By Dustin Turner
Nothing inspires JeQuane Tyler more than her children and she is always ready to do whatever she can to help them. “What keeps me going is the love and passion that I have for my babies. Me investing in their future and wanting them to be the best they can be gets me going!”
It is certainly enough to keep a mother and full-time garnishment specialist for ADP extremely busy. Daughter Jaleeia Givens, 17, is in student council at Grovetown High School, where she also serves on the prom committee and is working toward a career in dentistry. Her other daughter, 5-year-old kindergartener Tysley Shine, is walking runways in fashion shows.
Tysley started modeling at 3 years old. At 4, she walked in her first fashion show for Tara Bryant Johnson at Dominican Beauty and Barber Salon in Augusta. A video taken at that show went viral and was even featured during a national segment on Good Morning America.
“A co-worker asked for her to start doing shows, and it just took off from there,” JeQuane says. “We never expected it to go viral or lead to more modeling work.”
Tysley is now a signed model with Blossom Models and Talent Management, of Atlanta, and has booked more fashion shows, including Columbia (S.C.) Fashion week and, in July 2019, Charlotte (N.C.) Fashion Week. She will be modeling for TJ Maxx, Marshall’s and Law Clothing. A few weeks ago, Tysley walked the runway to show off the latest Lillie Pulitzer designs during Charlotte Seen Productions Splish Splash Fashion Show.
Right now, the family is busy preparing for a trip to New York City for Fashion Week in September. Tysley will be a model for designer Rutu Bhonsle’.
Booking a trip to New York presented some challenges, Jequane says. “We had to raise some money to pay for our flight and hotel. I went on social media and posted the letter from the agent and people sent well-wishes and donations.”
Despite the work, money, time and travel the family puts into Tysley’s modeling, JeQuane says she will never make her daughter keep doing it if she loses interest. “As long as she likes it, she can keep doing it. But if she loses interest, it doesn’t matter. Once I see she has lost interest, we’re done and on to the next thing.”
Modeling in front of crowds of people seems to come naturally. “I’ve been told she has a friendly, outgoing personality,” JeQuane says with a wink as Tysley shyly backs away, not wanting to talk.
Being a model, especially the thought of being on runways during New York Fashion Week, would scare most 5-year-olds, but Tysley finally chimes in to say she is ready.
“New York is going to be far away. When I walk the stage, I hit it, hit, hit it,” Tysley says, enthusiastically punctuating each ‘hit it’ with a head shake and a finger snap. “I don’t get scared.”
Tysley’s modeling – and her interests in other things – are enough to keep any mother busy. Tysley has to focus on school first, JeQuane says, and can only do modeling shows on weekends. Tysley also dances at Augusta Youth School of Dance and participates in the Good Hope Missionary Baptist Church choir and performances for Easter, Christmas and Black History Month. Recently, she has been wanting to play softball and do cheerleading.
Whether Tysley continues modeling or moves on to other things, though, JeQaune sees definite benefits in modeling. “Modeling will allow her to become more and more confident with herself. It will allow her to be exposed to a lot of different skills, such as proper posture, communication skills and poise.”
Modeling gives her experiences most kindergarteners don’t get, JeQuane says. “She may gain popularity or recognition through her photographs or TV spots. Modeling lets her travel and experience different places that many 5-year-old little girls don’t get a chance to visit.”
Jaleeia, 17, supports her younger sister in any way she can, but their personalities are quite different. JeQuane explains: “Tysley has a very bubbly, happy-go-lucky personality. Jaleeia is rather chill and laid back, but she also is very outspoken and independent. Jaleeia is not like Tysley, and that’s what makes them unique as sisters.”
Jaleeia says she enjoys her school activities, which also includes Link Crew. “As upperclassmen, we help younger students and new students learn about the school,” she explains.
Jaleeia wants to become an orthodontist – or a hair stylist. This year, she will be working with a dentist or orthodontist on her senior project, “which is a great step toward her career goals,” JeQuane says.
Just like with Tysley’s modeling, the family works together to help Jaleeia in her career training. “We as a family are providing all the tools, training and information that she needs to help reach her goals. We stick together,” JeQuane says, “and work together as one. We are very prayerful and have faith in God.”
This article appears in the September 2018 issue of Augusta Family Magazine.
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