We were lucky to catch up with Chelcey Leahman recently and have shared our conversation below.
Chelcey, thanks for taking the time to share your stories with us today So let’s jump to your mission – what’s the backstory behind how you developed the mission that drives your brand?
The story behind my mission is simple. I do this for all of the people who think they can’t, are told they can’t, and haven’t built the confidence just yet to believe in themselves to go out and do exactly what they want to do and be the person they want to be. The circumstances will never be perfect, are you going to let that hinder you? If the answer is yes, or it depends on the situation, or another excuse, I’m also here to tell you it’s okay. But, you are only holding up your own process. The best part about this is I’ve done both. I’ve overachieved and excelled and I have procrastinated and failed. In my Aalyiah voice, ” dust yourself off and try it again.” Ten years later I am still performing, modeling, and acting, on a higher scale. Motivating people like you reading this right now. It’s not a coincidence, take in this message, and when you finish reading my interview go out and do what YOU want to do, be the person you imagine you are. Then my mission will have been accomplished.
Chelcey, love having you share your insights with us. Before we ask you more questions, maybe you can take a moment to introduce yourself to our readers who might have missed our earlier conversations?
My name is Chelcey Leahman better known as ” ItsYaGirlChelly”, I am a model, actress, entertainer, and digital creator. I started modeling about ten years ago but I always knew acting was my end goal. I grew up looking up to actors like Queen Latifah ( who I have worked with on Girls Trip ), Whoopi Goldberg, Lynn Whitfield, Will Smith, and Martin Lawrence; I knew I would be able to find my place in the industry. ( I kind of visualize myself as a female Martin Lawrence) Just like modeling, I learned the hard way that it’s not about what you know it’s who you know. After years of diligence and a two-year break from covid, I currently only book principal roles for feature films, short films, and commercials. 2023 is going to be a big year for me with all of the new projects I am featured in, so be on the lookout!
During covid, I had the time to really get myself together as a whole, one of the most problematic flaws I have is my skin. I suffered from third-degree burns to the face when I was eight years old. My skin has been tricky ever since it healed. Aloe Vera and the power of prayer brought my skin back to what it is today but it is so very oily and sensitive. I used the time off during the pandemic to research different herbs, oils, and natural butter to begin my own holistic skincare regimen. Phoenixx Skin and Body is a body-positive Holistic and Spiritual store I created to empower men and women, promote black spirituality, and educate and selling of herbal teas, vitamins, etc.
I am very proud of my small business what started as a hobby grew into something that truly helps others feel good about themselves and that makes me feel eminent.
Do you have any stories of times when you almost missed payroll or any other near death experiences for your business?
When I first started freelance modeling I went to a casting call in Atlanta for Paul Mitchell Bronner Brothers x LA Hair. I didn’t know the rules to casting calls so I went with a fresh twist out and a lime green dress and white booties. This was my second time in Atlanta and I had never been downtown, I had no idea bout paying for parking, and I had two friends with me. ( In hindsight this all was so unprofessional ) So, I am running late, I don’t know where to park, I don’t have money to pay to park, and the time is winding down before they close the casting. I decide park in front of the building, left the keys with my friends and I run into this convention center looking for Paul Mitchell. I believe I was sent the wrong way a few times before I found it. Literally five minutes after I arrive they lock the door and no one else is allowed to come in.
I look around and peep my compitition, you can definitely tell who the agency models were. They had on all black and crop tops. They just had a look. I was totally intimidated. But, I had driven too far, to let those feelings over come me right now . That green dress and my medium-sized afro captured the eye of one of the stylists and I was chosen as a model. I inspired him so much that they dyed my hair lime green in the show. That’s a look I’ll never forget! OOH, and I came out of the building just in time before the police could give me ticket for parking illegally.
Is there a particular goal or mission driving your creative journey?
I want my son to see that you can have the life you want if you stick to your plan. Life hands lemons make lemonade until you see your next move. What really drives me is that I am the underdog I have been for my entire life. Last picked, overlooked, I’m a great candidate but they went with someone else. In the industry, I thrive. I am chosen. I am an asset, my worth is recognized. When other people see it and hear my testimony they feel inspired, they feel like they can do it too. That keeps me going.
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/itsyagirlchelly/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/chelcperfectlyflawed/
- Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCBb07K1NxFgszj3LaJxNcmA
- Other: TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@itsyaagirlchelly
Herman Cesar Lionel Griffin Richard Simmons