With 45,000 followers on Instagram, Amy Jeanette is a widely-admired figure in the vaping world. A veteran vaper and enthusiast “with a few tricks up
THE ROAD TO NOW: How and when did you discover vaping? Can you tell us more about how vaping became such an increasingly central part of your life and, dare we say, purpose?
AJ: Okay, it’s about to get real honest here… I’m a little nervous (laughs). If my story can help someone struggling like I was, then spilling my guts here will be worth it.
During the summer of 2013 I entered treatment for alcohol and drugs… specifically, for my dependency on my prescriptions. I’ve suffered from clinical depression since my late teens and prescription medication and alcohol were my “crutch” for years. Prior to rehab, I’d been off the stinkies for 3 or 4 years. I picked them up about 2 and a half weeks into treatment because everyone in there smoked. I returned home after 41 days of treatment and made it into my first fellowship meeting—Narcotics Anonymous. Standing outside of the meeting I saw a guy vaping and kind of laughed; I thought it looked silly and unnecessary. I even teased him a little but he let me try his and 2 weeks later I bought my first set-up. Initially I planned to keep smoking and just vape indoors but 3 weeks into it I became disgusted with the taste of cigarettes and hated the way I was feeling—physically.
February 2016 will mark 2 years clean! Vaping keeps me clean and sober and has helped my depression a lot. I’m not promoting vaping to treat depression by any means but it’s a part of my story, the purpose behind my passion for this safer alternative to cigarettes. By the way, there is actually a significant community of vapers who are in recovery… it’s pretty awesome.
VAPE FAMOUS: You model for several companies in the vape sphere. Did you model previously? What do you see as the differences between modeling in this industry as opposed to others? Do you have any advice for aspiring vape models?
AJ: Oh gosh. I don’t have any prior modeling experience but I had promotional “modeling” jobs in my early twenties working with companies like Geico, and being a Miller Lite girl (laughs). My major in college, though I didn’t finish, was Public Relations/Journalism. Tying all of that experience together is how I’ve been able to help promote and market for vape companies. It’s extremely fulfilling and fun for me… I just love it.
The difference between modeling in this industry as opposed to others is the controversy. Whether the public views it as right or wrong, and being prepared for the dirty looks, the misjudgment. You have to be strong and have so much passion for it that you just don’t let it get to you.
My advice to aspiring vape models: don’t just throw up a pretty picture and think that’s all it takes to make a name for yourself. People will follow you because they find things to relate to, or because you inspire them. Be kind and personable… let your audience know you’re just as human as they are. Network and get to know people. Please don’t think you have to show a lot of skin to get recognized. I’m fully clothed in most of my posts so if you don’t think you can do it I’m here to tell you that you can!
AJ: I started my own channel for my followers who’ve asked me to since I started this journey. It’s always been in the back of my mind but I was struggling to find the time for it. I was only able to get it up and running after VPX, my last vape convention for this year.
I’m not sure how my reviews will fill a gap; I didn’t really start it with a specific goal. I just see it as a bigger door to connect with others. I like to help people and share my opinions when I really like a product. The feeling I get from positive feedback when someone tries a product I suggest is very fulfilling. It makes me happy.
AJ: What inspires me the most in the industry is the love we share. We are all so different and under ordinary circumstances wouldn’t have crossed paths. Our ability to come together on common ground and encourage one another on a daily basis is fuel for me.
The growing number of people converting from cigarettes to vaping is the best confidence boost for our industry, overall. The more people we have to stand up against the controversy we face is our best chance that our right to vape will be upheld.
TAKE A STAND: Our community obviously faces an uncertain future. Which advocacy efforts resonate with you and inspire hope on a personal level? Do you have any visions for what else we can do as a community to withstand the challenges we face?
AJ: I’m in favor of most of the campaigns set forth out there. Not Blowing Smoke is one of my favorites because I’ve gotten to know the people involved on the front lines and their passion to fight for us is inspiring. As I said previously, the growing number of vapers is encouraging. I’m just trying to be a voice to help shed light on the benefits of vaping in hopes that it will convert more smokers to join a healthier alternative.
VAPE SISTER: What has been your experience as a woman rising to success in the vape world? As a woman who is skilled at vape tricks? Do you feel a special connection to other women who are as passionate about vaping as you are?
AJ: It has been an incredible journey. In November 2014 I flew out to work my very first vape convention. I was really nervous because I was six months sober and didn’t know anyone in the industry aside from online contact. Little did I know then how conducive to my recovery vaping as a whole would be for me. Conventions launched me out of my shell and helped me blossom into the strong person I am today.
And yes, it all started with vape tricks! As a prominently male dominated industry, it’s been interesting for me to say the least (laughs). Of course I feel a special connection to other women who are as passionate about vaping as I am… it’s like a special language only we understand. It’s hard establishing relationships with people who don’t understand my passion so it’s very important to have people in my life who do!
HEART’S DESIRE: We see countless examples of people who eventually became successful as a result of following their passions. When did you realize this pastime could become a career? Where has vaping taken you that you could not have imagined? When you look at the horizon, what future possibilities appear?
AJ: I guess I realized it could become a career after I worked my first vape convention and started booking more shows with different companies. The people I’ve worked for at shows helped me grow as a person because they saw things in me I couldn’t at the time. They believed in me!
As for possibilities, there are a few ideas running around in my mind but since nothing is set in stone yet, I can’t really reveal anything. I guess you’ll have to check in on me every once in a while to see where this all takes me next!
Thank you so much for sharing with us!
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The Inspiration Series:
- Inspiration Series, Part I – MARIA
- Inspiration Series, Part II – WORLDWIDE VAPERS
- Inspiration Series, Part III – RELIK TRIBE
- Inspiration Series, Part IV – BMI ROSE
- Inspiration Series, Part V – DREW
- Inspiration Series, Part VI – AARON BIEBERT
- Inspiration Series, Part VII – AMY JEANETTE
- Inspiration Series, Part VIII – DANIEL WALSH
- Inspiration Series, Part IX – SABRINA
- Inspiration Series Continued HERE