Bold Beautiful Perfect: Annie

Bold Beautiful Perfect

Annie, Bay St. Louis


“Despite being abused in my previous marriage and constantly told how horrible I looked, I knew that I was someone that I was proud of.”  – Annie


Tell us about yourself, Annie!

My name is Annie Sanders and I am the Founder and Executive Director of Safe Haven Center for Domestic Violence, which I founded and launched in August of 2017. It is my mission to assist victims of Domestic Violence and their children. I have dedicated countless hours and worked hard developing relationships and partnerships throughout the communities here on the Mississippi Gulf Coast in order to serve victims of domestic violence, while advocating to prevent it. This mission is near and dear to my heart because I was a victim of domestic violence. I have an extensive background working in the government administration and finance industry. I am also skilled in banking, public speaking, business strategy and financial analysis. I am a proud mother of a beautiful, talented and smart daughter, Dora Lou.

How did you come to understand your inner beauty?

I came to understand inner beauty while I was being abused in my previous marriage. Being hurt in such vicious attacks will leave you with wounds and scars that will make someone think twice about their beauty. Constantly being told how horrible you look, be it your weight or any other “flaw” you think you may have that someone continues to point out, using it as a weapon to pierce you. I say all of that to say, this is when I came to understand my inner beauty.

This is all I had to lean on during those rough 10 years. Knowing what type of person I was and the mother that I had become. The way that I had compassion for others, I knew that I was someone that I was proud of even during my darkest times. This is when I was able to recognize my inner beauty and not focus so much on my outside appearance. Which in turn has lead me to where I am today. Focusing on your inner beauty will radiate to your outer beauty instantly. I am a firm believer that people can see your soul or know your energy. When you are comfortable with who you are and the person you’ve become then that energy and your soul will radiate and it is truly a beautiful thing.


This project is all about inspiring women to see their beauty. What parts of your story can you share to help women to understand their own beauty?

My story has many different moving parts and let’s face it, we all have a goal weight or we want certain parts of our bodies to look a certain way. Those things are certainly achievable, but I will say that being a person who has struggled with being “too skinny” or “overweight,” it does not matter what you look like.

I had to find out the hard way that self love is something that is a must especially being a woman. Not only self care that a lot of people talk about, but self love is so very important. Getting to a place of self love and being in good mental health is a milestone that took me a long time to achieve, but once you get there, turning back will not be an option. Not being afraid to step out of your comfort zone and either seek help with a mental health professional or just making sure you take a minimum of 30 minutes a day to reflect and breathe. I know it sounds cliche, but I promise it does make a difference! I only wish it didn’t take 30 years to figure it out.


Tell us about your experience with the photoshoot.

My experience with the photo shoot was mind blowing. First starting with Haleigh making my face into a masterpiece, and then having Lexi style me with her boutique clothing made me feel so special. Brandi’s magical tough with her expertise made me feel like I was a supermodel for the day. Her kind words and encouragement is something that I didn’t realize I needed, but this photo shoot had me on cloud nine and not one person could tell me I was not a super model. I don’t feel like I looked like someone completely different, but what I did feel is that inner beauty was brought out to appear on the outside.

The shoot meant to me more than I can put into words. It was the highest euphoria I have experienced in a long time. It was unexpected that I would even be selected for this project. When I received the phone call that I was selected for the BBP I was beyond shocked that Brandi would select me and believe me I was grateful and honored all at the same time. This experience embodies all types of beauty and I am still excited to be apart of this project.




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Are you ready to feel like a supermodel for a day?

To book your own Portrait Session, contact us through the inquiry form below.


Much love,


Award Winning Portrait Photographer

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Brandi Stage is an international award-winning portrait photographer based in Bay St. Louis, MS. She creates an exceptional magazine-style photo shoot and timeless heirloom portraits for women, men, children and pets in her studio or on location.