Check out our interview with rising model and actress Rafaela DeOliveira who attended the prestigious Pace University in New York City.
Rafaela gained valuable experience through participation in Coco Rocha’s model camp, Skylar Modeling, and at the renowned Boston Casting. In her free time, she enjoys reading books, running, and taking care of animals. She has volunteered for APCSM (Animal Protection Center of Southeastern Massachusetts) and supports ASPCA.
Follow Rafaela @rafaela.b.d
Hi Rafaela, please tell us a little about yourself.
I am a student at Pace University in New York City, pursuing a major in finance. I have always been interested in knowing how to make money and invest and fund ideas. While pursuing a finance degree, I am also working towards building my modeling and acting career. In my free time, I enjoy working out, exploring, and taking pictures.
Describe yourself in 3 words?
Ambitious, Disciplined, Open-minded.
How and when did you start modeling?
I initially started modeling at 9, got signed to an agency then stopped due to insecurity. At 16, I attended a confidence camp and rediscovered my passion. I did a shoot, and got signed by an agency in Boston then was scouted during Miss Massachusetts Teen USA 2021 by a New York agency. Balancing school and modeling was tough as a minor in my circumstance, though the passion never went away and now I am in NYC, currently focusing on finding the right agency and truly building a successful modeling career.
What is fun and rewarding about modeling? And what is not?
Modeling is an art, and nothing is more rewarding and fulfilling than seeing you, the makeup artists, and the photographer’s vision come to life. When you see yourself in the photograph, you tend to look at yourself differently, in a positive, fulfilling way. The downside to modeling is the rejection. Attending a casting and doing an audition is an achievement and exciting until you don’t get the part. Though, that’s just part of the industry, and it is all a growing experience and used for motivation.
Can you name a few of the brands you are working with or have worked with?
Although I haven’t had many brand opportunities so far, I have had the privilege of working with Trybe Haircare, and Fearless Focus, and I participated in a shoot for Harpers Bazaar Vietnam.
What did you learn from your biggest failure?
I learned that we must take that failure and use it to our advantage. We need to take our anger, sadness, or embarrassment and turn it into fuel, purpose, and motivation. We can either go or grow through things!
What’s your advice for the newer models and influencers?
Be you and be humble, always. Be the person who is always smiling and putting a smile on others’ faces. And remember that what is meant for you, will be yours.
What is the most rewarding part of your work?
Seeing the growth. I went from a shy young girl with a dream but was too scared, and now I am in the big city working after it.
Who are some of your favorite models and designers, and why?
My favorite models would be Coco Rocha, Bella Hadid, Niamo Campbell & Alex Consani. They are uniquely who they are, along with being inspiring and beautiful. When it comes to designers, my favorites would be Calvin Klein, Donatella Versace, and Ralph Lauren. Each brand has such a unique style, with Calvin Klein being comfy and denim, Versace being elegant and bold, and Ralph Lauren being preppy and classy.
What would say are the greatest lessons you learned so far in this business?
Rejection is redirection and a part of growth.
How would your best friend describe you?
How do you prepare for a role?
I put myself in the character’s shoes so I can feel what they are feeling along with rehearsing lines.
What projects you have been part of?
I have been a part of a music video for an artist named Adriya Joy. It was such a fun and growing experience for me!
What kind of roles do you like or would like to play and why?
I would love to play the role of an Action character like Wonder Woman, a role in a comedy, or a role in a heart-wrenching movie where I would touch a lot of people’s hearts.
Can you name 3 actors/actresses you would love to work with?
If I could work with any three actresses, I would love to work with Salma Hayek, Sandra Bullock, and Zendaya.
What is your workout routine these days?
Nowadays, I work out at least 3 times a week, incorporating stretching, boxing, pilates, and walking/running. I love to hop in the sauna after to sweat even extra and calm down. Though, I focus on what I put in my body before anything else.
Who is your biggest beauty inspiration?
Zendaya. She has always been since I used to watch Shake-it-up and she will always be.
How would you explain your fashion style and what items in your closet can you not be without?
My style is versatile. It always depends on how I feel each day. Some days I may wear my jeans with boots and a cute sweater and hair-do, and some days I may wear my sweatpants, sweatshirt, and Ugg boots with my hair slick-backed in a bun. I could not go without a pair of jeans, a pair of sweatpants, a long-sleeved bodysuit, and a jacket in my closet.
If you are a book, what would be the title of the book and why?
If I was a book, my title would be “Grow Through What You Go Through.” It would resemble everything I went through growing up and how I’ve used it to grow into a strong young woman.
What advice would you give to your younger self and why?
The people who try to hurt you are the ones who are the most hurt, don’t let it get to you!
What book should every entrepreneur read?
48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene.
What’s next for Rafaela DeOliveira in the last months of 2023 and for 2024?
In the next few months I’ll be solely hustling. Studying and working hard in school while working to get signed by a great agency, begin getting jobs and networking, getting my name out there.
What is your definition of happiness?
Being fulfilled and happy with yourself deep down. Being content with what you have, living by faith and not by sight.
Something people don’t know about you?
I am Brazilian and can speak Portuguese!
Best advice ever given?
Focus on you, until the focus is on you.
Do you support any charity?
Yes, I support ASPCA, PETA, and the Humane Society International.
What do you think of Social Media?
I think social media can be a tool but it can also be a weapon. It all depends on who is using it. Social media can be used to bring so much awareness and education on things and can help connect people, but it can also make others compare themselves to not just people’s looks, but their lives.
Where we can follow you?
Book: “Can’t Hurt Me,” by David Goggins
Quote: “Everything happens for a reason.”
Movie: “The Notebook”
TV Series: Breaking Bad
Favorite Food: Rice and Beans