November has always been an exciting month for Hmoodle. November is the forerunner to our festive Holidays in all the Hmong New Year celebrations that is celebrated during this time of year, celebrated from village to village after harvest to receive the new year with hopes of good fortune while forgiving the old year for any of the bad or good fortunes, as well as the shared intermingling of the Hmong clans to find female suitors for their young male suitors.
In talking about November, our new Hmoodle Beauty of November shares with us how special November is to her. She is very specific in her answers. She describes her relentlessness to keep striving towards a goal. Let me introduce you all to our November Beauty of the month for 2014, her name is Hannah Leigh.
Hmoodle: Thank you for being here with us today. How are you?
Hannah: Thank you, thank you! I am very excited to have this opportunity so thank you very much! How am I? Oh boy where do I start! I am doing great, I am busy with school, my new job promotion, and a lot of modeling opportunities! So I am happy but one busy lady! I am extra excited and cannot thank you enough for having me for the month of my Birthday!
Hmoodle: Tell us about yourself? Why are you interested in modeling and hot import modeling? What led you to this industry?
Hannah: Ok here I go, ready! Bare with me, it will only help you get to know me better! My name is Hannah Leigh, I am fully Hmong. Born and raised in Wisconsin! I am the baby out of siblings of one older brother and one older sister as well with half siblings. Three older brothers and one older sister on my half side! My parents got divorced when I was only 4 years of age, after the dramatic divorce my mother had a hard time raising the three of us. So for a while I was transferred in and out of foster homes until I was about 5 years old. I got adopted at 6 years of age. It was interesting when I got adopted because my siblings and I all got adapted together with the perfect couple! My adopted father is full Japanese and my adopted mother is Caucasian. The funny story is they were our neighbors! Fenced in yard , 2 acres of land, 2 dogs and a big house, they were just missing Asian kids that they wanted but couldn’t have! Growing up before adoption I lived in a poor neighborhood, in apartments that was right behind my adopted parents’ home. Right after the fenced beautiful homes, behind was the old crummy apartments. My adopted dad had tons of apple trees in his backyard so before we even got adopted my brother and I use to hop over the fence, climb the trees and steal apples! My dad would see through the kitchen window when we stole apples. He had 2 Labradors then, Sabrina and Chippy who became my four-legged siblings as well. One day my dad decided to just let them loose while my brother and I were still in the tree stealing apples! My dad’s purpose or moral for letting the dogs trap and bark at us then, was for us to ask and we would receive. The dogs were harmless by the way, but as kids when you’re stuck in an apple tree stealing and you see two giant dogs barking you sort of tell yourself life is over! But long story short ever since then we met my adopted parents, Jim and Corrine, and got super close, told them about our situation, and my biological mother’s rough time. After that they made sure we were always fed, bathed and spoiled the loving heck out of me! They were great to my biological mother, and became very great friends with her. They knew the struggles she was going through so they adopted all three of us. Instead of having all us separated in foster homes. My biological mother was allowed to see us as much as she wanted. Which she did do. She was a great mother just going through rough times. I often get asked a lot if I loved my biological mommy because of my situation and the answer is, yes! I knew what she was going through and she was really trying. My biological mom actually ended up getting all three of us back when I was 14 years old, through the state. Once she proved she was able to provide better for our well being. It was rough for me to leave my adopted parents but I really didn’t lose them. They are still my parents today as well as my biological mother. I saw all three of my parents equally, we were all so close it didn’t matter which parents we stayed with. But I honestly stayed with my adopted parents more because I love them to death, but I also gave my equal share to my biological mother as well and this was after the fact she got us back. So as far as my native language goes I do lack a lot but slowly learning. I know some words to get me by! But I learned a lot about the Hmong culture as well and never missed out on the rocking traditional food!
As far as my modeling I am going to explain this as quick and short as possible. Modeling is a hobby for me, it doesn’t have to be sexy photo shoots, it can be anything like sports and I would do it. It doesn’t have to be photo shoots, I volunteered myself for a beauty college to be a model just for my hair! So it’s just always been a part of my life. My adopted parents used to make me do a local toddler and tiaras like thing in WI, I just wasn’t snotty like the ones on television. I do think my funny, bubbly personality fits in this industry really well. I am very nice, super social and always laughing even if there was no reason too! So for all of you that know me or met me, know that this is a fact! Now let me tell you the story of how I got involved in this industry, I use to go go dance at local clubs eighteen and plus and out of state sometimes. I was a bad apple then, so I was only about 17 years old and used to go go dance. I was spotted by a photographer named Ken Huff who also worked as a model promoter. He was very interested in me and mentioned that he loved all of my features, he offered me that night of meeting me while I was go go dancing, but I was too young during that time for some of the gigs offered to me. So he took my information down and promised me when I turned 18 he would respond. Yep he sure did! NOVEMBER came around quickly and I was 18 and was offered my first head shots, and photo shoots. I worked my way up to some smaller car shows. I didn’t have a big agency at Hot Import Nights, but was even lucky enough to even be a part of it. After my first HIN appearance I ended up getting a bunch of photo shoots, so now I do numerous of things from lingerie, swim suit, sports, calendar shoots, make up, and fashion.
Hmoodle: How long have you been in modeling and doing the hot import model scene?
