It’s time to meet another Bold Boss! Today, we’re featuring Ember, a model/actress/welder who is breaking every stereotype that exists about gender, size and beauty. Enjoy the story of this Bold Boss who can fix your car as easily as she can nail a Times Square photo shoot!
Bold Magazine: Tell us all about you!
Ember: I am a newly-working model and actress, although my day job includes being a welder/machine shop supervisor, I work hard to support the positive body image of ALL sizes. My main goal is to promote BEAUTY AT EVERY SIZE but I also encourage breaking barriers, (such as being a woman welder) and authenticity.
BOLD: What type of modeling do you do? How did you get started as a model? What’s an average work week like for you?
Ember: I am a Body Positive Plus Size Model, and I’m pretty open to most styles out there such as fitness, runway, swimsuit . . . any opportunity to spread body positivity! I like to say that I got started as a model about a year and a half ago with my own realization that I was going to be turning 26 and I still (since the age of seven!) caught myself distractedly daydreaming about becoming a model and actress. I think it’s your own internal determination that really opens up the possibilities in life and helps you achieve your true ambitious dreams. Once I decided not to stand in my own way any longer, ignoring my own thoughts of how ‘late to the game’ I might be or how probable it could be that I fail, I dove in headfirst and looked up everything I could about the industry. I realized I could take a class to learn more and wound up working with Model Talent Management as my first official agency. Later, I was also welcomed into Privileged Model Management through an audition I had found and so I was motivated to push even further. I continued to grasp onto as many other auditions that I could find posted on different industry websites. I had been turned down, of course, for plenty, but also had been chosen for irreplaceable opportunities along the way like being part of the Launch Showcase family. It was through these events that I acquired a stronger demeanor about myself and my potential, not only in this industry but in my everyday life. I took my newly-found attitude and drove to the (F.A.B.) For All Bodies Showcase contest that was shared on Instagram by my all-time role model, Erica Lauren. I didn’t have any idea how it would turn out, but I also didn’t see a reason not to try. The creator, Crystal Renee, had an amazing array of F.A.B. contestants to work through and I am still extremely honored to have been chosen as the Face of F.A.B. Winning that contest, flying to New York to work with an amazing crew, having a photoshoot in Times Square…that moment was the start of my modeling career.
During the day, I work 6am-4pm as a Supervisor in a manufacturing company where I weld, grind, torch . . .whatever’s necessary to get the job done! As soon as I get home, I work my dream career of modeling and acting. Mainly, this consists of updating several profile websites including my Body Positive Model Instagram page or communicating with photographers, agencies, student film artists. Every weekend I am sure to book in photoshoot time, either with a variety of photographers or on my own Samsung 10 and a tripod – the point is to continually build your art and brand your name. I feel however much you want your dream is exactly how much you should work for it…if not more!
BOLD: What Makes you BOLD (unique, awesome, and you)?
Ember: I am BOLD in my determination to break down the barriers others try to contain us with. I feel I’m unique in the personality I hold to be able to see an immediate relationship, friend, or connection to everyday strangers I meet. I hope I’m awesome in the way that I enjoy making others laugh. I will always be there to lighten a situation with a good old embarrassing story of myself – because there are plenty! – and because that’s what they are for, to share and laugh over.
What truly makes me…ME…though, is the constant shock of surprising myself with every adventure I get myself wrapped into. Most recently it was when I just decided to enter the Miss MN USA 2020 Pageant, though I had done it once when I was much younger, I had always told myself I wanted to try it again ‘when I was thin enough’. I realized this year that I was being ridiculous to think there wasn’t a place for me in the pageant just because I’m a size 22, so I entered it anyways, and won Miss Congeniality Miss MN USA 2020. I was honored to have been chosen by all the accomplished women I competed with for this award but I was also proud to have once again surprised myself in what I could do. That was a monumental personal achievement of mine to strut on stage in a swimsuit and know I was proud of the way I looked and who I am. A bold moment, for a bold babe. I only hope it inspired others to do the same.
BOLD: What are some tips you’d like to share with aspiring influencers or models?
Ember: One of the best tips I received was that you have to think of yourself as a BRAND. It really helped me to separate my little insecurities or embarrassments in working in this industry because it wasn’t ME that I was advertising, it’s my brand as Ember. This can open up a world of opportunities for you to think of your business this way. What is your Brand representing? How can you share your Brand with others? It’s made a positive difference to my business side of working as a model, especially one who is doing a lot of their own work, without a direct manager of any kind.
BOLD: What’s your family and personal life like? Who are your best supporters?
