Family. UBUNTU. Yoga.
A Story about Fashion Authority Jessica Montour
There are girls who will go with whatever their mother chooses for them to wear and then there are girls who will beg and plead to have that beautiful “Faux fur” coat on the rack. Jessica Montour was the latter of the two.
This month’s extraordinary person goes to fashion authority Jessica Montour, a fashion enthusiast from Denver, Colorado who plays many roles. From wardrobe consultant, event planner, and founder of many great things, Jessica is a family oriented “Boss Mom” all while balancing her health, body and mind. Simply put, she is more than extraordinary, she is magical (Just ask her about the castle in front of her family’s home in Germany!)
Being the youngest of five siblings, Jessica has fond memories of her parents being madly in love with each other, so much that her father relocated from Germany to El Paso, Texas for the love of her mother. Family became a huge part of who she is as she was always surrounded by her siblings, aunts, uncles and her grandmother. Jessica fondly remembers the days when she and her older sister Loraine would spend hours in her mother’s closet playing dress up. Her sister would dress her up in her mother’s custom-made wardrobe and make her feel like a celebrity as the dress up parties ended in mini photo shoots. Jessica was the little girl who would change four to five times a day and that would daydream about her outfits. At a very young age Jessica had developed quite the fashion sense. Jessica recalls watching her mother pick fabrics and design her own clothing and admiring her impeccable style and taste.
To Jessica, her mother was a fashion icon, a movie star. Jessica also admired the fashion sense, glamour, and empowerment alluded by Erica Kane from All My Children. Erica left a huge impression on Jessica that she even named her first son Demitri, a name inspired by one of Erica Kane’s well-polished boyfriends. And today, just like Erica Kane, Jessica is always surrounded by well-polished men, her husband and three sons!
Jessica is a natural born entrepreneur. Starting her career as far back as 6th grade she would sell Blow Pops and later grew to sell leather bracelets. In 1994, her leadership skills lead her to become one of the founding members of Pi Lambda Chi Sorority at the University of Colorado Boulder. Since then the sorority has expanded all over Colorado and is continuing to expand in to nearby states. With over 1,200 members, Jessica left a legacy that has supported women to find a home away from home, build a strong support network, and graduate college. In her late twenties she established and owned an oxygen bar on the historic market street in downtown Denver. Shortly thereafter Jessica received a great opportunity to work in the corporate world where her skills led her to work with some of the world’s top million dollar brands and establish a business to business relationship with them.
After attending New York’s Fashion Week in February 2013 and experiencing all of the magic, commotion and excitement that comes with such an event, Jessica remembered how much she loved fashion and how much it meant to her. All of that made her delighted of the person she could be and lit a fire in her causing her to risk it all to create a viable business venture that she was passionate about. Today that business venture is called Fashion Forward.
Fashion Forward offers wardrobe consulting, event planning and everything in between. Since launching her business, her social media reach began at zero, but with consistent fashion content being posted daily. When asked what her steps to success were, Jessica simply stated, “You have to have a plan, my business plan was the culmination of it all.” “It’s all about launching, branding, establishing and yoga.” Yes that’s correct, she said yoga. Jessica claims that one of her reasons for her success is her love for yoga and how it has taught her the importance of finding the balance of our body, health and mind, something that is so crucial but many of us often forget.
Until this day Jessica still loves hanging out in closets and playing dress up. Being in a closet is “fun and inventing” to her as she absolutely loves going into them and pulling everything out. She loves the uplifting feeling she and her clients get when she purges their closets, reorganize them, and ultimately consult them on their wardrobe. Jessica always believed that “you can do what you love and live off it.” When asked what is the biggest take away lesson from her life experiences thus far, Jessica said this, “I am UBUNTU, which means, I am because we are. Ubuntu teaches us that a person is a person through other persons. We cannot exist independently of each other and expect to live a full life. Western culture is so competitive and cutthroat at times that Ubuntu reminds me that life is not a race. I am enough just the way I am. I am evolving. I can just be where I am at this point and that is A-Okay. The pressure is off. We are enough and we are evolving, isn’t that beautiful?”
Written by Bella Rage and Leticia Rose
Photos by Teddy G / Xposer Photography
MUA Tennisia Littleton