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Aug 12, 2019

Emily Harman, host of Onward Podcast, interviews Cynthia Jamin, Chief Executive Officer and Designer at TwirlyGirl. TwirlyGirl is a company that creates a girl’s favorite dresses - dresses that never see the inside of a closet - and the result is something magical. Cynthia grew up in Chicago and because of her abusive childhood, she relocated to California to live with her father at age 13. She was a professional actress but decided to become an entrepreneur. With a $20,000 inheritance and strong perseverance, a business was born! TwirlyGirl is now a multi-million dollar brand. Cynthia also shares a very personal secret about her childhood trauma and how it impacted her life. See discusses how she moved onward and became a wife, mother, and business owner.  


Episode Highlights: 

  • Emily Harman introduces Cynthia Jamin.
  • How did Cynthia create TwirlyGirl?
  • What is unique about TwirlyGirl clothing? 
  • What obstacles did Cynthia overcome to make TwirlyGirl successful?
  • On what sitcoms was Cynthia featured? 
  • What were the circumstances that led to Cynthia being sexually abused for six years?
  • What made the abuse stop when Cynthia was 12 years old? 
  • How did Cynthia cope with the aftermath of the abuse and trauma she experienced? 
  • How did Cynthia’s abuser finally get arrested? 
  • Cynthia describes her experience in court when she faced her abuser.
  • What helped make Cynthia a stronger person? 
  • How did what happened to Cynthia impact how she raises her daughters? 
  • What advice does Cynthia have for parents concerned as to whether their children have been abused? 


3 Key Points:

  1. When starting a business, start small and build up slowly as you start having success. Manage expectations, be flexible, be willing to let go of things that aren’t working.
  2. TwirlyGirl dresses are soft and comfortable with an element of fantasy. The dresses are created to be unique and wearable for every day. The dresses project fantasy, with stories attached, are produced in limited quantities, and are individually numbered like works of art. Wearing the dress is an experience.
  3. Bad things happen to all of us but the experiences don’t have to define us.


Tweetable Quotes: 

  • “When you are in that position of risk, there are a lot of choices that you’ll make and you’d may not make if you had the luxury of time.” – Cynthia Jamin on starting a business.
  • “It really transforms them.They become more of who they are. There is a little bit of magic in them that allows the girls to just experience something they’ve never experienced within themselves. Which is what I never had. So it kind of has been me really getting to experience a childhood that I should have had.” – Cynthia Jamin talking about TwirlyGirl dresses.
  • “It is not sexual abuse, it is sexual seduction to a child that does not have the language to express what is happening.” – Cynthia Jamin describing her childhood trauma 


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