Jessica Lewis | Age: 32 | Communications Specialist
Q: Tell us about your journey through womanhood.
A: As a little girl I always admired beautiful, strong, smart women. I looked to those women as an inspiration for myself because I've always been driven, hardworking and goal-oriented, and aspired to be the best person I could be. As I grew and matured I knew how important it was for other girls to see someone who could be an example to them. I made it a priority to pay it forward to other young women coming behind me. I've always prided myself on living a life that could be an example for others. I want girls to know that you can love yourself, be confident, strong, and in charge of your life and make decisions that make you happy and feel fulfilled. Those principals have guided me on my journey to womanhood.
Q: What would you say to another woman who may be going through something you've been through?
A: My advice to another woman going through something I’ve been through is to always stay the course. I would encourage her to step out on faith, being unafraid to make mistakes. It is through mistakes that we develop our own path to self-discovery. I would also say don’t let fear, doubt or anxiety get in your way. You are an over-comer and victory is an arm’s reach away. I would caution any woman against comparing themselves to others as each woman has her own journey. And, lastly, in the face of adversity never comprise your integrity.
Q: How do you feel when you look at your favorite photo of yourself from your shoot?
A: I feel awesome. It’s like I’m in awe.
Q: What would you share with a woman who doesn't think she is beautiful enough to be photographed?
A: I would say “pish-tosh.” Every woman is beautiful. Beauty is not just what’s on the outside, although society has conditioned us to believe that. Beauty is what’s on the inside. Furthermore, we are each beautiful in our own way. We have to look beyond society’s standard of beauty and create our own.
Q: What message would you like to share with other women?
A: Women have been constantly told how to look, act, dress and carry ourselves. Women are blazing trails as entrepreneurs, professionals, mothers, business owners, and often doing so simultaneously. While women wear many hats, and play many roles, our appearance can often be scrutinized. Recognizing who we are and the greatness within us affirms our ability to excel in our various endeavors and empowers us to persist.
Q: What are your thoughts on beauty?
A: Beauty comes in many different forms. On the outside it’s represented by various hues, tones, shapes, sizes and color. On the inside it’s represented by joy, peace, love, confidence and positive self esteem.
Q: What are your hopes for the next generation of women? What advice would you give to them?
A: My advice to the next generation is to continue to blaze new trails and break barriers. I hope that each generation learns and grows from the last, and creates new standards for themselves that are empowering, encouraging and uplifting.
Q: What would you say to your sixteen year old self?
A: I would tell myself to continue to follow your dreams and passion. Don’t be deterred by outside forces that have no bearing on you and avoid the guy that’s coming your way senior year.
Q: What's the most empowering experience you've had as a woman?
A: My most empowering experience as a woman is the launch of my public relations firm, LáLew Public Relations. My passion for public relations began in college. While an undergraduate student at Buffalo State College, I served as the president of an on-campus club called Black Active Minds which led student meetings around pressing issues such as race, equality and social justice. I often found myself engaging in meaningful conversations with peers and would promote club activities and publicize special events. Years later, those experiences coupled with my professional experiences would come full circle with the launch of my own public relations company.
In March, LáLew PR turned two years old and I can proudly say that I am a successful entrepreneur, owning the fastest growing, Black-owned, woman-owned public relations firm in Rochester, New York.
Q: When do you feel the most beautiful?
A: I feel most beautiful on the outside when I feel good on the inside.
Q: What do you love about being a woman?
A: I love the strength of being a woman.