Jessica, who also goes by her married name Carlson, started off in television, on the MTV series Burned. She caught the eye of Playboy, becoming a modeling regular and the host of multiple Playboy radio programs. Gorgeous and astute, she turned one opportunity into another, joining the likes of Chrissy Teigan as a briefcase model on Deal or No Deal as well as being frequently featured on her best friend’s show, Kendra on Top.
“Going from television hosting to reality T.V. and now becoming a business owner is nothing I ever imagined,” Jessica describes. “I have never felt as fulfilled as I do now.”
Today, with her littles in tow, Jessica is focused on her businesses and positive influence.
“Being a partial owner of BB Lifestyle, a skincare product line, an investor in Sugar Tacos, a vegan restaurant in L.A., a co-owner of Fetch Cocktails, a clean hard refreshment drink and part of CO CÚ LUXX…. I for sure have my hands full,” Jessica laughs. “I’m also an influencer and podcaster at Action Park Media Group.”
Her podcast, #Flashbacks with Jessica Hall and Heather Rae Young, is her outlet to dish on all the memories of how she got to where she is today. A highly rated 4.8 out of 5 stars, a career of hosting has readied her to become a host of her own enterprise, giving listeners a peek not only into her own life, but those of her celebrity guests as well.
She is thankful that her goals have become a reality, due in part to her tight professional network. “I am very grateful for my team. For the first time in my professional life I trust everyone I’m working with and what they stand for,” Jessica confides.
“With my hands being this full I would love to see all the business ventures I have become very successful,” she envisions. “I would love to continue to work hard and hopefully create job opportunities for others. I want to show my daughter that women can work hard and succeed.”
As a woman in business – or rather, several businesses – she is all too aware that some of the challenges she faced on her journey to success were due to her gender.
“When I first started out in the entertainment business it was hard in many ways,” Jessica says. “Let me just say this, the stuff that I endured in the past would not fly today. I’m seeing now how much men need women and what we can offer professionally.”
Thankfully, things have changed.
“All my business partners – besides Sugar Taco, which is women-owned – are men. They have been so amazing and I feel very equal to all of them, as it should be,” she states.
Things haven’t always been so equal for the entrepreneur, however. In fact, she’s often felt like she’s had to take a few more steps than her male colleagues in order to keep from being overlooked.
“I feel not only as a woman but as a mother, I had to put in extra hours to make sure I kept up and proved myself,” Jessica describes.
How did she juggle it all?
“If I didn’t know a term, or understand something my colleagues were discussing, I would be Googling a description or watching a how-to video to learn quickly. I never let anyone suspect that I didn’t know the answer,” she confides. “I would find it and memorize it. I also felt like I needed to go above and beyond when submitting anything that was my obligation and it would always be more than they asked for. I didn’t want them to think ‘oh she can’t get to it because she had kids’ or ‘she has no time.’ I always figured it out.”
Beyond being a successful businesswoman, Jessica’s passion is her family. Her love for her children and husband is instantly recognizable, through her work (especially her online community for parents Sleepless Moms) and by simply speaking to her. As she and I talk, you can hear her son happily chattering away in the background. I’m relieved to hear his tiny voice, as mine is doing the same on my end.
There’s something about talking to another mother, no matter how famous and accomplished they are, that instantly bonds you. Jessica is no exception, and her life – along with its successes and struggles – become all the more relatable when viewed through the lens of a loving mama just trying to make her family proud. And given all she’s done and continues to do, there’s no doubt she has.
What advice does she have for others hoping to do the same?
“If you can envision yourself in a position that you want then go get it! Let nothing stop you and manifest your being there. The only one that can stop you is yourself,” Jessica encourages.
Photos by Adam Battaglia. Styled by Royalle Crutchfield. Production by Drew Ganyer. Creative Direction: Future Giants. Location: Pop’s Classic Car Garage.