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Meet Brittney Sharaun

Meet Brittney Sharaun-a black woman with big Afro hair in a print top, and in a white turtle-neck.

Ashro Model and Ashro Woman

Thank you, Brittney, for sharing your story with us! At Ashro, we believe that being openhearted is truly a brave, generous thing. Every one of us struggles. And the more we tell our stories and tell them with honesty, the more we strengthen and encourage each other toward joy-filled, overcoming lives.

“B” Is for Brittney Before She Was Born

All of our stories start before we do: with our parents, our grandparents and beyond. And Brittney’s story is one that gave her a deep faith and an undeniable calling to make her life really matter.

A smiling black woman in a black sleeveless top holding her little baby girl who has a bow in her hair.

”When my mom was pregnant with me (she had me when she was just 19), she hid me for most of her pregnancy because she was scared to tell her family. She was scared to even have me. One day, she was sitting in a closet…crying her eyes out…contemplating and considering what she was going to do.”

Brittney goes on to explain that while her mother believed in a higher power, she didn’t regularly go to church and had never had any kind of religious experience. In that dark moment, though, she heard the voice of God…

“He said, ‘Have my daughter. Have her. I’m going to protect you…You will never want for anything. I have great plans for her. Her name is going to be a light. She will do remarkable things…Trust me, and I will never remove my hand from you. You will always be protected.’”

“That was the first time [she] ever experienced anything like that…Literally, it shook her. She told me that story growing up. Over and over again.” This story became a legacy for Brittney. “Just that alone was miraculous enough [for me] to say, ‘Okay, I’ve got a reason. That’s the reason why I’m here.’ I have a very close relationship with God. He’s my father, and I don’t know who or what I’d be without Him.”

Brittney also credits her mother for having courage at a scary, vulnerable time. “She was a brave woman to give me life and take a chance, and there were other options or things she could have done, but she decided to keep me. She decided to embrace the struggles and everything that came along with it. That more than anything inspires me. If she was brave enough to take this task on and sacrifice so much of her life for me, how can I not be brave?”

A smiling, young black girl with pigtails, wearing a white dress and standing in front of a library shelf.
Two black woman on a mountain top, one in black, waving, and one wearing a white jacket.


You know the story of the Ugly Duckling? Well, the ugly duckling wasn’t a duckling at all…she was a swan who didn’t know who she was yet.

Even though we can see Brittney’s beauty as clear as day, there was a time when she struggled with her self-image. Like many of us, Brittney did not grow up feeling like she fit in. “I’ve been 5′ 11″ since the seventh grade…I had a lot of low self-esteem growing up.

A black woman with long hair, wearing a grey sweatshirt with the hood over her head.

“I was really tall and lanky all through school. It’s not fun when you’re not being yourself. When you’re not embracing yourself, when you’re trying to fit in.” It was also hard not having her biological father in her life with all of the questions and feelings of abandonment.

“I know there are many people going through this. It’s okay to feel sad. You don’t have to be happy all the time. It’s okay to feel bad and sit with it for a while. I trust life. I trust God. Everything’s happening for my good. Even the hard things.”

An African-American woman at a skate park in a blue shirt and jeans, holding a skateboard behind her neck.


At a young age, Brittney committed herself to improving her self-esteem and confidence.

A black woman in an Afro, standing on a snowy mountain top in a blue shirt and jeans, making a peace sign with both hands.

“I told myself, ‘You know what, I’m just going to start doing what I want to do. I’m going to start dressing how I want to dress—even if it’s crazy. I’m gonna keep that big smile on my face even if people are gonna make fun of it and tell me that it’s huge. I’m going to just be me.’ It was as simple as a choice, a decision. I started speaking life over myself. I’d tell myself, ‘I’ve got this. I can do it. I’m beautiful.’ I’d tell myself these things over and over again.”

As she was growing her confidence, her dreams began to take root and grow. She started envisioning herself on stages talking to girls, having a nonprofit for the homeless and becoming a successful model. The amazing thing is that after just a year of doing those affirmations, her dreams came into being—even though she started with very little idea of how to proceed. “I was born and raised in a single parent household. My mom worked multiple jobs to support my sisters and me. We didn’t know how to break into the [modeling] industry…The only way that I knew how to start modeling was to get on this big modeling competition/reality TV show…So I made it my goal.”

Brittney accomplished her goal. When she was just 18 years old and still in high school, she got all the way through as a finalist. She missed her prom and her high school graduation to try modeling for the first time—in front of millions of television viewers.

A black woman in a leaping dance pose, wearing sheer, flowing dance pants.


“I’m thankful for all of my experiences—the good ones and the bad. They made me who I am.”

Making it onto the show as a finalist was one of the biggest highlights of Brittney’s life.

  • She achieved her first longtime goal.
  • She met a top model whom she deeply admires.
  • She got the opportunity to learn, do what she loves, and make her family proud.

