We had the good fortune of connecting with Hayley Herms and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Hayley, what life experience do think has had the biggest impact on you?
The life experience I think impacted me most in my career thus far is the passing away of my mother. It was my rock bottom when I had already thought I hit multiple rock bottoms. I was about to become homeless, lost the only parent I had, and was about to lose everything I worked for and built after years of trying to escape an abusive household. Then one day I woke up and I was tired of feeling sorry for myself, I was tired of the excuses I was giving myself. The world was going to keep spinning with or with out me and if I wanted or needed something, I needed to go out and do something about it instead of giving up and letting the pressure and the fear of everything around me get to me. From there, I worked day and night endlessly for almost 2 years to be able to put a roof over my head while pursue all my dreams and goals. I believe everything happens for a reason. I was already driven and passionate before, but with my mom passing away and facing enormous adversity and struggles – I learned how to use my voice, fully face my fears, heal and grow my soul and inner child. Everyday, I feel more and more blessings come into my life and I know that my mother is watching me over and helping me so I am thankful for that life experience even if I had to learn it in a tragic way.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
One amazing thing about me that sets me apart I think from most people is that I always knew what I wanted to do. I always knew I was going to be an entertainer. I came out of the womb singing and by middle school it lead to child acting and modeling. By high school, I started recording music and dropped out to pursue modeling full time. During that journey I became a content creator as well. The road was never easy, esp. because it was before the internet when plus size models or singers weren’t something you could really find whether it be clothes, content, music, or even other people that share your common interests. I was a child actress and performer and by 12 I started professionally modeling, but life was not easy growing up. I was struggling at home and was going through violent child abuse every day. Modeling and music were the only things that gave me hope and let me escape, but with constant bruises, no way to drive or leave, and emotional struggles, it was hard. I had to fight for myself and my dream every.single.day because I knew the odds were already stacked against me so heavily as a fat woman.While facing my own personal struggles at home, the industry almost had no work for plus size models unless it was with a small independent brand or company and you were under a size 12/14 with no stomach, no arm fat, no nothing – everywhere was a big fat NO. I still loved working with small brands to gain the experience, but it almost NEVER paid and the drive was usually 2-3 hours one way. At some points, I felt like there was no hope for the industry or for me to be able to live full time as a model and pursue my dreams. Slowly, but surely I never gave up and kept going, and now the industry has made huge strides since then in the past few years, but the plus size industry still has SO much further to go.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
My best friend and I are the definition of opposites attract so I love to do a mix of things we share in common and things that are brand new for at least one of us. Some exciting places to go or hang out are poetry night on Melrose on Tuesdays, hiking Runyon or Fryman Canyon, dancing at Penthouse or Poppy. The flower market in DTLA or movies in the Hollywood Forever Cemetery or the trading post on Melrose on Sundays after bottomless mimosas on Ventura in Studio City (so many good brunch spots on Ventura). Pop ups are always fun and right now I live for the Britney Spears interactive pop up in Beverly Hills and I’m sure my best friend would too! One of our favorite spots to eat are the Vegan street fair in North Hollywood on Sundays, Moonshadows in Malibu for great food overlooking the ocean, Pho Show in Culver City, and the bar at SoHo house in Hollywood. You never know what you’re going to get into in LA, there is always something to do for every type of person.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I would love to shout out Brianne Huntsman aka @the_huntswoman on Instagram! She is a HUGE part of my success these past couples years. At one point, I was starting to think becoming a full time entertainer, model, content creator would never happen and then I found Brianne. Between her blog posts full of free, incredible, business advice; I took a leap of faith and took two of her online courses on how to level up! From there, I learned all the necessary skills and tools I needed to bring in the income and find the resources I needed to take my career to the next level. She helped me build my own business/online courses for modeling that changed my life and made a big impact in the modeling industry. She has been nothing but honest and helpful and I appreciate everything she’s done for me! Brianne is truly one of the most amazing and smart business boss lady’s I know and I am so thankful the universe brought us together. She is truly a huge key in my success.
Other: Snapchat: HayleyHerms Tik Tok: HayleyHermsOfficial
Anastasiya Sazhina – Photographer Amanda Ryan – Hair Ashley Elizabeth – Make Up Demi LegendaryShots – Photographer Daniel Paller – Hair Vivian – Make Up Jenna Petrie – Photographer