When Challenges are part of the journey…

PLUS Model Magazine Editor-in-Chief Madeline Jones on pushing through personal and professional challenges that threatened the future of the brand.

In her own words…

My story is not unique. Many entrepreneurs find themselves at constant crossroads as life circumstances continue to knock them around but it’s what we do during those times that determines our future.

Having faith is fabulous when things are going great, but try having faith when you are watching your long term clients walk on over to the new shiny kid on the block and you’re dealing with personal issues as well.

What do you do? Rely on your support system. One of the people I’m most grateful for is my business partner. She is the YING to my YANG. I’m emotional and outspoken and she is steady and cool under pressure. Together, we have seen PLUS Model Magazine through many changes and circumstances that could have brought us under.

I remember one year in particular. I was dealing with many things at the same time. I was struggling with my daughter after her Autism diagnosis and fighting the school system in NYC for proper education for her. I had been in an accident and my leg was twice the size of the other so I was in constant pain but did not want to take the pain medication because it would make me sleepy. I was tired and feeling down and disconnected from my husband, family and friends. I could see everything just going away, including PMM and would cry about it as if it was happening already. I guess in some ways you could say I was feeling depressed.

On the outside, I was strong and happy Maddy. I went to all the events even if I had to wear sneakers and walk with a cane. I was dealing with those curve balls and making it happen but on the inside, I was so scared and living in fear. Fear of what the future held for my child, the business and for me.

Then one day I decided to take a hold of my life and not in its entirety but one issue at a time.

First and foremost, I had to put myself FIRST. If I was in pain, I could not be any good to anyone. That’s when I began intense physical therapy, meditation and prayer. Once I started to feel better and could think clearer, I began to make better decisions professionally. I also had enough energy to deal with the debacle that is the NYC school system. Nothing came easy – but I was focused on getting PMM back to where it was and bringing the brand to a place it had never been before.

I did not fight; I did not put anyone else down. I worked hard to create relationships with people in the industry and celebrated with others as they enjoyed their triumphs.

Eleven years in, we are working with some of the top brands in the industry, not because we are the best but because we are unique in the way we embrace the industry. We have always wanted to celebrate women who often feel invisible.

The other night, my husband was watching a video I hosted and he said, “I love that you are giving opportunities to models that are not often seen. You could be tapping the big agencies but look at what you are doing.”

He hit the nail on the head. I LOVE all the models and bloggers. I celebrate their triumphs and successes but I also want to see more and bring exposure to those who have not reached their next level of success. That is what brings me joy and is the essence of PLUS Model Magazine.

Am I where I want to ultimately be? No! But I honor the journey and the people that have helped me along the way. Unity in the plus size community continues to be my goal.