Mersadez Hogan is a hometown girl who graduated from Grant High School in Sacramento. She received a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Grambling State University. Currently she is working as a Training Consultant for the California District Attorney’s Association where she manages trainings for prosecutors and law enforcement. This year Mersadez joined the modeling ranks and just recently received the news that she was selected as an Ambassador for The Visionaries Summit taking place in Sacramento September 19-22. THE HUB had the opportunity to chat with Mersadez as she shares her journey with us.
THE HUB: How long have you been a plus size model? What started you on this career?
Hogan: Officially since April 2019. It was through pageants, in 2018 I was Ms. Sacramento Plus America. I competed in Anaheim for Ms. California Plus America. I was first runner-up. I got great photos out of the pageant. Using Instagram I exposed myself and put it out there that I was interested in plus size modeling. A high school friend got me into a Bay area plus size fashion show and expo. I auditioned and was selected during the first round. The fashion show was sponsored by MDT Agency Inc. in San Francisco. They were in the audience at the event. Samantha Davis with MDT Agency wanted to bring this show to San Francisco to get more talent. From there my career skyrocketed. Now I am a fit model for Levi Strauss; in June I signed for print modeling and acting. I got started when I saw Toccara Jones on America’s Next Top Model. I was completely inspired.
THE HUB: What do you like best about modeling? What has been your most memorable experience as a model?
Hogan: When I get messages from other plus size women that what I’m doing encourages them and gives them confidence, it’s rewarding. I never thought about it but it’s become a ministry. Love and embrace yourself, shine from the inside out; love yourself where you are at.
THE HUB: You have an online shop, Thriftstorefly on Facebook. How did you decide to become an entrepreneur?
Hogan: It started as me offering myself as a personal shopper and doing closet revamping. Growing up I looked in Delia’s and Seventeen magazine to create outfits because they didn’t carry my size. There was no Torrid for me to shop at. I started putting looks together. I didn’t know it was a gift. I want to teach people you don’t have to break the bank to look good. Buying things at a deep percentage off my shopping site Thriftstorefly was founded in 2017. In the fall, I’ll have Thriftstorefly merchandise. I like to bargain shop and we like to brag about our great buys. I had a pop-up shop at the Robertson Community Center in Sacramento where vendors brought stuff out of their closets to sell stuff, like shoes and clothes. Small businesses sold hair care products and jewelry. I will do it again in 2020. Items not sold were donated to the Sacramento Food Bank. [Thriftstorefly was featured on Good Day Sacramento on Saturday, August 17 for National Thift Day.]
THE HUB: What are your plans for the future in terms of modeling and your business?
Hogan: I am heading to CurvyCon in New York taking place on September 7th. It’s the superbowl for plus size fashions, the place to network with models and designers. I will be doing my first commercial global ad for social media in August. I’d like to do acting and be on camera. I am taking acting lessons. Now I’m modeling for Levi Strauss and ThirdLove.com intimate apparel.
THE HUB: Any advice for aspiring models?
Hogan: Do your research on how to get into the industry. I practiced posing, searched for auditions and things to sign up for. Designers and agencies are always looking for new faces. Have your favorite brands in your photos. See what events are in your area. A good place to start is fashion shows and meet-ups for photo shoots. Do pageants and enter contests on Instagram. Ashley Stewart does annual contests geared towards finding the next Ashley Stewart.
Connect with Mersadez Hogan at:
Contributing Writer, Donna Michele Ramos