Welcome to my new interview series featuring some of the brightest and most hard-working women I know. My goal for this series is to collect stories from women in all levels of their career. The hope is that their journey and their advice will trigger something in you, and help you take the jump you need to achieve your personal level of success. Whether they are freelancers, founders of their own business, corporate employees, or students, this #LadiesWhoHustle series will showcase their unique talents and help you unveil yours.
You may recognize Lacey Claire Rogers from Cycle 22 of America's Next Top Model where she came in third place, but first place in my heart. Or you may recognize her from some of her other modeling work throughout the years. Currently, Lacey is an influencer and model, and recently started a new job as a Field Market Manager at Bev.
Read on to learn all about Lacey's career, her experience on America's Next Top Model, future goals, and her challenges along the way to achieving her dreams!
Lacey Claire Rogers
Influencer, model and Field Market Manager at Bev.
Why do you do what you do?
I initially got into modeling because I loved the creativity of it. The creative direction was fun. Creating a story and putting together an idea and a mood board, scouting a location and getting inspired by a piece of clothing all interested me.
America's Next Top Model boosted my credentials a lot and my social media following grew because of it. I took advantage of it and it allowed me to become my own boss for the past few years. Now, brands give me something to shoot and I can do it on my own terms.
In terms of working at Bev, I wanted to get a "real job". I've never had a structured experience and I've never worked in an office before. I wanted to be somewhere every day. It isn't good for my mental health to be by myself all day and I needed to get out of the funk I was in and get some new experiences. A lot of my friends own start up companies and I love learning from them, so I knew I wanted to be in start up. I kind of fell into sales but am really enjoying it!
What are some future career goals you have?
I want to be an entrepreneur or founder of a start up by 30. I don't see a problem I want to fix currently or have a product I want to create right now, but I have a lot of friends that own start ups and I'm constantly learning from them and getting advice. I'm thankful that I have older friends that guide me and have had more time on this earth to reach their level of success.
What has been your biggest career struggle so far?
I had an eating disorder for 3 years, from the time I was 17 until almost 20. Looking back, I was so young and wanted to model so bad that it became a mental thing for me to lose weight to be more successful. Transitioning out of that was hard and I was trying to hide it. It was especially hard because so many girls would ask me for diet and fitness advice.
Getting my body back to healthy was a challenge and teaching my body how to digest food properly and get muscle definition was a long process. Opening up about this has lifted a huge weight off my shoulders and it's brought a lot of girls together who went through the same thing but have slightly different stories. It was a huge struggle, but I'm so happy and blessed I'm out of it now.
Earlier this year, I thought I would do full-time modelling and influencing, and I went on an influencer's trip to Thailand. I was so excited to see the world, but when I got there I thought to myself, "what am I doing?". I wasn't even having a good time because I was so caught up in taking pictures of the product that I haven't even used. It wasn't genuine at all!
That lifestyle can be lonely and jaded and I couldn't find many friends. I felt lonely for three years. But I'm now figuring out what I'm good at and what I want to do.
What about your biggest career win?
America's Next Top Model was a huge win for me! It opened up so many doors into other wins and was a huge starting point. Moving to LA was another huge win to me because I never thought it was possible. Meeting the people I met was also a big win and being able to provide for myself at a young age was another one.
I recently booked a huge Botox commercial, it's a national commercial and I'm super excited for this!
I took a big risk when I moved to LA and getting into this industry. I was in school and doing it all at the same time and I wasn't sleeping. Where I'm from, it's basically that you go to college, you get married, you get a baby and have a family, and to be able to change this future a big win for me.
Tell us a little bit about the journey on America's Next Top Model.
I used to watch America's Next Top Model growing up, I would watch marathons and subconsciously learn a lot from the show. I never thought I would be a model, I never had the confidence, but when I started losing weight in high school I started getting a lot of attention. A friend of mine was a photographer, and back then, in 2013/2014, Instagram wasn't what it is today, this was before influencer marketing. He took photos of me and all of his followers liked them, and before I knew what brand sponsors were, I would be getting products sent and I started building my own portfolio shooting with them.
I got into modelling in high school in Arkansas and signed with an agency there. I booked something every two months and my face started getting recognized around the state. I was constantly shooting with photographers, even though my dad didn't really agree with it.
When I was 17, America's Next Top Model lost a lot of viewers, and as a viewer myself, I kind of forgot about it. I remember seeing a story about it somewhere and it sparked my interest again and so I started binging season 21 on Hulu and that's when I first started thinking, "hey, I can do this!". I started researching and looking for casting information and I followed Tyra Banks on Instagram. A week later, she posted a selfie where she was promoting the casting of cycle 22, and she encouraged people to post their best modelling photos and hashtag America's Next Top Model. I got contacted by two casting producers who DM'd me on Instagram and asked me to make a home video, get a background check from her school and do a 3-hour psychologist test.
There were about 30 of us in the first week. We were all doing interviews, background checks, getting our blood work done, etc. They wanted to make sure we would be good characters on TV. Then they cut it down from 22 and from 22 to 14 girls. I remember being so nervous! I just wanted to make it to the top 14 because that meant I got to stay in LA and not immediately be sent home! The rest of the story is history, and I ended up making it to the final 3!
When do you feel the most confident?
When I'm on the good side of my cycle and I'm not hormonal! When my skin looks amazing and not red and I don't have any break outs - skin is a huge factor for me.
I feel confident when I'm good to myself. Working out gives me a huge endorphin rush, and transitioning from skinny to toned and gaining weight back feels so good right now.
Favourite way to sweat: walk for 2 miles and go to the sauna and do abs. I also just started Orange Theory!
Favourite book: Journey of Souls.
Currently movie: How the Grinch Stole Christmas.
Morning bird or night owl? Morning person. I get tired and tried to go out and have fun but that was never my vibe!
Favourite city: Manhattan Beach in Los Angeles - I would love to live there one day!
Get in touch with Lacey!
Know anyone that would be great to feature in the #LadiesWhoHustle series? Connect with me on Instagram to nominate them - or yourself!