Dazey Lady Feature on Alden Steimle
So excited to feature one of my best friends, Alden! You may recognize her from one of my Dazey lookbooks, or on her popular Instagram page, or one of the thousands of photoshoots she's been in for countless companies. This gal is not only gorgeous but has a heart of gold. Amidst her successful modeling career she wanted to give back and find more meaning, so she launched Soul Shapers.
I met this babe back in college. We lost touch but reconnected again a few years back when she was living in LA through, surprise suprise, Instagram! Since then we have become super close and both help each other out in our businesses as well. She's always been a huge help in promoting Dazey and doing shoots with me. When she first told me about her business idea I was so excited to help her out too! We even designed her logo together :)
Soul Shapers just launched this year and she's already worked on countless collabs and has even thrown a few events I was able to attend. So I bet you're asking yourself what is Soul Shapers!? I have a full interview below with all the details! I also shot Alden in Dazey all around town, including her adorable bungalow, at her most recent pop up shop event, and at Biz Babez!
I know there is so much to Soul Shapers, but what’s a quick description?
Soul Shapers is good people doing good things — it is collaborations with artists, entrepreneurs and philanthropists who are making a difference in this world and inspiring others to do the same.
Most of your adult life you have spent modeling and have found a lot of success in that. What has your journey been?
Modeling has brought some of the most up and down experiences of my life. I feel so blessed to have been given amazing opportunities to travel and live all over the world, learn about myself, work for myself, and challenge myself, yet I have also seen my lowest lows from being in the fashion industry. Constantly getting judged almost entirely on my appearance, and constantly getting rejected from various jobs and castings really takes a toll on you. It's hard to always feel good enough and loved. Sometimes I also get a sense of emptiness, like all I'm doing is selling more product so there is more stuff in the world, and I'm selling/representing what beauty should look like. Those are not things that I believe in and stand by, which makes it difficult when I also appreciate the positives of my career. I want to use the doors and connections that I'm presented in this life to do good in this world.
What are some of the highest points and lowest points you have experienced along the way as a full time model?
The lowest point has been during moments of depression and anxiety when I don't feel fulfilled or good enough. The highest points are when I'm entirely in the moment experiencing connection and what is for me, ultimate happiness; ie when I am having fun on set and connecting with people, traveling and working in a beautiful place like Tahiti for 10 days, and most recently, when I am using my connections and audience from modeling/social media to fuel Soul Shapers and help others in need.
What inspired you to start this new venture, Soul Shapers?
I started to realize that since I work with so many different people at my jobs, I was meeting so many individuals who are doing amazing and inspiring things. Around this time, my blog was completely uninspiring to me and it became meaningless. Don't get me wrong I still love fashion and have fun with it, but I had this epiphany that I wanted to bring awareness to these amazing people doing amazing things!
What is a Soul Shaper?
A Soul Shaper is anyone who has helped someone in a way that has brought happiness or positivity to another's life... Everyone, in some way, is a Soul Shaper. The Soul Shapers that I feature are making waves by pushing to be their best selves, encouraging others to do the same, and help others in need.
Why do you think inspiring and giving back is so important?
I think that a huge reason we are here is to help each other and lift each other up. There is just too much hurt and suffering in this world to not do anything about it and make an effort to make a difference. Some of us are extremely blessed to not experience extreme trauma or poverty etc. but that doesn't mean we can just ignore other innocent people who can really use our help. Even the tinniest efforts can make big changes.
Who are some of the makers and shakers you have collaborated? What are some of the projects?
One of the first Soul Shapers I featured was Dazey LA of course! Each feature is a profile on that Soul Shaper with interview questions, photos and sometimes video. Some of the collaborations have a limited edition product that gives back to the featured Soul Shapers favorite organization. I've had two events so far that acted as a Soul Shapers collaboration— one was a unique retreat collab with Nicolette, Founder of Expansive Voice, and another was a Pop-Up Shop with Andrea, owner of Van De Vort Boutique. Both events combined raised around $5,500 for Hidden Treasures Foundation, and The Her Initiative.. that was insanely gratifying for me!
A few other products:
- A wood piece by Aleksandra Zee that gives back to Planned Parenthood.
- An print by Marissa Quinn that raises awareness for the endangered Vaquita Dolphins (illustrated in the print) giving back to Sea Shepherd Nonprofit to help save these Dolphins.
- The Soul Shapers T-shirt that I call the OG Give-Back Tee — 100% of the proceeds go straight into fueling my company and enable me to continue these features, tools, fundraisers, collaborations, etc.
- Unique leather bags that Rachel & Josh from Voyages of Agape brought back from their travels in Guatemala (on the site soon).
- And more are in the works!
What’s planning an event like, will this continue to be apart of your brand?
Planning an event is A LOT of work. But it's something that I've realized I love doing. Both of my recent events were very different, one being about shopping for clothes that gave back 100% of the proceeds, and another that was a retreat with crystal and meditation workshops where a portion of the ticket sales was donated. It's hard to say if events will continue to be a part of my company, but doors are continuing to open in that space and since I feel pretty good about it, I will keep following that light.
That's been a lot of the fun in Soul Shapers, it's a completely made up concept and I don't have many rules or guidelines holding me back. :)
Soul Shapers has been something you have wanted to do for so long and now it’s finally here! What has been the process so far?
The process was so long for me, because I couldn't get past the fact that I just didn't know where to start. Being that there aren't any other companies (at least that I've heard of) that are doing what I had in my mind for Soul Shapers, there was no example or guide for me to follow. After two years of feeling paralyzed and craving to start, I really pushed myself to figure out WHAT it was, what is Soul Shapers?? As soon as I figured that out, the ball started rolling from there!
Tell us about what you and your family have recently gone through and how that has effected your new business? How can people help?
On October 9, 2017, the Sonoma County fires burned down my Dad's home which is the home I grew up in, along with 6,900 other homes. Just take a moment to think about that number. It's just unfathomable what has happened, and the fact that this is my home and my hometown will forever bring knots to my stomach. This fire has been recorded as the worst fire in California's history— it's pretty surreal to be a part of that. Helping my dad has been extremely devastating, but I try to stay strong and have hope. Unfortunately they're estimating 4-5 years until people will get their homes rebuilt because the devastation is so extreme. There are also very difficult political and financial aspects involved in the aftermath of this natural disaster.
Although blatantly asking for money is one of the most uncomfortable things I've ever done, I set up a GoFundMe for my dad. I also just placed an order for a new Soul Shapers Tee that I hand drew, and I'm donating 100% of the proceeds to victims of the fires— stay tuned!
What do you see for the future of Soul Shapers as you move forward and further define your brand and what you do?
At this point, I see Soul Shapers continuing to feature people who are doing amazing things for this world, along with expanding the shop page to have more philanthropic products that gives back. I can say events will definitely be around for a while longer as well. I'm trying to have fun with it and not hold myself back from anything!
What does being a Dazey Lady mean to you?
Being a Dazey Lady means being your true self and your best self. I think that at the end of the day, if you are working hard to be a good and honest person while helping people along the way, you're killing it at being a Dazey Lady!