Check out our exclusive interview with gorgeous model, entrepreneur & “Instagram Queen” Abigail Ratchford.
Abigail is a social media pioneer with undisputed staying power who has accumulated a solid fan base of +15 MILLION combined social media followers (and over 500,000 views on her daily Snapchat stories) and been dubbed “The Queen of Instagram” by countless publications including Esquire, Maxim, E!, The New York Post and People Magazine to name a few.
Now, the stunning and savvy entrepreneur who has taken social media by storm, aims to empower a generation with her unapologetic approach on body positivity while remaining true to herself in an industry under constant scrutiny. Her free spirited approach to life has captivated her millions of followers as she keeps the small town girl charm she was born with.
Currently among all her exiting projects Abigail launched her own App with exclusive photos and videos called Escapex and can be downloaded here!
And if you don’t follow Abigail yet, what are you waiting for? Here is her highly popular Instagram account @abigailratchford
Hi Abigail, please tell us a little about you?
I’m from Pennsylvania and the 5th of 7 kids.
Describe yourself in 3 words?
Creative, fearless, witty.
Name one your strengths?
I’m very good at seeing the potential in things. I could look at an empty space and visualize it completely transformed and decorated. I apply that strength to everything in my life. I see things around me and visualize what I can turn them into with enough work and focus.
Best advice ever given?
If the plan doesn’t work then change the plan, but never the goal.
When you were a kid what did you want to be when you grew up?
First, I wanted to be a veterinarian but quickly found out I was allergic to most animals except for a few breeds of dogs. Then, I think, I just always wanted to be famous. I would take the broom and stand on my family’s coffee table and lip sync while everyone was watching T.V. I would get rose petals and glue and stick them on my little fingers to pretend I had long glamorous nails. I would always go into my mom’s closet and throw on her fancy clothes and cover my face in lipstick and pretend I was a movie star.
Who has been the biggest influence on your life?
Probably my family. I always want to report back to them first, over any exciting news, plus as soon as I started making good money, I wanted to help them all as much as I can.
How and when did you start modeling?
I began modeling in 2013 on a whim. I never set out to be a “model” because I was always very curvy and didn’t know how to break into that industry and I also never wanted to be a hanger for designer’s clothes. I wanted to be a household name, luckily this was right around the time Instagram was taking off. My modeling pics began circulating and a lot of different men’s websites picked them up which caused my following to grow pretty quickly.
What is fun and rewarding about modeling? And what is not?
I love the whole process of getting glammed, the fun outfits, meeting amazing photographers, hair and makeup artists, shooting at beautiful locations etc. Sometimes it’s not as fun if you’re feeling not so confident one day or you have a shoot at a crazy location. Two months ago, I shot in this beautiful field of poppy flowers. The pictures came out amazing, but in order for us to get to that location we had to walk about 20 minutes in 100-degree sun with a ton of wardrobe bags. Then when I had to actually get into the flowers there were rattle snakes and mosquitos EVERYWHERE. The day after the shoot, I woke up covered in bites and my eyes were swollen shut from all the pollen. I couldn’t shoot for about 9 days after that.
What did you learn from your biggest failure?
The only thing I learned from failures are that they just weren’t meant to be. I always take that chance on something. I believe in knowing it’s 50/50. It will work out or fail. For me, I can bounce back quickly from a failure, but I’d never forgive myself if I didn’t at least try.
What is your own definition of happiness?
Happiness is being able to wake up and do what you love and being able to help your loved ones and others in need. Honestly, it sounds cliché, but I believe to whom much is given, much is expected in return. All the materialistic things in the world could not bring me even an ounce of the happiness I get from giving to others.
The most important thing when you are shooting is?
Confidence! Insecurity will come across on camera more than you know. Even if you feel like you’re not in the shape you want to be in, or you have a bad breakout on your face you have to zone it out and put on your game face. Channel the moments when you feel FIERCE and remember how you see yourself is how everyone else will see you so OWN that shoot!
What is the biggest highlight of your career so far?
