Today we’d like to introduce you to Jessica A. Alberto Licona.
So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I learned the art of styling from my mother around the age of 11 and 12. I was in a super awkward growth stage where I was extremely petite and NOTHING fit me correctly: my elastic waistband Children’s Place jeans were the only pants that fit me (although they were a little high-watered), and I couldn’t fit anything in Forever 21 and Charlotte Ruse like my older sister and my friends at school. My mom taught me to make the best of what I had by mixing and matching the few things that did fit, to make my outfits as fashionable as possible. That phase of my life was practice for the career I am building today!
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Not. At. ALL! My early challenges were internal and spiritual: somewhere toward the end of college, I became afraid of taking risks and unsure of what I had to offer the “fashion world”, so I decided to accept a safe 9-5 corporate job with a major retailer. My mom and sister drove me 17 hours from my hometown, Charlotte, NC, to Dallas, TX to start my new job. Accepting this position was the worst decision of my life at the time, but it is one of the most influential experiences of my career.
I served this company for two very long years and the work environment was toxic the entire time. However, I believe God placed me in that toxic environment to force me to look beyond what seemed to be the “safe” career choice and find my creative niche/passion. That took faith! Deep down, I had always been a Stylist, but I never allowed myself to “own it”. During my first few months at that company, I started a new Instagram account entitled “Brave Moode” (pronounced brave-mode), where I simply posted my “outfit of the day” or #OOTD. At the time I just needed a creative outlet outside my job that gave my career purpose and direction. I began to get lots of encouraging responses from my few dozen followers, which helped confirm that I was going in the right direction. About a year and half later I was fired from my job and I was out of work for seven months…but there was a fire inside of me. I knew this was an opportunity for me to own my career and take everything that I had been doing to the next level! I spent those seven months getting up at 5am every morning meditating, praying, reading and relearning everything I learned in college about the fashion industry, entrepreneurship, etc., and taught myself to finally become a Fashion Stylist.
I recently spent a year living in New York City, where I was able to stretch my styling capabilities by assisting more established Stylists for Elle magazine and Costume Designer, Pamela Shepard-Hill, for a t.v. Show on BET. Networks
So, as you know, we’re impressed with Bravemoode – tell our readers more, for example, what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
BraveMoode (Brave-Mode) currently consists of my assistant stylist, Jorden Wells, and I. Majority of the work we do is creative/editorial styling for a variety of fashion magazines and social media ads/ad campaigns for local brands. I also offer my personal styling services via New York-based womenswear brand, MM Lafleur.
I am most proud of how far God has allowed us to come and how my challenges have made me push harder.
What sets us apart is that we are very intentional and passionate about the type of work that we do and we take pride in being great people to work with on set.
So, what’s next? Any big plans?
BraveMoode (and I) is ever-evolving, there’s more in the future than what I can say at the moment. I can say that my future plans consist of creating visual/editorial work that is more and more powerful and meaningful. We also want to help develop aspiring fashion stylists and fashion creatives such as make-up artists, photographers, and creative directors. The biggest change thus far is our new YouTube channel for aspiring fashion creatives entitled BraveMoode Studios, where viewers can find tutorials on how to become a fashion stylist and interviews with professional fashion creatives!
- Website: www.bravemoode.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: bravemoode
- Other: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCRzKyNrGgexKUhhEW2cEBKA?view_as=subscriber
(photo of me): Cory Simmons (@mistersimmons), Carl Chisolm (@carlchisolm), Marcus Ezell (@marcusezell), Kwesi Yanful (@portraitnoire & @kwesithethird), Marrica Evans (@marricaevans), Marrica Evans (@marricaevans), Temi Coker (@temi.coker), Obidi Nzeribe (@obislens)