Supermodel turned entrepreneur Tyra Banks expands her ice cream business

Supermodel, producer turned serial entrepreneur Tyra Banks has launched her first global expansion outpost for her ice-cream company Smize and Dream in the UAE. Speaking to Euronews she said, “the investment office has really kind of given us that like big jump to say, you know what, we're supporting people of colour, we're supporting women and we want to bring them to the United Arab Emirates and to show the world that, you know, you can grow your business here.”

Banks became a household name thanks to success on shows like America’s Next Top Model and The Tyra Banks show. She stresses the importance of supporting other women in business saying, “it's important to put the cameras on us to show other women watching.. you, watching right now that you can do this. You know, but a lot of it is about role models and surrounding yourselves around people that are experts. You're the innovator, but surround yourself with the strategy and the marketing and all of the other things needed to be successful in business.”

Breaking boundaries

Known for breaking boundaries, Tyra was the first African-American woman to be featured on the covers of GQ and Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. She’s worked in the creative industries since she was 15 years old and credits her solid work ethic and ability to survive the modelling business to her mother.

“My mother used to tell me that I'm a product. This is before I was an entrepreneur. When I was talent, when I was a model. And she said, ‘You're a product and how are you going to market that product? You have to understand, products can go stale,’ adding, “So it was a very actually healthy way so that when I got, you know, like, ‘oh, we don't want you for this or that and that’, all of those no's, she was like ‘they are saying no to the product. They're not saying no to my baby. Remember that.’ And I think that helped me to stay sane and to not go crazy in a crazy entertainment world.”

She has advice for new businesses and start-ups and says, “Canvas the market, look at everything, become obsessed and research like crazy. I have this thing where I focus and I can't get out… study and become obsessed. And then nobody can say that you don't know what you're doing.”