HLN’s Raising America: The Bluegrass Belle Is Going to Television

May 18, 2013
Photo Credit: Edelman’s for Starbucks

This has been a crazy week around our house, and that isn’t always a bad thing.  A few weeks ago at Mom2.0Summit I did Shark Tank with HLN’s Raising America with Kyra Phillips.  I was a nervous wreck and nearly talked myself out of it several times.  I think I needed to prove to myself that I was capable of something great.

I have spent the last 3.5 years raising my son, and having my husband make me feel like I was an unequal partner in our relationship.  He had worked his desk job in Bogota, Colombia while I stayed behind to care for our son.  I’m not sure how many times I heard, “All you do is watch Gabe and go to the gym.”  My husband on the other hand worked 9 to 5 most days, and had his evenings and weekends free to prowl around Bogota at his leisure.  I on the other hand worked from the time I got up til our son went to bed.  I worked on educating Gabe, teaching him manners, being a mother and a father, going to basketball practice, soccer practice, and everything in between.  I also managed our finances, did classwork, and rarely had any time to myself.  I needed the Shark Tank as validation that I was more than just someone’s mother.  I was a woman, a contribution to society, and I had a voice that should be heard.

When I saw the first three panelist raise those green lights, I knew I was safe.  Rena Popp had her apprehensions about my ability to handle the pressure of being on air, which might have been valid on that day.  I have since figured out I can handle anything thrown at me.  A friend referred to me as a “Steel Magnolia” and it made me beam with pride.  Southern women are known to overcome adversity.

The late Rose G. Cole 

When I saw the episode air today announcing who was chosen, I was almost overwhelmed.  My faith and courage had paid off.  I don’t doubt that my great grandmother Rose G. Cole was in heaven shouting, “that’s my girl.”  I’m not sure anyone knew how to overcome adversity quite like she did.  My Granny Peace would be equally as proud.  She and my grandmothers, Adean Cole and Norma Peace are my true “Steel Magnolias.”  I guess when you grow up in a very rural part of southeastern Kentucky which can be a harsh environment, you learn to never give up.

I hope I can represent my hometown well and I look forward to brainstorming with the producers about my contribution to the show.  I’m not sure when I will be on air, but I imagine it won’t be long.  I need to get with my assigned producer to prep.  Thanks to the producers and Kyra Phillips for listening to the antics of this southern woman and mother.  A special thank you to all the Mom2Summit attendees that approached me after the pitch.  I have a few other projects in the works and I look forward to building relationships in the blogging/branding community.  I have to give a shout out to Brittney Wells who really started all this by encouraging me to apply for the General Federation of Women’s Clubs partnership with United Nations Foundation Shot@Life campaign.  I am inspired daily by the people that surround my life. I couldn’t do any of this without my silly and curious son, who has taught me I don’t have to be so serious.  Lastly, thank you God for giving me the courage to stand up and speak when I had so many other things going on.  Now I am starting to sound like Miss America, so the thank you’s must stop but I appreciate everyone in my life.

On a side note, when they pulled my photo someone assumed the blonde haired, blue eyed girl on my facebook photography business fan page was me.  It is actually my beautiful cousin Brianna.  I really don’t mind, people can think that is me 😉


Woohoo!  This is an amazing day in my life.  I am going to be on HLN’s Raising America with Kyra Phillips speaking about the problems facing military families and children.  I am going to post the official list with links to the others on Monday when it is published. Congrats to all my fellow Shark Tank Mom2Summit green lighters, I am honored to be among your ranks!

Happy Fantastic Friday,

4 comments on “HLN’s Raising America: The Bluegrass Belle Is Going to Television”

    1. Thank you Jen! Your too sweet. All my Shot@Life friends have been so supportive and inspirational. I am grateful for this opportunity. If you need to a military mommy to your ranks at World Moms Blog let me know 😉

  1. Can you hear the cheers coning from FL … SO proud of you lovely Jessica. What an inspiration you are, beautiful inside and out with a heart of gold. Cannot wait to see where you go with all of this … have a feeling, bright lights, big cities and shooting for the stars xxxxx

    1. Thank you my dearest sister from another mister! I want my son to dream big and for him to do that, I have to set an example. Bright lights and big cities would be nice, but I would settle for somewhere sunny and warm. Hopefully I can help a few other women, children, and families along the way!

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