Sharina Gutierrez Reveals Her ‘Cheat Codes for Life’ — & How They Led Her To Be a Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue Rookie

If you purchase an independently reviewed product or service through a link on our website, SheKnows may receive an affiliate commission.

It took 10 years for Sharina Gutierrez to be named a Sports Illustrated “Swimsuit Issue” rookie. In that time, the model and mom welcomed two more kids, started a business, and dove into philanthropic endeavors. And after trying for a whole damn decade — and being told the odds were stacked against her as a mom of three — Gutierrez decided to take things into her own hands.

More from SheKnows

Typically, a modeling agency will submit candidates for the issue (just like they would for any campaign, runway show, etc.). Still, Gutierrez decided to submit herself, sending Sports Illustrated a personal video.

“I didn’t show my body one time,” she tells SheKnows exclusively. “I just literally told my story of my journey, like at my heart and how the universe and mantras brought me to that point to self-submit myself.”

So if not her physique, then what was the deciding factor? “I showed them my journey, modeling since I was 12 years old,” Gutierrez says. “… And that grew into me being a mom of three, and how my focus was poured into becoming a mother … and that’s how I got my ‘Yes.’”

Let’s just pause there, because how freakin’ cool is that?! I would (understandably?) think this was at least partially an Elle Woods-esque video if Gutierrez was pitching herself as a swimsuit model. And all the power to her if it was! But nope. After a decade of trying, it was her honesty about motherhood that got her the coveted job.

SWIMSUIT 2024: Douro Valley 
Sharina Gutierrez
 X164456 TK6 
Credit: Ben Watts
Sharina Gutierrez (Credit: Ben Watts)

Even cooler, Gutierrez says her kids (ages 12, 4, and 2) helped her get the job, too — not just by making her a mom, but by helping her manifest the accomplishment. Gutierrez tells us that using mantras has been a huge part of her family’s life for years.

“‘[We would say], ‘Thank you God and the universe for letting mom be the next Sports Illustrated rookie,’” she tells us. “And it wasn’t even announced yet. And every day we were doing this together as a team. So the moment [I found out], it wasn’t just my tears, it was them too because they were going through that with me.”

Moments like these inspired Gutierrez to launch Mama Mantra, a digital destination for families to find resources about incorporating mantras into their lives and to learn different ways to make meaningful connections among family members.

Now, Mama Mantra is launching its inaugural product line, the Mind Full Dining Sets. The 5-piece sets for kids ages 6 months to 5 years include a reusable silicone plate, a lid, a placemat, and a fork and spoon. Best of all: each plate and placemat is engraved with an empowering mantra like “I am a shining star” and “I am made of love.” They’re the “perfect reset button” at hectic moments before school or tiring moments like dinnertime when family members need a boost and a way to bond.

Mind Full Earth Heart Dining Set


Buy Now

­“[After I found out about Sports Illustrated], I was like ‘Wow, this feeling feels so good that it would be almost not right if I didn’t share with the world and didn’t create something that could empower families to also follow their dreams; to also create these deeper conversations and help guide families to reach for the stars,” she says.

Gutierrez’s kids don’t just use mantras to further their mom’s career, she says they also use them in their daily lives — whether it be to calm themselves during squabbles or to amp themselves up for gymnastics class. It was important to her that she teach her kids at a young age that what they say to themselves is what they attract: “We call [mantras] these cheat codes to life,” she says.

(Credit: Sports Illustrated)

These “cheat codes” have gotten Gutierrez to where she is today: A working mom balancing parenthood and entrepreneurship, who wants fellow moms to know they can do the same.

“I don’t want them to ever feel like their life stops because they have children,” she tells SheKnows. “You know, the greatest gift that we can ever give our children is [showing them] that dreams do come true and that they are the sprinkle and the glitter in life that’s going to make you push even harder to make those dreams come true.”

But Gutierrez knows life isn’t all sprinkle and all glitter all the time. There are the sleepless nights and the moments when you can barely form a coherent thought — much less a game plan to overcome the next obstacle. Because every mom encounters roadblocks — be it personally, with their kids, or both — but keeping consistent with mantras has always been worth it for Gutierrez.

“When I’m having those hard days as a mom, especially like those times where I’m like, ‘I don’t know if I could do this anymore,’ I’ve used the power of mantras to help pull me out of those times,” she says, getting incredibly vulnerable. When things get hard, she insists on telling herself that this moment and this feeling is only temporary, and that she will get through it. “Then switch that mindset and say, ‘Okay, I’m attracting this into my life,’ whether that’s a new home, a new job, a promotion, or becoming a Sports Illustrated Rookie.”

Gutierrez shares her greatest advice to other moms: “If you see something that you believe that you can achieve, just because you became a mother shouldn’t be the reason why you should stop reaching for those stars. Empower yourself with these mantras and affirmations every day. And basically be your best cheerleader, because there’s no one in the world that can be a greater cheerleader for you than yourself and your child.”

These celebrity moms all appeared in the ‘Sports Illustrated Swimsuit’ Issue after welcoming babies.

Best of SheKnows

Sign up for SheKnows' Newsletter. For the latest news, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.