I started to develop a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ at 16. And what I realized was really honing in on the word, the Bible and comparing it to, or trying to incorporate it into what I was experiencing at that moment kept me encouraged. It kept me driven. It kept me covered, you know what I mean? No father in the house, I looked to the word and, you know, had the, had the vision, the thought of just being covered by God, himself, you know, every place that I went. So I would, I have to give glory to God to, um, to say that that's what really motivated me and kept me, um, to keep going, cause I could have just stopped and nobody would have, you know, it would have been no pressure there. Right. So I think the word, um, paired with the drive is what kept me going.

Alicia (11:41):
So I'm curious. So thinking about, so I was a little bit older than 12 and I saw a lot of stuff in the modeling world and I wasn't even, you know, it was local stuff

Alicia (12:00):
Nevermind. Anyway, um, yes, I have done some interesting stuff. Um, but I felt like I was exposed to so much stuff and I grew up in Kentucky and Louisville and it was like very eyeopening to me cause I'm super religious family growing up and um, and all of a sudden I see all these things. And so talking about the faith and all, you know, really getting into it at age 16. Did you ever feel like question or rebel throughout all of that? Or was it like so strong? It carried you through because you're exposed to so much stuff and I've got to imagine, you know, when you're going international and especially at that age where you're getting to know who you are, um, you know, what was that, what did it look like for you?

Robin (12:44):
I'm just going to keep it real. I have the word, but I also had temptation, you know, I had air, uh, areas where I seen stuff and I knew there are limits, you know, it's like, okay, I'm not going there. I see what you guys are doing. That's not, that's not the way I want to go, but don't get me wrong. There was some areas where I fell, you know, fell right into the trap.

Alicia (13:07):
Which is normal. I feel like, yeah,

Robin (13:14):
Seriously fell right into the trap. But, um, again, the word kind of kept me to where I could, you know, just, just grow without being, uh, what's that word con like feeling condemned, like the whole way. It's like, Oh my God, I did this terrible thing and I can never be redeemed from it. You know? So, um, in my era of, of modeling, there was a ton of crazy and they made it normal. So I literally was very anti-social I would say now I'm the more social and I still see my old model friends and they probably think, who are you? Like, you were not like this when you were modeling. And I think that's because I just didn't want to fall into that. Yeah. What I see, you know, so I really was just so probably really awkward. My, my moment to shine was when they were like, okay, Robin, you're up lights, camera action. And I had to kind of do my own thing, but outside of that, I, it was just kinda like, I don't even know if we should

Speaker 3 (14:21):
[inaudible]

Robin (14:21):
So, um, I wouldn't give that, that, uh, I wouldn't give that advice to everybody to be the awkward person, you know, holding your Bible in the corner. But, um, but I would say that the Bible kept me grounded. Yes. I made mistakes. But at the end of the day, I knew that there were things that was just a hard, no.

Alicia (14:42):
Yeah. And those values too. I think what's interesting. And it sounds very similar to your story. Um, and kind of how I grew up. I went through a rebellious phase and then I came back to just really figuring out who I was as an adult and getting to know myself and what I wanted versus, you know, what had been told to me when I was younger and all of that. Um, and now with where I, um, and you know, this job and career and everything that I'm doing, it's really circled back to this purpose and like being part of something bigger and like living with the tension. And so it's, instead of it being like, here's, you know, it needs to be this certain way of how I grew up. It's like, I've interpreted it into how it works for me and what I believe in, but the values are still consistent throughout. So it's interesting because you kind of steer away from things at certain points, but it circles back to what's really important. And you prioritize things in your life based off of that.

Robin (15:35):
Absolutely. Absolutely. Now I will say my daughter, she's beautiful and she is tall and she wants to be a model. It freaks me out and I'm like, dear Lord. But I'm probably the perfect mom to coach her through, you know, her care through what it is that, um, I've experienced, you know, just kind of give her a heads up and things like that. So it's cute. I'm curious to see if that part of me is going to come full circle when it comes to my daughter, you know, definitely trapped in a room.

