WWE Superstar Mandy Rose on Building Her Body, Business and Future
The fitness model-turned-pro wrestler dishes on her entrepreneurial journey.
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Amanda Rose Saccomanno, also known by her fans as WWE superstar Mandy Rose, has made her name known not only inside the ring but outside of it, too. At just 29 years old, she has launched multiple projects, from skincare to a fitness app and even a donut shop — just to name a few. In 2014, she was crowned World Beauty Fitness & Fashion Bikini World Champion. Soon after, Saccomanno's career as a fitness model began to take off and her social media following began to grow, resulting in lucrative brand-sponsorship deals.
I recently had the pleasure of spending some time with Rose to find out more about the secrets behind building a personal brand, launching new projects and what she attributes her overall success to.
At what point would you say your entrepreneurial journey started?
Originally, I was studying early childhood education. I started studying Speech Language Pathology, and it was super intriguing and rewarding to me, because I could work with not only children but people of all ages. While going to college full-time, I was also bartending, waitressing and working at my father's deli. I've always been very independent and driven to make my own money and to achieve my goals. I grew up playing sports and dancing, so I loved staying super active. I wanted to get in better shape and get more involved in weight training. So the timing couldn't be better when a friend of mine recommended that I should do a fitness competition. I fell in love with fitness and the way I was able to transform my body as well as live a healthier lifestyle. From there, I started to grow my following and sign a few different endorsement deals.
How did fitness modeling get you into the WWE?
When I was crowned the 2014 WBFF Bikini World Champion, that helped in getting some attention. I had a small supplement sponsorship and a decent social media following, which I ran all myself. It was soon after that I received a call from a WWE recruiter, who asked if I would be interested in trying out for their reality show, Tough Enough. At that moment, I knew I could become a WWE superstar, but I was a little skeptical about getting there through a reality competition. After I was picked for the show, we filmed for about 10 weeks and I made it to the finals, but I came up short. However, that same night I was offered a WWE contract and a spot on their really series, Total Divas, on E! which was such an amazing opportunity for me.
What was your journey like after getting into WWE?
Everything moved fast. I had to move to Orlando and find a place quickly. After filming with Divas and a couple of years of training at the WWE Performance Center, I was called to do Monday Night Raw. Now I am on WWE SmackDown every Friday on Fox. My schedule usually starts when I fly out Friday morning, get off the plane, go to the show, and then we usually drive to the next city that night. Then we just repeat the same thing. I get to travel around the world with my best friend and tag team partner Sonya Deville. We've experienced everything together since Tough Enough and developed such an amazing bond in and outside of the ring.
What other ventures have you been working on?
Sonya and I started a business called DaMandyz Donutz, which first started as a YouTube series where we travel around the world trying the best glazed donuts and rating them. We now have our own website where we sell clothing and merchandise, calendars, etc. Eventually, our main goal is to open a brick and mortar. I also have a fitness app called FitWithMandy available on the APP store that is designed for all demographics, ages and skill levels.
What advice would you give on branding your social media and to brands about approaching you?
I take a lot of pride in my brand on social media and the other brands that I work with. Social media is an amazing place and platform to communicate with your fans and supporters. I am not only an athlete and sports entertainer, but also have a huge passion for fitness, beauty and fashion, so I am open to many different types of brands. When it comes to brands approaching me, I just need them to be very specific, to the point of what they want and need from me. I also look for brands I can have a long-relationship with rather than taking short-term contracts.
What do you ultimately attribute your success to?
A lot of it came from my youth, growing up with three older brothers, working three different jobs at the same time, having goals and working hard to achieve them, and most importantly learning to be independent. When I worked at my father's deli in Carmel, New York when I was young, my experience waiting on customers and interacting with people all day taught me so many social skills and helped me open up. I was able to chat with different people from different backgrounds, and it shed a new light for me in the sense of being more personable and sociable, which is super relatable in everyday life.