Q+A with Model and Influencer Shima Katouzian

By Iman Sadri

March 12, 2019
These days there are many ‘influencers’ on social media. Seldom are influencers actual paid models and seldom do they have notable blogs and are well versed with a myriad of consumer products. Shima Katouzian is an exception. She is a model, blogger and social media influencer. Shima is the founder of Herosheema.com, a lifestyle branding and blogging platform. To get caught up with Ms. Katouzian, we did a Q+A with her in Orange County, California.
Iman Sadri : Please describe your early life, upbringing and education?

Shima Katouzian :I was born in Tehran, Iran. In a religious and open-minded family. I am a daughter of a mother who taught me how to dream big and how to not cry when things wouldn’t go right. I remember helping my mother on her university projects by the age of 12. She taught basic tricks on learning a new language and that was my motivation to go for five different languages. I graduated in one of them (English) from Tehran University.

IS : Who were some of your inspiration to pursue modeling ?

Shima Katouzian : The fact that I was not allowed to think of being a model, was the real inspiration! I grew up dreaming big, even if it felt beyond unreal. We were living in a neighborhood that people would have talked about my lipstick and how early it was it for me to put myself on display. My mother, on the other side, never criticized my sense of fashion. Even when I was matching too many colors according to what the whole neighborhood or relatives would say. She was encouraging me to wear what I think would express my character. That was when fashion became a meaningful study to me.

ISPlease describe how you got started in modeling and Some of the experiences and highlights

Shima Katouzian : I started as In-House model for many local brands in both Iran and the U.S. Back then (eight years ago), being a fashion influencer or having their own platform for models was not a thing. It was all about who wants you and how you should be for brands to want you. After catching p with strong impacts of social media and having my own online platform. I had more chance to express my true self and my mission of being in this industry. Which worked well for me! I had successful projects with Reebok, Marc Jacobs, Pac Sun and Forever21.

IS : Have there been any challenges? if so what have been some of the learning lessons from them

Shima Katouzian : I am not a tallest girl. I could never keep up with latest beauty tricks, injections or surgeries. I never dreamed of a different look either. But in today’s fashion and beauty industry, not every brand would be a fan of a natural look with real passion. Keeping up with competition is not easy, but I’d never complain about its hardship. Because again, I have a mission and my mission would not be achieved easily.

IS :  Please describe the type of blogging that you do – And the blogging that you plan to to do in the future


Shima Katouzian : Fast Fashion combined with high end. Fashion tips, lifestyle and mostly tutorial videos.

IS: How long have you been an Instagram influencer ?


Shima Katouzian : It is about a year that I am actively working on my social media.

“The fact that I was not allowed to think of being a model, was the real inspiration! I grew up dreaming big.”

IS : Is being an influencer your main source of income or do you also have a day job ? What are some ways to monetize becoming an influencer ?

Shima Katouzian : I do follow my dream in various scales. I am an entrepreneur handling three different businesses. Time management is the biggest problem of mine, not money, but being an influencer and putting your name out there on different agencies and PR lists, needs a budget that not always would be generated by its own income. Probably if I focus on modeling only, I’d get better income, but that would just not satisfy my curiosity in life.

IS : Can you describe Herosheema ? The inspiration behind it ? Your goals / aspirations and some experiences/challenges with it ?

Shima Katouzian HeroSheema is my dream project! I dreamed of inspiration/help and Fashion related sort of projects when I was a teenager living in Iran. Also, when I was working at United Nations, working on refugee cases, mostly from sexual / gender based violence cases, I sensed a similar sadness coming from every failure in every woman’s life. not sharing ! Without bringing any excuses to any cruelty existing in the world, we as women can mitigate the possibilities of such mishaps by simply sharing! Sharing our experiences, sadness, feelings and even the most normal things in our life. Relating such mission to Fashion was not that hard as I could come up with the idea of sharing through art. As every woman, whether an artist or those who’d never touched color pencils, have this art deep down their soul that needs no profession. It can be a feeling on a paper of their whole life. Whether a scenery of a meadow or absolute black sky.

Women from all over the world share their feelings through art and submit them on HeroSheema.com, final art would be used to design various Fashion Pieces and their stories will be sent to final purchaser of such product to keep up with sharing and caring.

IS : Imagine you are 100 years old and you have a Wikipedia page – what other career highlights would you like to see on there ?

Shima Katouzian : Founder of HeroSheema clothing brand. UN Woman Ambassador. Founder of Women Empowerment Worldwide Charity

Shima Katouzian is an up and coming star in the world of fashion and has already built a strong online presence.
Follow her on social media @HeroSheema.
Iman Sadri is the founder of @LASmileMagazine and @ThePersianObserver