We had the good fortune of connecting with Jessica Owen and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jessica, have you ever found yourself in a spot where you had to decide whether to give up or keep going? How did you make the choice?
I ask myself this question often. The fashion industry isn’t easy to break through in. I’ve been modeling for 10 years plus and I’m still at the very beginning of my journey. You will be critized about your looks, treated less than if you’re not popular, and you’ll be easily broken down with no confidence. Two months ago, I went to a modeling workshop and by the end of the class, I was contemplating if I was truly cut out for this and if I should just focus on my day job–giving up on my lifelong dream. I felt like I keep going to these classes, I keep putting myself out there but I’m not getting anything in return. I don’t ever see these people again and I never make connections. Then in that instance I said to myself, ok no more modeling I quit. Tears immediately came to my eyes. As I was crying my spirit keeps saying you can’t give up, you love modeling, you love fashion. Then I went into a panic asking myself what will I do now, how can I change my experience going forward? I recognized that I wasn’t putting enough energy into my modeling career. A lot of my focus was going to my accounting career. How could I expect so much from something I’m not nurturing or watering? It was a tough reality I had to own and take accountability for. That moment of trying to figure out if I should keep going or not became very clear. I’m so passionate and talented, but at the same time, I’m afraid of sharing my calling with the world.
When you’re contemplating about giving something up, really understand the why. I asked myself, why do I want to quit? The answer was because I was tired of getting nothing in return. Then I dug deeper, why am I not getting anything in return? And WALA, it was me holding me back out of fear. I was terrified of really putting it all out there and owning it. When you understand your why and when you’re 100% honest with yourself things become clear. From that moment after the class, I made a vow to challenge myself with giving modeling everything I have. I will be one of the biggest models across the globe and I will change the fashion industry with my trend setting style, creative ideas, and hard work.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
As a model, there’s a lot of competition. There are models everywhere. When I’m on set working, I want to make the encounter an unforgettable experience. I really want to connect with the other creatives in the room. Having a connection with the photographers, makeup artists, and hairstylist on set is important to me. Understanding the vision and bouncing ideas, thoughts, or suggestions off one another is how I align. Work should be fun and exciting. Coming to set with no energy and no knowledge of what’s going on is a turn off, in my opinion. I want to come lively and ready to work. I got to where I am today by not giving up. They say it’s always easier to give up, but is it really? I don’t want to live with regret knowing all I had to do was try. Giving up sounds more painful; knowing you can but choosing to not give it all you got. The world will know that I am a very talented model. My pictures tell stories, and my runway walk exudes presence.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Houston brunches are the best, so were going to a brunch. We’ll go to Lost and found, Taste Bar, The Address has really good food too. Thirteen for hookah, Steak 48 and Gracie’s for dinner. Bisou, Joey Uptown and HBAR for drinks. We’d have to make a stop at the Galleria and some of my favorite boutiques in the city. Go to a Rockets game, have fun at the strip club and turn up at the clubs.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My little sister Diamond! Majority of my family and friends show love. They may say encouraging words, hype me up about my photoshoots looking beautiful, and even share my pics on social media, but no one supports me like my sister. She’s the battery in my back with the extra energy that keeps me going. She helps me creatively with thinking of different photoshoots to do, she helps me with the business side of things and she’s my social media approver. If I post a picture, know she said it was ok to do so. I trust her feedback. I trust her judgement. I trust her eye for things. She’s always cheering me on. She never doubted me. A lot of my ideas have been successfully executed because of her. When I don’t think I can she knows I can and will. When it come to me, she does not play!