Elite model Shani Hollywood is passionate about many things, but to her, nothing compares to the joy she experiences from helping others. If there’s one thing you’ll learn from Shani’s journey to success, it’s that no matter how dark your past may be, there is always light at the end of the tunnel; sometimes you may have to be the light yourself.
Born and raised in Toronto, Canada, Shani’s childhood was not the easiest. Her home life was often very chaotic as she was surrounded by addiction and mental health issues very early on in her life. As if that wasn’t bad enough, growing up Shani also dealt with the burden of being bullied at school for her appearance and bouts of acne. This didn’t discourage Shani, as she knew she was destined for great things. Despite what others said about her, she always kept a positive and determined mindset.
Shani began her professional career after graduating college in fashion business. She worked internationally in the fashion business until she decided to leave the industry and join her family’s real estate business. Shani had grown up working for her family and quickly transitioned her business knowledge into actively managing several commercial real estate properties across Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area that her family owns. It was through property management that Shani acquired the marketing skills she’d use later on to become the successful social media mogul she is today.
Despite her success in the real estate industry, Shani’s childhood dream of becoming a published model had always remained in the back of her mind. In 2012, what started out as a favor for a friend’s photography school project completely changed the course of Shani’s life. As the staring model, Shani depicted the potential rise and fall of a pop star. Immediately, the unique concept gained a substantial amount of attention once Shani posted the photos to her Facebook page, the only social media platform she utilized at the time. As the photos gained popularity, photographers began contacting Shani. With her dreams within grasp, Shani decided to begin shooting full time and hit the ground running as an aspiring model. Shortly after, Shani’s modeling career took off when she was published internationally. The opportunities kept rolling in for her, and her Facebook page was gaining a lot of traction. It was at this point that Shani decided to expand her social media presence. The creation of her Instagram opened many doors for Shani, most notably being an opportunity with Playboy Israel. Shani’s publication in Playboy Israel was a very motivating and significant moment for her and her family, as her parents are originally from Israel, and the large majority of her family still reside there. Shani was later featured in Maxim South Africa, Esquire Latin-American, Playboy Italy, and Playboy Slovakia.
Hollywood’s brand evolved when her Instagram began to skyrocket, but one thing that has always been important to Shani is remaining her true, authentic self when it comes to interacting with her followers. This meant having open communication about topics that hit close to home for Shani, including addiction and mental health issues. As Shani’s social media presence rapidly grew, many people began reaching out to her and shared their stories, often confessing that she was the reason they kept fighting and were able to overcome battles with substance abuse. Connecting with her fans in this manner only inspired and motivated Shani even more. Although she has battled a lot in her life, Shani’s struggles have humbled her and have given her the ability to relate to her followers in a special way. With a growing fan base of over 700,000 followers on Instagram, Shani attributes her social media success to being someone that her followers can relate to and confide in- something that is very uncommon in a saturated industry such as modeling. Shani’s drive to inspire others and be herself has enabled her to maintain longevity and has helped her to establish a significant presence as an elite model. When asked what advice she would give aspiring entrepreneurs, Shani stated:
“Don’t give up, keep your head high and don’t let others negative comments deter you. If you want something bad enough, you can achieve it! Never let anyone stand in the way of your dreams!”
For the future, Shani plans to continue doing what makes her happiest- helping others. Her newest venture is to become a life coach for those struggling with mental health and addiction. As for career goals, Shani plans to fulfill her dreams of gracing the covers of Playboy and Maxim Magazine, all while continuing to expand her real estate business. With all of this said, there is no doubt that Shani can do whatever she sets her mind to. We would like to congratulate Shani on all her successes thus far and can’t wait to see what she accomplishes in the future.