Heirloom Finds recently had the opportunity to coordinate with local body-positive portrait studio Hot Tomato Pin-up Academy and actress Scarlet Sheppard on a day-long photoshoot. Scarlet grew up near HF Headquarters in Parkersburg, West Virginia and graduated with honors from Columbia College Chicago’s theatre program. She currently resides in Southern California and can be found appearing in film, stage and new media productions. We caught up with her to ask her about her modeling experience and personal jewelry favorites.
How was your experience modeling for our recent photo shoot at Hot Tomato Pin-up Academy?
I absolutely loved modeling some of your newest pieces at Hot Tomato! There was so much gorgeous-ness to choose from; I wish we could have done at least a dozen more looks. I especially loved working with photographer Andi Roberts. She was so quick yet precise in setting up each shot. And now seeing the photos, how they’re lit and composed, I really see her vision and am extra impressed!
What did you like about the jewelry you were modeling?
I’ll be honest, I don’t typically wear a lot of jewelry. I’m pretty petite (a.k.a. short!) and I think that’s made me shy away from accessories in general because they sometimes make me feel like a little kid playing dress up in her mother’s closet. But as glamorous and bold as each piece was, I didn’t feel overwhelmed by any of it. I was wearing the jewelry, it wasn’t wearing me! That’s true for each of the collections, even the uber glamorous Old Hollywood line. Each piece at Heirloom Finds has that vintage heirloom feel as though it’s been passed down from one chic generation of women to the next.
How did you come to be an actress and model? What do you like about the work you do?
Well, I started dancing with the local ballet company around age four and really loved that. Soon it became obvious that I loved performing in any capacity (a.k.a. I was a total ham) so when I was asked to do some commercials and print modeling around town, my parents supported me doing that although they were very careful not to become “stage parents.” I had to be motivated to do these things for myself. So I just auditioned for everything I could in the Mid-Ohio Valley and started planning a path towards acting professionally that inevitably took me to Los Angeles. Along the way, I’ve met various filmmakers and photographers who need models for their projects and kindly think of me. That’s been super fun and a bit of a surprise! I never thought I could model for real. My interest in acting and modeling both grew out of a love of dance, I think. Each is about placing yourself in a new world and allowing the stories of that world to move through you physically.
How would you describe your personal style? Do you have a special approach to fashion? What do you wear on a given day?
I love fashion and sometimes feel like a clothing collector, but I try not to take it too seriously. I wear things that make me happy! Maybe I’d call it “whimsical, cowgirl flower child?” That’s ridiculous, but accurate. I’m inspired by my favorite films and the actresses in them. I have these ankle laced gladiator sandals (which I actually wore for the boho collection photos!) that remind me a lot of the ones Audrey Hepburn wears in Roman Holiday when she gets her hair cut and eats gelato. I always have my trusty, brown leather, map-faced watch on with some kind of delicate gold bracelet alongside it. Or sometimes I’ll just let a big, colorful statement necklace do all the talking!
Do you have any favorite pieces from the Heirloom Finds catalog?
YES! The Opalescent Fan Statement Necklace, Burgundy Warrior Tassel Pendant, Silver Spring Pastels Diadem Statement Necklace, Stone Geode Statement Ring and the Rose Quartz Orb Topped Goldtone Cuff Bracelet are all in my suitcase at this very moment.
Do you have any advice for anyone pursuing a career in acting or modeling?
Be easy and fun to work with! “Networking” is an icky word, but the more people you meet and show kindness to (in life, as well as in your career) the happier you’ll be and the more opportunities will come your way. Be on time, be excited to be at whatever photoshoot or audition or job or rehearsal the day presents you with. Be ready to do your best. Ideally, this will just come naturally because this type of work IS so much fun. But it’s still a job and sometimes you’d rather be in bed. That’s okay, but don’t forget to be grateful that you’ve been asked to come and play!
by Sarah Clark