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#BeautyBioBoss Series: Anima Agyeman

BEAUTYBIO BOSS BABE
Anima Boss Babe

Anima has that kind of energy, style and wit that when she walks into a room (or a virtual meeting) you instantly feel cooler by association.

The NY-based effervescent model and content creator, who has landed highly coveted jobs with L’Oreal, Glossier and Carol’s Daughter without agency representation, is the definition of a boss.
Once destined for med school, Anima broke from family tradition to carve her own creative path and hasn’t looked back since, except to give us the secret sauce on being a successful Brand Ambassador (keep reading for her amazingly thoughtful explanation of why the title “influencer” is overplayed). And she’s sharing it all from how to get the gigs with your favorite brands, tips for what to look for before signing a contract and the weirdest DM she’s ever received.

 

Current title and occupation?

Currently I am a model and a content creator

You’re based in NYC, but from Ghana, correct? When did you move and what was that transition like? Do you split your time now between the two?

Actually I was born in Virginia but my parents are from Ghana and my roots are there so I consider it home. I work and live in NY but plan to live out a majority of my life in Ghana since we have a home there as well! I have visited 4 times but plan to make it an annual visit now that I am financially independent if covid will calm down!

What inspired your current path?

God inspired my path! I was premed in college like most first generation American Ghanaians, with no intention of deviating from that plan. But after I graduated I broke it (gently) to my parents that I wasn’t passionate about medicine, and I was so lost as to what I would do next. I applied to hundreds of jobs and got hundreds of rejections for months. I cried out to God one day and He told me to stop crying, get up, and to start writing emails to brands I wanted to work with. I did just that and my first brand collaboration went viral and nothing has been the same since!

You’ve done some amazing modeling for Glossier and Carol’s Daughter, which is any model and influencer’s dream (it’s the dream for those of us at home in PJs tbh), how did you find those opportunities, or did they find you?

Glossier found me through a Teen Vogue feature and a friends recommendation! Carols daughter invited me to an event that I saw through an influencer platform and I ended up modeling for them (which is always my favorite journey as I work with brands since I represent myself)!

Before you were getting gigs, how did you develop working partnerships with brands?

First I had to develop my craft and come up with a creative strategy of some sort. I had to learn how to shoot, edit, pitch, negotiate, create a media kit, and configure a rate card. I had to have something valuable to offer to brands, so I really took advantage of my analytics, engagement and organic relationship with my audience to benefit brands and just continued to grow until other brands took notice of that success.

The job title “Influencer” has earned a place in everyday language, is it an accurate description?

I kind of hate the word influencer now because besides being wildly clichéd, as its associated with vanity and clout when there's so much more than that to this industry. I think everyone has influence in one way or another so we're all influencers, but the kind of influence we project is what matters most - so in short no. Lol

What’s a better title?

I think brand ambassadors is a better title. Brand ambassador, although it doesn’t roll off the tongue as seamlessly, makes more sense as the brand and the individual are partaking in a mutual endorsement of some sort.

Do you have brand standards for any companies you work with?

I have different preferences and standards for content creation and modeling depending on my goal for each partnership. I am more lenient with modeling standards than I am with content creation. Overall I just want to work with brands that champion diversity, equity, and ethical standards.

What beauty trend is having a moment?

Personalized beauty seems to be having a moment and it’s really cool, I love seeing my name on my stuff, makes me feel like the product was made specially for me. I hope that doesn’t make me narcissistic 😂

Which photoshoots get you the most excited?

Shoots where I am able to add my input excites me as I have more autonomy. Shoots where I know I’ll be valued get me excited as well. When I get the call sheet and see familiar and friendly names on it, I’m excited. When I step on set and the hairstylists knows how to cater to natural hair and the makeup artist carries my foundation shade, I’m excited! When they play my favorite music, which is usually African music, I’m excited. And when there is good food, your girl is hype!

Most challenging part of working for yourself?

Where do I start?! The hardest part has been the uncertainty of freelancing especially in a year like this! With a traditional job it just offers more security, but the spontaneity of working for yourself can be scary. When you’ve been groomed to go to college, graduate, get a corporate job, etc. and you’re essentially breaking free from that conformity, you’re taking a major risk but the payoff is well worth the stress! I’ve done the whole corporate beauty job thing and cried everyday so I’m grateful despite the challenges.

When you accept a new job/project, what’s the first thing you do?

READ THE CONTRACT! I make sure there’s no perpetuity or non compete clauses! I’ve heard too many horror stories not to do so. After I sign the contract I look at the call sheet and put aloe vera on my face or sometimes even simultaneously!

What’s your go-to beauty look for quarantined Zoom meetings?

An afro cause I’m lazy, a brown or burnt orange silk strap top, jeans, my bedroom slippers and a rose gold glitter lip gloss.

#1 perk of modeling?

Becoming the girl I always longed to see growing up. The self actualization is so real and humbling. Truly grateful for the opportunity to show up in this way for women who are not as visible as their counterparts.

Weirdest DM you’ve received (let’s keep it PG 😂)?

A sugar baby inquiry! This doctor was offering me $10K a month for “companionship” EL OH EL I was disgusted needless to say. I’d rather eat a jeans jacket.

First thing you do when you wake up in the morning?

Read my devotional scripture!

Self-care hacks (in whatever form self-care takes for you)? 

Nails, nails, nails! I love doing my nails, it’s therapeutic for me. I try different techniques, shapes and colors, I just love it! My nail hack is getting my polishes from TJMaxx for $3 a pop, even the gel colors sometimes!

Power statement/personal motto?

If God is for me, who can be against me? Romans 8:31

Guilty pleasures?

Binging married at First Sight all night then creeping on their socials to see if they are still together 😂

Proudest moment in working for yourself so far?  

When I modeled for L’Oréal for sure. It was my first casting ever and I was the shortest and thickest model there 😂 (I thought a size 6 was relatively skinny? But alas I was humbled that day) and could not believe I was chosen with no agency, a 2 by 4 comp card that was botched by the staples printer and arriving late because of crazy NYC traffic. Standing across from Lupita Nyong’o’s picture in L’Oréal’s corporate office was unreal. I took a picture of it because I was sure I would never see it again but thankfully I was wrong!

Which global city do you think is most stylish?

Shanghai, have you seen those street style tik toks?! Not even on my best day, could I ever look so fly 😭.

Fave BeautyBio product and why?

The Quench for sure! It is one of the best moisturizers I have ever used!

To learn more about Anima Agyeman visit instagram:  @anima.agyeman

 

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