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Woman Crush Spotlight: Yassi Shafaie

Where to begin with this one. I have had the privilege of watching this individual flourish into one of the most hard-working young women I know today. It is a privilege to be highlighting her this week and showcasing all of her talents and successes.

Yassi and I grew up side by side. So at a young age, I would describe her to be wise, grounded, loyal, and most importantly curious. Whether she is being a student, a teacher, a daughter or a friend, Yassi is attentive and has a unique way of connecting with others.

At this stage of her life, I would describe her as a do-er. All at the age of 25, she is receiving her Masters at Columbia University, is model for Wilhelmina Models and is developing a skincare product and brand. She is limitless and I am so excited to share her insights with you today!

Questions and Answers:

Q: Are you most productive in the morning, afternoon or night? A: Afternoon Q: I stay motivated by .......  A: Being a Capricorn. Also, reminding myself that I am responsible for my own success. Q: My best friend would use these three adjectives to describe me….  A: Empathetic, mindful, and observant Q: Growing up, when I envisioned my career, I saw myself....  A: I changed my mind so often, but I always resorted back to the quintessential Devil Wears Prada dream - working at a huge fashion magazine with a glass office overlooking Manhattan. Q: If I could have dinner with one person (dead or alive), it would be...  A: Dead - Fred Rogers. Alive - Jada Pinkett Smith (or let's be honest, Harry Styles) Q: If I were a fruit or vegetable, I'd be....  A: A lychee Q: Give your best elevator pitch. In at least three or four sentences tell me what you do. A: I'm pursuing a Master's of Social-Organizational Psychology from Columbia University in order to address the shortcomings of our society's workforce. I'm also a model at Wilhelmina Models in NYC, where I work with a variety of beauty and athletic brands. In my free time, I work with my father in formulating skincare products that can best cure conditions such as acne and eczema. We've seen incredible results and look forward to hopefully mass-producing the products soon. Q: How did you come up with your business idea? What inspired you? A: Although we're in the process of it, our intention behind formulating these skincare products was to bring my family's history of medicine to those we can potentially help. For generations, my father's family has been invested in medicine, using natural ingredients to combat a plethora of conditions and diseases. With the onset of society embracing skincare, I figured it was the perfect time to offer all natural and simple formulas to the market. I've seen the changes it can do for people, and there is nothing more rewarding than improving someone's life in any way you can.

Q:  What is one way you get to work with individuals or groups within your community? A: On the set of photoshoots, there is always such an incredibly diverse group of people. Whether it be their educational background, cultural heritage, or personal interests, I am always so grateful for the people I meet on those jobs and the variety of individuality I am exposed to.

Q: How do you define your best work and what value does your best work bring? A: My best work is done when I face challenges along the way. Although it's unenjoyable, those speed bumps are what remind me to pay meticulous attention to detail. Not to mention, my work is that much more rewarding and valuable in the end because I was able to overcome those hardships.

Q: What is one of your goals for the new year and how have you begin implementing it into your life already?

A: Being more transparent and articulate. I either resort to not saying anything at all or inaccurately expressing myself. I've been avidly trying to address if I'm bothered, and most importantly trying to analyze how I truly feel before conveying it to others.

Q: What would you tell your 18 year old self today? A: Being intelligent and kind to others is the coolest thing you can be. Remember that everyone is hurting, especially those who hurt you. Wish them peace.

Q: Describe your perfect day.  A: A 65 degree morning accompanied by a Caffè Misto and a brisk walk to the park. I then ideally spend the day with family and friends doing honestly anything. Then we all cook and drink together for dinner.

Yassi — it is so inspiring to watch you tackle all the opportunities that have come your way. You are tapping into so many evolving fields that truly speak to who you are and the mark you want to leave on this world.

I respect and appreciate how you never settled for taking a traditional route and really listened to your instincts. I think there is a huge takeaway lesson in your decisions — your curiosity lead to your pursuit. It's beyond refreshing and I applaud your determination to explore areas and industries that genuinely spark your interests.

Thank you for sharing your story, your experience and your desires. I am so confident in all you have to offer and can't wait to see what's in store next.

Want to learn more about Yassi? Keep up with her on social: instagram

To read more articles from Neela, visit the blog!


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