Alicia (16:09):
It does. It's interesting because my mom, the reason I got, she put me in modeling school because I was a shy kid who never talked and she wanted to give me confidence. So it's interesting with your story of, you know, this company that you built out of that and how you're paying it forward in a different way. It's more purpose driven versus this was, she just wanted me to come out of my shell and quit being the awkward girl in the corner. Um, but I think it's interesting because modeling could give you confidence or do the complete opposite because of the industry is exactly what you're saying. So, um, I love that you've created this company out of, you know, your background and to be able to just show girls, you know, what they can do, um, give them some buddy like a face to identify with and who they can become. And then also the coaching that through like, what does that next phase, whether they're doing modeling or life or anything, it's about the confidence and the, you know, those different points throughout

Robin (17:04):
God works in mysterious ways. I'll tell you it's, it's charming too. I thought [inaudible] went through what I went through at the time, but I get it. I was driving. Yeah.

Amanda (17:18):
Um, as, I don't know where it was, I was driving and there was a giant billboard. Somebody had like, like privately, like paid to be on. And it said, you're asking for a sign. This is your sign. And now I was, and I was like, Ooh, but you know, people ask For it mysterious ways. That's mysterious,

Amanda (17:35):
But yeah. How they did it, like it. Um, so you were talking Robin, how you were like, okay, at the, you decided that you're like, I'm done with this. I'm ready to close this chapter in my life. And I want to move on to the next phase. Which is your company now? Was that like a, did you wake up one day and you're like, Oh, I'm done. Or what did it kind of, was it a transition out? Because sometimes you try to leave situations, but like they keep pulling you back. Take us through that a little,

Robin (18:02):
But okay. So that I'm going to take you through it. Like I said, I'm going to do this. Disclaimer of I'm gonna keep it 100% with you. It came to a point where I was being challenged by clients. Um, certain, certain behavior that I probably would have tolerated 10 years ago. I can, I couldn't tolerate at the agents I was before I backed down. So I literally was like, I'm about to just be outside of my character when, you know, there's this situation or this moment that happened on the job. And I had to take a step back. I literally was, and I would have been in perfect. Uh, I would have been the right, right. You know, but in the culture it's like, Oh no, you just don't, you don't say anything. So the 100% part is it took me to almost have to curse the client out before it was like, this is not right.

Robin (19:05):
This is not mentally healthy. And I hate it. I don't want to do it anymore. So I had to preserve the Christian part of me, um, before the, the other part was coming out, you know, behind the scenes make sense.

Amanda (19:20):
Yes. We're gonna fill it in.

Robin (19:22):
Yeah. So I, um, so I had to, I had to gracefully bow down, um, bow out, close that chapter because I didn't want the reputation or the professional brand of me, version of me to be tarnished by this one situation. Right. So, um, after that I had the support of my husband. I said, babe, I really don't want to do this. You know, doing this for so long, a person like me probably can't go work a nine to five because it's a completely different lifestyle. You know, your free money is amazing. You know, you don't have anyone telling you too much of what to do. Right. Um, so do you think I should do the Model Atelier and he was 100% in support. Like he should have been doing this a long time ago. So with the support of my husband saying, yes, let's do this together. That's how Model Atelier really came into fruition. And, um, and I was pregnant, pregnant. So that part,

Amanda (20:24):
So how did you know, I mean, you obviously have background in the industry, but did you know where to start? Did you do a lot of research before you decided to do it? It was it

Robin (20:34):
No idea of where to start? All I knew was the network that I had. Right. And that was the business cap has to get put on, said, Hey, you've modeled for plenty of designers. You've modeled for, of, um, department stores and, you know, some PR people. So what are you going to do with that network? So I literally had to ask a designer to help me design because I knew the vision. I just didn't know how to the technical part of things. So, um, so I used the network that I had to really bring to fruition. I had a designer help me with a pattern. I, um, and then we found some samples, you know, get me there. I tested out my model friends. I knocked, I knew I wanted to be in like the luxury lane. So I did my first pop-up while pregnant at 900 shops.

Robin (21:24):
And they were very, very there shout out to 900. I'm like Robin, you want to come back? You know? Um, but they really helped me kind of get the pop-up shop, the testing part out of the way to really see, was it really a neat, was that really a market? And then from there, you know, I just had to utilize my degree and say, okay, you're pregnant and you started a clothing line. Are you ready? Do you really want to brick and mortar? Or what are you about to do, you know, how are you about to reach your target market? So Model Atelier is completely online. Everything is made to order. We actually now have our first stock store shout out to the Guild there, um, on South port great group. And, um, and then I partnered with the WNBA. So that part was really the next step that separated me from another clothing brand. And that also helped me reach the true audience of tall women. Like, don't get me wrong. There are thousands of models out there, but there's thousands of models out there, you know, who probably wouldn't want to pay too much, you know, and can probably make anything look good anyway. So the struggle is not necessarily real for them, but for athletes, you know, and just really, really tall women over 6 1, um, you know, I was able to really, um, broaden my reach through that partnership.

