Mom Next Door: Jamie O'Banion / Beauty Entrepreneur
Growing up, Jamie O’Banion had a quote taped to her bedroom door that read: “Shoot for the moon. If you fall short, you just might land on a star.”
“That’s kind of been my mantra,” the North Texas mom says. “There have been plenty of things I’ve tried and failed. I’ve made a lot of mistakes, but every once in a while you get lucky and hit on something that really works.”
It’s a surprisingly modest outlook for a model-turned-mogul, but that’s what makes O’Banion, 34, so magnetic.
The former Miss Teen Texas achieved tycoon status in the beauty industry at the tender age of 25. She’s still a working model with the Kim Dawson Agency — though she’s shifted her focus to Beauty Bioscience, which she launched with her physician father Dr. Terry James in 2011 — and she’s a favorite to more than 100 million Home Shopping Network (HSN) viewers. Then there’s her picture-perfect family: husband Melbourne, who manages an investment holding company that includes Beauty Bioscience, and children Benton, 11; Aubrey, 7; and Gracie, 4.
All this, and still, her feet are firmly planted on the ground.
“I guarantee people on the outside look at my life and think it’s so glamorous, but it’s not without a lot of hard work and sacrifice,” she says. “Great things don’t just happen in life; it’s up to you. We all have 24 hours in a day.”
And for O’Banion no 24 hours are the same. When she’s not traveling domestically and internationally representing Beauty Bioscience, she’s in the lab working on skin care’s next best thing with a team of chemists. For the lifelong beauty junkie and science lover, it’s a hard-earned dream come true.
Have you always loved science?
Growing up, my favorite subject was chemistry. I think it’s genetic because my girls are always making potions in the bathtub. My father is truly the most brilliant person I’ve ever known, and I think that engendered a love in me.
Why do you think you’ve been so successful on HSN?
Passion. I grew up living and breathing this. Also, just having that girlfriend-type bond with people. I’ll have customers call, and I’ll take an hour out of my day and sit and talk with them. I had people call my office and ask my assistant if I was expecting before I even told my mother that I was pregnant with Gracie!
Did you always want children?
I never said it out loud — I didn’t jinx myself — but if I could have planned it, I would have loved a boy and two girls in that order. It happened that way, which is crazy. I always wanted to be a mom because I have the most incredible mother in the world. My oldest brother has cerebral palsy. They didn’t think he’d live past 22, and he just celebrated his 42nd birthday. It’s, without a doubt, due to her love and care. I’m not half the mother she is; she’s a saint.
How would you describe your parenting style?
I’m all about empowering autonomy. Anytime you’re not giving your child the opportunity to do something on their own, you’re subliminally sending them the message that they can’t. Even if it’s not perfect, I’m all about letting them try. You fail your way to success. It’s good to give them opportunities to fail.
As a working mom, do you struggle with mom guilt?
There are days that I feel like an amazing president/CEO and there are days that I feel like am amazing supermom — and they are never on the same day. There’s the constant push and pull. I made it a commitment that everyday I’m in town, whatever happens, I’m there at 3pm to pick up my kids. When it’s your own business; you can’t turn it off. But my girls love the idea of working and building something. I just hope that they remember that their mom was passionate about something.
What’s something we’d be surprised to learn about you?
I’m a total germaphobe!
Favorite way to spend alone time?
Any extra time that I have, I spend with my family and friends. There’s not a lot that I do alone.
Where do you like to go for date night?
We love dinner at Le Bilboquet. We also try to make a cup of tea at night and take 10 minutes to connect and talk about the day. I love dinner and a movie. We love the theater.
Favorite vacation destination?
We just got back from the Maldives this summer. That’s definitely my new favorite.
If you could have anyone over for dinner who would it be?
Peer-to-peer, I really admire Ivanka Trump. We’re about the same age and have several mutual friends; I’m looking forward to actually meeting her in a couple of weeks. I admire the way she seems to balance her life.
If you could have any superpower what would it be?
To be able to clone myself. Come on Google or Apple! Get that technology going!