This time last year, 25-year-old Allie Ayers had recently quit her job as a software programmer and moved to New York. She was teaching herself to sew by watching YouTube videos, with the idea of launching a swimwear line one day. But also around that time, she submitted a casting call video on Instagram for Sports Illustrated’s 2018 swimsuit issue. She ended up beating out 5,000 submissions to become one of the chosen ones for the annual issue.
Ayers grew up in Oklahoma and before delving in coding, she embarked on a string of odd jobs that you take when you’re young: Bartender, spray girl at a tanning salon, an administrative assistant for the Weatherford Oklahoma Economic Development office.
Today, the Sports Illustrated gig has launched her into modeling full time, along with developing that swimwear line — Bissy swim, set to launch this spring. She says she’s still working on how to budget her pay and time, though, something she admits she was never good at.
“The worst part of being a model is it takes 60 to 90 days to get paid,” she says. “Everything’s messy because I’m trying to be all hands on deck to make this work. It’s hard to say. I don’t have a routine for budgeting because everything is so new and crazy.”
Watch the video above.