Alexaundria Groves was recently interviewed by TheCelebrity.Online Magazine and below is the Q&A session we had with her.
Alexaundria Groves As Cover Interview Story – September 2023 Edition
How do you introduce yourself?
My name is Alexaundria Groves. I am a model coach, business owner and community event organizer. I was born and raised in South Bend, IN.
My fascination with modeling began at a very young age, attending my mothers fashion shows and looking at her publications. I fell in love the more I saw how she was able to create art and show her own form of self expression through her modeling. I began my journey in 2005 when I won the Miss Michiana Pageant in South Bend, IN. In 2011, I moved to Indianapolis to complete my undergraduate degree. I graduated with my Bachelor’s Degree from Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, in General Studies with a Concentration on Social and Behavioral Sciences.
I have worked in early childcare, also with the criminal justice department helping to reduce the recidivism rates amongst our populations. In addition, I have held various roles helping those populations in need of community resources including food, shelter, clothing, mental health and other familial support.
While residing in Indianapolis, I was signed to LModelz Model Management from 2014-2017. Over those years, I gained industry exposure, knowledge, established a fashion portfolio and built lifelong connections and relationships. I participated in numerous fashion events including a Women Empowerment Series, honoring Iyanla Vanzant, multiple appearances in Midwest Fashion Week, walked in the Indiana Black Expo fashion show for Korto Momolu, a finalist featured on “Project Runway”, have been a promotional model for Revlon’s “Creme of Nature” natural hair care brand and published in multiple magazines including Obscurae Magazine. In 2017, I became a freelance model. I now host as well as collaborate with other industry creatives curating model runway and pose workshops, focused on helping current, as well as prospective models enhance their skills along their modeling journey. The workshops are also geared toward mentoring and encouraging transparent discussions centered around confidence and self love.
Childhood to Adulthood – How was your transition from childhood to adulthood and what are the bad and good things you remember?
Transitioning from childhood to adulthood was beautiful but came fast for me.
After graduating high school and being accepted into IU Bloomington, I found out I was pregnant with my son. This changed my life and I had to pivot in ways that I never could have imagined. Study sessions looked different, self care looked different, but I was able to build a great relationship and take on my new role with grace. Continuing to go after my goals, I faced rejection after rejection. My educational and modeling endeavors would take a different shape. I had to get creative with how I would be able to attend classes and castings while still working full time and taking care of my son.
With the help of my amazing family, I was able to graduate and land successfully into my career. Im proud to say that almost 15 years later, I now have two children, thriving in their respective interests and I couldn’t be more proud. Now I get to guide them into the lives they’re destined to lead.
Struggle – What hardships have you gone through in life?
I have always enjoyed bringing people together, hosting family events, and getting together to celebrate with my friends. So In 2019, I began hosting community events in Indianapolis, IN. I wanted to show my children that being positive about body image as well as taking care of mental and physical health could move mountains within ourselves but as well as in our communities and also that our skin color posed no barrier in doing so. Thus, Faces of Our Souls was created. Faces of Our Souls or (FOOS) for short, hosts events that have panel discussions surrounding body positivity.
The annual evening program also showcases entrepreneurs, creatives and typically concludes with an explosive fashion show featuring local designers or boutiques. FOOS allows space for individuals to truly be themselves in a comfortable environment while gaining the support of the communities in which they reside. Faces of Our Souls is dedicated to empowering all individuals in order to have better relationships and better understandings when it comes to building or rebuilding our spaces, specifically minority populations where the need for unity is greater, especially during these times of uncertainty. Driving out negativity and shining light on the good we produce is ultimately the goal.
My drive for why I do what I do stems from a young age. Coming from a private institution into the public school system, I was bullied as a fifth grader. I wasn’t accepted by some of the girls. Prior to coming to that school, I enjoyed being friends with multiple groups, playing sports, and roughhousing with the boys.I never had an issue with befriending people. But, I was also the pretty brown girl with long hair and a pretty smile to match. At this new school, that, unfortunately, was the issue. I was envied and not given a fair chance simply because of my appearance, that had never happened before so I didn’t know how to take it. That was my first introduction into colorism. Eventually, it forced me to create a thick skin at a young age and love myself even more.
As I grew older, I would start to hear things like “you’re pretty for a dark skin girl” or be compared to my lighter skinned friends or acquaintances in ways that were made to be jokes but that made me feel less than, so I’d laugh it off. I’d also learned to get creative with my own punchline and be ready to fire back. Sometimes, it would make me lash out in ways that I had not dissected and could not understand fully until college. In my early twenties, being a young mother while finishing college was no easy task. I was constantly in survival mode and doing the best I could to provide for my children. It seemed that I was constantly attempting to break down barriers and do it with a smile. I did not prioritize my mental health and began taking a toll on me.
I now take my mental health very seriously. I truly believe we cannot be our best selves without doing the work within, no matter how we may appear from the outside. Faces of Our Souls is meant to be a reminder, to always seek from within. Allow the beauty of your soul to shine through that beautiful face that you show the world and never let anyone diminish your true essence.
What do people usually not know about you?
I love playing pool and have been playing since I was around 7 or 8 years old!
What sets you apart from your competitors in the industry and in life?
I believe in treating others the way I would like to be treated. I would say that I have a natural sense of humor that draws individuals to me. I strive to be authentic, thorough and transparent in my delivery and I handle my business. I’m firm, but I’m fair.
What are your upcoming major events?
I’m excited to be apart of a Community Leadership Institute with the South Be d Heritage Foundation, assisting with stabilizing and empowering neighborhoods in my hometown, South Bend, IN! I’m thankful to this amazing organization for considering me to be involved with such a dynamic group of professional community advocates.
What are your food preferences and physical attributes?
I love juicing! My favorite meal right now is shrimp and grits and I love fruit, bread and pasta, however I am working towards getting back to a more alkaline life style. My goal is to consume 80% alkaline foods during the year of 2024 and beyond!
Your love life, relationships and family?
I have two intelligent and caring children Ayden and Ari and our puppy pit bull Sir Onyx. We have a very close knit family and we enjoy spending time with one another. I recently lost one of my closest aunts and Im still processing but I know that she is continuing to watch over us and thats what I believe to keep me in a positive mindset. We miss you, Aunt Val.
What expert advice would you like to give?
Face your fears head on and always think before you react.
Your social media handles and website links?