Joliette introduces their new Brand Ambassador: Vashtina Johnson BSc
After winning the Divas Face competition 2015 in March, AfroDeity caught up with the new face of Joliette: Vashtina Johnson
Motto: "If my mind can conceive it, and my heart can believe it - then I can achieve it." Muhammed Ali
My name is Vashtina Johnson, my forename is partly derived from the bible, The Book of Esther where Queen Vashti was a defiant Hebrew Queen. So I'm a Diva by nature!
I am proud of my Jamaican heritage and honoured to be a descendent of one of Jamaica's National Heroes, Nanny, leader of the Windward Maroons. ‘Granny Nanny' was born in Ghana, West Africa, and was a member of the Ashanti tribe. My cousin is the great Dr. Collin L.G Harris, former Colonel of the Moore Town Maroons.
Academic & Career achievements
I'm a British born Jamaican with 2 degrees under my wing. I attained the first in Beauty Therapy & Health Studies, the second in International Spa Management.
During my studies I enjoyed 9 years employment in the spa, beauty and cosmetic retail industry working as a Senior Spa Therapist in high profile organisations such as Harrods, Harvey Nichols and the Sanctuary Spa. Following on from working as an Interim Spa Manager at The Riverside Health & Racquets Club I moved into administration within the NHS.
After spending 2 years organising rehabilitation exercise classes for mobility impaired elderly people, in 2012 I set sights on revolutionising the Geriatric health system in Barbados. I designed a business plan to merge spa therapies with orthodox healthcare. The chief officials within the Ministry of Health praised my proposal as a laudable idea, however they were not in a position to fund the service.
I'm currently excelling in 2 careers; one is as a full-time Executive PA for the Professor of Medical Physics & Bioengineering. This role extends to provision of admin support for a team of gifted medical scientists and technicians. Additionally I'm a freelance catwalk and commercial model and recently directed my first charity fashion show for Children with Cancer UK. With support from a dedicated team of volunteers, I was able to donate £1,217 and intend to continue these Charity Fashion shows, supporting a new childrens charity per event.
I feel extremely honoured and privileged to be part of the Divas of Colour organisation, which was selflessly established by Fauntee Bon to recognise the difference our prominent women of colour make to society.
On March 21st 2015 I felt so spiritually elevated to be surrounded by so many inspiring women of colour and look forward to promoting the work of these high achievers.
As Diva Face 2015, I will continue to strive to be a leading humanitarian, using my status and talent to improve quality of life for socially and economically disadvantaged people.
How do you relax?
Most treasured relaxation method is a hot bath filled to brim with Himalayan bath salts to purify airways and ease muscular tension. 5 drops of lavender angustifolia allows me to sink into that ultimate 'chillaxation' mode! I eat light and always drink South African redbush tea before bed to allow for deep restful sleep.
Additionally I enjoy watching astronomy shows- theres nothing more meditating than watching planets float in space and miraculous star formations!
What's your typical day like?
Typical working day begins with a prayer of thanks to the Most High and asking for guidance and protection for the day. I then check through messages for model castings followed by a hot shower shower and power-dress for my Executive PA role. I take my personal grooming and presentation very seriously as it helps boost my self-esteem and correctly projects my character. Proud, glamorous, mature & wise.
When I reach work I engage in early morning banter with the admin team; catch up on emails before entering a briefing meeting with my boss, the Professor of Medical Physics & Bioengineering.
The rest of working day involves multitasking between deciphering scientific emails, managing and distributing medical equipment to scheduling meetings for the senior management team.
During my journey home I respond to messages as required and try to plan ahead as much as possible. On reaching home I shower and prepare evening meal. I love to relax on my recliner sofa and watch either a sci-fi/fantasy movie, the Sky at Night, the Discovery Channel, FashionOne TV or the news. Evening ends with mini spring clean of kitchen before preparing outfit for next working day.
What's the most remarkable thing you've achieved as a person and as a model?
In February 2015, I used my Top Model UK finalist status and personal funds to direct, market and co-produce a Charity Fashion Show for the Children with Cancer UK charity.
I began organising by first setting a date and decided on the 27th as it tied in with the hype of London Fashion Week events. I then searched for an affordable venue whilst simultaneously scouting for top models & designers via facebook. During the lead up to the event I found I had experienced industry professionals mentoring me throughout the planning journey. Haylee Venus, entrepreneur and founder of the Inspiring Edge Fashion Show was a great inspiration. She advised on ticket sales methods, model rehearsals and the order of event program schedule. She also sent in her team members, notably Model Coaches Lana Alfred & Hayley Jackson to choreograph the catwalk shows.
Other great supporters were photographers Josh Daniels, Karlton Chambers, actor Yurj Buzzi, Lead Catwalk Choreographer Reuben P Joseph, model Kelly Kenubia and Face of McLaren Technologies model Maurisa Coleman. The majority of my mentors I made my non-financial sponsors as a means of recognition and show of gratitude.
The day of the event went phenomenally well and despite slight technical issues with PA system, all participants and guests enjoyed the event.
I was extremely pleased to find there were many press representatives in attendance. The multiple flashing paparazzi lights certainly helped add star quality ambiance to the show! The ultimate achievement was the success in raising £1216.75 for the Children with Cancer UK charity.
Who is your greatest icon of all time and why?
Without question my mother is my no.1 icon. She always perseveres against all odds, putting others needs before her own during times of hardship. My mother is my ray of sunshine and I adore the way she sees the positive in every negative situation. I put her on a pedestal as a leader, intellectual, closest friend & no.1 diva!
Why are you passionate about volunteering with charities?
I’m an inherently selfless person, I do not give to receive but rather give to assist and feel rewarded in making a difference however big or small. Charities exist to appeal to the public for financial support in order to help improve quality of life for those in need. Without charitable giving from people like myself, the suffering of disadvantaged people would become more widespread and overt.
I'm currently in startup phase of organising my next Charity fundraiser, this will be an extravagant affair with varied entertainment acts and exciting catwalk routines to raise awareness of child poverty in the UK.
I welcome all businesses who would like to offer financial or non-financial support. You can register your interest via email firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also follow Vashtina on Facebook: Vash Tina-Model
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