Amanda (22:51):
So good.

Alicia (22:53):
So then, um, let's talk a little bit about, you know, going into motherhood. So you're starting, it's like you're starting your career baby, and then having a real baby. Um, and I know it's, I was in corporate when I had my first child, but it's being a first time mom, there's a whole lot of new things, right. That are happening. Um, so how, how did you handle it all? I mean, was it, um, did you kind of put one on hold for the other or were you able to just kind of go through the phase and no pressure deadlines or, you know, how was that process for you? Um,

Robin (23:32):
Uh, good question, Alicia. Um, it's going to be good. Okay. So listen, nothing was put on hold. They were merged together. I was the worst boss as I was six, seven months pregnant at this pop-up okay. I, this is my first time. I didn't know these emotions, You know, and let alone like owning My own business and working with employees. So it was tough. They were all merged together. Uh, Model Atelier was the baby Kylie Bella was the baby, you know, so nothing was put on hold that's how driven I was. I literally was, it was in a winter time. I was pregnant. I remember this, I was pregnant. I was shoved, I was dusting off the snow of the car to go in and open up the, the pop-up at the time. And I was thinking, what are you doing?

Alicia (24:26):
There's always those moments, right? Like, yeah. Is this really happening?

Robin (24:32):
What are you doing? Nobody. Yeah. Is like, you know, on your back to do this, why aren't you doing this? Just lay low, be pregnant, have the baby. And the driven part of me was like, no, I want to be the example for her. I want to instill in my baby right now, although she's not delivered yet hard work, you know, drive determination. You know, I, I'm a strong believer of, if you can pass down, there's this word, I think it's called epigenetics. And what that means is you can pass down like a certain emotion to your child, a unborn child or things like that. So for me, I knew I wanted to pass down drive, you know, and, and just really keeping it real. So there was no pressure, but just the pressure that I put on myself, just the standards that I put on myself to do them, both do both, you know, there. So yeah, that's kinda how, how it was, was what I recommended.

Robin (25:34):
No! Pregnant woman Should not be in charge of, you know, three, four, four person team tell them what to do, because she's like freaking out as a pregnant woman and also freaking out, you know, as an entrepreneur at the same time. So, um, but there is a way, you know, I am the living proof that it can happen. It's just that I wouldn't necessarily recommend it.

Alicia (25:58):
Oh yeah. Yeah.

Amanda (25:59):
But you learned a lot too, right?

Robin (26:01):
So much. I am like the most teachable person ever. I swear. I go into situations, looking at people like, all right, I'm about to learn something from this situation. Something I learned a lot and still learning a lot because although we have Kylie, you know, and still have the business, it's still, it's still bad. It's still, you know, no pressure really, but pressure. Yep. You put your name out there and you guys have this baby. So how are you balancing the two

All (26:36):
Yeah. Balance balance. That word doesn't exist. Does doesn't not?

Robin (26:44):
No.

Amanda (26:45):
Yeah. We like to use the word integrate. Yeah. For all of it. Cause you're like, like somebody, but that's why you're on this podcast because our listeners probably look at you. We were talking about this before we started recording. Like they look at you Robyn and I see like beautiful. I mean, you're beautiful, beautiful, like super highly successful. You have a foundation, you're a mom. So how do you integrate it all?

Robin (27:09):
Yeah. I mean through prayer and a support system and I truly believe I have the best husband and daughter, she wakes up and say, mom, I'm so proud of you. I love you. Like you are so cool. And I literally cry. I cry are you? You are. So I truly believe that the way she is is like God talking to me through her. And then with the support of my husband, just saying, you go girl, you know, I see you. I'm proud of you. Um, it really just keeps me motivated to integrate it. All right. Um, I'm able to do it because of my daughter, you know, because it's like, wow. So right now I'm actually doing this because of her. Like, she's going to probably want to be an entrepreneur. She's probably, you know, she's going to know a couple of things. You know what I mean? Um, people are going to know her and planting seeds for her, for the next generation. So I think because she was, she was planted in me. She physically exists, but that is the true motivation for me to continue to integrate. Yes. Like one cannot live without the other.

