Photo credit: The Mitch Look
Iyanni Pradia has something special.
The words gifted, child prodigy and old soul come to mind when you meet her.
Her mother recognized early on that there was something unique about her young daughter. “When she was 2 years old and was sitting at her little green table, with my shades on, drawing, she said, ‘Mom, I gonna be better than Bonsay.’ She was trying to say Beyoncé, shares her mother Lisa Pradia.
An intuitive mother, Pradia recognized her daughter’s presence and personality and immediately began to nurture her spirit and talents. “I let her know she can do anything she wants to do and enrolled her in modeling school,” shares Pradia.
Her commitment to supporting and encouraging her daughter was more than lip service for Pradia who took a leap of faith and moved to Los Angeles to allow her daughter to pursue her dreams.
Now back in Houston, she has no regrets, and is amazed at the doors of opportunity that are opening for her talented daughter.
The pair credit God for placing key people in their lives that have embraced and are helping to nurture her talents and vision.
“I thank God for the countless people who kneel down and let me stand on their shoulders, like Kim Baynes and her daughter, Victoria Baynes Lopez, who has my side on Saturday mornings on KCOH, and all the Chris Tucker’s who promise to put their foot in the doorway so I can get in,” said Iyanni.
The pint-sized little girl, with an unusual mix of humbleness and moxie rolled up in one, will tell you that she hasn’t ruled out being President one day, and when you hear her, something inside of you believes in the possibility.
But setting all dreams for the future aside, Iyanni’s “present” is amazing and a dream come true.
At the age of 11, she has already begun to take the world by storm as a model, actress, kid’s talk show host and fashion designer with her own clothing line.
She has appeared as herself in the TV series documentary, “Nathan For You”, and played the role of “Chelsea” in the 2012 independent film, “Showstopper”, and recently finished filming the first of 13 episodes of a series for PBS.
She debuted her The Imp First Edition designer fashion line at the Big Girls Rock 2 Fashion Show and will host her own fashion show in November, The Imp Experience Presents The Holiday and Winter Collection.
Oh, and if that were not enough, she was recently asked to design two garments for a movie that takes place in the 1800s.
To say she is in high demand would be an understatement, so much so that she has already garnered the services of ThinkZilla,a nationally recognized public relations and branding company located In California and Atlanta with headquarters in Houston that has signed on to handle her public relations and brand development.
Iyanni also has inspired her mother to realize her own dreams of starting her own fashion accessories line.
“She has told me ‘Mom, you have got to do it because you keep coming back to the idea, and you know God is only going to bring the idea to you so many times and then he will give it to someone else,’” shared Pradia.
Lisa Pradia calls it a “beautiful journey” to watch her daughter come into her own, and be so sure of herself and her direction.
“It is as if she has been here before,” shares Pradia. “She is “ON” from the time those little feet hit the floor until she goes to sleep.
But whether watching Iyanni borrow her clothes and high heels to go down a makeshift runway, saying, ‘One day people everywhere will be wearing my designs’ or listening as she practices her Academy, Oscars, Tony and Grammy Awards speeches – which she does often – of one thing her mother is sure – she will be behind her daughter every step of the way.
Pradia calls it a priceless experience to be able to have a front row seat in embracing and believing in Iyanni’s dreams as her daughter boldly speaks her vision for the future into existence, and can only imagine the excitement of one day seeing those hopes and dreams become reality.
“Iyanni’s passion keeps me up at night and her drive gives me the passion to keep moving to assist her in all of her endeavors.
“I am truly clear as to my purpose here and don’t feel I have made sacrifices, and if I have, I would do it again. Besides what do you really sacrifice when you know you are in the presence of GREATNESS,” shares her mother.
As Iyanni continues to work hard in fulfilling her dreams, she pauses to share a word of encouragement with others.
“Always put God first, be yourself, and never ever give up, because anything is possible.”
For more information, visit www.iyannipradia.com.
Fun Things To Know About Iyanni
Dreams of Meeting: Oprah and Tyler Perry
Favorite Toy – Monster High Dolls
Person She Most Admires – Her mom
(“Because she is strong and when people tell her NO, she will find a way to make it happen. NO doesn’t live with her.”)
Person She Would Like to Be Like – Lupita Nyong (“I feel like I can be just like her because she just broke into the industry and that’s hard to do.”)
Personal Motto – To Whom Much Is Given, Much is Required