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Meet Jessica Hester of AfterFive in Fort Worth

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jessica Hester.

Jessica, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
Well, I’m just a country girl from Valdosta, GA living in the big city daring to dream. My husband is in the military and we moved to Texas in 2011. I started a career in healthcare marketing and sales and have been in that field almost nine years now. The thing I loved the most about my career is being a resource for other people and being creative at the same time. It’s my creativity and genuineness, along with a passion for humans in general, that I believe helped me create a baby footprint in my community. I have always wanted to start my own business and knew that it would involve being creative, catering to women and making them feel beautiful. There’s just so many amazing women in my life. It’s easy to get caught up in being a wife, a mother, having a career that you forget yourself sometimes and its hard. It’s a struggle a lot of us face and I want women to remember that you are a woman first; and you should feel beautiful all the time, every day. Even at work. You feel good when you look good.

So, one day I was hosting a work event after hours and something caught my attention. I noticed the attitude the guests had when they walked through the door. Work, home, the stresses of the day, the to-do lists were all in the back of everyone’s minds; or at least for that moment. It was happy hour and they were all ready to relax and have a good time. That mood, that vibe, that energy stuck with me and thinking of that birthed the name AfterFive. I knew that whenever I started my business, that vibe was what I wanted it to encompass and that was going to be the name of my brand. It wasn’t until maybe three years later, I decided to utilize my marketing know-how to start building my brand and online cosmetics store. I had been complimented for years on my makeup and thought, hey, this is something that I love doing, why not make it business! Here I was marketing and growing strangers’ businesses for years. It was my turn. Everyone was taking an interest in the faux lashes I wore daily so I decided to make those our initial product line. I worked on different styles and modeled my styles for about a year, taking in what others were saying and applying that feedback as I continued to develop. In April of 2018, I decided it was time. Now or never you know? Sink or swim and I just dove in! That was the start of AfterFive.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Oh, goodness no, lol! I started this brand as a one-woman show and building a brand, staying present, running operations while having a full-time career, three children and a husband is tough! Let alone trying to squeeze some self-care time in there, lol. But I am blessed in the sense that I have an amazing support system that has helped me get AfterFive off the ground. Purchases, sharing the website, providing honest feedback, physically helping with orders, networking and just listening. It makes a world of difference. We started out a little rough, but what self-starting business hasn’t right? I had to revamp and change some things around pouring everything right back into the brand for improvements but it’s paying off and we’re sailing pretty smooth right now.

AfterFive – what should we know? What do you do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
AfterFive is a cosmetic brand that currently specializes in luxe faux lashes designed for every lash babe. Our brand encompasses the vibe of letting your hair down the same way you would after 5 0’cock, all day long! Why just feel good and look good after five? Strut all day long hunny! Some want over the top, some want to enhance their natural lashes and still be able to wear their eyewear during the day. No matter if you are a model or a girl from around the way we have lash styles for every eye shape and size to help achieve the look desired. Styles that work for mothers, teachers, service women, executives, creatives, influencers, models, celebrities. All of our styles are an investment and are reusable up to 15-20 times with proper care. They even come packaged in a beautiful rose gold mirrored compact for safe and convenient storage and travel.

With such a saturated market it makes me feel good to know that there are so many that love our products and love what we stand for, which is making women feel good and just enjoy being creative. I think that is a huge part in what sets this brand apart. We are not huge or backed by a corporation…just making it happen for the women in our communities and beyond. We relate to our consumers and place them in mind with each handcrafted lash we make. If you’re new to wearing faux lashes and want to? No problem, we’ll help you. If you need handpicked choices, I got you! A wedding, a prom, a photoshoot, a date night, a boost of confidence, I’m here. If you wear lash extensions and need to match the initial volume in between appointments, we can choose a filler for you. And girl, if you had a long night out and woke up with your lashes missing, smashed on the pillow or on your arm (guilty) get with me ASAP lol.

What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
You know, we started right here in Fort Worth from my home office and we are already making baby waves across this country, and some others thanks to my military babes! The warm and fuzzies are unreal lol. I am proud to see the long nights pay off when I look at where we are and how much we’ve grown after only a year. There’s going to be more additions as the brand expands and I’m extremely blessed and excited to see what all is in store for AfterFive this year.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Photos by LJK

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