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Interview: Nicole Grays Owens, Celebrity Wardrobe Stylist, Writer, and Host on the Impact of Her Weight-loss Journey and the True Essence of Inward Beauty


Interview: Nicole Grays Owens, Celebrity Wardrobe Stylist, Writer, and Host on the Impact of Her Weight-loss Journey and the True Essence of Inward Beauty

Jasmine Edwards

 Image: Nicole Grays Owens

Image: Nicole Grays Owens

Nicole Grays Owens, hailing from Los Angeles, CA,  is a celebrity wardrobe stylist, image consultant, clothing designer, writer, personal transformation expert, and host of two popular podcasts: “Catch the Convo” and "PILLOW TALK: Live in the Living Room with Niko Grey.” Nicole played a major role in the building of a multi-million dollar payroll and staffing company, recently leaving her role in the company to direct her focus on exciting personal projects.

Check out the interview I did with Nicole to find out more about her transformational weight loss journey; the difficulties she’s endured with men and women post-surgery and how she takes it in stride; although the process lacked ease, how her weight-loss journey experience now seamlessly blends with and adds to her career as a celebrity stylist; her take on the connection between energy and inward beauty; how she beautifies her sacred space; and exciting future projects she has in store to include the creation of an Old Hollywood glam pin-up calendar, and the launch of a fictional novel and line of barware.

Interview: Nicole Grays Owens, Celebrity Wardrobe Stylist, Writer, and Host on the Impact of Her Weight-loss Journey and the True Essence of Inward Beauty


Jasmine: Thank you doing this interview, Nicole. Currently residing in LA, you are a celebrity wardrobe stylist, image consultant, clothing designer, writer, personal transformation expert, host of two popular podcasts: “Catch the Convo” and "PILLOW TALK: Live in the Living Room with Niko Grey,” and are a media correspondent. For BISON, a multi-million dollar payroll and staffing company, you played a major strategic role in not only building its success with your former husband, Wesley Owens, but landing your organization’s first major contract with MARTA (Atlanta Rail Transportation) before moving on to pursue other personal ventures. Through your transformational weight-loss journey, you have lost 150 pounds. Tell me some things I might not know about you.

 Image: Nicole Grays Owens

Image: Nicole Grays Owens

Nicole: Thank you for wanting to know more about me. Doing this interview is an honor. So you'd like to know somethings that aren't in my bio...Wow, this could lead to trouble or make me wildly more popular [laughs out loud]. All of my showers include bubbles, but not solely from soap. Frequently I take an inexpensive bottle of champagne into the bath with with me and once I'm all lathered up I first take a sip, then pour chilled pink champagne all over my body from head to toe and mix it with my favorite shower gel- Vitabath Spring Green.

Also, I'm a total chocoholic. Sometimes I fall asleep with it in my hand, making for a very interesting bed scene when I wake up. I only own white sheets so I can just toss in the wash, add bleach and poof!—like magic, all evidence is destroyed [smiles].

A couple of additional nuggets: I like my music loud, my cars fast, and I chew bubble gum. Blowing bubbles keeps me feeling young. As I answer this question I'm starting to see a theme here. 

Jasmine: I think the body and everything it entails is very personal. For some people, their body does not define who they are, their standard of beauty, or their confidence level; they do not make goals or set activities solely (or largely in-part) on how they look or might feel about how their body is perceived. Then, you have those who visual a different body, a different person. One that takes on a transformed emotional state and a lifted spirit. The body is connected to all parts of self and, for them, it is not something that will be separated or ignored. The reason for pursuing physical transformations vary—the justification for it, I believe, is personal and cannot be accurately based on what you “think” you know about someone based on observations or hearsay; each person in the universe has layers, some filled with memories, wishes, and feelings no one else will ever know (or should know)—thus, I’m extremely partial to having an opinion about what others, especially women (as I too am a woman), do with their bodies. Nicole, tell me about the reason you decided to go on your weight loss journey, and when and where it began.

Nicole: I'm very transparent when it comes to my weight loss journey and the many reasons behind it.

