Updated: Sep 1
Featuring Mikaya Warren
Mikaya Warren is without a doubt a woman who stands boldly in her purpose. Wife, mother of four, model, public speaker, image consultant, model coach, and makeup artist, are just a few titles Mikaya is known for. She has sashayed the runway for countless high fashion shows including New York Fashion Week, world renowned designer Nino Lettieri, and has been featured in several magazines and books. Her eloquent beauty is an irresistible eye candy for photographer all over the world.
It hasn't always been glitz and glamour for this beauty. Mikaya has faced many challenges in life and has dealt with her share of obstacles, fears, trying times with her hair loss experience and feelings of low self-worth. Determined to be an overcomer, she conquered every adversity and set out on a mission to empower women to feel and look their best with total confidence. The journey to owning her hair loss, despite society's thoughts, incited a strong passion to help women do the same. This passion birth an organization called My B.A.L.D. is Beautiful, Inc. (Bold Alluring Laudable Distinctiveness), a non-profit
organization that provides support to women and girls with hairloss. Mikaya also is the company owner of Mikaya Dionne Enterprises which offers makeup artistry and instruction,model coaching, and image consulting.
Securely connected to her purpose, Mikaya encourages women to be confident in their beauty abilities and gifts. She empowers women to be great, to do, to be and to become.
Read more of Mikaya Warren's victorious story below.
What's life like as a mom-preneur?
Life as a mom-preneur is hectic and chaotic, but it’s also fun
and adventurous too. There is never a moment where something isn’t happening. Somebody always wants a snack
or needs to be attended to while I’m on an important call, but,hey... It’s my life, and I love it! It also stretches and challenges
me, though. Being a stay at home mom and an entrepreneur forces me to organize my life and make it stress-free for my kids. It forces me to prioritize and not allow my children to come
second hand to my work, but it's a balance. They get to see mommy working, yet they understand that they are my priorities. It also helps THEM to understand the work ethic it takes to get
the job done.
What are your biggest challenges as a mom/wife/business
My biggest challenge right now is staying focused on what God asked me to do as it concerns my purpose on this earth. With so much going on in the world, it’s so easy to become distracted and get off track, but I believe if we all were focused on our individual purpose then collectively we’d be agents of change and be able to provide what the world needs.
Who or what is your motivation and what keeps you going?
My motivation to do what I do is the little girl inside of me who almost gave up on her dreams, who thought that because of her appearance her dreams were obsolete. I’m motivated by the young women who have built the courage to pursue their dreams, but have been denied so many times and are losing faith. The woman who is struggling to fight for her dreams to be recognized. The women and girls who want to pursue their dreams, but just aren’t sure how- That’s what motivates me. I’m also motivated by my children. I want them to have a worthwhile example of hard work, dedication, unwavering faith and a belief system. I’m motivated by the nay sayers as well! The ones that told me “no” in the past or the ones that doubted what I could accomplish. It does something on the inside when I reach a goal no one thought was possible except God and me. When I feel like giving up, I think about these things.
At what point in your life did you realize or decide your hair didn’t define your beauty?
There was a moment when I was newly married with two kids that I began to doubt my dream to become a model. America's Next Top Model Auditions were coming to town, and I'd expressed my hesitance to go to my husband because I felt like I was too old, wasn't quite sure of my image or how I'd present myself- whether that be hair or no hair. I just wasn't settled and toggled with the idea for weeks. All the while, my husband, and family had always encouraged me to go without my wigs because they felt I was beautiful that way. I was attempting to get some modeling photos done by a local photographer, and I told him my dilemma. He asked me to send him a photo of me without a wig on. As nervous as I was, I sent it, and he called me immediately and said "I am stunned. You are simply dope!" At that moment I thought to myself- "maybe this won't be so bad after all.” After a couple more weeks of toying with the idea, I said what the heck- either they'll love me like this or not. I've been told ‘no' before, so if they say it again, it won't be the first. I decided to go to the audition wig free, and THAT was my liberation moment. That’s when I realized that hair did not define who I was, or my beauty. The seed had been planted years ago when I was about 15, and I decided just before I took my walk down a runway for a modeling competition to go wig-free, but this moment later on in life was when I'd realized it and truly believed it for myself. Needless to say, I was asked to travel to Tennessee for the second round of auditions for the show.
If you could share one thing with other women suffering from hair loss what would it be?
Remind yourself and declare DAILY that you are beautiful. You’ll see those self-affirmations begin to take root.
How has being a Sickle Cell patient driven you to do what you do?
I would not be who I am if Sickle Cell was not a factor in my life. It has taught me to be faithful, to persevere and lots of endurance. I would not be as determined, as tenacious and focused on my purpose if Sickle Cell was not an obstacle for me. It has driven me to go harder and depend on the grace of God to prove that even people with debilitating diseases can be used.
How have your challenges affected your faith?
I’d like to say that they haven’t, but honestly, there have been times that my faith has wavered. There have been many times that I’ve asked God ‘why?’ In those moments I’m reminded that my testimony is not for me. It’s for others to see the goodness of God in my circumstances. Then my faith is renewed. In turn, my challenges have done nothing but strengthen my faith.
What inspired you to begin doing makeup? How long have you been a makeup artist?
I’ve always had a love for all things beauty. I was the prissy girl in my family. I loved playing in hair, makeup, dressing up; painting nails… all things girly. So, it’s always been natural for me. I’ve been doing makeup for years as I did it in high school for all my friends for special occasions, but I’ve only been doing makeup professionally for a year and a half. What inspires me most to do makeup, though is seeing how women transform and feel after it’s done. You just watch the light grow brighter and brighter when they look at themselves in the mirror.
As a model, you had the opportunity to grace many runways, one being New York Fashion Week, what words of advice would you give aspiring models? What was this experience like for you?
Being asked to be a part of something as big as New York Fashion Week is huge! It's one of those "once in a lifetime" opportunities that many models work hard to achieve. It was absolutely invigorating and life-changing. So many people from all over the world emerge on one city to see you strut down a runway in the most fabulous handcrafted, designer pieces. And it's almost overwhelming, but I took my time and lived in every moment. I had a blast, to say the least. I was inspired by the moments, all the sights, the experiences and the people I had the opportunity to connect with. I can’t wait to do it again! ;) There is a plethora of advice that I'd lend to aspiring models, but the one thing that's most important to me is to be you simply. There are so many aspiring models who try to conform their bodies, personalities, style, etc. to what they think the fashion world wants to see, but they really want to see originality; something that will distinguish you from the crowd. That can only happen if you're your own unique self.
What is your greatest fear?
My greatest fear is being OUT of the will of God. The center of God’s will is my ONLY safety.
What is the message you'd like your life to relay?
I’d like my life to be a message of inspiration and empowerment. My life is already a testimony, given that I’m alive, well and able to walk out my purpose gracefully, but I want people to hear this story and find courage. I want them to find the ambition to get up, get glam and do all that God has called them to do, be and become. That’s Glambition!
Do you remember the moment when you received clarity concerning your purpose? If so what was that moment like for you?
My purpose became clear to me the moment I read, understood and took to heart Matthew 5:13-16. [13 “Let me tell you why you are here. You’re here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth. If you lose your saltiness, how will people taste godliness? You’ve lost your usefulness and will end up in the garbage. 14-16 “Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.] However, I receive daily clarity when I operate in my God-given gifts and passion. My passions make my days clear. My gifts make me confident in answering my call.