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Rising Stars: Meet Raiji Jay

Today we’d like to introduce you to Raiji Jay.

Hi Raiji, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
I am an LGBTQ-identified individual. I have had the unique opportunity to chase dreams that I never thought possible due to coming out. I came out back in May of 2019.

After getting through some life situations and settling down here in St. Louis, in late January 2022, I was able to start chasing my twenty-plus-year dream of modeling and started Raiji Jay Modeling.

I started out by shooting with Josh Manning of Virtual Instinct Photography at the recommendation of another local model that is a close friend of mine. Josh and I had our first shoot and he immediately recommended that I go and shoot with Brittany Munn. Upon working with Brittany Munn, there was an instant professional and creative connection.

After doing my first shoot with Brittany, I realized that her talents were something special and I wanted to work with her regularly. I wanted to work with her so regularly in fact that I decided to become one of her VIPs which gave me many benefits and the ability to create so much more with her.

After meeting Brittany, I started reaching out to other creatives in the community such as Kimmie Jenne of the Moody Boho Boudior and Amanda Holt of Makeup by Amanda K Holt to see if they wanted to work together to make some content because I really really loved their work. After working with Kimmie and Amanda, I was able to set up brand ambassadorships with both of them.

I have been making a lot of content with Brittany, Amanda, and Kimmie regularly. All of which can be seen on my Facebook and Instagram profiles. All of these opportunities and working with these creatives made me realize that I had a lot of content I couldn’t keep up with all the social media requirements of being a model while also running the business side of things.

I did some research and reached out to Sarah Sonntag of SLI Media Productions to handle my Social Media for me so I could focus on running the business and making the content. All the recent posts that have been made on my profiles have been done by her.

All these partnerships have made Raiji Jay Modeling into what it is in such a short time. I have big plans for Raiji Jay Modeling. This is why I trademarked the name Raiji Jay and why Raiji Jay Modeling is backed by an LLC holding company that retains the trademarks, products, and rights associated with the brand.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way? Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
It was a rough road at the beginning because I wasn’t exactly sure how to go about things. I learned everything I know from other models around me, watching the community, and working with the team of creatives I have onboard with Raiji Jay Modeling.

It was very hard for me to build content at first because I was under the impression that I had to focus on one type of look or two types of looks and master those so that I became one of the specialists so to speak in the area. It wasn’t too long before I realized I was starting to back myself into a corner. It just so happened that when I realized this was before a shoot with Brittany Munn when we were getting ready.

We started to do a shoot and just felt like we were being really repetitive because we were focusing on pinup stuff and I wasn’t super versed in Pinup at the time. I had other outfits with me and we decided to throw the original shoot idea to the wind and start over on the fly.

The results from this shoot are still on the way but I PROMISE that they are worth it. It is now a smooth road because I have a great group of creatives I work with and I have brought the right people on board to help me with the business side of things to make it easier on myself.

Wars on not won by the individual alone, but they are won battle by battle with a team.

Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
I operate in an industry a lot of people don’t think much about. I started back in June of 2013 doing Medical Imaging Equipment Repair. What this means is that I go around to different hospitals and clinics in a specified area and fix X-Ray Rooms, MRI machines, CT Scanners, Ultrasound Machines, Mammography Machines, and Bone Density Machines.

I have worked for a number of companies in the industry, most notably my previous employer Hologic which is a national leader in women’s health, and currently Siemens Healthineers which are one of the Big Three in my industry. What I’m known for is being the best of the best. When I was working for Hologic, I was in the top 15% of Field Service Engineers NATIONWIDE.

I was also the number two person on the team here in St. Louis before I moved on to Siemens. From Hannibal all the way down to Cape Girardeau, and Peoria, IL all the way to Kansas City, there is not a Mammography machine or Mammography Dr’s. Reading station I have not had my hands on to install, set up, or fix.

Working for Siemens, I am a Zone traveling field service engineer that fixes mainly Cath Lab equipment. I am in a situation where I’m so good at what I do professionally that my reputation precedes itself to the point that customers that I have not had direct interactions with ask about me. That’s what sets me apart from others.

The other that sets me apart is that I want to maintain my 9-5 working for Siemens while also putting as much time and energy into Raiji Jay Modeling to make it a successful lucrative business that supports and uplifts other creatives in the community.

Who else deserves credit in your story?
Brittany Munn- Photographer
Kimmie Jenne- Photographer
Josh Manning- Photographer
Eric Burke- Projection Photographer
Joshua Manning- Photographer
Amanda Holt- Hair and Makeup Artist
Bunny (Karsyn Cloud)- Hair and Makeup Artist
Sarah Sonntag- Photographer/Social Media and Marketing Specialist

All of these people have helped me create some absolutely amazing content and have helped me get to where I am today in such a short period of time.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Brittany Munn Photography, The Moody Boho, Eric Burke, and Amanda K. Holt

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