Sahara Ray Loves All of Her Jobs, but She’s Happiest in the Ocean
Until recently, Sahara Ray was your average (sort-of) student, working on her degree in Visual Communications at FIDM in Los Angeles, pursuing her passions for styling and photography. An avid user of Tumblr and Instagram, Sahara realized that her lack of money didn’t have to hold her back from connecting with people—she started photographing herself, and sharing her images. Almost immediately, she was approached by different companies asking her to model for them. Since then, she’s stayed true to her ambitions as a photographer, while also developing a modeling career and a swimsuit company. A poster girl for the slash generation, Sahara isn’t fazed by working across categories. Instead, she embraces it—”I really enjoy modeling,” she said. “I see it as yet another part of my creative process.”
Galore: So where did all your Instagram followers come from?
SR: Good question! I do work with companies that have the same vision and aesthetic as I do, so their followers naturally start following me too. A lot of it has come organically through the international surfing community as well —my dad was a professional surfer, and I was sponsored by Roxy as a tween.
What inspired you to create a swimwear line?
SR: My happy place has always been in the ocean. I grew up surfing everyday and was always in a swimsuit. I wanted to create a line that embodied myself: city girl/beach girl. I would call myself a hippie in the city, haha.
What are your hobbies?
SR: Taking film photos and spending as much time as possible in nature. I feel like being alone in nature is the only time I can relax and really process my thoughts and feelings. These are incredibly important to me as they’re some of the only things that can get my head out of work. Also keeping heathy is a priority. A big passion of mine is heath food. I am pretty much vegan..besides whip cream and mayonnaise…oh and cheese hehe I do like cheese but try not to eat it.
How do you split time between modeling and running a brand?
SR: My job is 24/7, and that’s not an exaggeration. I never sleep! [Laughing] Well, not much at least. I try to delegate as many tasks as possible. I’m still new at this, so I pick the brains of everyone I can, and try to take in and learn as much as I can.
Anything exciting coming up for you?
SR: Right now finishing my second Sahara Ray Swim collection. That is my main focus at the moment. Some other things? Traveling positively influences all aspects of my life. I’m so inspired by different cultures. I want to keep seeing the world—there’s so much beauty around us all the time and my goal is to photograph and see it all. I’m also working on balance. I’ve realized the hard way that without balance, you’re inviting unnecessary stress into your life.