Hannah: I’ve been Modeling over 5 years now for several of occasions. Hot Import Model Scenes about a year now. I missed my chance to go out to California just this year for a local magazine shoot for the Import Industry, but there are still offers coming at all different angles. So I am pretty experienced but I also cut a lot time off after having my two kids! Yes I am a proud mother of two. No ring yet though, but I enjoy not being married!
Hmoodle: How has modeling changed other aspects of your life?
Hannah: Modeling has changed my life in several ways. I met a lot of good people throughout the years, photographers who I am best friends with, and people in general who I met while modeling. Like I said with me being so social it works for me. Modeling has made me become a stronger person in general. It feels good when I interact with new faces and projects because I learned a lot even if I’m nervous. I get denied at times for certain projects and promotions that I really want to do, but I get over it. I do the best I can, keep on working and by the time I know it someone is interested in working with me. So modeling gives me strength, self-esteem, and power. I give what I can only offer.
Hmoodle: How do you prepare for a modeling shoot?
Hannah: This is the fun part! I work out as much as I can. I eat very healthy, lots of vegetables in my diet and no soda at all! I use to work out like crazy and got super women arms at once, but that is how I prepare when I know I have an upcoming shoot which is to get some cardiac going on! I also drink lots of water day of and prior to the photo shoots. I prepare myself ahead when I know there is a project. Overall I am always making sure I am in tip-top shape.
Hmoodle: Can you describe to us what is fun and rewarding about modeling?
Hannah: I am a WI girl located in the small town well known for ginseng! Wausau, WI so much to be proud of right! So when I see my pictures posted or people who come to see me and travel from bigger towns and states it makes me feel special. They see me once and they know my fun loving character! I also get to travel, which I love doing. How fun is it to be able to travel for photo shoots and events. An awarding bonus to modeling in addition with traveling is the new states, cities and sites I get to see. The new foods and restaurants I get to try.
Hmoodle: What do you hope to accomplish in the modeling scene?
Hannah: Ok I am attacking this person in a good way and I will present it to his attention, so he could read it too. So as I mentioned I love to work out and try my best to keep my body in its best form and shape. I am big in all kinds of girl sports, trust me! I know my football, UFC, MMA, basketball and much more. My close friends and family actually fight in MMA! So recently there has been contact going back and forth between Jeff Michalec and I. He is a promoter for Midwest events for King of the Cage. So there may be a possibility that I can get a chance be a Cage Girl for WI events! That is what I am hoping to accomplish next! I just love UFC/MMA and working out my body! Argh, the adrenaline I can already feel it! If not then I will do what I do best and stick with my photo shoots and calendar sign offs. At this time though, anything offered to me is an accomplishment!
Hmoodle: Where do you generally shop?
Hannah: I shop at the local mall, department stores and a lot of online shopping too. Sadly due to where I live there are only some good department stores. I would have to travel a couple hours to really satisfy my shopping, especially the Mall of America!
Hmoodle: What is your favorite outfit from your own closet?
Hannah: Hmmm…I love my dresses and I know I have good fashion so I am very picky when it comes to dresses because it has to fit like a glove! So a lot of my dresses are tailored and custom designed for me. Do my high heels count? Let me tell you my heels are like diamonds! I love all my heels I don’t think I can survive without them. I wear heels so much I noticed myself when I walk barefoot sometimes that I am on my tippy toes!
Hmoodle: You prefer Nava or Bubble Tea? Why?
Hannah: Hands down nava! That is actually one of my favorite Asian desserts. I am a sucker for coconut anything especially in Asian dishes and desserts, we tend to love our coconuts! I remembered just seeing all them pretty colors mixed into together, all the fruits and jelly you can throw into your Nava! It’s such a fun delightful dessert, especially on hot summer days, but if you’re like me you could have it and enjoy it no matter what time of year it is! I am proud of myself I can actually make Nava too! It’s my favorite dessert so it’s funny that you actually asked me that. Speaking of Nava I could go for a huge portion now!
Hmoodle: Anything else you’d like to say? Shoutout?
I think I have said enough, but I would like to thank you for having me here, it’s an honor! I also want to thank you for having me as Miss November! That’s when I first started modeling. Again, it’s my Birthday Month as well so I feel super special for my big 24th this year! Time for the shout outs! I would like to thank Rich Irmischer, my good friend, for all the photo shoots we worked on together! Anyone interested please find him on Facebook at RCI2 Photography as he does an amazing job. You can find me on facebook, twitter or model mayhem! I, especially, want to thank all my family members for being there at all times, I love you all! I want to thank my friends and of course my fans, I didn’t forget you Pork Chop, thank you for making me laugh all the time and making me feel on top of world! Oh yeah, please wish me luck for King of the Cage as well as to be a Cage Girl–I’m crossing my fingers! I will keep you updated Hmoodle! If not I will be keep busy. Please follow me on twitter https://twitter.com/HannahLeigh_90 . That is for me! Thank you very much! Kiss, kiss, muah, muah!
Keep striving for your immediate goals and let us know about becoming a Cage Girl, as we’ll be crossing our fingers for you as well. We also want to thank you for your time in sharing your stories with us, and we wish all your future endeavors will soon come to fruition. Any comments or questions, please comment below, or to stay anonymous please write to [email protected].