Check out our interview with model and influencer Skyla Disney who began working with several beauty brands eager to put their product in the hands of this Micro-Influencer.
Her extensive dance training has led to opportunities in numerous music videos including a remake of the 1980’s hit song Kids in America with other young influencers in the industry. Skyla’s struggles with PTSD after losing a close friend to suicide has led her to advocate for those battling mental health issues.
Follow Skyla @skyladisney_
Hi Skyla, please tell us a little about you?
Hi, I’m Skyla Disney and I’m 16 years old. I’m a model, dancer, and influencer. I’m originally from San Francisco, California but moved to Las Vegas, Nevada when I was 2 years old. Now I’m back in California and loving it!
Describe yourself in 3 words?
Silly, Empathetic, Supportive
How did you get started into modeling?
I used to model when I was a baby, but didn’t really do it anymore once I was school aged. A few years ago, there was a parent on one of my cheer teams who is a really amazing photographer who works with a lot of the cheer/athletic wear brands. He invited me to come to a commercial shoot that he was doing and the photos from that took off on social media and I started getting a lot of brands reaching out to work with me. I honestly didn’t really think I had what it took to be a model, but having that experience was really exciting and all of the other models and their parents that I was working with really believed in me, which made me believe in myself and that I could/should pursue this industry.
What is fun and rewarding about modeling? And what is not?
I definitely have the most fun when I get fitted up and meet new people because everyone has a different story of what got them started and it’s nice to have genuine conversations with other models. The most rewarding thing would probably be actually walking or getting the pictures back from either the runway or the photoshoot. There isn’t necessarily a not fun or rewarding part of modeling, if anything it provides an opportunity to grow and learn from others.
Can you name a few of the brands you are working or have worked with?
I have been working with Girls Life Magazine for a couple years now and I have a couple brand campaigns coming out with them soon that I’m excited about, but I don’t think I can say what they are yet. I think the brands I’ve enjoyed working with the most have been the independent designers in fashion shows. The most unique designs that I’ve had the honor of wearing have been from Rosalie Key, who is an amazingly talented designer from the Netherlands.
What did you learn from your biggest failure?
I learned to focus on myself and not focus on what other people in the industry are doing. Everyone is working essentially towards the same goal. So when you’re caught lacking, someone else is grinding 10x harder to get ahead.
The most important thing when you are shooting is?
Lighting, knowing my angles, and making sure everything is age appropriate.
What is the best and worst part of being an influencer?
Best: The people you meet and the lessons you learn along the way. Worst: A select few people in the comment section whenever you post.
How do you prepare for a role?
Lots and lots of practice.
What do you think is the secret to having a successful IG account?
Consistency and collaborating with other content creators. It’s so important to work with others because you’re all working towards the same goal. Each of us brings something different to the table and it helps us all grow when we work together.
As a popular influencer you are followed by so many people. How do you feel about that pressure of always doing the right thing, and encourage people to follow their dreams?
I just stay true to myself. I don’t really think of it as pressure to do the right thing. I look at it more as making sure I’m only posting content that I would be proud of, but also keeping in mind that I also have younger followers, so I just try to set an example that the younger me would have been proud to look up to as well. I still see myself as just a normal teenager. I want other kids and teens to be inspired by my success and for them to know that anything is possible if you put in the amount of effort needed and have the right mindset.
Now talking about Instagram, can you share some tips for keeping your account interesting?
Be genuine and be yourself. I try to change up the type of content that I post, but the general idea is to keep things fun. If I’m not having fun with what I’m doing then my followers probably won’t think it’s fun to watch either.
What is the most rewarding part of your work?
I love meeting new people and learning about their stories. I’ve met so many amazing people.
What’s your advice for the newer influencers?
Please keep your content age appropriate. Don’t try to be something that you’re not just for a follower count.
What would you say are the greatest lessons you learned so far in this business?
Know who your real friends are and don’t change for anyone.
How would your best friend describe you?
I wasn’t sure so I asked my best friend. I guess I am comforting and like a mom.
If you are a book, what would be the title of the book and why?
I think the title would be “Forever and Always”. I adore and care about everyone in my life and I always say that I’ll be there for them forever and always.
What advice would you give to your younger self and why?
I would tell my younger self to not overthink things. I think there have been so many times in my life where opportunities have slipped by because I overthink the situations.
What book should every entrepreneur read?
I think every entrepreneur should read “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen R. Covey. There is a teen version of the book as well that my mom has made me and my brother read
What’s next for Skyla Disney in the last months of 2022 and for 2023?
Right now I’m really focused on school, so I’m working less but putting more time into my content creation because that’s easier to balance with school. I’m still in high school and it’s really important to me to find that balance between being a normal teenager while doing all of the other things that I’m doing. While it’s so much fun to be a model and an influencer, I don’t want to look back on my teen years and wonder what it would have been like to have that normal high school experience.
What is your favorite healthy food?
And your favorite cheat food?
What is your own definition of happiness?
Puppies. Whenever I see a puppy my face just lights up and I’m instantly in a better mood.
If you could meet someone living or dead, who would it be and why?
I would like to meet my mom’s mom. She passed away when my mom was a kid so I never got to meet her. I would have loved the opportunity to know the person who shaped my mom to the person who she is.
Best advice ever given?
Always give your best efforts and stay kind even if the other person doesn’t reciprocate the same kindness back, continue to stay kind.
Do you support any charity?
Yes! I have worked with the Ronald McDonald house many times and have helped out at many food pantries most of my life.
Where do you see yourself and your career in 5 years from now?
I see myself working in bigger projects in the modeling world but also working in something related to sports medicine.
Favorite song? Why?
Either “Die For You” or “I Was Never There”, both by The Weeknd. I’m currently obsessed with The Weeknd’s music.
What do you think of Social Media?
It’s fun and entertaining but you also need to be careful because there are some interesting people on social media.
Where can we follow you?
Book: “To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before” by Jenny Han
Quote: “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life”. – Steve Jobs
Movie: “The Kissing Booth”
Tv Series: “Gilmore Girls”
Favorite Food: Sushi
Travel Destination: New York City
Sports Team: Golden State Warriors
Photo Credit: Personal Collection