There’s so many! I think E! Daily Pop! and the YEEZY campaign are the top ones for me so far.
Now tell us about Escapex?
My app is essentially my home base to connect with my top fans. I use all social media platforms so sometimes it’s difficult to reply to everyone, but my app makes it so much easier. I can engage with my fans, post pics from photoshoots that are a little bit racier than my IG posts, do fan shout outs, giveaways etc.!
What’s next for Abigail Ratchford in 2019?
I’m doing my 2020 calendar in a month. I have something I want to drop in February that will be the best gift for any bachelor pad; I’m also going to give away some makeovers each month for some of my gorgeous female followers, complete with a new wardrobe from the companies I work with. I’m doing more acting classes, philanthropy etc., I’m beyond excited for 2020!
Now tell us about your social media’s huge success. How is to be world-wide famous and wherever you go people recognize you?
Haha! I don’t consider myself world-wide famous yet at all! It’s still so weird when people recognize me. Sometimes I forget how large my following is at this point, but I love it. I love meeting people who follow me from all over the world. The only time I don’t like it is if I’m at the airport looking like a total slob and someone comes up to me for a pic haha! Then it’s a little uncomfortable. Other than that, it’s great.
Can you share some tips for keeping your Instagram account interesting?
I think definitely shoot with different themes or stuff people will go crazy about, but also throw in a mixture of OOTD (outfit of the day) posts to grow your female following as well. It’s funny, whenever I post the super sexy pics, obviously they get way more likes, but when I post trendier OOTD stuff, I get so many dm’s from women and more paid contracts from brands. So, it’s important to cater to both sides of the spectrum. Also, I’ll do a Q&A once a week and my followers get to ask me whatever and see another side of me. I usually get a huge response on those and a lot of my followers will message me after saying that some of my answers inspired them especially with questions about how I got to where I am, how I deal with negativity and self-doubt etc. I think it’s important for my followers to know that at the end of the day, I’m just a small-town girl who’s dealt with a lot of the same issues they struggle with. They seem to appreciate the fact I relate to them.
I bet you get millions of it, but what are the best and worst Instagram DM pickup lines you’ve received so far?
Hmmm worst ones are “Lets exchange nudes, you go first” or “You look like my ex-girlfriend” Best ones aren’t pickup lines, just small talk. Be yourself, it goes way further!
Beautiful women like yourself are very intimidating to most men. How should a guy approach you?
I think just approach me like I’m a normal person or be real with me. The worst is when a guy comes up to me, but pretends to act like they’ve never heard of me and then 10 minutes into the convo they’ll accidentally mention something they only would know if they have seen my page, specific photoshoots, people i know, even the way my house is decorated. It’s like… why lie from the start? lol‚ That’s an immediate fail.
What would be a deal breaker on a first date?
Someone who tries to impress me too hard. The stuff guys think they need to impress me couldn’t be any further from the things I’m actually impressed by. Guys who show up covered in cologne, talking about how much money they make, name dropping, it’s pretty much guaranteed I’ll never want to see them again. Someone who’s super chill, down to earth and super funny is more my type.
Which magazine or project is still on your bucket list?
I’d love to be on the cover of Cosmo, Maxim, Paper Magazine, Interview, Galore. I LOVE those.
In five years from now, where do you see yourself and your career?
5 years from now I hope to have my own lingerie line, cosmetics, etc. I hope to keep growing my brand and my name.
What actor/actress do you admire the most, and why?
Jennifer Lawrence! She’s beautiful and funny. She’s truly a star. Also, Christian Bale, I admire his dedication to his roles and how he can transform his body so easily. And obviously Leo. I’ve met him a few times and he’s literally one of the coolest, most down to earth people alive. It’s refreshing when you meet someone who’s on that level and see they are not affected by fame.
What is your workout routine these days?
I do 15-20 min fasted cardio in the morning usually 4x a week, then train with a trainer 2x week and Pilates 1x a week. I’m trying to increase the amount of time I put in each week to exercise though!
