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Joy Corrigan: “Find your passion”

Find your passion, there is no time frame, no age. Just keep experiencing life and you will find it. Once you do, make a game plan and focus, no matter what people tell you, no matter the rejections, just focus! What you choose to do is just as important as the things you choose not […]

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Find your passion, there is no time frame, no age. Just keep experiencing life and you will find it. Once you do, make a game plan and focus, no matter what people tell you, no matter the rejections, just focus! What you choose to do is just as important as the things you choose not to do. Don’t feel bad about turning down opportunities that aren’t part of your dream or passion to give you time to focus on what you truly desire. Also, be flexible enough to adjust your plan when things don’t work out. Ultimately, never give up.


As a part of our series about stars who are making an important social impact, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Joy Corrigan.

International model, actress, and philanthropist, Joy Corrigan has managed to stand out amongst her peers with her passion for acting, her artistic eye for fashion, and her love for animals. The blonde beauty has previously starred in the Lionsgate film REPRISAL starring Bruce Willis and Frank Grillo. She’s also previously worked with Arnold Schwarzenegger in the Lionsgate film AFTERMATH.

Her love for animals and fashion led her and her sister, Gina [Corrigan] Smith to create NAKED SPECIES, a women’s and men’s clothing brand that offers everyday basics with a modern twist to street style, Naked Species infuses art and awareness into every piece, making “Basics” not so basic. The two have always had a passion for art, fashion and protecting the many creatures that coexists on the planet. Naked Species combines their passions for an important purpose.

As part of the commitment to end the extinction of endangered species, 10% of the proceeds from sales is donated to the Wild Tomorrow Fund (a non-profit organization dedicated to the protection of threatened and endangered species and the habitats they depend on for survival). Joy has personally designed each piece with her style and art, so everyone who wears these pieces can proudly display their support for endangered species.

Originally from North Carolina, Joy grew up in a small town on a farm being one of ten children in a close-knit family. Feeling like a big fish in a small pond, she made the courageous decision to move to Mami to model, from there she made her way to Los Angeles, only to pack her bags up and set herself up in the big apple. While in NYC, she signed with Marilyn Agency and continued to elevate her career. She now resides in Newport Beach, CA and continues to model, act and design.

Joy has modeled and shot popular campaigns with Guess, Urban Decay, Frankie’s Bikinis and has walked for designers including Roberto Cavalli and Vivienne Westwood.


Thank you so much for joining us! Can you share with us the “backstory” that led you to this career path?

I come from humble beginnings. I grew up on farmland in a small town in North Carolina with my six brothers and three sisters. The population of the town was less than 2000 people when we moved there. One day when I was 14, my parents drove me to the nearest mall, which was 25 miles away. This is where I was approached by someone recruiting for a local fashion show. I couldn’t believe this could happen to me and it ended up being one of the most pivotal moments in my life; walking down that runway at only 14 years old inspired a passion that would drive me to where I am today. Through the toughest times it has fueled me to keep going and I have never looked back.

Can you share the funniest or most interesting story that occurred to you in the course of your career? What was the lesson or take away that you took out of that story?

When my career was just getting started, I decided to spend some time in Milan with a new agency. I had no agenda and planned to figure it out as I went. The week I got there I visited a local cafe. A few tables over, I overheard three models speaking about a casting they were going to later that day. I really wanted to be a part of it but I was super intimidated by these models. Pushing my fears and insecurities aside, I approached them and asked if I could join them and they agreed. When I arrived at the casting, there were hundreds of experienced models and to my surprise they chose me. I was beyond excited and felt so lucky. Every day, I take every opportunity, to face my fears and challenge my insecurities by believing that anything is possible.

What would you advise a young person who wants to emulate your success?

Find your passion, there is no time frame, no age. Just keep experiencing life and you will find it. Once you do, make a game plan and focus, no matter what people tell you, no matter the rejections, just focus! What you choose to do is just as important as the things you choose not to do. Don’t feel bad about turning down opportunities that aren’t part of your dream or passion to give you time to focus on what you truly desire. Also, be flexible enough to adjust your plan when things don’t work out. Ultimately, never give up.

Is there a person that made a profound impact on your life? Can you share a story?

Yes, my mother has been a huge inspiration to me. She birthed and raised ten children with my father, while also being a successful businesswoman. She taught me that you can be a successful career woman and still make time for family. She set an example of seeking out love over money, loyalty over frivolous relationships, and to always keep true to yourself and your values.

How are you using your success to bring goodness to the world? Can you share with us the meaningful or exciting causes you are working on right now?

We have beautiful species going extinct every day, which according to the United Nations is around “1 million plants and animals within decades.” It was paramount for me to use my voice in order to bring awareness. I always had a love and passion for animals, and I hope I can make a difference. Which is why I have partnered with Wild Tomorrow Fund, a charity that focuses on preserving wildlife and protecting its habitat. They are based in South Africa, and their goal is to protect threatened and endangered species, also, to teach us how to help preserve their habitat which these animals depend on for survival. I appreciate and respect their work; I have learned so much and am so grateful to have found them.

Can you share with us the story behind why you chose to take up this particular cause?

Growing up on a farmland allowed us to have (almost) any type of animal we wanted as pets. The only catch was that we had to be the ones to take care of them. Throughout my childhood I had pet rabbits, dogs, ducks, horses, lamas, goats, sheep, and chickens. These animals inevitably were an extension of my family. We fed them, groomed them and took care of them every single day and in return they loved us back unconditionally. I realized there are many animals that are going extinct and don’t have a chance. I’ve made it my mission to use my influence to save these beautiful creatures from extinction.

Can you share with us a story about a person who was impacted by your cause?

The Wild Tomorrow Fund is always grateful to my contributions through Naked Species and I hope many other people are touched and now more than ever aware of the growing cause at hand.

Are there three things that individuals, society or the government can do to support you in this effort?

The first step is awareness; I feel society is making good progress there but there’s still so much that needs to be done. The next thing I recommend is to donate to the charities with a mission to protect wildlife. Finally, we need to elect leaders that support policy to end extinction and protect endangered species.

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or an example for each

I would have to say:

Never take anything for granted

Being kind to people goes further than you think

Sleep is vital

Hydration is key

Have the right team around you.

In the beginning I would have the attitude “I’ll sleep when I die”, and I found myself getting sick often with little sleep. Now, I make sleep my priority and I have more energy to withstand long shoot days. I have always found that no matter what level you are in your career, being kind to everyone on set regardless of your position goes a long way. You never know what someone is going through that day, and smile can change their world.

You are a person of enormous influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

I would love to encourage people to reach out and check on their friends, family, and loved ones. Especially in this hard time, you never know when it can make a difference. It’s really easy to feel isolated and alone in an ever-connected society. Call your friends on their birthday — have a real conversation.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you explain how that was relevant in your life?

My father is one of the most selfless people I know; he lives by the quote “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” I’ve taken this as my personal motto and try to the best of my ability to practice this behavior. In the world we live in today there is so much hate and selfish behaviors. Doing this has kept me grounded and brought me fulfillment in my career and personal life.

We are blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Politics, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them 🙂

I would love to have breakfast with Ellen DeGeneres and her wife, since they have worked so hard to help protect and preserve animals. Just recently, she was gifted The Ellen DeGeneres Wild Life Fund by her wife, Portia. Like her, this cause is dear to my heart and I would love to gain more knowledge in that regard and bring awareness to the world and get people to act.

Follow Joy on Instagram: @joycorrigan and her brand Naked Species: @nakedspecies

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