Our latest interview for our "Women Who Inspire" series is a Soleil Blue favorite, Acacia's golden girl, and one of the loveliest humans we've ever had the pleasure of knowing. Brielle Birkholm.
You may recognize her from Acacia's iconic 2015 Tauhani campaign, Instagram. Brielle is not only extremely hard-working and kind, due to her down-to-earth up bringing in Hawaii, but she also has one of the fiercest bods in the game. We wanted to find out from the source herself, what's her secret to being year-round bikini ready!
Read on to find out how she keeps her skin glowing, what her favorite work out routines are, and her diet must-dos.
What is your name, age, sign, and hometown?
My name is Brielle Birkholm, I'm 28, Scorpio, and from Maui, Hawaii.
Describe your hometown. How has it shaped who you are?
I am so grateful to have been born and raised in Hawaii. The natural beauty of the islands and the caring nature of the people definitely shaped how I carry myself every day. In Hawaii, everyone treats each other like family. People take care of each other, they say hello to strangers, and look at each other in the eye while passing on the street. It's the small things that go a long way and I try to carry that with me wherever I travel. We often forget how a smile or simple hello can change someone's day. Hawaii is so special to me and I really hope everyone gets to enjoy the beauty and aloha spirit of the islands.
How did you begin your modeling career? What was the life-changing moment?
I started modeling when I was a lil one in Maui. I was quite shy as a kid and hated attention, so it didn't last very long.
I was much more interested in going to ballet class than having my photo taken.
This all changed when I was about 12 and Guess Jeans came to Maui to shoot. They held a local casting looking for kids and I ended up booking the job! I remember being so blown away by the production and the beautiful models. I think that was the moment that sparked something in me. From there on I continued to model a bit while I finished school and moved to LA with a contract from Wilhelmina Models at 18. The rest is history.
Where is your favorite place you've ever shot?
My all time favorite shoot location was for Acacia on the beautiful island of Teti'aroa in French Polynesia!
Where would you love to shoot in the future?
I am dying to shoot in Greece!
What is your proudest moment as a model?
I think my proudest moment as a model was the Acacia campaign and video we shot on the beautiful island of Mo'orea in French Polynesia, Shot by Olivia Malone. I've never felt so free and peaceful shooting in all my life. I've known the owners Naomi and Lyndie for years, and to create such a beautiful campaign together in such a beautiful place was so precious to me.
CHECK OUT BRIELLE'S UNDERWATER ACACIA SHOOT BELOW!
Describe your personal style.
My style really depends on my mood. Some days I'm a total tomboy and some days I'm a full girly girl. Either way comfort is always key to me. I try to just keep things classic simple and chic. Less is more is my motto.
Your hair is so long and gorgeous. Any tips for girls trying to grow it out and keep it healthy?
Thank you! My hair goes through a lot with all the constant styling on shoots. So on my days off I really try to refrain from using any heat on it at all. If I have a meeting or casting I will blow dry the top of my head for some volume and wind my hair into several buns with bobby pins. I do this first before getting dressed and doing my makeup so it can sit and really get a nice wave. After getting dressed I add a little Oribe texturing spray and I'm good to go! I also use a hair mask religiously every week to keep it hydrated and glowing.
What are some skin/hair beauty products you're currently obsessing over?
I have been using Ole Henriksen products on my skin for years. I absolutely love all of there products. I use the vitamin C serum day and night. It's so hydrating and gives the skin a nice glow. At night I follow that with sheer transformation and for the day I use Josie Maran daily moisturizer. It has a great SPF which is very important to me. For my body I recently became obsessed with everything Kopari. The coconut melt has to be the most delicious coconut oil I have ever used!! When I'm shooting I add a bit of the Kopari glow to give me a nice sheen for shoots.
List 5 songs currently on your gym playlist.
Faded - Kanye West
Summer Friends - Chance the Rapper
Really Got It - Jerreau
Needed Me - Rihanna
With You - Drake (ft. Chance the Rapper)
What about cool down songs?
Doesn't Really Matter - Elhae
With Me - DVSN
Love is Always There - Mijad Jordan
What is your go-to workout routines when you really want to sweat it out?
When I really need a good workout I will do the insanity routine. I can travel with it and do it in my hotel room. It will have you dripping before your even done with the warm up! Because I grew up dancing ballet, I find that barre class and Pilates works wonders to tone my body quickly. Infusion Yoga Barre Maui has the best barre class I have ever taken. If you're ever in Maui try out one of Trish's classes!
How do you get ready for bikini season?
In this industry it's always bikini season. Tough life right? :-p I try to stay healthy all year and stick to working out at least 3-5 times a week. When I know I have a big shoot coming up or just need a kick in the ass, I will really cut down on my diet. No carbs after 2pm, no alcohol, and no sugar. So basically none of of the good stuff. ;-)
Run us through your week. What does your workout schedule look like?
I've been traveling non-stop lately so it's been really difficult to stick to a routine! I've been trying to do a yoga flow in my room every morning before I start the day. I usually just stream one off YouTube when I can't make a class. Aside from that, I'm trying to fit in barre class 3 days a week and mix in cardio or Insanity on the days off. Like I said before, barre brings me back to my ballet days. There's a sense of calm I get from a really good class.
Name some of your diet must-dos. Any don'ts?
Eating clean is a part of the job. I'm not always super strict and I try to not be too hard on myself if I slip up on my diet routine. We all need pasta and wine every now and then. It's all about balance and treating your body well. When I really need a reboot I will do the Paleta cleanse or order their meal delivery program for a few weeks to get on track. The food is delicious and it's so easy when you're constantly working!
What advice would give an aspiring model that you wish you had when you were younger?
I was lucky to have had ballet to give me a good foundation and teach me how to deal with competition at a very young age. I traveled every summer and studied with San Francisco ballet and American Ballet Theatre in New York. I really think it set me up to have a good head on my shoulders and try not compare myself to other women. We are all different and unique. No one of us is alike and that is the most precious thing we have. Stay true to who you are and remember there is only one you. If you believe in yourself others will follow. Don't give up. Now aside from all that sappy stuff, one of my tricks to get me through is literally laughing off the bullshit! Some people take themselves way too seriously in the industry and I try to find the humor in that. :)
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
The most important thing for me is to be home in Hawaii, close to my family and friends. Hopefully I'll have a couple keikis (kids in Hawaiian) running around on the beaches of Maui. I feel so lucky to have been raised there and want to give my kids the same life I had growing up. I love the industry I'm in and love helping younger girls getting their start. So, there may be something there down the road when modeling fizzles out. Really, as long as I'm doing something creative and staying true to who I am, I will be happy. :)