Today is Monday, June 26, 2017

Woman of Wilson: Jessica Dodds

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Life doesn't always go as planned.

There are twists and turns along the journey - but in the case of Jessica Dodds - life has turned out sweeter than she could have ever imagined.

The 31-year-old mother is engaged to her dream guy, Jesse Davis, and is using her talents to improve her community and boost the self-esteem of others.

Dodds was born and raised in Wilson County and attended Lebanon High School before becoming pregnant at 16. She shared that being a "Teen Mom" was not as cool as the MTV show portrays it to be and that she lost many friends because their parents "looked down" on her.

Dodds grew up quickly and focused her energy on making a life for herself and her daughter, Savannah. "I was on a mission to be there for her and make this right. Thank God for my parents and her dad Jason's parents stepping up and supporting us."

Dodds was homeschooled through the remainder of high school and originally planned to become an art teacher after college. She decided that teaching didn't offer her enough creative freedom, so she attended Genesis Career College to become a stylist.

"I wanted to beautify locally. Doing hair is my true art form," she explained. "It is extremely rewarding when people come to you with trust to give them a change ... When you turn them around to show them the finished product in the mirror and they have that self-confidence I know I have done my job for the day."

Dodds currently works at Locks & Lashes and is an Independent Consultant for Rodan & Fields skincare.

Her trade has given her a platform to use her life-experiences to help others.

She began a prom makeover give-away a few years ago for high school girls who applied. "I didn't attend prom, but for the girls who can attend prom I want them to know that I will help them in any way I can- from doing their hair to getting them a dress," she said.

Dodds also created Cuts for CASA, to raise funds for Wilson County Court Appointed Special Advocates.

When she isn't improving the community one cut at a time, Dodds stays busy with her family, including daughter Savannah, 14, her fiancé, and his two boys, L.J. Davis, 7, and Brady Davis, 4. Dodds said her daughter is very involved in competitive cheerleading.

"I am a busy woman with kids, a job, and a home to take care of - I figured why not add beekeeping," she said of her latest hobby - joining the Wilson County Beekeepers Association. "I have been wanting to get into it for many years, but after the Wilson County Fair last year I joined. In my first year I extracted seven gallons of honey."

A woman who inspires Dodds is Jane Goodall, founder of the Jane Goodall Institute, who dedicated her life to conservation and animal welfare.

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