The Entrepreneur Model: Shaakira Solomon

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Shaakira now studies Fashion Merchandising & Marketing at CUNY's New York City College of Technology.

[Model: Profile]

'Be A Strong Black Woman,' She says

Lovely model Shaakira Solomon was born in Bed-Sty, Brooklyn, New York and grew up in New Rochelle; today, she calls Harlem her home.

"My mother has always been my role model, when I was younger my mother had a routine for my younger sister and I, before we would do anything in the morning," she says, "Reiterate the five rules posted on the refrigerator, which eventually disappeared and we had to recite from memory: 1. Be a leader, not a follower. 2. Be independent, not dependent. 3. Never do drugs. 4. Keep God first. 5. Be a strong Black Woman."

After Frederick Douglas Academy in Harlem for High School Shaakira now studies Fashion Merchandising & Marketing at CUNY's New York City College of Technology. "I always knew I wanted to be in the Fashion Industry whether on the scene or behind the scenes so when my 16th birthday came around and my father took me to a studio to get professional photos taken of me for my beginners portfolio, I automatically knew this was what I wanted," she recalls. She says she's still in the "beginners" stage. "You grind and grind hard to get your name out, to get more experience, to get noticed," she adds. "I'm good but there is always room for improvement. I haven't yet reached the goals I plan on achieving but I am taking it all blessed day by blessed day." "My aspirations are limitless," says the determined go-getter, "after my modeling career, I plan on staying within the Modeling Industry, perhaps owning my own boutique and, or, publishing my own magazine for young women of color, educating them about our Black History, Culture, natural beauty, clothing, self-esteem and just reminding them and everyone else that Black is Beautiful, always has been and always will be." Often people in the industry can be shallow and catty but Shaakira has faith in the saying, "What doesn't kill, you makes you stronger." She also gets reinforcement from her family. "I talk with my intellectual strong mother, Linda, and sister Yaszy," she explains, noting that both ladies "know exactly what to say and how to handle the negative and change it into a positive."

Her most recent appearance was at the July of 2012 Harlem Week Fashion Show, where she helped showcase two phenomenal designers Hope Wade and Sophistafunk on the runway.

Shaakira's Words of Wisdom: "To know yourself is to Love yourself," "Don't ever feel inferior to anyone because you are one of a kind down to the fingerprints," and "Kings and Queens Unite."
Shaakira's Favorite 3 Movies: Coming To America; Beetle Juice; and, Jackson 5.
Shaakira's 3 Inspirational Leaders: In addition to her parents, Jesus Christ, Malcolm X and The Obamas.
Shaakira's  Five Favorite Entertainers: Bob Marley, Tupac Shakur, J. Cole, Kimmora Lee Simmons and Chanel Iman.
Shaakira's Five Favorite websites: FashionBombDaily.Com,,, and Tumblr

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