Reese was a former model and stylist. While working to build her reputation and career, she wanted to hear from other women and speak honestly about their ups as well as their downs on the road to success. She searched online, but only found a tangible void of such stories and solid advice from other women. In response, Reese started yes supply co in May 2015 to give a face and voice to these imperfect paths to winning. The community is now more than 3,000 strong and growing everyday.
Tell us about the path that led you to where you are today.
I grew up in a single parent home. It was just my mom and I, but I loved it! She would take me roller-skating, pack all the best treats in my lunch, and we would have 80s dance parties. Then, around sixth grade, my mom started a new relationship. That was my first experience of women not seeing their own value, their own potential, and letting someone else drag them down. Name-calling, berating; it was an unhealthy relationship.
I dabbled in modeling in my late teens, but I was faced with so many occasions where I was told I wasn’t skinny enough. I also had a friend in an agency, and she grudgingly told me that their agents said, “It would be a lot easier if she was Caucasian.” I eventually found an agent that represented specifically models of color, and she was able to actually get me some cool gigs.
Although modeling didn’t work out, I still loved fashion. I was working towards being a stylist because it was a perfect mix of my love of fashion and being creative. Through networking, getting outside my comfort zone, reaching out and assisting an amazing stylist, I was able to sign with one of the top artist agencies in the city, while I was still in college for visual merchandising. Even so, I found it was an uphill battle.
It was so hard to find resources online to answer questions. I got dragged into that middle ground of starving artist, especially when people think your job is fun and ask you to do jobs for free. After talking with friends, former co-workers, and female creatives around me, so many of them had hopes and dreams, but they didn’t go after them. There’s that fear that they could never do it. I wanted to change that.
Why did you create yes supply?
The culmination of my experiences led me to start yes supply co. I wanted to create a space where creatives who were looking for the answers to their questions of building a life they love could get honest answers, and the resources they needed through my interviews. I wanted to voice my opinion that just because you hit obstacles, doesn’t mean you give up.
Which ones were your favorite interviews? And why?
This is such a hard question to answer. I would say that it’s not the content in the interview, or the people that I interview that I can rank, but the things that I learned from doing the interviews.
One that comes to mind is my interview with the girls who opened their own boutique, Convey. While doing some research on the store while I was making my interview pitch I realized that I knew the owner of this store. Not only did the interview go perfectly, we’ve become great friends since.
I recently interviewed Elana Lyn who is an established career advice writer. Elana was so generous with her experience as a writer, and even shared her typical pitch that helps her land some amazing writing gigs. It showed me to follow my intuition and go after what you need to make your work valuable.
Any advice for readers who are preparing to be interviewed for a blog?
Be honest, and be real.
If you are killing it in your field, there are women that are depending on you to share how you got there, and be honest about the obstacles that you faced. The more we inspire women to be the amazing people they are meant to be, the more we can all lift each other up and break though barriers and glass ceilings.
A lot of women, myself included, can experience extreme feelings of self-doubt. When we hit an obstacle, we seriously wonder if we can do it, or if the set-backs will eventually subside.
When I hear an interview or hear of someone who is living their yes in life, and they say they had a million doors shut in their face too, they struggled, they were scared too, it makes it all relatable. It shares that feeling that we all had to come from somewhere, and that there are no guarantees, but you at least have to try.
Don’t be afraid to not appear perfect. That’s no fun anyways.
What book are you currently reading?
I started The Organized Mind by Daniel Levitin in January, but writing my Good Morning Beautiful emails has been keeping me so busy, I haven’t found as much time to read. Right now I’m in Create over Consume mode. I have a few more on my nightstand that I’ve been wanting to get to like “Why Not Me?” by Mindy Kaling – I love that woman.
Coffee or tea?
If you had asked me this a year ago, I would have said, “Coffee, five times a day please. Hold the cream.” But, I recently had a diet transformation. I’ve actually been drinking hot water with cocao powder (yes, cacao, not cocoa) and it’s my perfect coffee replacement. A tip I always give to my Good Morning Beautiful ladies, start the day with hot water with lemon for a boost in your glow, and to clear out the toxins!
Interviewed & Edited By: Jane Kim