Jessie Andrews | A Modern Woman
If you were ever looking for an example of what a modern woman looks like in 2019, Jessie Andrews might be a good place to start. At the age of 27, the designer/model/actress/sex positive activist is already the CEO of, not one, but four different brands. Andrews made a name for herself when she moved to LA and pursued a career in the adult film industry. Without letting the dated preconceptions of adult stars define her, the entrepreneur went on to break through several glass ceilings. Flaunt got the opportunity to talk with the designer about her journey through life as a Modern Woman and her plans for the future.
Much like many who’ve come before, you moved to Los Angeles with dreams of becoming an actress. Soon after you moved here, you started working in the adult entertainment industry. Tell us about your decision to enter into this industry.
I actually moved to LA to purse adult films, then fell into modeling and mainstream after. I started shooting in Miami at 18, then moved to LA when I was 19 after going back and forth for a year.
Do you have any advice for struggling young actresses considering a side hustle in the adult entertainment industry but are hesitant due to the social taboos surrounding it?
Pursue what you’re passionate about. But with adult, you have to think about the pros and cons involved.
You were named “It Girl,” by GQ Magazine. How did this honor change your professional career?
People are forever changing their perception of me. When a huge publication like GQ and Forbes co-sign what I’m doing, that really solidified what I’m actually trying to accomplish. You can come from anywhere and do anything you want (if you want it bad enough).
It’s funny, so many people dream about finding fame after being spotted on the streets in LA. It’s such a cliche, but it actually happened to you. The story goes you were shopping at American Apparel and they ask if you could be their brand’s exclusive model. How did this conversation transpire?
I worked at AA when I was 17 on South Beach in Miami, I accidentally met Dov there trying to sell him a sweater. I didn’t start modeling for AA till 2014 after I reconnected with him. I was lucky I got to do campaigns, in studio and billboards/adverts for them. It was such a great time to be involved with the brand.
Around the time you were 21, you were juggling many different career hats. There was model, adult entertainer, DJ, producer, and, suddenly, a designer and entrepreneur when your jewelry line was worn by the Kardashians and Hadids. How were you able to put an equal amount of energy into all these different projects? Any advice for our readers who find themselves working on multiple projects at once?
I think we are capable of much more than we think. I’ve just opened that door in my brain where I can compartmentalism work, play, pleasure, organization and time management.
My advice is to stay organized and do what you say you’re going to do. Make to-do lists and have a calendar.
You also launched a few other brands during this era. Along with Bagitba, Basic Swim, Jeu illimite, and Petiue also launched bearing your name as its founder. What made you decide to start so many different companies rather than having them operate under the same umbrella?
I get asked this a lot. I don’t like putting all my eggs in one basket. Career wise, but also translated that brand wise. If everyone hates Bagatiba in a year, I’ll still have 3 other brands to fall back on. If I broke a leg and couldn't shoot film, I could be behind the computer consulting or building infrastructure.
Sustainability plays an important part in your fashion lines. What does sustainable fashion mean to you? How does your company incorporate sustainable fashion into the products you produce?
Sustainability to me is being honest in doing what you can to be a conscious human, with the best intentions for the earth and your surroundings. From picking up litter and properly disposing of it, to turning water off when you brush your teeth, to using dead stock fabrics and ethical work conditions.
On Bagatiba & Jeu, you can look under the FAQ of how each of these brands are sustainable from production to materials and packaging. I’m still working heavily on making Basic Swim more sustainable than just packaging and not overly produced. Petiue’s website displayed all the claims of the products sustainability as well.
Between getting all these successful businesses up and running and being an all around badass, you also found time to produce your own charity. Dodge and Donate, which is a charity dodgeball competition attended by artists and creatives. Where did you get the idea for this charity? Were you a big dodgeball player back in elementary school?
I played on a dodgeball league for a year with my best friend Sophie and we were obsessed. We both got really busy traveling and had to stop. We had the idea a year ago to throw this tournament with friends and have everyone donate $20 to charity. We kept adding teams and it got huge.
We’re both so busy and so are all of our friends, but we really cherish giving back in a different way. We can get everyone together, compete, have fun, exercise, network & support a charity of our choice. It’s the ultimate project for us and we’d love to do it on an even bigger scale. We’ve done 3 so far and are planning the next now.
What are your plans for the remainder of 2019 and going into 2020? Any plans on starting more business ventures?
I’m opening Bagatiba for wholesale which is a huge move for me. I’ve always done direct-to-consumer brands, but I’m enjoying this learning experience. I’m working on a luxury project idea. Fashion week is soon, so I’ll head to the shows. Looking into some store spaces. Also ways to innovate and make my brands even more sustainable. I’m spending more time in NYC and London, the energy is so good in these cities right now. I’m just patiently watching the market of retail/e-commerce and adjust my businesses to the change.