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Katharina Rembi

Smiling is a powerful gesture. It evokes happiness within yourself and to others around you. These days we are more likely to look away from others rather than show a smile because we can get so caught up with our own lives that we fail to realize that a smile can create a spark of positive energy to those around us and within ourselves. You’ll never know what impact a smile can bring to people you encounter everyday – salespersons, security guards, servers, or just plain strangers. It may just be what they need to brighten up their day. As Mother Teresa of Calcutta once said, “We shall never know all the good a simple smile can do”.

To Katharina Rembi, a model from New York, smiling comes naturally. Sometimes though, even the most optimistic of people can lose their smile. To help herself cope with some tough times in her life, Katharina created the Have a Smile Project. Have a Smile is a collection of people’s stories wherein they detail their experiences about overcoming challenges and coming out better for it. Katharina continues her project and has since made it her mission to keep inspiring people. We get to know more about Katharina and her passion project.

Katharina - more than just a pretty face

Please give us a brief bio about yourself and your modeling career?

Originally my family is from Poland but I was born in Germany. Now I live in New York City, where I work as a full time model, influencer and a driver for positive social change. I use several creative platforms to achieve my goals including fashion, film, art, advertising, and philanthropy. In the past 8 years I gathered a lot of diverse experiences through my work as a model globally, shooting for beauty clients from Lancome to Clinique, doing runway shows, and shooting editorials, magazine covers, campaigns and TV commercials. What has always fascinated me the most are people and nature. I am always the happiest when I engage with people or when I am out in nature camping, hiking, travelling. Through international partnerships, movement building, community collaboration, and education, I hope to create meaningful and inspiring action around climate change, gender equality and social justice issues.

Tell us more about your Have a smile project? What made you start it?

I started Have a smile almost two years ago. After some very painful personal incidents, I crashed and lost something that was very important to me: my smile. Because I am a woman that loves to do everything herself, I didn’t know who to reach out to or how to find my way back to be the person that I once was. Quickly I realized I can’t go back in time, nor will I ever be that same person again, but I want to be happy and so I started to take pictures of people smiling, asking them for their stories, since we all have moments in our lives where we had to overcome personal struggle. We grow. Once I started to feel better, I really wanted to share my experience with everyone. Et voila, Have a smile was born. Last year on world smile day, with a lot of help, I was able to put together my first event auctioning some of my f