Amanda (28:23):
Right. Yeah. I love that. And I think we'd always goes back to for us. Like we always get these questions on whether I'm we're on panels or we have events come to the space, like how do you integrate it all? And the common theme tends to be, you need to have people and you should have people like a strong network to talk to you off the ledge. Whether that be your husband, your, um, young daughter. Who's hilarious. Check her out,

Robin (28:50):
Shout out to Kylie.

Amanda (28:54):
Um, but that's like a key component of it. So with that, did you start the confidence foundation? Because of her?

Robin (29:02):
I started the confidence foundation selfishly because of me.

Amanda (29:06):
Okay.

Robin (29:07):
I didn't have really a support system growing up, although there was six of us, you know, everybody was still kind of out doing their own thing. I'm the youngest they're like, okay. You know.

Amanda (29:18):
I'm the baby too.

Robin (29:18):
So you know, you know, that feeling. Um, so again, my mom working hard trying to keep a roof over our head for six of us. She didn't have time to encourage, you know, she's trying to pay the bills and make sure everybody is safe, clean bed, you know? So, um, I started because I knew that I didn't want another young girl or young boy to grow up in this rough area and not have somebody. And they were in mind you, I, I kinda, I felt like I was just a smart person, you know, but I didn't want the, the smart, the skillful, the talented from the disadvantaged areas to not be, Um, encouraged. Right.

Robin (30:04):
So I, I knew that this was like my, my mission in life to, to, to tell the story and to create a safe, um, innovative space, you know, an offer programs where it's like, Hey, I see you. You're really smart. Do you know that? Do you have people telling you that? You know, um, and if you don't, I'm here, you know, let me be untethered, let me be, you know, let my husband be uncle or whatever, but we're here to motivate you, even if we're the only ones doing it.

Amanda (30:35):
Yes. It's beautiful. When you did that event, um, in our space, I was there when, um, the young women were getting off the bus and I could, I was downstairs open. Like I was helping open door, I think, or something along those lines. And they came off with a very different attitude, like the bus. And then for you to have given them the opportunity to, you know, they were, what is it hair? It was haircut.

Robin (31:04):
Yeah. It was like self hair cares. A skin nutrition. Yeah.

Amanda (31:09):
Yeah. And then they walked out of there completely different energy, different vibe, all of it.

Robin (31:15):
within a couple hours.

Amanda (31:17):
Yeah. The like very impactful things that can be done in a couple of hours.

Robin (31:22):
Thank you. Yeah. And I'm, we're just strong believers of not just with that one that touches on how health and nutrition, but just mental wellness. Yes. They, they see so much, like I have, literally, I could vividly describe a terrible situation that happened when I was nine, you know, so, and how does one get that out? How does one cope with that? How does one move past that, you know, and I think by helping them with the confidence factor, um, it, it really kind of not divert the attention away from the negative that they see, but drive them to say, okay, now come, yeah, overcome this ends here. You know, it stops right here. Yes.

Alicia (32:11):
Yeah. And I think too, it allows you to have hope or something. Cause you can believe that, you know, you're stronger than you thought you were or, you know, these different pieces and to tie back to the bigger elements of everything. Um, so talk to us about what's next for the foundation. And I mean, you've got a lot going on.

Robin (32:33):
So real recently we just did our charity. Our very first charity event for the. Tesla is amazing company. They're strong supporters of our mission. And we were able to raise funds and to continue out our confidence chats, which is a five to seven week program of panel discussions and learning exercises where we just implement, you know, and classes for the kids. And then after that, we try to offer resources like real resources to help them with the next step in their lives. So, um, so yeah, we're kicking off the confidence chats again. And, uh, this is the first time I'm announcing it, but it's actually going to be with the NBA junior, uh, cares, uh, corporation or the league basically. Um, we're going to partner with their youth, what is called the youth leadership committee and it's for youth from different parts of the city. So Inglewood, Austin, Lawndale, Pullman, and Roslyn Roslyn. And we're going to implement these confidence chats and we're going to get the conversation started. I love it. And they're going to be empowered. They're going to know that confidence is not, you know, just really feeling good about yourself and knowing that you can use that force, you know, to go to the next level in your life. And, um, and what else we have some really great things happening, but that's the one that I'm really excited about that.

