Lillian Knipp Modeling Development has been molding talent since 1990.
I started modeling when I was 16 years old. I attended Barbizon Modeling School of Tampa Bay, won the scholarship for the APP class, and then started my career in the surrounding areas. I became an instructor for Barbizon for several years, then moved to the West Coast. There, I created
Lillian Knipp Modeling Development. It has been quite a journey to experience the Fashion and Modeling Industry from Coast to Coast. Watching our students evolve, mastering their skills as they conquer their dreams has been a blessing.
Our students have been signed from NYC, Tampa Bay, and LA.
We remain connected with the national agencies, giving our students a tremendous opportunity for their future.
About our programs, they are truly life-changing. We dig deep into our students' inner being, finding out who they are, their dreams, and how we can perfect their skills to succeed. We first teach inner self-worth, confidence, etiquette, professionalism, and direction. We then proceed to the technical skills. Molding the person first creates a strong foundation to build on.
Our program is unique, creating a personalized path for each student.
We center the training focus around their individual talent.
This allows them to master their interests and career strengths.
Our Alumni Membership is an ongoing program that gives our graduates
access to LK classes, training, events, and job positions, creating
a professional community that keeps their skills current.
I have developed one of the best curriculums in the industry that is detailed,
fun and remains updated as the industry evolves.
We have been blessed to have built and continue to build lasting relationships with our students. They are scattered abroad and from Coast to Coast.
It is truly a joy to watch them evolve, mastering
their skills as industry professionals.
All things are possible when you discover your passion and make it happen.
"The first step to self-confidence is to know and love yourself." ~ LK
"We would love to have you join our circle of excellence and would be honored to assist in building your dreams!" ~ TEAM LK
I was raised by amazing parents who not only introduced me to business strategies, but most importantly taught me character and biblical principles. Growing up, I was a busy child from fourth grade girl scouts through sixth grade cheerleading, volunteering for American Red Cross, participating in wheelchair square dancing at the Florida Strawberry Festival, as well as visiting nursing homes often.
I continued participating in sports throughout school with track and field, soccer, and cheerleading. Held positions in many service clubs, including Key Club President my senior year. I structured fund raisers, held meetings, made decisions, and created a union of friendships in a peer pressure environment. To build my resume, I auditioned and became a finalist for pageants like Ms. Florida Strawberry Queen, Ms. Florida, etc. At sixteen, I attended Barbizon Modeling School, which upon completion, I received the advance professional program scholarship. I then became a Barbizon modeling instructor. During this time, I also performed modeling jobs for various clients in the Tampa Bay area. This led to the creation of my own modeling academy. I was a fashion show coordinator for several malls and performed seasonal fashion shows, demonstrations, and mannequin modeling. This gave the opportunity to share my experiences with the models and my students.
At the age of 16, I became a certified aerobics instructor and continued teaching and competing throughout my adult life. I produced my own aerobics and fitness tv show as well as a makeover show titled, "High Jack Hair TV". I performed countless infomercials, along with writing and hosting a radio advice show.
In addition, I also worked in the hospitality industry. I fell in love with the people, the flexibility of my crazy schedule, and the success of the industry. I was employed by the Brinker Corporation and gained a tremendous amount of knowledge and experience. I then pursued to study hospitality brand theories and was intrigued by their level of excellence. During my travels, I continued to explore and learn throughout my life. The hospitality industry became a part of my essence!
After graduating High School, my family moved west. For a brief time I attended college studying in business, but then realized that my passion was to build my dream. Immediately, I started to build pursue my aspirations.
While working in the modeling industry, I realized my adoration for beauty and fashion. I went to a cosmetology institute and became a certified hairdresser at the age of 20. This was the start of all my travels and training, building knowledge for the industry, which fueled my passion.
At 22, I designed my first salon and continued to build my dream. I traveled, trend-watched, and trained with the best of the best in the industry from coast to coast. The West Coast style was much different than the East Coast style. It was fascinating learning new techniques, which transpired in creating my own signature style of design. I quickly became well known for my signature blueprint concept, customized style of design, and guest super service. I was on fire, and this ignited my passion even more.
In the 1990s, I traveled to New York City for the first time. I instantly fell in love with it. I was a certified Redken Master Artist and attended several symposiums and classes. It was truly the time of my life!
I began hosting signature hair shows for my communities, bringing the show to the guests. The presentation was not only educational but brought people together. It created a sense of glam and beauty for everyone. We displayed the latest trends, giving the guests an opportunity to be a part of the fashion world. This also helped a great cause, as the admission fee was donated to a local charity.
