Kori Isfeld: A Day in the Life of a KiraGrace Model
One of the beautiful surprises about working relationships is whether you want it or not, an intimacy slowly takes root. Through all of the small niceties, team projects, email exchanges, and coffee breaks, the personal begins to break through the impersonal. It can't be helped - it's innately human. Working together links one soul to another because it requires time, effort, collaboration, and understanding. This twenty-six-year-old Portland bombshell has been with us from the beginning, and over the last few years a friendship has developed as we've witnessed her as a wife, a mother, and an even MORE beautiful woman! Her drive, her heart, and her ability to get her body back in front of the cameras a month after giving birth left us completely speechless. We had to know more about this gorgeous girl, and we know you do too! The following is our interview with the amazing Kori Isfeld:
KiraGrace: What made you want to become a model, and how did you get there?
Kori: I started modeling as a child and then began traveling internationally in high school. I took a break to obtain my bachelor degree in business. Soon after that I started modeling again and realized it was my gift and passion. It truly is the best job!! The part of my job that I enjoy the most is meeting new people everyday!! It also pushes me to stay healthy and fit!! My main goal in life is to be an inspiration to my children and this absolutely encourages me to push myself and be a good example!
KG: Now models aren’t just pretty faces, they are often their own brands. What would you say is your brand and/or how are you branding yourself?
Kori: Wow, tough question! You're absolutely right though. Models are not just pretty faces. A successful model has to be professional, nice to work with and comfortable with who they are! I think the reason I have been successful in what I do is because I continually remind myself how blessed I am to be in a job I LOVE! I also just try to be me and not anyone else!!
KG: What is the difference between fitness modeling and fashion modeling? Have you done both? Which one do you like better and why?
Kori: Fashion modeling is a little more "strict". As a child I was a fashion model. I walked runways in Korea, Japan and Singapore. On set it was much more serious. It wasn't until after college that I even knew about fitness modeling. I never realized that there was such a huge market in my own back yard. Fitness modeling is so much fun!! I have been on set in a sports bra while it's snowing and in 90 degree weather in a parka. You never know what your going to get with fitness modeling!! What I love most though is the fact that you're expected to be healthy and fit! This is inspiring to women. Strong is the new skinny!!
KG: For a woman who’s dedicated to fitness and health, what do you look for in your performance apparel?
Kori: I look for something that motivates me, something that I feel good in!! I love Kira Grace because not only is it super comfortable to work out in but you can leave the house and look in the mirror and think, "Wow I look good."
KG: Do you practice yoga?
Kori: Yes!! It truly helps me stay focused on the present and enjoy every second with my little girls!
KG: As women, it can be very difficult to feel pretty and comfortable in each of our own skin. How do you navigate the pressures of an industry that demands perfection? And how would you define beauty and what it means to be beautiful?
Kori: As a young woman I was told I was too fat, had too wide of hips, I was too skinny, I had too small of hips. This industry is definitely hard to work in and you have to have a strong sense of self! Thank God I grew up with an older brother who taught me to defend myself and be tough. I have never let anyone else's perception of me get in the way of my own happiness. Confidence is what makes a woman beautiful! I tell my girls everyday, "You are beautiful, strong, courageous and capable of anything." Truly believing these things is what makes one beautiful!
KG: What would you say to someone struggling with their body image?
Kori: I think we all at some point struggle with insecurities. I would encourage everyone to love themselves. I have many scars and blemishes especially after having a baby but it's those imperfections that have given me my greatest joy! No one is perfect. We are all beautiful in our own unique way.
KG: How does being a mother affect your line of work?
Kori: Before I was a mom I didn't really have a work life balance. I was available wherever and whenever! Since having my two girls, 2 years old and 6 weeks old, I have learned this balance. I cannot take every job that comes my way anymore. Being a mom is my number one priority now. It's my full time job. Modeling is my part time job. I am so blessed to be able to enjoy both!
KG: You just gave birth to your second child and then a month later you were back in front of the camera modeling for the KiraGrace spring photoshoot… and you look absolutely amazing! What’s your secret!?
Kori: During both my pregnancies I worked out 4-6 days a week! Working out during pregnancy not only keeps you healthy but it also keeps your baby healthy! The added bonus is it's easier to bounce back after birth! In late 2014 or early 2015, I am launching a workout program called Baby Bump Pump! I cannot wait to help other expecting mothers in this exciting time in their lives!
KG: What advice would you give to pregnant women who are trying to stay active and fit?
Kori: First and foremost listen to your body! I think it's so important to be in shape before hand so that your pregnancy is easier on your body! Your body is already working so hard for that precious little baby inside! Stay active doing things that make you feel good and that you enjoy doing. I believe it's very important to stay active during pregnancy for the health of both Mom and baby. I don't think it's a time to "get fit" or ask anything over and beyond of your body. Lastly, love yourself and that bump because it goes by way too quickly!
KG: You epitomize the heart of KiraGrace. You’re inspirational, you’re a hardworking woman who deals with hard issues, and yet joy exudes in every single one of your photos. What is one of the greatest joys in your life? What is one of the hardest challenges you’ve faced and how did you overcome it?
Kori: The biggest challenge in my life was becoming a mom. There is so much worry that goes along with being a parent. Along with worry you learn quickly what selflessness means!! My faith has taught me to let go of all worries. Yoga has helped me stay in the present and enjoy every second with my little ones. Although becoming a mom was my biggest challenge it definitely is my biggest JOY! My husband along with my children bring so much love and happiness to my life. They are the reason I smile!
KG: We want to know how you met your husband!
Kori: I met my husband my junior year in high school. We definitely were not high school sweethearts. We actually were both dating other people when we met. Years later we ran into each other at a church we were both going to. I remember watching him walk in late and immediately telling [my girlfriends], that's my husband!!! One year later we were engaged. I believe everything happens for a reason. God's timing was perfect!
KG: What/who inspires you?
Kori: There are so many people who inspire me, it's hard to pick one! My parents are definitely the most influential people in my life. They have sacrificed so much in raising me and I truly aspire to be more like them. Another thing that inspires me is anyone out there going through struggles and being able to keep an optimistic and joyful heart! Their strength encourages me and reminds me to stay thankful!
KG: What is your favorite KiraGrace item and why?