The Girl Boss series aims to highlight the achievements of women just like you and me who are doing amazing things. Hopefully their stories will inspire you as much as they inspire me. This week we chat to professional model Julia Peterson.

South African model Julia Peterson



1. Who is your female role model/woman who inspired you and that you look up to?

My mom is the most selfless woman I’ve ever met in my life. She’s my biggest critic and most definitely my biggest supporter. She’s always pushing me to go beyond my limits. The older I get the more I realize she’s my best friend who will always have my back.

2. Do you find that there is a lot of girl on girl hate in the modelling industry?

I haven’t really experienced girl on girl hate in the modelling industry. The friendships I’ve made with some of the girls started when I first joined the industry at 16 years old. It’s more of a sisterhood where we celebrate each other and develop more meaningful relationships outside the industry . This modelling world can be tough so it’s great that we can all relate and support and encourage one another.

3. What does beauty mean to you?

Beauty to me is how you make other people feel about themselves. It’s about uplifting and empowering another woman instead of tearing each other down. There are so many beautiful people in this world but what stands out for me is character, humility and having a heart full of gold.

South African model Julia Peterson


4. Do you identify as a feminist? Why or why not?

I’m passionate about women empowerment. Supporting and uplifting women to be their best selves. This world is cruel enough. Just as our faces differ so do our challenges, so I feel it’s important that we stand with one another and authentically and fiercely love one another. Imagine if we did that, what a beautiful world we would live in.

5. Tell us about your journey into modelling?

Growing up I was insecure about being tall and skinny. I was very shy so my mom enrolled me into modelling classes at 16. After successfully completing the courses I was chosen to be a professional model with Models International and since then doors have opened and I understand now how my insecurities back then and my uniqueness propelled me into my God-Given destiny today. It’s being a beautiful journey so far.

6. What was your favourite campaign that you've shot so far?

My favorite campaign would definitely be the Playtex Perfect Fit Campaign because it uses it’s platform to empower women and they celebrate the beauty of all women no matter what shape and size they are. Being apart of the journey with them so far has been so liberating and empowering.

South African model Julia Peterson during Playtex campaign


7. What advice do you have for girls that want to get into the modelling industry?

My advice is to stay true to who you are and what you stand for. The modelling industry can make or break you so it’s important to know who you are and stand for something, because if you stand for nothing you will fall for anything. A lot of girls look at other people on social media and want to compete and copy, but my advice is to stay in your lane. God has an amazing purpose and plan that only you can fulfill.

8. Tell us about your Miss SA journey - what do you wish you knew then?

Being a finalist for Miss South Africa is one of my favorite achievements. It opened so many doors and I’ve made beautiful friendships during the journey. I wish I wasn’t so hard on myself and I had more faith in me. As much as the experience was amazing and life changing it was also challenging. I wish my mindset was stronger and I loved myself more fiercely during the competition. It’s natural for us women to compare ourselves to other women. I understand now that I’m enough and I will always be enough.

Miss SA finalist Julia Peterson, Durban South Africa


9. What's next for you?

2020 is a selfish year for me. I’m focusing on self-love, self-care, getting to know who ‘Julia’ is and doing things that empower me as a woman. I strongly believe that if I pour into myself more, will I be able to pour into others more abundantly. 2020 I will still be pushing in the modelling industry, focusing on empowering young girls  through workshops and discover new adventures to embark on .

10. Tell us a bit more about yourself.

I’m a fun, loving, warm down to earth person. I love laughing and having fun. Don’t let the heels and makeup fool you, I enjoy the outdoors. Hiking and cycling are my favorite ways to keep fit. I enjoy watching Bollywood movies (I always wanted to be a Bollywood actress 😂) I also love traveling and meeting new people.

12. If you could give your 13 year old self one piece of advice, what would it be?

My advice to my 13 year old self: Your uniqueness is beautiful. Don’t compare yourself to others. You are amazing just the way you are. Embrace it!

Girl Boss interview with South African model Julia Peterson


12. Lastly, where can we find you? 





The Girl Boss series aims to highlight the achievements of women just like you and me who are doing amazing things. Hopefully their stories will inspire you as much as they inspire me. This week we chat to Kajal Maharaj, actress, model, entrepreneur and co-founder of Beauty & MUA squad SA.


Imbewu The Seed actress Kajal Maharaj who plays Shria



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The difference between success and failure is in taking the initiative. The Girl Boss series aims to highlight the achievements of women just like you and me who are doing amazing things. Hopefully their stories will inspire you as much as they inspire me. This week we chat to Rukaya Mansoor, founder of Woman of the World (WoW), a female empowerment initiative, and a qualified chemist at Esse Skincare.



The difference between success and failure is in taking the initiative. The Girl Boss series aims to highlight the achievements by women just like you and me who are doing amazing things. Hopefully their stories will inspire you as much as they inspire me. This week we chat to Tasneem Randeree, founder of Nura, an online accessories store, and MSc Molecular Biology student.



