By Jan Rahn
It’s such a cliché to say, “small town girl makes it big”—but in this case it could come true, and how neat that would be! What’s even better is that this girl, who has high hopes and dreams, loves and misses her small town while she is traveling the world seeking fame in the modeling world.
The community of Elsie and all of Perkins County proudly lay claim to being a part of the village that raised Carlie Sis, a beautiful 21-year-old who is pursuing modeling and acting, gaining experience and exposure in magazines, department stores and commercials.
“Modeling is something that has always been in the back of my mind, but when you live in Elsie, Nebraska it’s kind of hard to get started,” said Carlie. “I always just kind of thought that if something happened, it happened. If not, I was content with going to college.”
But it did happen—last March, while she was a student at the University of Nebraska, a good friend suggested that she meet an agent who used to work at a big agency in New York called Next. The agent is now based in Denver and when the two met, they hit it off right away.
“He saw potential in me and he has been my agent and great friend ever since,” said Carlie. Revolution Management/Donna Baldin is her mother agency where she works when in the midwest, but they also set her up at bigger agencies all over the world.
Carlie’s first placement was with Wilhelmina Models in Miami, working there last summer and during Mercedes Benz Fashion Week.
She mostly worked on the runway, walking for brands such as Ed Hardy, White Sands Australia, Raisens, Poko Pano, Caffe Swimwear, Mikoh Swim and Inca Swimwear. Carlie also did some acting for a commercial while there.
Then she was provided the opportunity to travel to Auckland, New Zealand for three months as a placement with Red Eleven Model Management.
While in New Zealand, Carlie walked in several fashion shows, took acting classes, performed in a music video, did fashion spreads in magazines, and landed her first magazine cover in Eye Magazine.
Her first paid photo shoot took place in Denver last May, being featured in the July 303 Magazine; and another shoot in August that put her in the October Denver Magazine.
Considered her largest job thus far is a three-day shoot she did in Lake Placid, N.Y. working for The Buckle.
She did a holiday spread for The Buckle, being recognized by many excited Perkins County shoppers who spotted her life-size image on the walls of retail outlets during the recent holidays.
She has also done modeling for Rebel Sports and Sports Authority.
“The best part about modeling is the traveling, meeting new people, and of course, the job itself,” said Carlie. “Fashion shows are especially a blast.”
Right now, she is in Aspen, Colo., taking part in Aspen Fashion Week 2011.
Carlie says her immediate goals include seeing the world and making a little money. Being featured in Sports Illustrated or Victoria’s Secret is her ultimate dream. She and her agent have their eye on the commercial market where she’d like to do magazine advertising for a big clothing line such as Guess.
Having been accepted into the nursing program at the University of Nebraska Medical Center last March, Carlie was forced to make a tough decision—because she got a modeling contract at the very same time.
She said she definitely made a leap of faith by choosing an unknown modeling future over school.
Realizing modeling was probably a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, she said, “I have no regrets and am loving what I’m doing. But that doesn’t mean that nursing or medical school is out of the question in the future.”
“Modeling is something you can’t do forever, nor would I want to,” said Carlie. “While I’m young and have the opportunity, I love seeing the world and traveling. That’s probably the best part about what I’m doing.”
The worst part is being away from family and friends in Nebraska. Carlie is a small town girl and loves everything about small town life in Nebraska. Giving that up for months at a time is hard for her—not to mention the difficulty of the modeling industry itself with its inconsistencies and demands.
In a couple of months she is expected to be in Istanbul, Turkey and then Australia, Europe, New York and Los Angeles.
“I try to just take it day by day,” she said. “The unknown can be exciting at times, but also stressful.”
Carlie can be assured that her caring community is behind her no matter where she is around the world.
She appreciates everyone for their comments and messages on Facebook and in person.
“I’m so lucky to live in such a loving, supportive community,” she said.