These were the great things. The experience and what followed was hard. “I went into [the show] very innocent. I thought it was all about helping young models, but really, it was more of a reality show.”

Brittney explained how she was asked questions during filming and then told to say the answer in different ways: “Say it sweet, say it sassy, say it angry.”

At the time, she thought she was showcasing her acting skills. Really, she was giving them material to portray her character in a way that would get more ratings. “I was characterized as overconfident.” In fact, the same affirmations that Brittney had used to help her build confidence wound up making her appear cocky and overconfident on the show.

A black woman in a short mint dress, in a white sequin gown, and in a white off-the-shoulder dress at an awards ceremony.

Who You Are

“The whole world thinks they know who you are, and it’s not who you are.” After the show, Brittney went into a mild depression dealing with it. “I still get some public backlash now, as an adult.” She was so grateful for the support of her family and friends. “My mom went through all the emotions right beside me. When I was hurt, she was hurt. Everything I was going through, she was feeling it all too…

“I know who I am, and that’s what matters. People are going to think that they know who you are. They are always going to have something to say (even if you’re not on TV).”

Brittney may have been eliminated on episode two, but guess what? She has been modeling all over the world ever since.

A black woman with long wavy hair, sitting on a couch, wearing a gray tank top and shorts.

A Calling

“Everyone has a calling. We all have a purpose here.”

Brittney has a heart for the homeless—and she’s had it for as long as she can remember. She tells of a day when she was just 6 years old.

She was with her mom in the city with all of her saved-up money in her small purse. She passed a homeless man and gave every last cent to him. And when they went into a sub sandwich shop, she begged and begged her mom to buy a sandwich for the homeless person outside.

Fast forward 16 years: by age 22, Brittney was giving sandwiches to the homeless on the big-city streets—with her own nonprofit charity, Burgers and Bibles.

An African-American woman in an Afro, sitting on a sidewalk with a homeless older man wearing a hat.

A Leap of Faith

Brittney decided that she was going to take a leap of faith and step out in courage. “I wanted to be brave and do what I could with what I had…which wasn’t much! But somehow when you take that first step in whatever it is you’re contemplating, God or the Universe carries you the rest of the way. Things just came together. Seven years later, it’s been great. We serve Chicago and LA and won the 2016 best of LA award for homeless outreach.”

A young black woman on a street, consoling a homeless older lady in a red and white hooded jacket.

When we asked her if it was ever scary reaching out to the homeless, she laughed and said, “Not at all. Not at all. Not in the slightest bit. I’m not scared. I love them. I have made some great relationships out there. Many know me by name. They are no different from me or you. They just have struggles.

“Their ways of coping are different. They have the biggest hearts. I’ve met more sweet and kind and authentic people out on the street than I have in the everyday world.

“We have had a fight break out maybe twice in 7 years. I know that I’m protected. I know that I’m good. And I know where it comes from. I’m not afraid. We all have that deep, burning passion for something. And I think each of us is called to something great.”

A smiling African-American woman standing next to a table full of toys by a Christmas tree.
A smiling black woman with long hair, leaning over with her arm around an older black woman, in front of a building.
A black woman in an Afro, sitting crossed-legged with other women in a discussion circle.


Brittney is working on a book about confidence. It’s about how to be fully filled. “It’s about honoring yourself, connecting with who you are—flowing in that (and the confidence that comes from that), and fulfilling your soul’s desires.” She also speaks to girls all over America about making smart choices, not losing themselves in social media, and expecting more for themselves and their lives.

Thank you, Brittney. We look forward to seeing you on the pages of Ashro and wish great things for you, your life and your loved ones!


Dear Ashro Woman,

Even though each of us has our own unique story, wouldn’t you say there’s a common thread between them all? Something to do with our hearts? Life is hard, but we are strong. And it seems like the more we listen to and lean into our best self, life comes back and blesses us. Our biggest trials and challenges can become the very things that make us who we are, lift us up, and set us free.

So. We can’t help asking: What are you envisioning for yourself?

Please write. Tell us your story and your dreams in our Ashro Woman questionnaire. We can’t wait to hear from you!


Team Ashro

A black woman in a gray sports bra and black running leggings, standing against a backdrop of greenery.
A black woman wearing a white shorts outfit, standing with her arms up in the air, on a stone wall in front of an ocean.

– Are You An Ashro Woman? –

Compassionate. Confident. Beautiful–inside and out! We’re calling on the sisterhood of Amazing Ashro Women to inspire.
Share your story and your style now.

Comments (50)

Thanks Brittany. Your story has helped me to move forward with what God has entrusted me to do, “launch out into the deep”and “take courage O my soul”. May God continue to bless you and me to bless many others my sister. God speed!!!

Godspeed to you as well Alma. Thanks.

Is this totally Black-owned/or face only?

Hello Mary, we are not black-owned. We are a company who works to strengthen and empower the African American community at large with our ongoing partnerships with black-owned merchandising, marketing, media businesses and designers. Thanks for your question and for checking out our blog.

