Since a very young age, Usha has had a burning desire for fashion and modelling. As she got older the desire grew and led to Usha’s participation in many competitions, such as Grenada’s Top Model (winner), Caribbean’s Next Top Model, where she placed 6th of 15 contestants and finally Face of Grenada (FOG) which she won.
“I would say, I live, I breathe, I eat fashion, I eat modelling, says 26 year-old Usha. Usha talks about what motivated her to join the competition.
“After researching the Face of Grenada (F.O.G) Organization, its various competitive photoshoots and the fact that it was judged by a regional magazine, I immediately became interested in auditioning. The photoshoots lead up to the final night with fashion and runway competition, and a platform speech around the platform of ‘Fashion through an Environmental Lens’ which I was really excited to deliver. My passion and drive for modeling and also being able to showcase myself while selling various eco-friendly designs, was my main motivation in entering the competition.”
She admits that getting sponsorship was a big challenge, “I got many turndowns, but I never allowed it to keep me down or give up. It even led to me having to improvise and upcycle some of my foot-wear and clothing due to lack of sponsorship, but that action was a great one because my platform speech was about Upcycling. So, in turn, everything fell into place and harmonized well.”
Usha shared a little about being a part of this competition and what the title means to her.
“Winning F.O.G has always been a dream of mine, and now that I’ve won, I’m overjoyed and satisfied, knowing that my hard work and determination has indeed paid off. I’m positive minded and competitive. I understand that winning will give me lots of opportunities along with many responsibilities and I’ve been prepared for it.”
See pre-recorded interview with Usha. Videography by Reginald Joseph.
We had a few follow-up questions with Usha since her win, and here’s what she had to say.
Story-book Entertainment Inc (SBE): What changes have happened since the win, to your daily routine, and to how people perceive you?
Usha Thomas: Many changes happened in my life since my win. I started my new upcycle project/business by the name “U.P. Cycle GND. It’s operated by me and Ms. Precilla Noel, who was my chaperone and one of my designers for the competition. Our project involves upcycling various textiles, mainly shoes and transforming them into something fashionable. Precilla and I are always brainstorming for new ideas to create. Due to the pandemic (COVID-19) I’m unable to go out to purchase materials, to work on certain items, but my partner and I have improvised a lot to get the work done. I’m also unable to attend college, so I study daily, complete assignments to keep myself on top of my work.
SBe: Who or what motivates you?
Usha: I am self-motivated. Just the thought of being successful, it gives me this drive to hold on and not give up. I strive for excellence and success. On the other hand, there are a few motivational speakers that motivate me such as Bishop T.D Jakes and Les Brown. They focus a lot on success and ways to achieve it, and what to do when you’re feeling to give up. My favorite quote also comes from T.D Jakes which is “A setback is a setup for a comeback”. This keeps me going. Miss Tyra Banks is also a huge motivator to me, in the aspect of modeling. She expresses that girls/women of all kinds can be and are beautiful. “Once you plant seeds of success your tree will bear fierce fruits”, is one of her quotes that resonate with me. My parents and my project partner are also huge motivators in my life, in regard to having a successful life. I am grateful for all of those beautiful people.
SBe: Tell me about your platform, and why it’s important?
Usha: My platform focuses on reducing textile waste in the environment and transforming it into anything fashionable. Textile waste also isn’t limited to any other waste materials. When they’re disposed onto the environment, it’s not easily degradable, and this act can be very harmful to our environment. Therefore, it’s important that people know about the harmful effects of littering or dumping textile waste or any other waste materials in the environment. They should also know that amazing outfits can come alive due to the reusing and transformation of used and unwanted items.
SBe: How are you managing with all that’s going on due to the current pandemic (Covid-19) and what lessons do you hope to take away?
Usha: The current situation – COVID-19 has taught me a valuable lesson, that we ought not to take life for granted. We have to cherish our people, our families and friends, because we may never know when it will be our last day on earth. I’ve also learnt that we need to practice correct hygiene and maintain a healthy lifestyle constantly, regardless of any crisis; it needs to be second nature in our lives.
SBe: How would you describe yourself?
Usha: I will describe myself as humble, friendly, bold, generous, energetic, loving, positive and success driven.
To find out more about Face of Grenada visit:
On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/faceofgrenada/
On Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/faceofgrenada/
On the web: https://www.faceofgrenada.org/
Follow Usha on Instagram: @sounique473