Many young women dream of standing in a crowd at the local coffee shop or walking through the mall and being "discovered". Whitney Dineen lived the dream while attending the University of Illinois in Chicago. She worked as a plus size model in New York City before settling down in Los Angeles where now, at 38, she caters to the Hollywood elite by spoiling them with cookies and other sweetish delights. This entrepreneur, writer, plus size model and wife took some time out of her hectic schedule to talk modeling and cookies. I hope you find her simply delicious.
Moe: Tell us about the day you were "discovered".
Whitney: When I was in college my friend Tina and I wanted to get tickets to see REM but she had to pick up her pay check from her modeling agency first. Tina introduced me to her agent who in turn introduced me to another agent. They asked if I had ever considered being a model. Well, there I was 6' 1" tall so of course the thought had crossed my mind. But I was also a size 12 at that time so I didn't think it was a possibility. That's when they explained about their new plus size division. I was skeptical at first because let's be real, I was a size 12. I have to admit I was a little miffed at being called plus size. But they explained that in the modeling world, anything above a size 8-10 (at that time) was considered plus. I signed a contract that day.
Moe: What has plus size modeling given you besides a career?
Whitney: More than I can say in a couple sentences. I've grown up in the world of modeling which has been an interesting experience. The job has given me great self confidence at times and has undermined my self confidence at other times. Overall the experience has been wonderful but I don't want people to assume it's an easy job. There's a lot of hard work involved. There are ups and downs like in every other field.
Moe: What do you think every woman should know before she jumps into modeling?
Whitney: You have to really want it! You have to work hard and be prepared to give it your all. But also, and this is a biggy, make sure you're trained to do something else. Modeling is a great career while it lasts but it won't last forever.
Moe: Are you still modeling?
Whitney: Yes. I'm with the Ford Modeling Agency. I do mostly print work and commercials.
Moe: You're kind of an accidental entrepreneur. How long have you been in business and what challenges have you faced running your own business?
Whitney: I've been making cookie baskets for about four years now. As far as challenges, cookies are in my blood and I have to say that so far (knock on wood) it's been a pretty smooth transition for me. Although to be honest, Christmas is a huge challenge due to the sheer volume of business my clients send my way!
Moe: In the past your client base has fallen mainly within the Hollywood realm. Offering one of your best selling cookies online to the general public must be a big step outside your comfort zone. What made you decide to do it?
Whitney: I've done several television appearances and have had people email me from all over the country wanting to try my cookies. I felt it was time to take this step and share the goodies with everyone.
Moe: What makes YOUR cookies so good?
Whitney: It's all the love I put into them!
Moe: Is one cookie just the beginning? What are your future plans?
Whitney: One cookie at a time. In the spring we plan to rotate the gingersnap out and offer another kind. We'll keep doing that until America has had a chance to try all fourteen of my cookies.
If you want to see how Whitney is "Fattening up Hollywood, once cookie at a time" then visit her official website in the related links.