As a six-foot tall-teenager growing up in Peoria, Illinois, Roshumba Williams had dreams of becoming a model. Jean talks with Roshumba about her rise to supermodel status and the dos and don'ts for achieving financial success in the modeling industry.
In her book The Complete Idiot's Guide to Being a Model Roshumba breaks down the business of the modeling industry. "I decided to write a step-by-step guide answering every one of those questions I was asked and more," Roshumba says. Not everyone can be a runway model, but Roshumba says the industry needs all types of people, from commercial to full-size and "real person" models. Realizing what type of model you are will help you target the kind of work you can get, but Roshumba says you need an agent to make money. "It is important to get an agent who has been around, who knows the business, who is legitimate," she says. "[Because] there are people who prey on those aspiring to be in the industry."
Once you have an agent and you are making money, Roshumba says you need to stay on top of your finances. "My advice is to spend a third, live with a third and save a third," she says. "If you can save more, that's even better because the lifespan of models is short now—three to five years." Branching into other areas of the entertainment world, from acting to TV hosting, helped Roshumba continue to make money after her time in the supermodel spotlight was up. "Take the exposure that [modeling] gives you and transfer it into something else, saving as much money as you can," she says. "You can have a nice life for a very long time."