Sports Illustrated Swimsuit models are known for being some of the world's most beautiful and confident women. But those attributes extend far beyond photo shoots and glossy pages. Many of the women who the franchise has featured throughout the years have made their marks in businesses outside of modeling. After all, look at moguls Christie Brinkley and Kathy Ireland, to name just two. And this year’s crop of women representing SI Swimsuit are equally entrepreneurial. We tapped a few of them to find out the best advice they ever received. Here's what they had to say:
Camille Kostek Does What She Loves
At her first SI Swimsuit casting, Camille Kostek was asked by SI Swim editor in chief MJ Day what she was passionate about. She spoke of her love of being a host and dancing. The day she was officially welcomed as a rookie, Kostek was offered the opportunity to host the red carpet at SI’s Sportsperson of the Year event.
Her "Never Not Dancing" philosophy was quickly incorporated into behind-the-scenes moments on set. And it's all because of the business advice she received: "Do what you love, love what you do. As soon as I started working towards the things I always dreamt up and drove away from what felt easy, my passions became my business, and every day I am excited about what I do. This creates longevity, happiness and beautiful rewards through the struggles in your business, always making it worthwhile."
Emily DiDonato Creates The Best Team
The mom-to-be, who made her SI Swimsuit debut in 2013, used her modeling experience to create universal skincare line Covey earlier this year with Google executive Christina Uribe. And it’s building the right team that Emily said is the key to success. “When you start a business and are building a business, there are so many other people you need to build the business,” she said. “You need a website developer, designer, someone to shoot your content, and copywriters. Be curious, ask questions, and make sure you really know the people that are working on the world you are creating with your brand.”
Haley Kalil Knows If It's Hard Work, It's Worth It
Haley co-owns multiple restaurants and dessert companies in Minnesota with her husband, Matt. Plus, she's working on a concept for the #nerdherd brand she is developing, something Kalil describes as a passion project. And it's that passion that gets her through the draining times. In fact, it's what the model highlights as the best business advice she received: "If it were easy, everyone would do it. Nothing in life comes easy. It takes hard work, determination, timing, humility, kindness, a great team and a touch of luck."
Kate Bock Asks Questions
Bock credits SI Swimsuit for playing a massive part in building her brand and helping to foster many of her partnerships like those with POMPETTE sparkling hard seltzer, Abby’s Better nut butters, tenoverten nail company and the online marketplace Verishop. Bock continues to stick to one piece of advice along the way to help guide her: "Ask questions. Don't be afraid of what you don't know; you can always learn more."