Interview with Jill Dodd,
author Currency of Love
by Lindsey Turnbull
Why did you decide to share your story in THE CURRENCY OF LOVE?
I have known for about twenty-five years that someday I’d tell this story. It was a knowing deep inside of me. My hope in doing it is to encourage others to chase their passions. Life hits us with difficult things and when it does, I want to encourage you to get centered and learn everything you can, create new goals and dreams, and move forward with faith. I also want to share my passion for freedom and independence. And with the current obsession over wealth and fame, I thought it might be a good idea to share what it felt like to me and how it really didn’t fill the space inside my heart.
There are several points where everything clicks and it seems so magical! Can you explain how those moments felt?
It did feel totally magical. Being raised atheist, I thought I was alone in the world and when I was rescued from an attack, or survived a dangerous airplane ride, or didn’t get eaten by sharks, or could get off cocaine, or end the eating disorder, I felt like I wasn’t alone. I felt like there was a power way bigger than myself that was with me watching out for me, and helping me. Then when I felt the overwhelming love flood in, I was totally blown away and in awe. To be able to access the power of peace in difficult times is the best gift I’ve ever received.
On the other hand, there are a few times where it seems like everything is really difficult. How did you stay motivated and keep moving in those challenging times?
When no one is there to save you, you have to keep trying and never give up. Also, I like to have clear goals. If my plans don’t work out, I make new goals. I try to stop and be grateful for what I have in the present time, which gives me the perspective to know that if things don’t go my way, I’ll still survive and be happy. But, having a goal and sticking to it until you hit a totally dead-end is the way I do it. I get knocked down so much, but when I gain strength again, I get back to work.
Were you nervous to share these stories with the world?
Yes. Some of the super personal bits about my childhood were not something I wanted to share. Yet, I learned that if I left it out, no one would understand why I was so naïve and vulnerable. Who joins a harem? Only a damaged girl would do that. I was looking for love. I’m not blaming my parents, because I learned lessons I am here to learn. But if I had a more solid, loving home life where women and girls were treated respectfully, I probably wouldn’t have done it.
Jill Dodd, today
Do you think you’ll write another memoir about the growth and development of your international brand, Roxy?
I already wrote a book about it, but it is currently unedited. I don’t know if I will publish it. It’s a very tough story to revisit. Founding and creating Roxy was a blast—challenging but awesome! I was a single parent with an autistic son, which wasn’t easy. More difficult than that though was the way I left the company, which was not a positive situation. It was all about male power, macho chauvinism, sexual politics, and men putting ego and money before doing what’s right.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
My friend Alleen, who is featured in the book, told me to picture myself five years ahead of today. I imagine and even write down what I want my life to look like five years ahead, then ten years, and so on. Plan ahead, but don’t waste a single present day.
How would you encourage young women today who want to get involved in fashion design or modeling?
For fashion design, I would recommend learning some basic skills like drawing, sewing, and pattern making. You don’t need to go to the most expensive school for that. Business courses are equally important. Then start from the bottom! Get a job as a sample cutter, design assistant, production assistant, or gopher! Learn everything you can and by working in the industry, you’ll meet so many people and over time will have many opportunities. With modeling, be prepared to learn skills you never dreamed you would. But before you start, think about your personal boundaries and how far you’re willing to go to succeed. What are you willing or not willing to change about yourself? Modeling can almost require an eating disorder, lip injections, and other body altering. If you still really want to do it, interview with the most prestigious modeling agency you can find and they should guide you in the next steps.
In regard to both careers—know your rights.