Andrea Cronberg’s life hasn’t always been nonstop glitz and glamour. Her first job was as a house cleaner. Andrea grew up in the south suburbs of Chicago and started modeling in grade school after a family friend noticed her at a Fourth of July party and suggested she give it a go. Andrea got signed in Chicago and, after stints in Milan, Germany and Miami, eventually moved to New York City.
In her free time, the fitness fan—Crossfit is her workout of choice—is involved in charity events with Goodeed, and she’ll never turn down a Friday Night Lights marathon. Let’s get into it with Andrea and the modeling industry, shall we?
Confession #1: You have to take risks to get ahead.
My biggest stressor is being away from home in Chicago, and the biggest risk I ever took was not going to college after high school. My favorite part about modeling is learning new things and meeting creative people. I come from a small town and a sheltered life. I meet people and see things every day I never thought I would see.
Confession #2: Learn to be resilient.
Here’s the best advice I ever got: You will get a hundred no’s before one yes. The hardest part about modeling is being confident in your own skin, knowing how to take constructive criticism and dealing with people who have no filter and will say whatever they want to you. My greatest strength is my ability to stay positive. Empowerment to me is being confident and standing up for what you believe in. I feel empowered when other people’s words don’t bring me down.
Confession #3: Sometimes, a big break comes down to fate.
I started working with Bare Necessities last fall. I had been on a few castings when I got a call early one morning to go to a shoot in New Jersey because the model they had previously booked had gotten sick. It went really well, and I’ve been working for you guys ever since! I love doing commercial shoots, I love being able to move around and laugh on set and I especially love working for Bare Necessities because I can try on all different brands. I like each one for different reasons, depending on the style of bra. My favorite right now is Calvin Klein.
Confession #4: A good day at the office doesn’t look like most people’s.
My most memorable gig was shooting for Ulta, when I had my picture up on a Times Square billboard. I also loved shooting the Target/Converse campaign. They rented out Coney Island, and we got to ride the rides and run around shooting all day. Every time I see my work out in the world, it’s exciting. There’s ton of work and shoots that I do that never see the light of day, so when something finally gets out there for your family and friends to see—without me showing them!—it’s very exciting. For me, the #1 thing you need to have an awesome shoot is an excited, friendly crew working to some good music. I love any EDM (electronic dance music) song, but this week it’s all about Wicked by Mansionz. I’ve actually been teaching myself to DJ.
Confession #5: Not all models are naturally thin or fit.
I love working out and being healthy. A few members of my family have diabetes and struggle to maintain a healthy lifestyle. I would love to share with people that you don’t need to starve to be thin. You don’t need to cut out certain foods. You can eat ice cream and pizza and still live a healthy lifestyle. Oreos are my go-to comfort food, Diet Coke is my guilty pleasure and Seamless is my favorite app.
Confession #6: Modeling requires extreme patience.
The most surprising thing is how much work goes into the lighting, hair and makeup. It can take hours to get ready for a single look. People think you just show up, get your makeup done, take a cute photo and leave. But really it’s hours of prep time and waiting around. Also, people don’t realize how much time goes into castings and test shoots in order to get work.
Confession #7: Leave the beauty regimen to the professionals.
My biggest regret is trying to dye my hair myself; my worst habit is nail-biting. I feel my most beautiful when I get my hair done.
Confession #8: How you look is only the half of it.
I think every good model needs to be confident but humble. Social media has changed everything, for better and for worse. You can now show the personality behind your photos since you can communicate with your followers or clients, but it can be frustrating when you go on castings to show yourself and your book, and the client only wants to book someone who has a ton of followers.
Confession #9: There’s always more success to chase after.
I already feel like I’ve made it since I’ve been able to make my living off of modeling. It’s more than a hobby; it has become my job. But I would still love to book one more huge campaign and have another billboard somewhere!
Confession #10: Modeling can be embarrassing.
My most embarrassing moment ever on set was when I had to kiss a boy in front of my mom. And you inevitably end up trying to pull off some regrettable trends, like high-heeled gym shoes.
Brooke is the editor of this here blog. In a previous life, she was an editor at Good Housekeeping and O, The Oprah Magazine. Brooke has written for Glamour, Travel+Leisure, New York Magazine and more. She’s into concerts, travel and her exceptionally adorable daughter and husband.