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Not Your Average Model

By Aida Toro

Some may recognize Megan Powers from walking the runway for Project Runway Winner Seth Aaron, Sonia Kasparian of Urchin, and Wendy Ohlendorf, Fade to Light and so on and so forth. What many don’t know is that Powers is so much more than a model. She is a mother, devoted partner, and an educated woman with a lot of experience in different fields.

“I toiled with modeling as a teenager through Barbizon and John Robert Powers, but I never pursued it,” said Powers. “I was much more interested in acting, but I did enjoy learning runway.”

Powers was born in Newport Beach, California and was raised in Billings and Great Falls, Montana. She went to four high schools: Charles M. Russel (CMR) high school in Great Falls, Montana, Evergreen High School in Vancouver, WA, a German boarding school for a summer, and the Heritage High School in Vancouver, WA.

After graduating high school, Powers attended Clark College and earned her Associates of Arts (A.A) in Theater and then went on to Washington State University Vancouver (WSUV) and pursued Political Science and Criminal Justice which she graduated from in 2005.

“I did some films in Portland, Oregon, but then the economy crashed and with it, so did the independent film industry,” she said.

Powers put her Political Science and Criminal Justice degrees to use when she interned and volunteered at the Washington State Patrol with a division that focused on finding Washington residents who were purchasing vehicles in Oregon that weren’t paying the WA taxes. She was working towards becoming a dispatcher while trying to decide if she wanted to go to law school or the police academy.

“A trooper I worked with told me that if I decided to become a dispatcher or a police officer, it would be hard on my family for many years because the schedule would be a difficult one,” said Powers.

While interning with the Washington State Patrol, Powers was also working as a front desk operator at a Hilton property. During this time, doors started opening for her in the hospitality industry which made her decide to stay in the industry and work her way up to the Director of Sales position.

“I went from front desk with a Hilton property, to a Sales Coordinator for a Marriott property, I helped open a Residence Inn, became a Catering Manager and Event Meeting Manager for an IHG property, and then a Director of Sales,” she said.

Powers also said, “Being in hospitality just felt right and I loved the competitive and hospitable nature of the industry. I loved meeting so many different people and hearing their life stories. It was so fascinating and beautiful for me. I've always loved a good story.”

In 2010, Powers booked her first-ever professional modeling gig. For the most part, she’s had the opportunity to work with such talented, kind, uplifting, and innovative people.

“I reached out to a director friend and asked him if he had any suggestions on how I may get into modeling while films were currently on hold,” she said. “As fate would have it, he was working on a big production and they just happened to have a model drop out.”

Powers’s friend gave the creator of the production her photo which granted her a spot for the shoot and the rest is history.

“One of my favorite photo shoots was a very special one I did for Wendy Ohlendorf, it was so personal, deep, very emotional and therapeutic.”

Power’s topic of focus for this shoot was abuse and to express how dark and horrible it is, along with the feeling of fighting through it, surviving it, and eventually thriving.

“It was near and dear to my heart and definitely the most personal project I have ever worked on,” expressed Powers about the shoot she did with Ohlendorf. “I will always have a special place for Wendy and the team in my heart for that shoot. It was beautiful, broken, raw, honest, painful, anger and therapy all in one.”

Powers mentioned that Ohlendorf made a video with the photos from the shoot which was played at the beginning of the Fade to Light runway show. Powers actually had the honor of walking in the show and was gifted with one of the dresses she wore for the shoot and opening film that she wore down the runway by Ohlendorf.

Throughout juggling careers, Powers was married for nearly 11 years to her ex-husband.

“I had left hospitality and was staying home with my boys and modeling when we separated,” she said. “Becoming a single mom and going through the trauma of divorce was unimaginably difficult at times.”

Powers made sure that she would receive proper counseling and also became a member of a support group called Her Journey. She was also blessed with a good family and a handful of friends that lifted her up and were there for her whenever she needed to vent out her feelings.

“Going through trauma like that....there are never answers or knowledge on what is ‘the right way to heal’,” said Powers. “I just did the best I could to move forward and be a leader for my children. I knew I had to love on them while they went through the healing, as well and to be patient, and give them all the time they needed. It is my responsibility as a mother to always protect my children and give them the best life possible.”

Sometimes, divorce is the best thing you can do for your children, stated Powers. While growing up, she thought divorce was one of the most horrible things a person could do. Now, she’s come to realize that sometimes it is necessary.

“Her Journey was very helpful,” said Powers about the support group. “I couldn't be where I am today without these amazing ladies.”

Nowadays, Powers works for Tiffany & Co. as a Sales Professional and Diamond Expert, models part-time, has a partner who loves and supports her, along with a new baby in her life.

I love working for Tiffany's,” she said. “I get to see so many types of love every time I go to work, whether it's romantic love, love for a mother to a daughter, aunt to a niece, good friends, celebrating and so on. What an honor for me to help my clients choose a special gift for such special moments.”

Although she assists clients with choosing gifts for special moments, Powers has been experiencing special moments in her life with her partner Dale, whom she met at a Christmas Party for the fashion industry in December 2015. From then on, they were friendly acquaintances— until they went on their f

irst date on March 2017. Now, they have a baby and each and every one of their kids living under the same roof and simply enjoying life together as a big happy family.

“The key ingredients to us having a happy family are love, kindness, acceptance, communication, honesty, and patience,” said Powers. “I remember being really frustrated one day and Dale stopped what he was doing, came over to me and said ‘all we have here is love and kindness, and I love you so much. Everything is ok.’, and it's true. We are a team.”

As for her part-time modeling career, Powers said certain jobs allow her to bring her children with her on set.

“I'm so grateful for that and it is so nice of everyone to help out,” said Powers about her modeling gigs. “I know they don't need to do all that they do, but I appreciate them and love them all so much. It's nice of work to help me out too. I appreciate people being understanding.”

Powers, however, mentioned modeling can be an everyday challenge. You don’t know when the next job will take place, you’re competing with other talented models, and there are not many paying jobs.

“Every audition matters, every move matters,” she said. “We must always stay hungry and never be complacent. It is a constant state of fighting for jobs and continually learning.”

To overcome these obstacles networking definitely helps, as well as having a good attitude, being punctual, professional, and a hunger to learn and grow, stated Powers.

“It's important to be gracious whether we lose jobs or win jobs,” she said. “My friends and I cheer each other on when the other gets a job.”

Powers is looking forward to seeing where life takes her and her family.

“Life has a funny way of always working out, and the Lord works in mysterious ways,” she said. “We're just going along for the ride and it's been a hard, but very beautiful ride to get here. I look forward to a life filled with love and kindness.”


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