As a youth and teenager weight was never an issue. I was healthy but never one for athletics. There's this thing associated with outdoor activities called sweat and I'm not partial to it. My struggle with weight gain started shortly after graduating high school in 1987 and I remained on that roller coaster until my very necessary gastric bypass surgery in 2008. Through therapy I learned I'm an emotional eater. By the time I'd ballooned to over 300 lbs I knew I had to do something drastic.

Having tried every other diet and weight loss program imaginable, this was the last hope and it worked.

Being overweight for so many years wreaked havoc on my self esteem. Certain I'd heard the phrase "You're so pretty, if you could only lose the weight" more times than I care to count, didn't help. It only made me more withdrawn. I was like that clown who smiled on the outside while crying on the inside.

The elective surgical side of my journey in 2016 included 15 elective plastic surgery procedures that changed my life. Some for the better, some for the worse. I definitely get more attention from both women and men alike...but, I also get more attention from both women and men alike.

What I mean by repeating that sentence a second time is: All attention isn't good attention.

The new me has made other women dislike me for my outward beauty, not knowing my struggle or my journey to get here. Men, well, they're just men. They stare...a little too much for my taste. My presence on social media has led to a fixation or two that I could definitely do without, but it comes with the territory. I'd venture to go so far as to say I think human beings in general would prefer looking fit, curves in the right places, sexy even - but the downside to all that aesthetic deliciousness is a mutha'.

Men objectify me and view me as a trophy, nothing more. And women who aren't secure with themselves dislike me without even knowing me.

I've seen my fair share of couples strolling around in malls or out on a date, and when the woman notices her mate noticing me they hold on tighter or even give that "What are you looking at her for?" glare. Sometimes it's funny, because again...they don't know my journey and the hell it took to get here. Other times I feel like a hussy. "I'm not out to steal your man" is what I want to shout, but I just take it all in stride, realizing this is now a part of this new me and I've gotta take the good with the bad.

The more attractive you are, the more likely strangers are willing to stop and help you, and are nicer to you in general. I have gotten the better table, been called to the front of the line, and am routinely described as a business woman - people say I look like I have money. (They aren't far off either.)

My confidence is on 10, my wardrobe is tailored to fit, and my aura smells like wealth. Not many have $50-$60k to plop down in cash and say "fix it all."

 Photo: Nicole Grays Owens

Photo: Nicole Grays Owens

And my scars...they tell a story, so I have no shame about them.

At 48, guys in their late 20's and early 30's hit on me constantly. Too much of a gap for there to be a connection but it sure does keep my levels of self confidence up. Though the loss (of friendships and money) and the pain (recovery is a bitch), I'd do it all over again. Although my circle is so small it's a triangle, I finally feel like I'm right where I'm supposed to be. 

Jasmine: Nicole, you have had such an experience. I truly believe that experiences are what creates connections to people in ways that would are otherwise be impossible. When I’m looking to spend my money on a product or service, after inspecting for quality, I immediately look up information about the owner. I want to know their story and how I might be able to connect to it and them in some way. If it’s cookie-cutter, I know it’s not for me. You must understand me as a person first and client second. Tell me how your weight-loss journey has helped to better connect you with your clients as a celebrity wardrobe stylist and image consultant.

Nicole: My weight-loss journey has had an incredible impact on the work I do as a celebrity Stylist. On the surface, we sort of fall into the same category as bartenders and hairstylists...our clients tell us their stories.

We're an unbiased familiar but non-judgmental party. Therapists if you will. In the case of "A day in the life of a Stylist" my clientele not only expect discretion, but I've had more women cry on my shoulder than Dr. Phil.

 Image: Nicole Grays Owens

Image: Nicole Grays Owens

They're comfortable with me because of my journey.

They know [that] I know first hand the best ways to cover outward flaws. And because of my many struggles to get where I am now, there's understanding and empathy. I don't just dress you, I address you from top to bottom, inside and out. My sessions have been coined the BOOM-POW Experience.