1. Who is your favorite female fictional character and why?

Wow, so many to even mention, I really love Khaleesi and Sansa Stark from Game of Thrones. But, if you asked my brother, he would say Mulan (both fictional and real) because I was totally obsessed with the movie growing up (still am and can recite the movie back to front).


2. Everyone's been making New Years resolutions. What are your New Years resolutions?

I’m not big on resolutions; I like to work through goals at my own pace. But if I had to pick one it would be; to be less judgey, there is way too much hate going on in the world and it needs to end. It’s time to start empowering others. More importantly, I feel like I’ve held myself back many times because I was worried about what people would say. It’s been so bad that I don’t even comment on pictures often because I wonder what people will think. So maybe if I let go of times I judge, I’ll be rewarded with the same energy. Also, it’s a big year for our business so there’s many resolutions and goals to work on (fingers crossed). If my husband and mother decide to read this, my other resolution is keep my cupboards more organized. My make up and shoes are everywhere!


3. If you could have lunch with any woman, dead or alive, who would it be?

Again, my brother would say Mulan (the real one). I am really inspired by empowered and strong women. Growing up, there were way too many fairytales about women being rescued by a man. Mulan was the first one I remember where the female lead saved herself instead of waiting around. Plus, it dealt with so many themes and topics that are still so relevant today.


4. What did you want to be growing up?

I think a ballerina for a while, I never really had an idea of where I wanted to be or who I wanted to be growing up. Which was great actually, because it landed me in science, although some days I think that was inspired by The Big Bang Theory.



5. Miss Scientist! What is it like as a woman in STEM?

I’m still currently doing my masters in molecular biology so not a full scientist yet. I started off with a Bachelor of Science because I wasn’t sure what I wanted to study. The course had really good credits but after the first month I realised that it was where I wanted to be. It’s great being a part of the STEM community, and as a female it’s extremely empowering. Of course, some days people ask me if it’s a stepping stone for Medicine or Pharmacy and I feel pushed back another 10 years. It’s an incredibly uplifting experience and community and I would recommend it to anyone who is interested.


6. What inspired Nura?

There was no real inspiration for Nura, we just needed money, so we started a small business and found a niche to work with. We made the effort from the start that we had to try and be different. We grew to love the work. I think sometimes it’s great to acknowledge that you don’t have to be passionate about something to try it.





7. What was it like starting a business? What are some of the challenges and wins you've experienced?

It’s incredibly hard, we picked a random name to try and keep some anonymity. We also refrained from telling people because we were so nervous about it. But getting out there was the hardest part. Once we overcame our fear, building up a base became a lot easier.


Every day presents itself with new challenges, the worst and the best part about business is the people. There are some days, where you are so frustrated you feel like giving up but more often you will have people that remind you why you started. Our biggest win was our collab with Nabilah Kariem last year, there are so many people that we have met along the way that have just made our experience so amazing.


8. What's it like working with your significant other? Don't you get tired of each other (Lol!)?

It’s really great actually, I wouldn’t have it any other way. We disagree on the smaller things often but we’re pretty much on the same page when it comes to running of the business. We’re learning how to work around and with each other, but we also have our studies and jobs away from the business to focus on, giving us a break.


9. What keeps you motivated when you feel like giving up?

Honestly, there are days where everything really brings me down to the point where I just don’t want to deal with it anymore and give up. We attend to messages whenever we can, even if it is late at night or early hours of the morning. We package orders at ridiculous times and lost tons of sleep. That’s when I like to scroll through messages and pictures that people have sent us where they are happy with our products and services. The people who support you will always carry you through. We are honestly nothing without the people who encourage and support us.




10. What advice do you have to girls who want to start their own business but are too scared?

I know it’s scary, truthfully, there is nothing to fear. Once you have decided that this is what you want, take the leap. It’s not easy but will be worth it. All small business at some point only had 100 followers, everyone comes from humble beginnings. You will also learn along the way, so you don’t have to be an expert in business to start. There is great network of small businesses who help each other, always offering advice or a willing hand. You are not alone in this.


11. Tell us a bit more about yourself.

I grew up in a small town in Northern KZN, moved here to study and now Durban is my temporary home. Small town and big dreams. Omw, I’m not that interesting. I spend most of my free time napping, eating, Netflix, watching videos of kittens doing stupid things and annoying my husband.


12. If you could give your 13 year old self one piece of advice, what would it be?

To relax, you will leave the small town, you will see the world, you will have your life together. Life has a weird way of working things out. Just take it one step at a time and everything will fall into place. It’s often advice I still give myself.




13. Lastly, where can we find you?


You can find me on instagram: @Tasneem.Randeree not very active on other social media but you can check our business out on instagram: @nuraonline_ or facebook: Nura Online




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