I was graced with the opportunity to have a phone conversation with Baltimore native, Jearlean Taylor.
Jearlean is a published author, writer, and owner of a Christian based modeling company. She shared with me that her heart’s desire has always been to make a difference in people’s lives, but there was something internally unstable in her life. Her mind, body, and soul longed for answers. She expressed how she had outer beauty, but was suffering on the inside with low self-esteem, pity, and unhappiness.
At the tender age of two years old Jearlean developed a rare cancer [Rhabdomyosarcoma] that attacked her inner organs leaving her with two ostomy bags and a dose of what she called the “Pretty Girl Blues”.
“My story continues with struggles, insecurities, heartaches, pain, suicidal thoughts, and disappointments, but through it all God was my saving grace. I hope to help those suffering with low-self-esteem by reaching out, encouraging, uplifting up, listening, understanding, and helping those in need. I do not look like what I deal with 24 hours/7 days a week. I AM A DESIGNER ORIGINAL.”
Through a series of questions, Jaerlean shared how she’s overcome the pretty girl blues to transform her fears into building a successful faith based modeling company, JACCM. Check out HERstory below:
What inspired you to create JACCM?
Modeling for 16 years, I’ve been in the industry and I’ve seen some things that would cause someone self-esteem to be hurt; not putting it down because I love the world of fashion. Modeling is very rewarding and has lots of opportunities for advancement. I just know that it can be discriminating, if you’re not tall enough, the right size or color. I wanted to prepare people for this industry and the setbacks they may face. Or just be the outlet for them to find themselves. I want them to know they are beautiful from the inside out. Our motto is “We build , train, and develop from the inside out”.
Have you faced any opposition in the industry by running a faith based business?
It is a faith based business but we don’t throw religion on anyone, but I will explain to them my relationship with God is what matters. I’ve been blessed that people know me and our standards therefore they cater to our needs. They know what my company stands for and they adhere to that. It depends on how you treat people that’s how they treat you.
How do you view the current state of the Baltimore fashion industry?
There is so much talent as far as designers and stylists. People don’t see it. Stereotypes about the area are assumed and people don’t give the area a chance. There are a lot of talented designers and models. People have to support them.
What other projects do you have in the works?
I am now an author, my autobiography, “Pretty Girl Blues” , details my life as a cancer survivor and unforeseen circumstances that came along with it. It is a very personal story that is being told to help uplift, bring encouragement, to give people hope and healing. http://www.prettygirlblues.com
Do you plan on going into full time entrepreneurship?
I hope to carry my schedule as it is with my endeavors with my company. I often have a full schedule with my other ministries/projects, so for now having full time entrepreneurship is part-time. Who knows how my future will change with that, but I am happy how it is now.
What is your Street Intell and how do you plan to continue your aim of inspiring young girls, women and men through fashion and faith?
By being myself and letting my “light” shine. Often times, people look at the exterior and can’t believe how I survived a deadly disease. I made it, so I want others to know and love who they are. If you are a good leader people will follow. If I lead by example people will see my “light”. Before I never thought putting my story out there was posible, I was afraid of what people would think. What I thought was a burden was actually a blessing. The story I tried to hide once is now helping and inspiring people. Seeing how far I have come encourages me to keep helping people. Through sharing my story I have touched many people and will continue to spread my “light”.