Alicia (34:06):
It's very exciting. Congrats. Thank you.

Robin (34:09):
Thank you.

Amanda (34:10):
Yes. 2020. We are so excited. So we're just about time. Um, we're going to ask you some hot seat questions if that's good with you. Sure. Okay. So they're going to be quick and you can go into it or you can just answer quickly. Um, what was the most surprising thing for you becoming an entrepreneur?

Robin (34:34):
How, how much people would help if you believe that you could do it, you know, people will ask, well, how do you get a contract with the WNBA? It's like, I believe that I really have something to offer them. You know, they didn't know me. I'm not a Nordstrom or Chanel or Gucci. I strongly believed in my product and service and um, you know, and it worked.

Amanda (35:02):
Yeah. Yeah.

Robin (35:04):
Passion. It comes through. Yeah. A lot of people think you have to have money, you know, and sometime it's really just the pitch, the passion and the prayer pitch, passion and prayer.

Amanda (35:15):
Yeah. Yeah. Do the next shirt. Um, what is your favorite song to dance to nobody?

Robin (35:23):
Ooh. Uh, the newest one is Justin Bieber and Quavo. Uh, what is it? Intentions?

Amanda (35:36):
I wasn't, I did, I did not have Bieber fever or whatever it's called, but lately some of the stuff that he's had has been good. I think getting married really helped. It helped, it helped him mature and his music is better because of that.

Robin (35:51):
Yeah. So that's, I feel like my kids probably sing it, but I don't,

Amanda (35:56):
He was on the Ellen recently popped up in my YouTube feed and he's, you know, he's smitten, smitten, kitten.

Speaker 3 (36:02):
All right. Yeah, yeah.

Robin (36:05):
Yeah. So the biebs that jam to you

Speaker 3 (36:08):
And jam,

Amanda (36:12):
I think my last Hotsy question is what was the most embarrassing moment you had when you were modeling?

Robin (36:21):
Ooh. Um, who Lord , a couple? My shoe came off and they got stuck in the middle of the runway. So it was these, it wasn't like the slick, smooth, seamless runway. It was a banquet luncheon runway show. And not only was the ceiling low. So I had to kind of like duck underneath the chandelier.

Robin (36:49):
Yeah. I know

Robin (36:51):
My heel got caught and I, you do not. The show must go on. You do not stop and pick up the shoes. So I literally had to walk on my tippy toe. Like the heel was still on and the audience, they laugh, they snickered and they applauded at the same time. And I just turned around, did my little thing. And the producer of the show went in and yanked Out the heel.

Robin (37:19):
Here you go, baby girl. But that was so embarrassing for me. I said, no, the devil tried to take me out. [inaudible] In front of everyone! I remember that. Like it was yesterday. God. Oh my God.

Alicia (37:38):
I got one last one for you.

Robin (37:41):
Yay.

Alicia (37:41):
Um, what is a mantra that you live by?

Amanda (37:47):
It's gonna sound so commercially plugged, but to inhale confidence and exhale doubt, seriously strong believer of that. What that means to me is you're not the most 100% confident. You're just doing it anyway. Like you are just there's doubt there. Doubt is always going to be there some ways phase in your life. And, but you still just have to inhale confidence. So I live love that mantra. Kylie knows what it looks like, so she knows how to read it. Um, but that is something that I would love to just leave the listeners with to inhale confidence. Exhale, doubt, doubt will be there, but confidence is over that. So you must do it anyway. So good. Such a great way to add.

Alicia (38:38):
And where can the listeners find you?

Robin (38:40):
Absolutely. So, so many places you ready?

Robin (38:42):
Okay. So here's how, if you're tall shopModel Atelier.com. That's S H O P M O D E L a T E L I E r.com. If you are passionate and confident and just want a boost of motivation, that's shop hyphen confidence.com. That's the apparel side. And if you just have some teens or youth that you feel that you want to, um, be involved in our confidence chats, that is confidencefoundation.org. I hope you got it all. Cause I want to see some clicks and some links. Then we'll put it in the show notes too. Yes. Thank you so much.

Robin (39:25):
Thank you for having me.

Amanda (39:29):
Thank you for spending your time with us. If you enjoy this episode, please subscribe and leave us a review on iTunes to learn more about Evolver or how to become involved with an amazing crew of women and allies connect with us via social media at [inaudible] or visit our website, evolve her.community until next time.