Ember: My family is exceptionally eccentric, and I love them for it. We come from an old, back-woods country junkyard farm that gifted me and my siblings with the skills we have today of being mechanics, welders, barters, entrepreneurs . . .anything that could bring in a dime. I see this as a special advantage- yes, in the fact that working on your own car can come in handy, but also that we were never raised to notice the barriers that are out there, in where a welder is considered a man’s job. It was a job that needed to get done and we were the ones there to do it. I use this to support diversity and show that anyone can do whatever it is they want to do and although it might be the unexpected (like my sister and my welding abilities), it is not the impossible.
My personal life, to be honest, really revolves around work! I’ve always had a very high level of ambition and thoroughly enjoy tackling the next challenge that presents itself. I do also put a high focus on my family as well, my siblings and I are undeniably close to one another and hang out on the regular. My folks have even mentioned how lucky we are that we are not the kind of kids to have fallen into any serious addictions in life – other than being addicted to each other!
I have one young niece and another on the way that we all obsess over greatly, and I love to travel as often as I can, commonly visiting my close friends in Jamaica, and even Greece.
I am lucky to have so many family and friends to support me in this, including my childhood friend Sarah, also working into a similar career and of course, my immediate family, but truly my best supporters would have to be my college friend Ashlee and my mom. These two support me to the point of travel! They have helped me in so many ways I can’t count, whether it’s been driving 8 hours to Chicago for a showcase, flying to New York to help support me on my first official Runway Show, or staying awake until midnight just so I can call and read through this questionnaire I’m typing up right now to get their thoughts! They are my positive role models and I know without a doubt would be there to support me in whatever I attempt next.
Bold: What is your “day job” if you have one other than influencing and
Ember: By day I work as a Custom Cell Supervisor in a manufacturing shop, which is a position I grew into from being a welder and continually my day to day tasks could still include a variety of welding, grinding, cutting, or using a plasma torch for precise execution (which is probably my favorite task to do!) on top of managing a large team of hardworking individuals. We work to build large custom, one of a kind, playgrounds that are shipped all over the world. I’ve been with the Landscape Structures Inc about six years and, outside of modeling gigs, it is most definitely the best job I’ve ever had with amazing people to work with as well.
BOLD: What does being an influencer or model mean to you? What do you hope it means to others?
Ember: Being a proud Plus Size Model to me means that every rough patch I went through in the past didn’t hinder my chance of becoming who I truly wanted to be. I might have had a cross-eye, coke-bottle glasses, and a childhood that bullies mocked me for, but every inch of that was just another solid step towards what I stand for now.
I truly hope my modeling image can reach the people who feel insecure, overshadowed, or reluctant in their life and give them an example of their own opportunity and potential. My main objective is to stand up for positive body image and to help break barriers that prevent everyone from being their most authentic selves.
BOLD: What are some things you’ve noticed in the world that you’d like to advocate to change?
Ember: I want to work to change the assumption that something should be the “norm.” Women can be welders in this world just as much as men can be models, and even though I’m a size 22, I shouldn’t be shamed for wanting to wear a crop top if it makes me feel good to do so. There are things today that still surprise people that shouldn’t. I want to put more of that contrast out into the world to shock people into widening their depiction of “norm.”
BOLD: What does beauty mean to you?
Ember: Beauty to me is endless. It can be seen in a skill someone has, like their ability to dance, it can be in their confident mannerisms, the way they don’t hold back their personality, or in their kindness that they show to others around them. Beauty to me is what one person has that others can appreciate them for. Kindness, confidence, a healthy lifestyle…there’s so many ways to be beautiful in this world.
BOLD: What does fat acceptance mean to you? Body Positivity?
Ember: Body Positivity is very important to me personally. I feel it’s a struggle that has hindered me in the past but helps me now in the present. Trying to morph my height and weight to match the others around me was confusing and impossible as a young adult, so for me to be able to speak about how we should open ourselves up to what our bodies CAN do and not wish they were something else – is a great accomplishment in itself for me. Body Positivity means possibility and beauty at every size.
BOLD: Who are some humans who inspire you?
Ember: Melissa McCarthy is a huge inspiration to me because she shows that you can be several sizes throughout your life without having to miss out on anything. One of my favorite quotes of hers is: “How boring would it be if we were all the same?” I am also a huge fan of the model Erica Lauren because she has such a down-to-earth, honest take with everything she puts out there, being her authentic self not only to the camera but to her viewers as well. It’s important to have role models out there who can inspire you to be the version of yourself you’ve always wanted to be.
You can follow Ember at:
Facebook: Ember (https://www.facebook.com/the.amber.davis )
Instagram: Ember.23 (https://www.instagram.com/ember.23/ )
YouTube: Ember (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCkJ1_e8pHakwR22zZT48lpA?view_as=subscriber )