UPM: How does Zajia Nadal expand her brand?
ZAJIA: Networking! I’m meeting more directors, more models, more, designers, and more people in the industry who can position me for the next opportunity or inform me about the next opportunity. Reaching into different media markets is essential too. I want to be in different cities. I feel in order for myself or anyone desiring to grow, you can’t be afraid to travel beyond your comfort zone and Columbus is my comfort zone. If I don’t push myself to expand beyond my comfort zone, I’ll be the only cause for not tasting the success I want. And I won’t be the person to limit success.
UPM: How did it feel to be a cast member in sold out movie “Bad Business”?
ZAJIA: It feels amazing. First, Dom was able to see something in me that motivated him to ask me. For
that, I’m so appreciative. Shout out to Dom Campbell! The timing was so crazy because a week prior, I was casted for another movie. So it felt good that people saw me and saw my work and were interested in working with me. It’s definitely a growing experience.
UPM: How close is your movie character’s personality “Starr” related to the real personality of Zajia?
ZAJIA: Starr is very close to me. The way I act, the words I’d say and things I would do are all the items that Starr would do. People who have seen the film have said to me that I did not even seem I was acting. To people who have never met me, it’s acting but to those who know me, they believe I was just being myself. However, I do not want to just take on roles that are closely associated to my own personality. I want to expand my acting. I just had a meeting with another director a couple of days ago and we discussed me taking on the leading the role. But in this role, I will be acting in a way that’s completely unlike my personality. So we will have something cooking in the kitchen. I’ll keep you posted, Mr. Bufford!
UPM: Sounds good! I’ll hold you to it! So you have your own business as well. Tell us about it?
ZAJIA: In 2018, I started my own fashion apparel business. I just wanted something my name and my brand on it. I spoke to a well-known designer, Nia grain and she gave me the best advice I’ve ever heard. Just do it, you’ll never be ready. Those words inspired me to take action. I did my research. I sent emails. I had meetings. My business services men and women and the store is online. The sizes available are small to 6XL. I try to make it all inclusive. Moreover, I want to include other things that other stores don’t include like plus sizes and be very affordable. My business philosophy is if I won’t buy it, then I won’t have other people buy it from me.
UPM: Tell us what you’re rocking for your shoot and interview today?
ZAJIA: Absolutely! I’d love to! Right now, I’m rocking one of our men’s jackets from my store. It’s orange, green, and black men’s denim jacket. It’s really over-size on me. I have my Z-in-Fashion pin on as well. I have on my orange heels to match the jacket. It’s a dope fit and brings out that 90’s vibe.
UPM: Pivoting back to expanding your brand, what do you hope to accomplish within the next year?
ZAJIA: (Laughing) Well, I want to be in 3 more movies and as well has secure at least one leading role. I want to walk for New York Fashion week. That’s something very meaningful to me, especially since I am a shorter model. I want to do a lot more photo shoots as well. This may be a bit ambitious but at least 2 shoots a month. I also plan to travel a lot more and make new connections.
UPM: What is your biggest challenge in the fashion industry?
ZAJIA: I think my biggest challenge is to be vertically challenged. That means I’m short in the fashion world. I’m only 5’ 2”. Therefore, when I take photos, I have present myself as being taller than what I actually am. So due to my height, I’m told “No” quite often when it comes to runway shows by designers.
They like my look, my walk, my face but not my height. So it’s a challenge. I know I can do it and I have done it but it’s not easy to get through the doors. However, I refuse to accept the limits tha the industry puts on me. I am determined to be successful as a petite model. My plan is the to pave the way for models like me. Never let someone determine your worth. Define your own worth and never forget it!
*To contact Zajia Nadal, contact Unplugged Magazine or go to :