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Life & Work with Anna Olejnik

Today we’d like to introduce you to Anna Olejnik. 

Hi Anna, we’re thrilled to have a chance to learn your story today. So, before we get into specifics, maybe you can briefly walk us through how you got to where you are today.
Well, currently I’m a model and an Office Manager who has been in management for about 14 years. My modeling career is more hobbyist these days as I focus on my career and my goals of moving up the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and being a permanent Yooper. I began modeling in approximately 2004. I modeled amateurly for a few years. In 2009, I lost my father and began to take a really hard look at my life and how fleeting life is. Losing my father made me really grab life by the horns and pursue everything I love. I became a professional self-managed model in the Chicagoland area and spent about 10 years modeling professionally. I became somewhat of an advocate for petite models and showed you can do anything, regardless of your stature. 

As I grew older, I realized modeling professionally was not what I wanted to do for my entire life. I wanted to focus on a management career. I have always had a zest for helping companies evolve and thrive. I still model as a hobby as this will always be my passion and my outlet when I have emotions I’d like to deal with. I am currently managing a manufacturing company and planning to begin building my permanent home on my family land in the UP. 

Michigan has been a huge part of my life since I was a child. My parents used to take us to New Buffalo and Union Pier to spend weekends at the beach. They also used to take us to the Upper Peninsula for weekends among nature. As an individual, I have always felt the pull of Michigan. My father always dreamed of living in the UP. After my father lost his battle with cancer, my family and I purchased land in the UP to fulfill his dream. His ashes are now resting there, under a Birch, his favorite type of tree, and I plan to move there permanently to spend the rest of my days with my family there. My partner has also had a similar experience to mine. His family also spent weekends beaching in Union Pier and New Buffalo. We dream of holding our wedding there. 

Michigan is a very important part of my heart. 

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey has been a fairly smooth road?
It absolutely has not been a smooth road. But whose life is? Don’t the struggles make us who are we? I truly believe they do. Regarding the modeling, I had actually quit for a few years because I had committed myself to a relationship which turned out to be one of the biggest challenges of my life. I survived domestic violence and severe control, started my life over, and began to model again, and found my place in the management world as well. 

As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar, what can you tell them about what you do?
I am currently a hobbyist model and management professional. Day-to-day, I am working for a manufacturing company, persevering throughout these strange times and making our way through the daily supply chain struggles the world is facing. I enjoy exploring solutions and streamlining processes to assure our company runs smoothly day to day. In my management career, I have always had a knack for being the glue that holds things together, even when there are obstacles that seem impossible to conquer. 

My perseverance and level head are what allowed me to be my own manager in my modeling career. I have never had anyone represent me but myself, thus always holding myself accountable for my failures and my successes. I love and always will love to model. And it’s not about attention or boasting. Modeling has always been a form of expression. I pride myself on my ability to show my soul through my eyes and to convey emotion in each and every photo. I open myself up to my peers and my audience without any fear or hesitation. 

The crisis has affected us all in different ways. How has it affected you, and any important lessons or epiphanies you can share with us?
Covid-19 definitely presented many challenges. But really, I think mostly I learned patience and to learn to enjoy solitude. It’s just another part of life and another challenge to conquer. I think many of us learned a lot from the pandemic. 

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Image Credits

Bryon Landerman Photo
Lev Kaytsner Photo
sergiophotography.com
Bill Whitmire Photography

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