Leading Lily: Kristy Sims

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Love yourself...love yourself first—before anybody else—put yourself first, then think about relationships—whatever else.

As a strong, vegetarian mother of two, Kristy Sims hits Fort Lily's "every woman" philosophy out of the park. On shooting day, Kristy balanced expertly between tending to playful her son and daughter and the requirements of the shoot. Her demeanor is calm and controlled, she wears her heart on her sleeve and her cool ferocity coupled with her beautifully unique facial features translated her vision of being a model straight through the lens.

It was a breath of fresh air to sit and chat with a woman whose upbringing so closely resembled my own. We all have a story and Kristy's is one of resiliency, strength, dreams and course-correcting back to our visions after life throws us a curve ballor two. Read on:

So what do you do, and is there anything else you’d rather be doing?
Right now I do CNA work part time and then I work in the office full time at Maxim healthcare. I would like to further my career in nursing possibly, and possibly get my accounting degree. But I also want to follow my dream in modeling—I’ve always wanted to model. It got put on pause because I had my two kids. Everything had to stop because I had to raise them. Then I needed to finish school and in that, I lost the vision.

So what sort of things are you doing to push yourself toward your dream?
Honestly, [Fort Lily] was the first thing that came up in a long time. I had been saying I wanted to do something but didn’t know where to start, so I was so excited when you contacted me, the process was so exciting!

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What was the name of the last song you heard?
I heard this old school song with my dad on Spotify called “Return of the Mack” by Mark Morrison It’s really funny when you listen to the lyrics. I think some girl played him so he returned like The Mack!

What is the most valuable lesson you’ve learned, and are you still applying that lesson to your life now?
Love yourself...love yourself first—before anybody else—put yourself first, then think about relationships—or whatever else. I'm following my dreams of being a model, being very successful in my job and career and especially with my kids. I want to achieve all aspects of success.

For your daughter, what sort of things do you instill in her as far as her strength as a young lady?
She has a lot of confidence, she knows who she is, she knows, 'I’m Ava,’ she’s like a boss! But I teach her and try to keep her in her head that she is beautiful inside and out. Sometimes she tells me she wants her hair long and straight, and I tell her that her hair is beautiful too! Sometimes she drifts off and says that she wants other things and I have to remind her that she already has everything she needs. She's still beautiful.

Where do you think her confidence comes from?
I think it comes from me raising her. Not saying that it was easy, going through my life, how I had to live. Because I was in low, income-based housing, shopping in Goodwill—back then thrifting wasn’t IN, you know, people will pick on you so it was hard. I had to walk with my head up. No matter what, walk with your head up. She saw me go through it so I think it made her stronger.

In late fall Fort Lily participated in the art and fashion showcase where Kristy strutted the creative runway for the brand giving her modeling dreams a much-needed push. When asked about her experience with the show she was overjoyed, "honestly, going to the runway was a different feeling. It made you feel like a powerful woman. Fort Lily brings out the woman in you!"

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