If you could meet someone living or dead, who would it be and why?
Probably Cleopatra. I’d want to know what it feels like to have such incredible power back then.
What is your favorite healthy food?
I love coconut oil! Even in my coffee or just a spoonful in the morning makes a big difference. I feel like the healthy fat feeds my brain, makes my skin more supple and overall is just amazing for my body and health.
And your favorite cheat food?
My favorite cheat food is probably BBQ right now. There’s a place here called Bludso’s that is heavenly. It’s so juicy and fattening though. The only time it won’t affect my body is if I’m following a super strict keto diet and my body is fat adapted. Other than that I’ll notice the scale jump.
Who is your biggest beauty inspiration?
Oh, wow there are so many. Obviously, I love Kim K! She’s so gorgeous along with being an amazing businesswoman, mother, wife and now she’s studying to become a lawyer. I’ve always admired her so much and she makes it seem so effortless. Some days when I don’t feel like working out, I’ll look at her IG story and see she’s up at 6 a.m. working out before she starts her day and that makes me realize I have no excuse not to go.
Can you share some of your beauty tips for achieving your flawless and glowing skin?
I’m obsessed with skincare. I’ve always prided myself on taking care of my skin. Some of my favorite products are Murad water gel, Kate Somerville Retinol Peel and La Mer.
What does fashion mean to you?
I love fashion. I feel like a lot of the time I don’t get to express my love for it because a lot of my shoots are lingerie or swimwear, but I’m definitely starting to post way more fashion and OOTD stuff now.
Who are some of your favorite models and designers, and why?
Winnie Harlow, Iskra Lawrence, Slick Woods. I love people who stand out from the crowd and do their own thing.
How would you explain your fashion style and what items in your closet can you not be without?
My fashion style is very girly, but edgy. I love diamonds and lingerie, but maybe paired with a leather coat and some amazing booties.
What would be the dream holiday and who would you go with?
Probably the Sultan Cave Suites in Turkey and I’d go with my friends.
What do you like to watch on T.V?
I love Power, Billions and Euphoria.
What are your makeup bag staples when traveling?
Nars concealer, rose water spray, some collagen sheet masks and my gold facial roller that helps with puffiness.
What’s your advice for the newer models?
Focus. Tune out negativity, eliminate distractions, be creative with your content, be aggressive when going after what jobs you want. If your goal is to just make a living off of modeling, you can be a bit more laid back. But if your goal is to make a living AND make a huge name for yourself, you have to be willing to be bolder with your image and your voice and be able to deal with the criticism that comes with all of it.
What music do you like?
Old school Kanye, Jay-z, The Weeknd, Prince, Biggie, Nas, Wu-Tang, Toro y Moi, The Rolling Stones, Talking Heads, Girl Talk, Daft Punk, Depeche Mode, Gunna. I’m kind of all over the place with music, haha.
3 things you can’t leave home without?
My notebook, phone charger, and Chapstick.
Idea of a perfect Sunday?
A perfect Sunday would be making mimosas and brunch with my friends at my house, playing Heads Up and laughing nonstop.
Where we can follow you?
Quote: “There are no limitations, only possibilities.” About 10 years ago I put this quote on my Facebook page. It was so simple, but just summed up the way I felt about life, the future and my dreams in general. Now, I look back at how far I’ve come. From waiting tables in between college classes, bartending, being a paralegal, driving a $900 little burner car to my shoots in the beginning, to my life now… and I see how this quote has applied to my life and I thank God every single day for what he’s done for me and what He’s inspired me to do for myself.
Holiday Destination: Maldives!
Drink: Patron with club soda and limes.
Celebrity Crush: Zachary Levi.
Favorite song? Rich Girl by Hall and Oates
Sports Team: Lakers!
Movie: Scent of a Woman.
Cover Photo: Courtesy of Abigail Ratchford
Headshot Photo: Benjo Arwas.
B&W Hat Photo: Jora Franciz.
B&W Dress Photo: Courtesy of Fashion Nova.