If you’ve checked out our vintage section lately, then you couldn’t have missed our newest model, Nikia Phoenix. With her signature freckles and gorgeous look, Nikia has been building a reputable modeling career, moving from the runway to magazines and now to Lulus.com!

I had the pleasure of interviewing Nikia and thought you guys would love the chance to get to know her better.

1. Is being a model all it’s made up to be? 
It has its advantages, and also its hardships. Being a model isn’t always glamorous, but that’s the portrait I paint when I step in front of the camera. I live the life of a starving artist, but it’s what I chose to do. I may not always get paid for what I do, but I love to do it. Because of this profession, I’ve met the most wonderful people. Their creativity and drive encourage me to keep doing what I do.  

2. Who is your greatest inspiration and why?
My greatest inspiration is my family. They are so loving and supportive even when they don’t understand me.  Everyone in my family is very spiritual, especially my grandmother. She’s practically a saint. This woman willingly and unselfishly gives so much of herself. God always blesses her for it, and the blessings trickle down to the rest of us. 

3. How do you stay healthy, both body and mind?
A lot of meditation and discipline. I try to exercise everyday and read something other than news and blogs. The news can be very depressing, so I try to read things that are good for my soul. My boyfriend tries his hardest to make me eat healthy food. I’m from the South, where we fry everything, but he makes me steer clear away from fatty comfort food. Let’s just be honest: there’s nothing nutritional about fried chicken.

4. What is your favorite splurge?
I’m actually pretty frugal, but I will splurge on good food. Dessert especially. Funny that this question comes right after the “staying healthy” one.  I have a sweet tooth. I know that if I overindulge, I’ll be sick. That’s why I always suggest sharing your sweets with the people you love. My sister and I always leave room for dessert, and eat it together (when I’m around, of course).

5. Favorite movie of all time?
The Godfather, but I can’t choose between Part One and Part Two. I love the combination of Al Pacino and Marlon Brando, and then Pacino and Robert DeNiro. I even quote the movies quite often, but few of my friends understand what I’m taking about. “Leave the gun. Take the cannoli.”  See, even gangsters know how important dessert is.

6. What can’t you leave the house without?
Chapstick. Preferably Carmex.  

7. What did you have for breakfast this morning?
A cup of Earl Grey and an English muffin. On the weekends, I’ll go all out with pancakes, french toast, biscuits, etc.  Basically anything that can potentially be sweet.

8. Any pet peeves?
Disorder and dishonesty. I can’t work with chaos, and I don’t like people lying to me. And I really can’t stand it when someone leaves lights on when no one’s in the room. A small lamp is fine, but let’s not waste energy. I have moments of OCD when I go around turning off lights and rearranging things. Perhaps I need psychiatric assistance.  

9. Describe your perfect outfit.
A vintage soft t-shirt, colorful scarf, comfy slim-fitting jeans, cute heels and stare-at-me earrings. I can run errands without feeling constricted and go out for dinner without looking drab.   

10. New must haves for this year?
Over-the-knee boots and a cute leather jacket. You can never go wrong with a couple of classics.  

If you want to hear more about Nikia (and I’m sure you will!), pay a visit to her awesome blog, Model Liberation, and also check out an interview with Nikia and her mom on the Tyra Banks Show below.