Meet Sonum Singh, University of Southern California sophomore and a fashion blogger. She created and founded her fashion blog, The Urban Fashion Gal, that launched in 2009, that ranges between glamour and grunge.
Miss Millennia Magazine (MMM): Tell me a little about yourself.
Sonum Singh (SS): I am currently a sophomore at the University of Southern California where I'm double majoring in Economics and Creative Writing. I have had my own fashion blog since 2009 which has given me numerous opportunities such as writing for Teen Vogue Fashion Click and being Claire's first official style blogger. I have a modeling contract and I just finished up an internship at Lauren Stillman PR. My next internship starts in January at Whitney Eve (Whitney Port's fashion line). I am also trilingual and I have a diverse look.
MMM: What prompted your career goals/passions?
SS: I got inspired to express myself through clothing once I started attending high school. I had worn [a] uniform until this point; I hadn’t even been allowed to wear nail polish at the school I attended. Once I entered high school, I found my niche.
MMM: How hard was it to start your own business (blog) with your career as a model?
SS: At the time I didn't really know what I was doing; I was only 14. I think gaining parental support was hard because my parents didn't really “get it”. It's a vulnerable industry with a lot of scrutiny. I've gotten my fair share of hate mail but nothing fazes me. I have a thick skin. And my parents fully support my endeavors now. They want me to be happy. They say that whatever you do, do it extremely well.
MMM: How was your personal journey in starting your own business/career?
SS: My blog really propelled my career as soon as I started college. It was a unique touch on my resume that not many people have. Blogging is extremely popular now but I started when not many people knew about it. Because of blogging, I have maintained a sort of “log” of my passion and persistence that many employers like.
MMM: Did you ever have any doubts about what you were doing?
SS: Definitely. I thought it was a waste of time and I thought about deleting the blog a few times. Sometimes I thought it wasn’t going to work out, but right when I'd be close to deleting the blog, a great opportunity would come along that restored my faith in what I was going.
MMM: What do you think the key to success is?
SS: Being relentless and working really hard. I had to Swiffer floors and grab coffee for my bosses at the internships I’ve had, but I never complained once. Everyone has to start somewhere.
MMM: How do you overcome obstacles you encounter in life?
SS: I pray and I always think positively in terms of my goals. I'm constantly reminding myself that everything happens for a reason and that if I don't land one opportunity, it's because a better one is on the way.
MMM: How do you manage your time? How do you deal with stress?
SS: I limit myself to two “social activities” a week: a party, movie night, etc. This guideline has been helpful so far. I just found out that I made the dean’s list this past semester at USC. For stress, I add some new music to my phone and head to the gym.
MMM: How do you want your blog to affect others?
SS: I want people to be inspired by my unique style to dress differently, to be creative through the medium of their choice and to embrace their culture, heritage and nationality. I want young girls to know that you don't have to dress a certain way or be a size 00.
MMM: How do you hope to inspire others?
SS: I want more awareness of East Indian culture in the United States. Many people don't know about my religion or heritage. Through fashion, I hope to represent people of my background in a positive light.
MMM: Who is someone that has been the most influential to you?
SS: My older sister, Jasmine. She's in medical school and I see how patient and hardworking she is. I strive to be like her.
MMM: What scares you?
SS: Failure. I'm in an industry with no job security. But I love it so much; there's no other place for me.
MMM: What would you tell women in college now?
SS: As a college student, I have to make certain decisions and not give into peer pressure. I know what’s good for me and I cannot socialize every day and night. I need some alone time in general and some time to work on my blog. I would tell college women to be cognizant of their limits. I’m still working my way up and what I find most important is believing in yourself. Because if you don’t believe in yourself, who will?