I opened my second salon in Florida and brought the NYC style with a smile! The 1990s were truly epic. The amount of knowledge and growth that happened in that decade was the opportunity of a lifetime! I am blessed to have been a part of it!
The 2000s crushed the epic era of the 1990s. Y2k, the turn of the century, the new millennium, all things modern came to life!
There was so much evolution in the 2000s. I continued to write lifestyle columns for several publications and our own.
Two additional locations were opened in Florida. The style & lounge concept was birthed, as well as a full spa & fitness center. The YAI YAI product line also launched, offering mineral makeup, hair care, skin care, perfume, body care, and nail care.
Through the years, as people came to know the YAI YAI concept, they were amazed by it. Guests and colleagues around the world referred to YAI YAI as “Unique!” We applied for our first trademark, which was approved. This gave us national protection for our name.
I continued my training and acquired many certifications specializing in Sebastian L.A., Sebastian Make-up Artistry, Redken Certified Artist, Redken Master, Redken International Symposiums NYC, International Design & Colour for Jingles International NYC & London, Toni & Guy, Vidal Sassoon, Ruth Roach, Graham Webb London, Tressa, International colorist for Beth Minardi and multiple brands, Chi Certified, Mizani Hair Straightening, Global Keratin, Crew Barbering, Revitalash, Olaplex, Raquel Welch Pieces and Extensions, Hot Heads, Top Secret Pieces and Extensions Certified L.A., Hair Replacement Vendor, Spray Tanning and more. I also had the opportunity to join the Redken Artistic Team NYC and decided to build my own label and expand.
The body blueprint concept had evolved from many years of being on the runway myself and attempting to fit models with clothing that just did not sculpt the body. With my fashion books in hand, I started to sketch exactly what each body type should be wearing. I discovered that the figure flaws spelled out my family nickname. This is when the YAI YAI blueprint concept emerged. The fashions were unimaginable when I attended Mercedes Benzes Fashion Week in Bryant Park, NYC. Artsy but not wearable for the average person. I felt a calling to create clothing that makes people feel beautiful, sexy, and unique. Celebrities may fill the room at fashion week; however, it's all just a big show. Some of the attendees I met were celebs like Paris Hilton, Joe Pesci, Bernadette Peters, and others…Star Struck!
The 2010s were a bit diverse. The early 2010s seemed to play catch up after the housing market crashed. It was a time of new beginnings. An era to reinvent and recreate yourself. That's what we did at YAI YAI.
As we continued to evolve, YAI YAI became certified by the Florida Board of Education as an academy for cosmetology and modeling. I persisted in building out the YAI YAI Corporate Head Quarters infrastructure to prepare for our national launch. This played a big part in our 2010 mission. We rewrote the entire YAI YAI business plan, perfected all business processes, filed for the protection of all of our intellectual property, and did a clean sweep throughout the entire brand.
We went through a rebranding process, came up with a fresh new look, and applied for additional trademarks. We also proceeded to redesign the YAI YAI product lines with our new image. Our headquarters location received a fresh new look with a modern flare. We remodeled, choosing new colors and textures to be used in our new store build-out. It gave an organic, clean, and modern minimalist vibe. It was a big hit!
I traveled to so many places and attended several shows. From Las Vegas to New York City, the runways were hopping. From ombre to balayage, pastels, grey blonds, beach waves to the lob, messy top buns, side braids, ponytails, and long bangs, they were all the got-to haves of the 2010s!
At the beginning of 2020, everyone became more thankful for all of their blessings! As we moved past difficult times, we continued to evolve into this new era.
At YAI YAI, our additional trademarks were approved, and we moved forward with finalizing the design of the new product lines and YAI YAI locations.
We continued to complete my personal brand, finalized the logo, and filed for the trademark. I decided to endorse several of my favorite product lines to display on my LK website. These will vary from beauty to fashion to lifestyle products.
In addition, we finished our industry brand, YAI YAI Uni Hairdressing University of British & French Design, and Lillian Knipp Modeling & Development. This is an educational platform, a store offering the best of the best industry tools, as well as a forum for students and professionals to share creativity and overall industry knowledge.
We are super excited to finalize our 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, ONE SOCIETY. We are currently building our board of directors and chapter leaders. Feel free to check it out on Facebook or onesotietymission.org.
Last but never least, our empowering mission, Omega Eta Sigma, was finalized, and we received the 501(c)(3) status. This sisterhood organization is a society of women who impart beauty, confidence, and purpose.
We plan to change the world with our gifts, offering style services to the less fortunate and fundraising for scholarships for aspiring hairdressers to network with students and professionals while having the time of our lives.
So here is to the rest of 2020: the best is yet to come! Cheers to health and happiness!