Shanté likes to keep moving. We were inspired by her cool job with a major record label, her energetic triathlon training and her fierce modeling portfolio.
A long road to the music business
After graduating with a degree in industrial engineering from Northwestern University, I worked for a paper distributor for a few years in their operations manager training program ... I learned how to drive a forklift and everything! After a few years, I realized that I wanted to work in a more creative field. I’m a classically trained flautist and all of my extracurricular activities have always been in the arts. So I went to Columbia College Chicago where I eventually graduated with a masters in arts management and moved to New York City to pursue my career in the music business.
Personal music taste
I gravitate toward R&B, but I really like a lot of the dance music that’s out right now. Honestly, I like anything that makes me move.
At a company retreat a number of years ago I got to see employees-only performances by artists ranging from Lionel Richie to LL Cool J and everything in between! And in my role there, I also got to meet the musicians occasionally. But my primary responsibility was within the research department at the label, so I was mostly behind the scenes providing analytics for senior level executives.
Most revealing modeling job
A Breast Cancer Awareness Month photo shoot for Essence where I was the featured model. I was mostly nude, with my hands strategically placed. It was the best because I had to totally step outside my comfort level and deliver great images regardless of whatever insecurities I was dealing with.
I enjoy the cross training aspect of the sport. I get bored really easily, so just one type of event didn’t appeal to me. Swimming, biking and running made training enjoyable because I was doing something different every day. Plus I love saying I’m a triathlete!
Beverly Johnson, Salma Hayek, Queen Latifah, Jill Scott, Penelope Cruz, Charlize Theron, Hilary Swank, Sanaa Lathan.
On feeling beautiful in your own skin
Don’t become obsessed with just skin. Our beauty stems from a much deeper place. We need to cultivate our creativity, engage our minds and move our bodies. What we see on the surface is just the physical manifestation of what’s going on inside.
Get to know Shanté
What is your all-time favorite beauty look?
I prefer bringing out my natural beauty. Anything you do should enhance, not distract, from what’s already very attractive about you.
What do you like to cook?
I love baking gluten-, dairy-, soy-free chocolate cakes! Now, one might assume such cakes would taste awful, but they’re surprisingly delicious. I’m insulin-resistant, so after searching for desserts that won’t spike my insulin, I came across a recipe that looked delectable. After a few tweaks, it’s my specialty.
Do you speak any other languages?
I speak some Spanish. Although my attempts might cause native Spanish speakers to cringe, my accent is pretty good. I just haven’t reached the point where I think in Spanish first, so it takes me a while to get my words out.
Most exciting place you’ve ever traveled?
I went to Paris a number of years ago, and I’ve been trying to get back ever since.