Not only do I leave clients knocking 'em dead on the carpet or at an event, but our private time together has also knocked out some of that negativity, that feeling of not feeling good enough, worthy enough. I've been every size imaginable from a 4 to a 26...that's a lot of wardrobing know how and a lot of emotional baggage. If my clients need a place to check that baggage, they know they can safely leave it with me.

There's a reason I don't do any marketing as a professional stylist. It's word of mouth and I personally am very selective about who I take on as a client. This is my passion and you can't put a price on what brings me happiness.

But the looks of amazement I get from my clients...priceless. That's the most valuable part of the business for me.

Jasmine: Beyond the external, explain to me your views on beauty.

Nicole: Outward beauty is a beat face in a designer gown - that's easy, but has no depth. Inward beauty is soulful, expression, the way you walk, talk and carry yourself.

Inward beauty is an energy, it's electrifying. You can't see it but you can sense it approaching you.

 Image: Nicole Grays Owens

Image: Nicole Grays Owens

It's that thing that makes you look up and lock eyes with a complete stranger, or the way you feel the urge to turn around for no's because you can feel it coming towards you and you don't wanna miss it. It draws you to it. 

Jasmine: How have you been able to beautify your internal sacred space?

Nicole: It's always been that way. I have OCD, so my space is always neat, tidy and comfy. I surround myself with pillows, white furnishings (yes, I have kids, but I've schooled them well [laughs out loud]). Mood lighting and water features are also a part of my living space. I love mirrors, crushed velvet, suede, leather and mirrors. I also prefer silver over gold. Some say gold is more rich, but I have excellent taste in furniture as well as being a wardrobes stylist, so I make silver accents look sumptuous. Any royal would be well at home in my home.

Jasmine: I believe firmly that beauty is in the eye of the beholder and that the beholder is firstly oneself. You must love the person you will live in, breathe air for, shed tears through, and fight to understand fully and truthfully. Part of this truth is being honest about what you want to see and how you want to feel. What advice would you give to other women who are on a quest to find their beautiful?

Nicole: I don't have a canned response for women on a quest to find their own beauty.

We're all uniquely, insanely and incredibly beautiful in our own way...

and the journey to find that "happy place", that sexy place, that "I've got it and you know you want it" place is a road best travelled alone.

I'm a huge supporter of women, but I equally believe that time spent alone, quietly, reflecting...that's how you find it. You've gotta find you first - [that’s]  the only person who can help you get there. You and a good therapist, and maybe a bottle of pink champagne - couldn't hurt.

Jasmine: Nicole, tell me one word that would describe your journey thus far.

Nicole: Intense

Jasmine: Where do you see yourself going from here?

Nicole: Up—and lifting others as I climb.

Jasmine: Are there any current or future projects you’d like to talk about?

Nicole: Yes! I’m completing a fictional novel (working title is Pulling Over, Pulling Teeth, inspired by true events).

For years I've wanted to do an old Hollywood glam pin-up calendar. Hopefully that will happen in time for 2018 release. In addition to my kitschy #dopesince1969 items for my online boutique, I'm also designing a line of barware to compliment my podcasts "Catch the Convo" and "Pillow Talk: Live in the Living Room with Niko Grey" (I'm Niko Grey lol). Securing a deal with RumChata has been on my get list for over a year. I'm looking to be their brand ambassador. RumChata is the official liqueur for my podcasts.

 Image: Nicole Grays Owens

Image: Nicole Grays Owens

Lastly, to become a part of an ensemble cast on one of Bravo's franchises, such as Real Housewives of Atlanta, would be a dream. Who dreams of being on reality TV one might ask? Me, that's who. It would be wonderful exposure for me personally and that can only help to catapult the Nicole Grays Owens brand. Who doesn't want a springboard into their own personal ideals for greatness?

Did I mention I'm also in the middle of renovating my parents home for myself? As you can see I'm pretty lazy and unmotivated. (Whispers “please send help...”.)

Jasmine: Where can you be found online/off-line?



FB: Nicole Grays Owens (personal and fan page)

IG: @Nicole_Grays_Owens

Twitter: @IAmNicoleGOwens

YouTube: Nicole Grays Owens

Snap chat: NGO1969

Jasmine: Thank you, Nicole!