🌻 what amazing life journey that God bless you and your mom with. The
Struggle to Victory, thank you for sharing your experience with all of us. Thank you is not enough, again thank you, Brittney. Keep faith Alive 😇
Keep the Light Shining Bright!!

Agreed Evelyn! She has had an amazing journey. Thanks for the comment. God Bless!

I am an Ashro woman! I’m passing this on to my daughters because this story moved my spirit. Peace & Blessings to Brittney and Team Ashro!!!

Thanks Kristie! So glad to hear from you!

How does one become an Ashro model? I’m asking for my daughter.

Sure. We work with agencies, primarily Ford Models. You will need to get your daughter’s agency to request us. Hope this helps!

Thank God for such a beautiful life story of how you trusted God, and how he is leading your life now. You are setting a wonderful example for young women. God Bless you.

Hello Elaine, We think so too! God Bless.

What a remarkable story! May your journey continue to be meaningful and purposeful. You are inspiring and empowering others to discover their true, authentic voice in this confusing maze of a world that tries to chart one’s path based upon ethnicity and socioeconomic status. God, our Creator, has so fearfully and wonderfully created each one for His divine plan! Your outward beautiful radiates from within. Remain true to yourself!

Hello PJ, Isn’t she just great?

Awesome and inspiring story! We as women seem to have different yet similar stories.

Hello Karolyn, Thank you for listening and the comment!

Praise God! What an inspiring story…. Be blessed

Hello Barbara, We completely agree! Thanks for the comment!

Brittney! Thank you so much for sharing your story!!

Hello Lynda, Thanks for listening and for the comment!

so awesome to see a beautiful black woman doing awesome things…I am so proud of her…..God Bless…

Hello Tanya, We think so too! Thanks for the comment!

Phenomenal Woman You are Miss. B, May The Work that you do for God’s People Continue with much Success! Be Blessed

Hello Veronica, Isn’t she just amazing? Thanks for the comment!

God bless you! You took the right road down the path of life, where others wouldn’t of chose the WRONG path. Kudos to your mother. You’re so LUCKY to have her, I miss mine every day. You’re blessed. ❤🇮🇹

Hello Theresa, We’re happy you enjoyed her story! Thanks for the comment!

Beautiful story God is great keep the faith and belief he will always be with you

Hello M Smalls, We totally agree! Thanks for the comment!

Omggg Brittney your story brought tears to my eyes GOD is not an ordinary God but an Extraordinary GOD and the miracle of you and your Mother is just awsome.Im so glad I took the time to read it

Peace & Blessing to you both

Hello Tracey, We are so happy that you enjoyed her story. Thanks for the comment! God bless.

Praise God, great story. May God’s blessings and directions always be with you. Stay encouraged and strong in Him!!!

Hello Viola, We agree. Thanks for the comment!

Hi,i love yr story u r right we all have a purposes in this crazy world i wake up every morning saying thank u to my higher power i have had a lot of stuggle in my life and i have learn fr them i. have not figured out what my purposes is just yet but i do the best that i can for now ,it could be just what i ‘m doing and i love it alot , of my family feeding the birds are jut being there if someone needs me. so thank u for sharing.

Hello Vanessa, We have faith in you. We’re glad you enjoyed her story! Thanks for the comment!

I really enjoyed reading your story. May God continue to bless you and your endeavours to be a blessing to others.

Hello Brenda, We’re glad you enjoyed her story! Thanks for the comment!

Yo God be the glory

I love her story of courage, humility, and love. Her beautiful spirit will break down all barriers with God on her side.

Hello Ce, We love it too! Thanks for the comment!

Good luck BRITTNEY may GOD continue to cover you as you continue to cover his less fortunate people. and that he would continue to enlarge your territory and your big heart to do his work. you are his beautiful chosen ANGEL .you have inspired me to keep COOKING and feeding his people as well it gets hard lots of times because I don’t always have the means and I am on disability so it is hard but I make sure that the hungry people around me BRITTNEY you and I should take a BOW because I know that GOD is please with us and so many more people that’s looking out for his people. Good luck BRITTNEY and be BLESS. Gwendolyn.

Hello Gwen, Isn’t she great? Thanks for the comment!

A truly inspiring story, thank you for sharing.

Hello Iyanifa, You’re welcome and thanks for the comment!

Awesome story and beautifully blessed beginnings. God bless you!

Awesome story and beautifully blessed beginnings.

Hello Cathy, We think so too! Thanks for the comment!

Linda Lloyd-Dowdy October 02, 2018
I LOVE ,LOVE the story we need more PEOPLE like YOU

Beautiful, great job young lady. You are awesome. I love to hear about people and the obstacles they faced on luthier life’s journey.

Hello Pinkey, We totally agree! Thanks for the comment!

Great story. Good Luck to you.

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