SKYN: You've been described as "Hollywood's new it Girl," by the New York Post, "A modem day Bo Derek," by Esquire, and a "Blonde Bombshell," by Maxim, but we'd love to know, how do you see yourself? If we were to ask you to describe yourself, what would you say?
SF: I'm driven, ambitious, compassionate, passionate, straight shooter, real, loyal, honest, and family oriented.
SKYN: Well that is just fantastic to hear. Sounds like our kinda gal. Having started your modeling career at only 8 years old, you've spent nearly your entire life in the public eye - how do you think that experience then shaped who you are as a person now?
SF: You have to be careful not to let all that attention get to your head. It's fleeting and to enjoy it while it last but remembering it's not real. It can be tough when you're very young to understand the difference between what's real and who's real in Hollywood. You have to remember that most of all this is not as glamorous as its said out to be. Having strong family values and family and friend support is very important to keep you grounded. Surrounding yourself with people that are real and like you for who you are and not for what you can offer them or what you look like. Taking mini trips out of town and not living in the center of all of it also helps keep things in perspective. I think all in all it's made me a stronger and even more compassionate person in a sense that, we are all just here to love and be loved. People in the business are some of the most sensitive souls I've met. A lot are just looking for attention to fill a void which is being loved.
SKYN: Absolutely. It's incredible how you're able to articulate that so clearly. You've clearly given it quite a bit of thought, and we have to say, we totally and 100% agree with you. Now you recently got into producing with "Beverly Hills Christmas", what was that whole experience like?
SF: I enjoyed the experience but it was also stressful because I experienced the behind the scenes part of finding locations, having actors show up on time etc. it is not easy to keep everything and everything running smoothly when everyone also has their own lives to lead. But all in all it was a great experience.
SKYN: Oh gosh, we can only image. It must have been such a shift. But you seem to have handled it with such grace and skill. Not only can you do that, but you also happen to be a stunning model, a brilliant producer, and an incredibly inspirational business woman - what made you want to take all these great leaps in your career?
SF: I believe the only way a person can discover what they truly want to do in life is having the courage to take those leaps when necessary. For me it was providing for my family and being able to offer them stability. I followed my passions and in turn they turned into successful careers.
SKYN: That's phenomenal. Were you always this confident in all that you do?
SF: Confidence is something you create within yourself by believing in who you are.
SKYN: Definitely. OK so aside from being a model, producer and business woman, we also hear you're the founder of "Perfect 12", could you tell us a little bit about what that is all about?
SF: I founded Perfect 12 because it was hard for me to meet quality singles. I know what you might think, 'oh please, how hard is it for her to meet singles? She must get approached all the time' and you would be correct in assuming so. But the quality of man is what I was after. I wasn't the type to go to bars or nightclubs nor would I trust online dating. Most of my friends and colleagues felt the same. I started Perfect 12 to match people by their wants and needs. To make sure men and women were on quality dates.
SKYN: That's a brilliant idea. And who would you say make up your clientele?
SF: Some of my clients include celebrities, Fortune 500 attorneys and lawyers whose most precious assets are their time and reputation. They’re simply too busy with their respective careers to search for love and certainly can’t risk their reputation online or waste time at a bar. They are looking for quality over quantity in women. I'm proud of being able to offer them this!
SKYN: And we're so thrilled that you do. It seems like such a needed service that is as meaningful as it is rewarding. It's nice how you've taken where you are and what you've learned to be able to create something like Perfect 12. At SKYN we're all about utilizing your platform for the greater good, and we hear you're doing just that with the incredible organization ‘Maria Gruber Foundation'. Could you tell us what the Maria Gruber Foundation is, how you came to be involved, and why it is so important to you?
SF: 'The Maria Gruber Foundation' was founded upon personal tragedy. As I’ve mentioned before, my mother was diagnosed with cancer twice. She survived the first time however, 20 years later, the cancer came back with a vengeance and ultimately took her life. My daughters godmother Farrah Fawcett died of the same cancer as my mom. Colo-Rectal cancer stage 4. Cancer has been a very dominant figure in my life.
SKYN: Gosh we're so sorry to hear that.
SF: I was only 16 when my mom was first diagnosed with cancer. You can imagine the fear and helplessness I experienced as a young teen. I had nobody to turn to and now my sick mother to take care of. I was terrified of losing her and being all alone. I visited all the top hospitals in the Los Angeles area and requested to speak to the top resident oncologists.
SKYN: That's incredibly courageous of you, and so inspiring.
SF: At 16, I worked hard to support my mother and get her the best treatments available. My pain and fear gave me the drive I needed to fight for my mother’s life. There are many charities that help raise money to find a cure but there are none to help family members left behind needing guidance and support during and after we lose a loved one. That is why I founded 'The Maria Gruber Foundation'.
SKYN: That's phenomenal. So what is the vision of the foundation?
SF: It is our vision to provide support to families whose loved ones are affected by terminal cancer by turning the fear, grief and helplessness caused from this disease into awareness, compassion, and support. It is the mission of the foundation to create educational tools designed to help parents, children, and loved ones affected by terminal cancer by raising awareness through education by creating educational tools What to do/say and what not to do/say, removing some of the helplessness that comes with the dreaded diagnosis of being diagnosed with a terminal disease and also providing support to parents on how to communicate with loved ones during this difficult time while they prepare for the inevitable.
SKYN: Wow - truly. We are so humbled to hear that such an organization exists. Is there anything else that The Maria Gruber Foundation does?
SF: We also work to grant families loved ones one last wish.We aim to create a support system with guidance counselors, grief counselors and volunteers designed to help loved ones during this hard time. Sometimes all you want is someone to lean on and our goal is to be that someone.
SKYN: That is absolutely incredible. All of it. Truly. To say that we are completely awed that you have founded such a meaningful effort that really cares for people in every sense of the word, is truly remarkable. And the fact that you had the passion and commitment to found such an organization is a true testament to who exactly you are. A beauitful person and entrepreneur (inside and out) who is as successful as she is inspiring. We'd love to know what drives you on a day to day basis?
SF: I love what I do. I wake up everyday looking forward to what I created. In recognition of this, I was presented and honored by the Mayor of Los Angeles, Mr Eric Garcetti, with a Global Excellence Award in Women’s Entrepreneurship.
SKYN: Well we can't say we're surprised. You kinda are the epitome of excellence. Now that we know all about what drives you and inspires you and what you are passionate about, we'd think it's a good idea to ask what are your three daily Simona must-haves to help get you through the day?
SF: Let's be real. iPhone, money, keys.
SKYN: Ha, fair enough. Alright, what about this one, what are you most proud of?
SF: My daughter!
SKYN: Good answer! Now we know that you accomplished a lot in 2015, but we'd love to know if you have any favorite memories from the past year?
SF: Launching my non-profit foundation in honor of my mom www.MariaGruber.org. My online fashion boutique www.StyleBySimonaFusco.com. Starting a new chapter in my life.
SKYN: Amazing. And now that you've accomplished those what would you say are some of your goals for 2016?
SF: To continue to grow both emotionally, personally and professionally. Keep setting new goals.
SKYN: Sounds like a solid plan. Thinking more long term now, when it's all over what would you like your legacy to be?
SF: I already have my legacy. My daughter.
SKYN: Well that is just the sweetest thing in the world. You really are an amazing woman Simona. Thank you so much for taking the time to chat with us.
www.Perfect12.com | www.StyleBySimonaFusco.com
www.MariaGruber.org | www.SimonaFusco.com
FB: theRealSimonaFusco | IG: simonafusco_official
SPECIAL THANK YOU
Jonathan | Shandrew Public Relations
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