Giselle Samson: Second Chapters; How I Reinvented Myself In The Second Chapter Of My Life

Giselle Samson: Second Chapters; How I Reinvented Myself In The Second Chapter Of My Life

…We all know we live in a world that is divided with so much hurt. Although I cannot change all the negativity in its entirety, I want to promote a symbol that inspires love and kindness. The kiss encapsulates greeting, compassion, love, understanding, and acceptance. By illustrating the world within that kiss, it represents all these feelings for all to give and receive. The larger this brand becomes the more we can give to various non-profit organizations to help be a part of the solution and not the problem. My hope is that we can share this message one pendant at a time…

Many successful people reinvented themselves in a later period in their lives. Jeff Bezos worked on Wall Street before he reinvented himself and started Amazon. Sara Blakely sold office supplies before she started Spanx. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson was a WWE wrestler before he became a successful actor and filmmaker. Arnold Schwarzenegger went from a bodybuilder, to an actor to a Governor. McDonald’s founder Ray Kroc was a milkshake-device salesman before starting the McDonalds franchise in his 50s.

How does one reinvent themselves? What hurdles have to be overcome to take life in a new direction? How do you overcome those challenges? How do you ignore the naysayers? How do you push through the paralyzing fear?

In this series called “Second Chapters; How I Reinvented Myself In The Second Chapter Of My Life “ we are interviewing successful people who reinvented themselves in a second chapter in life, to share their story and help empower others.

As a part of this interview series, I had the pleasure of interviewing Giselle Samson.

Giselle Samson’s first love was dance. She worked for the Walt Disney Company at the age of 17, and gravitated to LA where she landed a spot as a pioneer cast member of the hit TV show America’s Next Top Model (Cycle 1). She even found herself performing for the King of Pop himself, Michael Jackson. Her extraordinary journey is so fascinating that it has been featured as an E True Hollywood story! On the day of one of her last auditions, she sat in her car, preparing for the next chapter of her life. While touching up her makeup and blotting her lips on a napkin, a flood of memories rushed in. She recalled a moment shared with the late Michael Jackson, who had urged her to use her talents to help save the world. Giselle’s transformative journey from the spotlight of the dance stage to the creation of a symbol that transcends boundaries has been a deep passion.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we start, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your childhood backstory?

Mychildhood was rather confusing or shall I say consistently inconsistent. Much of my young life was filled with excitement, education, and artistic expression; however, simultaneously there was a lot of witnessing of verbal and physical abuse in the day-to-day household. While I excelled in school in the gifted and talented program as well as studied classical ballet, I lived in two worlds. My father and mother were separated so I spent most of my time with mom and stepdad where there was a lot of turmoil in the home. Even though this went on, I was still a great student in education and performance. When I visited my dad and relatives, there was more love and calmness with amazing social gatherings. Much of my beautiful young memories are when I spent time with my father, aunts, and grandparents (especially the holidays and trips to Disneyland!). I loved ballet and drama class for it was how I could express myself to my fullest potential and felt seen or heard. This then led me to land my very first performance job as a teenager at the happiest place on earth.

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

One of my favorite life lesson quotes is…


- This quote is so important to me because it helps me from judging myself or others for what we do or have. Judgement is something we all experience and its very damaging, whether it is coming from others or ourselves. Knowing that success is never final, keeps you humble and steers you away from jealousy; and knowing failure is never final, keeps you from depression and deters you from looking down on other people.

You have been blessed with much success. In your opinion, what are the top three qualities that you possess that have helped you accomplish so much? If you can, please share a story or example for each.

  1. Being able to pull myself out of moments of despair. Most of us have moments where we feel down, and it is so easy to allow yourself to fall deep into an emotional rut. It is important for me to let myself feel the feelings and then take action to get out. No, it is not easy but it has to be done.
  2. Learning from those who are more knowledgeable. I am very humble and honest when it comes to not knowing or understanding certain things. I often hire people that are way more qualified in areas where I am not. I am very transparent with them and give credit where it is due.
  3. Staying driven for no one else but myself. Often people tend to do things to have to prove something to other people. For me, that is not enough, and it feels like it is coming from egocentric place. I am my own worst critic and I want to know I did my best on my final days on this earth. Leaving this world with regret feels so incredibly sad so it is up to me to stay driven to feel I gave earth a solid go.

Can you tell us about the specific trigger that made you decide that you were going to “take the plunge” and make your huge transition?

