Ashley Graham Shares How She Built Her Brand Around Confidence

The model, mom and body positivity champion offered up some great wisdom on Instagram.
Ashley Graham

Ashley Graham.

Model Ashley Graham combined a “get ready with me” video with an important business and life lesson in an Instagram post on Jan. 31.

The 36-year-old mom of two noted that after taking a business course with Marshawn Evans Daniels, she learned the important lesson to start before you are ready. Daniels also encouraged Graham to explore different avenues that she could turn into a profitable business.

“For me, it was all about confidence. People wanted to know where I got my confidence and where it came from, and how they could have a little bit of that,” Graham said of the exercise. “That’s when I realized that my brand could be a platform of confidence.”

Graham landed the cover of the 2016 SI Swimsuit Issue as a rookie and became the publication’s first plus-sized cover model in its history. She’s a published author, podcast host and body confidence advocate who encourages women to accept themselves just as they are.

“My platform and my brands are simply that: a place where you can come feel inspired and feel confident about yourself,” she explained. “It’s not always about a direct transaction, sometimes it’s about creating a space that uplifts. So here’s the advice: start before you’re ready and lean into what people keep asking you advice for, and that’s where the magic lies.”

Several of Graham’s 21.6 million followers felt inspired by her message and chimed in to the comments with feedback.

“Love you queen ❤️,” model and musician Yumi Nu gushed.

“I needed this, thank you❤️,” influencer and model Dani DMC added.

“Wisest words!!” fellow SI Swimsuit star Marquita Pring cheered.

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Cara O’Bleness


Cara is a trending news writer/editor for Sports Illustrated Swimsuit. A passionate writer and editor with more than 10 years of experience in print and online media, she loves storytelling and believes that words have the power to change the world. Prior to joining the team, Cara worked as a writer and editor across a number of content verticals, including food, lifestyle, health and wellness, and small business and entrepreneurship. In her free time, Cara loves reading, spending time with her family and making her way through Michigan’s many microbreweries. She is a graduate of Michigan State University's School of Journalism.