Women We Know #32 - Sabrina Sikora
Sabrina Sikora is a Singapore-based professional photographer, model and style blogger. As a model, she has worked with world-renowned brands and was named the “World’s Highest Paid Lip Model” during an interview on The Big Idea with Donnie Deutsch. In 2004, Sabrina began her career as a professional photographer, utilizing all the skills she learned while working with leading photographers in the fashion industry. In 2015, Sabrina consolidated her photography career by founding First Wife Studios Ltd. in Hong Kong’s Chai Wan area, and has worked with some of the top brands and has recently relocated the brand to Singapore. Building on her love of fashion and photography, Sabrina created her style blog at TheFirstWife.com and a lifestyle blog with bestie Katie Kay for msyinmsyang.com.
Do you have a female leader you admire in your life?
I have two- my grandmother and my mother.
My grandmother raised five kids without help while her husband was away for long blocks of time as a pilot. She not only cleaned the house and cooked all the meals but also managed to sew matching outfits for the whole family! Then after her divorce, she put herself through school and became a Registered Nurse and worked nights while she helped to support all her kids and grandkids through college. She is now 88 years old and knitting hats and sewing baby blankets for newborns for nearby hospitals.
My mother had me when she was 20 and was a single parent for the majority of my life. She wasn’t able to give me everything that I wanted but she gave me everything that I needed, even if that meant she had to go without. Her mission was to make sure that I set goals and followed my dreams. When I decided that I wanted to model at age 12 she helped me send letters to agencies, she drove me to open calls, helped me enter any and every modeling contest we could find all because we didn’t know the best path to reach my dream but figured that something had to work so why not try it all. She taught me that I can always figure out a way to reach a goal and that “somebody has to win so it might as well be you”. She never said no to something I wanted to do but rather, “we’ll make it work”. She taught me to think outside the box and come up with creative solutions to problems. She taught me to set my sights on something and not let anyone take it from me. But she also taught me to be nice, honest, funny, and how to talk to people. I hope to be able to teach my kids these same lessons… with her help, of course!
What is the one thing that scares you the most and want to try at least once?
I think having kids was my biggest fear as it is totally life changing and there is no turning back once you set down that path. I’ve not only gone down that road once with Adam Easton who is nearly four years old, but came back to reload for a second round with 16 month old Eivor May, as it has been such a rewarding and incredible experience. Total rush and I highly recommend it. As for those thrill-seeking-hurl-yourself-out-of-a-plane type experiences, I’m fine skipping those. My babies scare me enough everyday just by playing on the playground.
What keeps you going when things get tough?
Plain and simple… my family. Just because things can get hard doesn’t mean I can dwell on it. I don’t have time. Kids have to be fed, bathed, dressed, and schooled which is enough to keep you moving forward. I find that saying one small phrase over and over helps as well. When I was totally sleep deprived with my son (he slept in 45 minute blocks for the first year) I kept saying “All forward motion counts”. And when my daughter arrived and we were transitioning to our new normal my mantra was “One thing at a time”. It can be wildly overwhelming to look at the big picture but
Doing one small thing and getting it out of the way helps to keep me focused instead of dwelling on all that has to be done. My husband is awesome at keeping his eye on the big picture so he handles that while I get down to the minutia of it all.
Sabrina is wearing Thermal Spring Wet Suit
What or who are your style influences?
You can be influenced from all that is around you. Of course, I find inspo from instagram and a magazines but I also find loads of ideas from my close friends (they are bloggers, photographers, make up artists, and designers so that helps!) and also from those that I work with on shoots. The stylists are always great at showing you a trick or two and the models can always make the tricky trends look easy. I also find inspiration from my kids who are not afraid to mix and match. You can pretty much wear anything so long as you have a sleek bun, a red lip, a dark pair of shades, and a chic shoe and bag.
What three values are most important to you?
Having integrity, good manners, and a lighthearted look on life will take you far.
Living in a sunny climate, what are some of your must-haves when it comes to your skin?
OMG… I’m terrible with my skin. My mother and grandmother have gorgeous skin so I think I slack off and rely on my genes maybe too much. I do love the Clarasonic Mia II face brush as it smoothes my skin so retouching is faster and easier. My hair and skin tend to be very dry so I use a good moisturizer and eye cream but other than that not much else. Kiehls crème de corps body lotion has been my go to for the past 15 years as it was always used on set in NY and made my skin glow. I also love the St. Regis manicure and pedicure which skips the polish and buffs them resulting in a long lasting shine meaning I can be lazy for as long as it lasts. Eyelash extensions are another fave as I can just fix my brows and wear red lips and look like I have make up on. Anything that gets me out the door faster is a win in my book.
Katie and Sabrina is wearing Athleisure Vol 3
What is your favourite workout and why?
Kenzai. If you don’t know, now you know. It’s jumping rope and resistance bands combined with clean eating and leads to awesome results.
How do you squeeze in time for workout in between your busy schedule?
After I take my son to school and grab an iced latte I head home and put my daughter down for her nap. Then I grab my rope and bands and head to the gym. My workout takes about 45min-1hr and leaves me crushed every time. I really give it my all as I know that this is MY time during the day. I love listening to non-kid-friendly music and getting any and all aggression out in the gym.
Do you have any special diet you follow by?
I eat really clean when I am in the house- steamed fish and veg with no oil or salt and have had the same breakfast everyday for the past five years (avo toast, a scrambled egg, and sliced red peppers with a glass of milk). I’m one of those people that eats to live not lives to eat so I don’t care if meals are sometimes boring. My weakness is chocolate so I have a piece everyday. Most of my meals are at the house so I don’t feel the need to watch what I eat when I do go out. For a night out I love sushi or tacos and I’m always down to try out any BBQ restaurant!
What do you look for in active wear?
This is easy. A tight fitting bra and pants that don’t roll when I bend, don’t slide when I jump, and aren’t sheer when I bend over. I jump rope a lot and don’t want my clothing to move around as it is distracting and breaks my rhythm.
How many times do you workout in a week?
I usually workout around 3-5 times a week. It all depends on my schedule. If I’m doing a Kenzai program I’ll work out nearly everyday for the duration of the program (30,60, or 90 days). I look at this as training and getting into “fighting shape” even though I have no intention of ever actually fighting.
What makes you want to practice / teach Yoga?
I like to do yoga for the flexibility and range of motion it provides. I like that you can never fully master a pose as you can always be better and therefore have something to strive for.
When did you start doing yoga?
I was really into yoga a few years back and then once kids arrived that changed. The idea of getting dressed, getting to a studio, doing a class, getting changed back, and heading home all added up to be too much of a time commitment so I just decided to do at home workouts and that’s how I got into Kenzai. I do a few yoga stretches at the end of the workout to keep the flexibility. They also offer Kenzai Reach, a program focused on three times a day stretching and yoga flow session, which I did a few months ago and loved the results.
Triangle, One-legged downward dog, and pigeon pose. I also do a headstand after every workout just because they are hard and I like the challenge.
Any tips for beginners?
Work on learning your body and what it feels like when your limbs are in the right positions. Then you can work on the actual deepening of the stretch. It doesn’t matter how deep you can go at first- that will come. It does matter that you have the right form so you don’t hurt yourself and so you can get the most out of each move no matter how simple the move is.