“The modeling industry creates a lot of tough women.” – Katie Tull
Welcome to Face Time. DFW Style Daily’s exclusive series goes beyond the runways to get to know top models on a personal level. Why? Because there’s so much more to one of fashion’s most competitive fields than meets the eye.
Our interviews with Tracy Ripsin, Myles Crosby, Daniel Crouch, Maggie Parks, Deanna Cahill, Atti Worku, Tiffany Hendra, and many more, have captured the attention of thousands. Today’s interview adds to this fascinating and accomplished roster a tough Texas beauty on a mission.
As the co-founder of local non-profit Models For Mutts, Katie Tull will host her first benefit for homeless animals on September 19. Today, the ex-college basketball player, a self-proclaimed extreme jock, reveals why the fashion industry isn’t all “rainbows and butterflies,” and how she keeps her head – and heart – in the game.
DFW Style Daily: At what age did you begin modeling? Were you scouted or did you pursue modeling as a career?
Katie Tull: “I began my modeling career right after I turned 22. Fresh out of college, I was searching for the next adventure, and I fell into a competition to become a Great American Sweetheart at Texas Motor Speedway. This led to a contract with The Campbell Agency. My work with Texas Motor Speedway has also opened many doors for me in the broadcast world.”
What do you believe is the biggest misconception about the modeling industry?
“One misconception is that all models are over-confident. The modeling industry creates a lot of tough women. I have met and formed so many friendships with kind and strong souls. People don’t realize that it’s not all rainbows and butterflies. We hear the word ‘no’ a lot, and it takes a thick skin to stay grounded and maintain your confidence! Having a great set of friends and an amazing family as a support system have really allowed me to flourish within this industry.”
Are there any ‘deal breakers’ for you when it comes to job requirements?
“To be completely honest, I try and keep it as simple as, ‘I won’t do anything I’d be ashamed of my Daddy seeing!’”
What is your dream assignment, or who would be your dream client?
“I am a tomboy, and an extreme jock at heart. I would absolutely love to be in a national campaign for Nike or another major athletic retailer. I would also love to be able to represent some of the amazing animal rescue centers that I believe in, including the SPCA and Operation Kindness.”
Speaking of animals, you recently co-founded a non-profit organization benefiting homeless and at-risk animals. Tell us about the inspiration behind Models For Mutts.
“When I rescued my dog MJ, it truly changed my life. I had just finished my last year of college basketball, and had a huge void in my heart to fill. MJ did that, and so much more. She is my little blessing!
“Earlier this year, a Dallas-based makeup artist and friend, Cheryll Smith, approached me with the idea of Models For Mutts. I was immediately on board, and together we wanted to create a fun, casual event where people could help raise money for animals in need.”
The first Models For Mutts benefit takes place September 19 in Deep Ellum. What are your goals for this premier event? How do you see the organization evolving over the next few years?
“We are hoping to raise a lot of money, and bring as much awareness as possible, to the importance of rescuing and helping animals in need. Moving forward, I would love the Models For Mutts brand to continue expanding with new sports tournaments and fun, fresh events in the future.”
Favorite city in the world: “Charleston, South Carolina, where I went to school!”
Top local shopping spot: “The Gypsy Wagon is irresistible!”
Last book you read: “Captivating: Unveiling the Mystery of a Woman’s Soul by John and Stasi Eldredge.”
Guilty pleasure: “Cheese!”
Trait you most admire in a friend: “Empathy. We all walk different paths.”
Finally, tell us three facts about yourself that might surprise us.
“First, I was a Division 1 College Basketball player for Charleston Southern University. I was named Player of the Year my senior year in the Big South Conference.
“Second, I grew up in the middle of nowhere on a big piece of land, so I absolutely adore animals and nature. Finally, I am a strong believer in Faith, and I truly trust that God has a beautiful, bright path for every individual to follow. It’s because of God that I have had the opportunity to make a difference in people’s lives, and I pray that light continues to shine!”
All images, courtesy of Katie Tull.