“If I want my daughters to pursue their dreams, I have to show them how by pursuing my own.” – Jamie Fowler
Welcome to Face Time. DFW Style Daily’s exclusive series goes beyond the runways and picture-perfect shoots to get to know top Dallas models on a personal level. Why? Because there’s a heck of a lot more to making it in one of fashion’s most competitive fields than just a fit figure and a nice smile.
For example, many models embark on their careers at a very young age. They must cultivate professionalism and perspective and maintain complicated schedules, while most of us struggle to keep up with homework and a few household chores. Not to mention, the constant criticism.
Today’s six-foot-tall stunner is no exception to this rule. A passion for modeling, acting, singing, and performing hit Jamie Fowler early in life, and it continues to drive her to pursue her dreams. Dramatic ups and downs haven’t dampened her spirits. Through it all, however, Jamie finds motherhood to be the most rewarding job of them all.
DFW Style Daily: At what age did you begin modeling? Were you scouted or did you pursue modeling as a career?
Jamie Fowler: “I actually sent in the little ad in the back of a magazine for Barbizon Modeling School! They called, and had me come in for an interview, and I was told how instantly famous I would be as soon as I took their modeling classes! I did, of course, because when you are 13 years old, you believe everything you are told. I learned a lot and did lots of mall fashion shows and promotional work.
“When I started high school, I decided to take theater, and fell in love with acting and being on stage. I met my future husband – he was a techie – and decided that it really was what I wanted to do with my life. After graduating from a small acting conservatory here in Dallas, I moved to New York City. I booked several small fashion shows and promotional work, but was constantly being told I was too big, too tall, too busty, too commercial, etc., etc.
“This was during that transitional time in the industry where sizes were going from 4/6 to 0/2. I am six feet tall, with boobs and hips, and there was no way I was getting in a size 0! After three years, I moved back to Dallas and married my high school sweetheart.”
Looking back, what has been your most exciting, unusual, or creatively challenging assignment?
“At one point, my agent at the time suggested that I might do really well in Las Vegas. So, my husband and I packed as much as we could into the car, and drove out there. I immediately started working many different conventions and corporate parties, as well as commercials for all the casinos. I loved living in Vegas; it is truly a land of make believe. You can go from Egypt to Italy within a couple of blocks, and have your picture with Elvis along the way!
“That said, working conventions is Vegas can be quite challenging, whether you are doing presentation work or crowd gathering. You have to become an expert on the company you are working for, and sometimes you only have about 20 minutes to do so. I feel like I’ve worked in almost every industry there is, because of my time in Las Vegas! One week, you are working at World of Concrete – which is just as exciting as it sounds – and the next, you are at the International Pizza Convention – which just as awesome as it sounds!”
You recently returned to the field after a break of several years. Describe why you left modeling, and what prompted your return.
“We were living in Las Vegas in 2008 when the economy took a sharp downturn, cutting out much of the work for conventions. Companies were no longer hiring models or presenters for the shows because of budget cuts, so a lot of the work I was doing disappeared. We moved back to Dallas in 2009 and I even got back with my old agent, but nothing seemed to work. Audition after audition would yield no results. I just lost the heart for it and had pretty much decided I was done.
“My daughters Jade and Alyssa were born, and I focused on being the best mommy I could be to them. Then, earlier this year, a friend suggested I enter the Mrs. Texas Pageant. I had never done pageants before, and I only had a month and a half to prepare, which is not enough time, in case you were wondering. It was an amazing experience, however, and I did win a fitness and swimwear award, which was quite an honor! Spending time around all those amazing women was very motivating, and being on stage made me realize how much I missed performing! I also realized that if I want my daughters to pursue their dreams, I have to show them how by pursuing my own.”
Speaking of your little girls, what is the biggest lesson you have learned from being a mom?
“I love being a mom, and as challenging as it is, it is also the most rewarding experience. I think the best lesson I have learned is to be grateful. I am grateful for the kisses, the snuggles, the smiles, and the joy I see in their faces when they are having fun. I also became extremely grateful for every job I do, because it allows me to provide for them even more.”
What lessons do you hope to instill in your daughters?
“I want them to know that they are beautiful, no matter what shape they are! I remember sitting in an agent’s office one day, and he told me that I was too heavy to be taken seriously as a model. I was 13 years old. He also went on to tell me all the other things that were wrong with me – my frizzy hair, I was too ‘commercial,’ etc. While it did make me feel terrible, I vowed I would never starve myself or do anything to jeopardize my health for an image. I want my daughters to find their passion and learn to be happy from that pursuit, rather than from what they see in the mirror.”
Tell us three facts about yourself that might surprise us.
“First, I am a huge sci-fi, fantasy, and action movie fan! I love my super heroes, and I was obsessed with Batman when I was younger. Second, I am an amateur baker and cake decorator. Third, I can come across as shy sometimes, even though, in my mind, I don’t think of myself that way. I just won’t say anything if I feel like I don’t have anything to contribute to a conversation; small talk can be hard for me. I was always taught to be a good listener.”
Do you have a personal mentor? What have you learned from her example?
“My mentor is my mom. My father died when I was nine, and my sister went off to college soon after, so for a long time, it was just mom and me. She was also a teacher, and the values she taught me about respect and honesty have stayed with me always.”
What was the last book you read that made a big impact on you?
“The Magic of Thinking Big, by David J. Schwartz.”
Finally, when you’re not working, how might you spend a free afternoon or evening?
“This is a rarity for me, with my second daughter still being so small, but being able to sit still and read would be lovely. When you have little ones, even a trip to the grocery store by yourself can seem like a treat!”
Headshots credit Danny Campbell Photography. Additional photos courtesy of Jamie Fowler.