August 22, 2018
No Rain, No Flowers is the motto delicately inked on the wrists of Kiwi model, health and wellness advocate, and all around badass Jessica Quinn. It's a gentle reminder that beauty stems from gloomy times and if you're tough enough to withstand that bad, you will always be able to turnaround and see what's good. Jessica is a positive force with a heart of gold. Read through the interview to learn about her battles, see how she conquers, and the steps anyone could use to find strength & show up.
Congrats on signing with Natural Models! They are a wonderful agency in the way they truly see women for who they are inside an out. They truly empower their talent by implementing inclusiveness and community in their approach. What do you think about your place in the agency as well as how it will push the envelope in the world of marketing?
Thank you! It’s really exciting. It’s been really great to get to know the team, some of the models and gain a broader understanding about what they’re all about. It’s already been hugely inspiring for me to be a part of a company who is so genuinely passionate about making change in the industry, and in the world. In a way, I bring something different to the agency in the sense that I’m the only amputee model on their books. In a big picture sense, I’m helping to normalize the scope of diversity. Natural Models represents girls wanting to push the boundaries in the industry and whether I have one leg or not I’m diverse, we are all diverse. I want to challenge the industry to use people like myself without having to make a statement about it. I’m just a girl, a model, a human and the more images of people like myself are used in mainstream ways then the more normal “diversity” will become. I don’t believe “diversity” is something that needs to be fussed over, it’s just become this way so I’m going to do everything I can to challenge people on this. We don’t need big “we support body image” campaigns to address this issue, we just need more and more people using everyday people in the their campaigns.
You also won third place in Dancing with the Stars NZ this past year! What a feat. Congrats girl! What is the biggest things you’ve taken away from that experience?
Thank you, that was a really life changing experience for me. One thing I learnt is that EVERYONE can dance because believe me, I never thought I would be able to and here we are, haha. Beyond that, Dancing with the Stars gave me a platform to show people (and myself) that we can literally achieve anything we set our minds to, regardless of our circumstances. It’s inspired me to keep spreading this message!
You have grown into an influencer / entrepreneur because of your ability to show up with strength, inspiration, and light in whatever you do. Your taglines “Be Kind. Be You.” and “Showing cancer who’s boss since 2001” tell that perfectly. Could you share with others what it means to show up?
Aw thank you for the kind words! “BE” has always been a word I’ve loved, something I wanted to live my life by and something that I think sums up what it means to show up. I guess for me I learnt really young how short life is, so I don’t want to take anything for granted. I was one of the lucky ones to get a second shot and being here so I take every opportunity I can. Dancing with the Stars is a perfect example of that, I initially said no because I was SO scared of Dancing on national television but a huge driving factor that encourages me to “show up” is that I can have the opportunity to inspire people (we all can) so I keep that in mind with every decision I make. I go through two stages, 1. Will it better me as a person? 2. Will it inspire others?, if the answer for at least one of those questions is yes then I have to show up!
Quick tip on how to Hustle Smarter:
Something I learnt when I went out on my own is there is a huge difference between busy and productive. It’s easy to get the two confused. For me, being busy doesn't make me feel like I’m getting places unless I’m actually productive in what I’m doing. Everyday is different for me, but each day I set tasks or to-do lists that I want to get through. Sometimes these tasks take 10 minutes to complete and other times it takes all day, but it’s about focusing on getting the task at hand done and not faffing around feeling “busy”. Also, finding balance helps me a ton. This is important for me because as an entrepreneur, I can often just work, work, work because there’s always something to do. However,I find I’m much more productive when I am balancing my day with other things that are important to me like my friends, family and exercising.
I love that you mentioned your awareness between busy and productive, as well as the importance of making time for yourself as an entrepreneur. Do you have any tips or hacks on productivity? How do you keep yourself accountable on getting through your to-do list without getting sidetracked in “busy-ness”?
It’s definitely something I’m constantly working on, as it’s really easy to get distracted with exciting projects that steer my attention on current work. For me, I make sure I put a mixture of things on my plate each day. I put part of my time towards projects I really am excited about and small chunks of admin based jobs throughout the day to create a nice work balance. I’ve also found I’m very good at procastinating those niggly admin jobs, but I’ve started to just do them. That sounds silly, but I often put it off when it’s something as simple as an email or phone call and once I’ve done it I feel amazing and can tick that tiny thing off instead of “leaving it till tomorrow”.
Also, I've realized how important it is to step away. Sometimes I’m just simply overwhelmed and things seem more stressful then they are. In that case, I stop what I'm doing and walk away from my computer. I go for a walk or make a snack, take a breathe and then go back to it with fresh eyes. 9 times out of 10 everything seems a lot more achievable by then.
I also got to the point where if I’m putting of a really big task over and over again, then I realize that maybe that’s just not something I’m passionate about or the timing isn’t right. Halfway through starting my label (Be. Your Label) I was always making excuses. I’d put off sourcing fabric, production, and other mandatory steps for months until I came to the decision that maybe I just don’t want it bad enough to make the time for it. Soon after, I went on the Dancing with the Stars and forgot about it for awhile. Once the show finished all I wanted to do was launch my label and now anything related to Be. Your Label on my to-do list excites me SO much. As entrepreneurs, we need to listen to our gut instinct and realize that sometimes it’s just not the right time.
Majority of women encounter internal obstacles dealing with body image, self love,and mental health. Could you touch on one of these topics and give insight on how impacts you?
For sure! I have struggle with all three believe it or not. It took me a really long time to learn to love the skin I’d found myself in, because at the age of 9 my identity was taken away from me. I lost a body part and with that I lost who I was physically, which created a huge mental barrier for me towards self love. I struggled for so long to ever see how I could be beautiful. One day I decided enough was enough. My beauty did not lay in my appearance and beyond that my worth did not lay within something I had ZERO control over. So I began to find ways to feel comfortable in my own skin. The main thing for me was showing my leg, I began to wear shorts and people began to ask questions and become interested in my story. Bit by bit the positives of my situation began to outweigh the negatives. That’s when I really began to love the skin I was in. And, overall it’s appearance never changed, but my attitude towards it did. I started to focus on what my body what it allowed me to do and who it allowed me to be. Whenever I start to speak negative words towards myself I remember that. Nothing I can say or do will change the fact that I physically have one leg, but I can choose to feel positive about the life I live because of it.
August 24, 2018
What a beautiful young lady inside and out! My daughter loves DAZEY LA.
September 21, 2018
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