Believe... The Wylie Sisters
words | Madison Albee
photography | Sylvia Hardt
styling | Jennifer O’Bannon
hair | Lisa Marie Mode
assistant | Cece Guthrie
When most people think of powerful sisters they think of Kendall and Kylie, or Mary Kate and Ashley, but they probably have never met Bella and Sofia Wylie. At the ages of fourteen and twelve, the drive and purpose they have is overwhelming.
Sofia has been filming a new show called Andi Mack, which airs on the Disney Channel sometime in 2017. “So far it’s been so surreal because my dream has always been to be on Disney and it’s crazy to think I've actually been living the dream,” Sofia told us.
Dancing since she was 5-years-old, Sofia realized her passion for dance was so intense that she wanted to pursue and expand her abilities with more rigorous training when she turned nine. She started frequently traveling to LA, a city known for producing incredible talent, and it only took the budding actress five private acting lessons before she felt ready for her Andie Mack audition.
Sofia was cast for a part on the show, and a new Disney star was born. At twelve-years-old, she has been juggling work, school, and a social life for the past month and a half. Of course having a fun cast around her same age hasn’t hurt. “They always make me laugh and keep me busy, so I’m not always thinking about how much I miss my mom and my sister and my dog,” Sofia said.
Meanwhile, her older sister Bella has been home, working towards her goal of becoming a college athlete. “I started swimming seven years ago, competitively, so I have been swimming for a very long time, and ever since the very beginning, I knew that it was something that I loved,” Bella said.
Bella has swim practice eight times per week, which is more than there are days in a week (yikes). “It's a very rigorous program, but a lot of college athletes have come out of it.”
Bella has also recently been a contestant, and winner, on the Food Network's Chopped Junior. Her dad signed her up without telling her, but it worked, and she got cast. The process took months and included several interviews. But after flying to New York, filming for two days and having a fight with the ice cream machine, Bella managed to win.
While living apart has been difficult, Bella and Sofia both understand that pursuing each of their dreams means they will have to sacrifice. "I know some siblings that if one succeeds, then they get a little jealous, and Bella is not like that at all. She always supports me, always helps me through things…” Sofia said of her sister Bella.
Our dreams lie within our passions. “A lot of kids have so much potential and they could do so much, but they just don’t have the support that I have,” Sofia said. It is so important to find a role model or someone that you can look up to that will uplift you and help you achieve your dreams and goals.
Bella relates to all of us when she describes how social media can give her FOMO (fear of missing out). “I have social media myself, and I find that I am constantly checking it and sometimes I can just be so caught up in it, but then other times I think, ‘Why do I feel the need to keep checking this?’
And when I really think about it, it’s because you see what everyone else is doing you don’t want to be left out, you always want to see what is going on around you,” Bella said. “I think social media can be great; it can get you opportunities that you would never have imagined because you are talking to people across the country. I also think there’s a lot of fakeness that goes on in social media.”
Everyone has a fear of failure, including Sofia and Bella. Even with all they have accomplished, sometimes Bella wonders what if it’s not enough? “Sometimes I doubt that what I am doing is enough. But I think that I have to just realize that I am doing as much as I can and just appreciate my family and how much they’ve been able to help me do what I do,” Bella told us.
Between her dancing and acting, Sofia has put in the work to achieve her dream of scoring a part on Andi Mack. If you do not put in the work, you won’t see results. Sometimes when you’re putting in the work you might fail, a door might close, or that opportunity might not work out. “It’s been a long journey and when I said that you’re going to fail more than you succeed it’s very true. It is really hard to accept failure. And you always want to get 100% on anything, so when you don’t, it's hard. You’ve always got to remember someday you will have your big moment,” Sofia said.