TIL BE. Brilliance Walking
Welcome to TIL BE.
A NEW global series to highlight women and men who inspire. Everyday people in the community that are living BOLD dreams. We’re honored to highlight our first featured guest, Ms. Jessica Jordan. This beauty is one to watch, a 25 year-old powerhouse destined for greatness!
WHO? Jessica Jordan, @JessAppealled. A Hair Stylist, Clinical Research Graduate Student at Morehouse Medical School and Entrepreneur and all-around brilliant young woman. A member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
CITY: Atlanta, Georgia | USA
- In honor of Black History Month (BHM), why is BHM important to you?
BHM is important because it celebrates trailblazers but also highlights every Black person….. EVERY…. SINGLE… DAY. We get to celebrate our ancestors, appreciate our melanated hues, acknowledge our curls, kinks and coils, and respect our intellect.
What is most important to me is to realize that even though our ancestors were restricted, restrained, and suppressed they still found ways to be extraordinary. With everything working against them they still became inventors, doctors, lawyers, millionaires, etc. This also shows that even in the mist of struggle there is always success. Nothing can stop what is written in the stars.
- What’s a typical day like for you?
I am a student by day, hairstylist by afternoon…ish. Currently, I’m a student at Morehouse School of Medicine getting a Masters in Clinical Research. After class, I normally head to the shop [salon]. Then, home do a few hours of homework or read. Then repeat the next day. I am also a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. so I’m frequently a servant to those who need me the most. Finding “me time” is the real question. Long story, short…. Your girl BARELY has free time.
- How did you start doing hair? What is your specialty or niche?
I like to say I specialize in all things hair, but my passion lies within natural hair. From braids to curls to locs, I do it all. I’ve been doing hair for as long as I can remember. I remember braiding my first doll around the age of four and perfecting my skills on my grandmother, cousins, and aunts. I wasn’t serious about hair until I got tired of working at a local ice cream parlor. I kept thinking to myself that I could make 4’xs as much in a week that I could make in two weeks working there. Eventually, I quit and followed my intuition.
- What do you love most about doing hair?
Transforming my clients into a new, improved, and more confident them is what I love about being a stylist. When your hair is done you feel like you can conquer the word in a completely new shield of armor, [or hairstyle] If you look amazing, you feel amazing!
Watch as Jess applies Tropic Isle Living Hair Growth Oil to a client.
- If you could do someone’s hair past or present, who would it be?
My grandmother, because she was such a fearless soul when it came to hairstyles. One day, she’d be rocking the purest platinum blonde there is and the next, she would rock an astonishing auburn color. By the end of the week she’d have the most breathtaking black strands you would’ve ever seen. All done in the bathroom that we shared, and I’d assist or just watch in amazement. I know if I could do her hair now, we would have tried EVERYTHING.
- What would people be surprised to find out about you?
Secretly, I’ve always wanted to be a rapper. Like seriously, when I was in middle school my cousin would write my raps and we’d rehearse them in my parents’ basement until they were perfect. He would make me rehearse for hours on end which probably helped shape my work ethic. My dad is also a music producer so we would rap the lyrics to some of the greatest songs by Biggie, Tupac, and Outkast, riding around [Atlanta] together in his Red Mustang.
On a more serious note, I guess the one thing that people would be surprised to know would be that I was never driven by money to do hair. At first, I knew that I could monetize this gift that I was given but it is much bigger than that. Human interaction is powerful, and I get to take a little piece of a client whenever I service them.
I genuinely care about my clients and enjoy hearing about their life and stories. Your hair tells a journey and I’m able to revisit, absorb, and dissect a plethora of things in a few hours. I’ve learned how to sew, plant, and even make coquito just by digesting my clients’ stories. I do not and will never do hair for the money (I am sure all my clients can attest to that). Money is never my motive, my purpose fuels my passion.
- What is a personal or career challenge you’ve experienced pursing your dreams?
I am always struck with the challenge of determining if I should attend a school event or service a client? An even bigger challenge is whether to progress my school career or grow my business. I feel the pressures of having it “all together”. I am far from it. At times, I can stretch myself too thin when trying not to disappoint.
In reality, everyone needs a mental break from time to time. After 25 years, I am just coming to the realization that what I do is EFFORTLESS. I am not meant to please family, friends, or followers. I am letting everything flow. Going to school, building a brand, maintaining a social life, and servicing my community is how it was meant to be. Any obstacles I face have already been written in the stars. I just constantly remind myself that I am exactly where I am supposed to be in the time which I am there. Nothing life is coincidental when you walk in purpose.
- You’re quite young, doing so much and you have so much to offer. Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Ten years?! A mogul. My goal is to change the beauty industry forever. You know, like a modern Madam C.J. Walker if you will. I do not want to just provide a product but I would like to help evolve the thinking in the way that we view hair and health. The two have always had a direct correlation. We have never explored and dug deep enough into it to change the game. That’s why I’m here, to do that.
- What do you think you want your career win to be in the future?
In the future I want to be able to shed light on bridging the gap between health and hair. I would ultimately like to become a “hair doctor”. Showing that what you may be subjected to through every day environmental factors can be absorbed through your scalp, skin, and/or hair and in turn, effect on your overall health. I’d love to be able to help evolve our way of thinking of hair because we have only scratched the surface.
Til Next Time. Just Be.