By Rachael Lovette
Abigail Ratchford is far from your "regular shmegular" lady boss. Her rise to fame began in 2013 and she has been busy ever since. From modeling and acting to everything in between, this social media maven has been taking the industry by storm, one gig at a time. When she’s not working, Abigail is giving us peeks at her workout, giving us tips on her skincare routine, and sharing teasers from her latest projects.
I had a chance to chat with Ratchford on her career, what her plans and goals are for the future, and why you’ll never see her pay attention to negative comments on Instagram.
You're a triple threat - Model, Actress & Queen of IG. Did you always want to be in the entertainment industry?
Thank you! I always knew I wanted to be in the entertainment industry, but never knew how. Before social media, trying to break into modeling or acting meant you usually needed to be discovered and those stories were few and far between.
What's your favorite thing about modeling?
I’m a very creative person so my favorite thing about modeling is CREATING. By that I mean coming up with a concept, making a mood board, getting the styling perfected, finding the right location, and then seeing everything come together. There are even certain playlists I make for specific shoots. If a shoot has an Old Hollywood vibe, that's going to be a different playlist than something at the beach in Malibu in bikinis. I need to channel the vision I have for the shoot, as crazy as that sounds.
How’d you get started?
I got started around 2013 when I did a shoot while living in Pennsylvania. The pictures from that shoot ended up getting a lot of attention and I began my social media accounts soon after. As they say, the rest is history.
At what point do you think you made the transition from just being a model to now being the ‘personality’ that you are? Did you do it consciously, and how did it change the direction of your work and status?
I think I made a conscious effort to always stand out as more than a model from the beginning. I remember early on in my career, I had a lot of people trying to constantly bring me down and write nasty things about me, basically saying I would never be a model because I wasn't thin enough, tall enough, etc. I remember thinking... Hmmm, that's good because I’m not trying to be a model. Models act as hangers for designers for the most part. I wanted to be a household name who did much more than walk a runway.
What are some changes you have noticed in the entertainment business over the last 5 years?
I’ve noticed a lot more influencers are being cast in movies and TV shows. Directors and producers have realized the power that these influencers carry and the exposure that they can bring to film/tv shows.
We’ve read and seen on Instagram that skincare and exercise are a big deal for you. Can you tell us a bit about a typical workout and skincare regimen for you?
I work out with my trainer 3 days a week, usually doing a variety of circuit exercises, finished with stretching and then 30 minutes in the sauna, then I shower and do my skincare routine:
Wash, cleanse and moisturize, use a facial roller to increase circulation, then I add my vitamin c serum, Hyaluronic acid, and sunscreen. I also apply under-eye gel masks that I’ll leave on for a bit while I'm reading my morning emails. Twice a week I exfoliate, use hydrating sheet masks, and use some devices that I have such as, high-frequency wands, red light therapy, infrared, etc. I do so many different things when it comes to skincare.
What has been the highlight of your career so far?
There have been so many! I'd say that Forbes mentioning me a few months ago is definitely the top of my list. [I’d say that’s a feat - especially since they complimented you for being a social media maven and lady boss]
What’s it like living in LA -- do you get stopped a lot for autographs/selfies?
Living in La is amazing! I do get stopped a lot for pictures, but that happens more so outside of LA like when I travel. In LA, I feel like most of the time that happens to me is at the airport, basketball games, or arenas, and when my Postmates delivery person recognizes me, hence why I use a fake name on all my Postmates and Uber/Lyft accounts. [I don’t blame you - it’s nice when you can get delivery and not have to answer the door because it’s safer]
How have you handled being an increasingly more public figure?
In the beginning, it was a big adjustment. I would be coming back from a long flight- walking through LAX, basically looking like a mess and the pictures would end up online somewhere. Or I would be posting a ton of videos on my story if I was out somewhere with my friends and then when I would be leaving, there would be people waiting outside to talk to me or take photos. Now I’ve learned to usually be aware of that stuff, and if I'm at a restaurant, nightclub, etc, I save all my stories and post them after I leave and am already home.
What’s the main misconception about you that people always assume?
Some people assume that I’m stuck up until they meet me. Then they realize I’m a complete goofball and the most down to earth person ever!
How do you handle negative comments that appear on your Instagram?
I learned to block out negative comments a long time ago. I don't even notice them anymore, to be honest. I take time to reply to the positive ones and then the trolls eventually realize that their efforts to hate on me don’t get them very far.
How much thought goes into each post?
A decent amount of thought. If I get back 10 pictures from a shoot, I look at which one will look the best next to the most recent pic on my page, and I try balancing out full body with face and beauty shots so the aesthetic is balanced throughout my page. The caption usually comes to me pretty naturally, then I brighten and sharpen the pic and post!
How would you sum yourself up in one sentence?
I'm someone who has always been able to turn nothing into something and never let my small-town upbringing or any odds I had stacked against me deter me from pursuing my dreams of making it big.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Happy, healthy, and successful with a few businesses and/or fashion lines under me, traveling the world, doing what I love, and inspiring others.
What’s next for you, personally and career-wise?
So many things are in the works! I have a bunch of new shoots planned with photogs who are different from the normal style I work with, and I just hired a stylist so we can refine my style this year. I’m trying to branch out into more fashion and beauty type things and my latest shoots reflect that. I have a bunch of projects that I plan on launching beginning around Christmas and then continuing until the Fall of 2021. Stay tuned!
What is one piece of advice you’d give to a young model working toward building their social media profile?
Plan plan plan! Make albums of what photogs you want to shoot with, goals you want to achieve, projects you want to launch, planning is everything. Also, do not feed into haters or trolls. Block them out completely and have tunnel vision on your goals. Set yourself apart by being creative and taking risks. Nobody who plays it safe ever makes a name for themselves! It's better to try something big and fail miserably than to play it safe out of fear of failing. Find your niche and go with it, be true to yourself and what makes you “YOU” but also remember to always evolve and keep people guessing.
NOW. Some less serious questions because why not
The most annoying question you get asked? Do you have feuds with other models?
Favorite song right now: Anything from Sam Smith
What’s the one thing about you that no one knows? I’m afraid of clowns [SAME. Clowns at haunted houses are the worst!]
Guilty pleasure? Napping or binge-watching 90 Day Fiance.
Last thing you do before going to bed? Drink tea and brush my teeth.
What’s your top beauty tip? Never go to bed with makeup on.
Favorite fashion purchase? My Designer luggage. Bags are my weakness.
Last time you were star-struck? When I saw Beyonce in concert
Rachael Lovette is the Digital Director at Flower Bomb Media with a passion for everything K-Pop, fashion, model advocacy, and pop culture. Check out her Instagram @kindofvoguish.