People may know me from the successful tv show, America’s Next Top Model. I am part of the pioneer cast to launch the long running franchise. My dance experience is essentially what led me to be on this show as well as my professional dance career I had thereafter. I went on to work on television, perform on stages all over the US, dance on cruise liners and perform for the King of Pop himself, Michael Jackson. During my years as a dancer, I also studied acting. From drama to Shakespeare, I was able to be a member of a New York theatre company that developed into performing in off Broadway plays. Being on stage is my love! Nothing like feeling the energy of a live audience.

What did you do to discover that you had a new skillset inside of you that you haven’t been maximizing? How did you find that and how did you ultimately overcome the barriers to help manifest those powers?

There was no distinct time or thing per se that I “discovered”. I always knew that there was an entrepreneurial side to me that I wanted to pursue. I was constantly trying to figure out what I could do that would allow me to explore this and support my performance career.

Overtime, I believe I discovered that I possess resilience. To be resilient is key as there are so many obstacles that come into play when developing any business. I often received “no’s” as a performer but receiving them trying something new is another level of discouragement. An entrepreneurial venture is like a baby, imagine people saying your baby is not worthy. Not a good feeling but you keep on trekking along and one day you’ll meet an opportunity where your baby is seen as the golden child.

How are things going with this new initiative? We would love to hear some specific examples or stories.

The most amazing feedback I receive is people seeing the beautiful message that IS the brand, Kiss the World. This initiative isn’t just about being a jewelry product, it is about it being the new symbol of a world in unity and all that it signifies. In our pop-up shops, the brand ignites a ton of conversation with our customers on the vision of the brand. Smiles and positivity are all that come from these conversations. It’s beautiful!

Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

There has been a close person in my life that has fed me with positivity and support in my venture. At times when I feel I may not be good enough, I am told why those thoughts are not true and to keep going. Don’t want to get all mushy about it but yes, I am pretty fortunate to have such a person. I aspire to have more of a thought process like this person because their confidence is on a whole other level.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started in this new direction?

Haha ok, well not sure that this is interesting, but it is a little funny one. It is my first pop-up shop, and I didn’t really know what to expect. I was thinking “hey, well if anything I am just going to get eyes on my pieces and converse with potential customers”. So, I focus on setting my display up and shoot content yada yada. Well then people started approaching and I smiled, we chatted but then they purchased. I am there to sell and, in that moment, I froze and silently freaked out. It was equivalent to that feeling right before a live performance. None of my packaging was ready and I scrambled. Of course, I am trying not to show my nervousness while I frantically gathered the packaging together. As I am putting it all together, my hands are shaking and then proceed to tell them the wrong price than what was listed right there on the table. When they walked away my partner and I started laughing uncontrollably because of how I reacted. It was such a ridiculous.

Did you ever struggle with believing in yourself? If so, how did you overcome that limiting belief about yourself? Can you share a story or example?

This is such a heavy question for me. Yes yes yes, of course, yes. To be honest I am not quite sure that I have overcome this belief. I just sort of shrug it off to be able to move forward with things. When growing up in a competitive setting, we are always being compared to our peers. I was always a very confident young person but over time I let outside opinions infiltrate my strong mind. I could talk about this point for hours but for the sake of this interview, I will just leave it at that.

In my own work I usually encourage my clients to ask for support before they embark on something new. How did you create your support system before you moved to your new chapter?

I didn’t… just decided to become the support system for myself. Along the way as people saw my dedication to pursuing my aspirations they then slowly jumped on the supportive train and that I am grateful for. Of course, we are going to have family and friends that verbally support you and that I have had but I never really relied on anyone for anything.

Starting a new chapter usually means getting out of your comfort zone, how did you do that? Can you share a story or example of that?

Hahaha this question makes me laugh because truth is I am NOT out of my comfort zone. Everything I do towards my goals is incredibly uncomfortable. I mean life is uncomfortable right? But we do it anyway. I must do all the uncomfortable things to move forward. But let me tell you, on the other side of it come more knowledge and excitement. I highly recommend everyone attack their discomfort. Well maybe not all, I most definitely won’t be jumping out of a plane any time soon or in this lifetime hahahaha.

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me before I started” and why?

Oh my goodness okay so probably I would say this:

1) No one knows what the heck is going on so don’t be so hard on yourself about it.

2) Remember, death is the only thing that is finite so go for whatever it is you want and don’t feel attached to a good or bad outcome.

3) Start giving at an early age, this is where you will build gratitude and understanding of others.

4) Strength doesn’t mean you are strong all day every day, it just means that when things become difficult you can fully feel the feelings and then move on.

5) Courage doesn’t mean you don’t have fear. It means doing things while you still have fear.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be?

I love this question because I can actively say that I am in the process of doing this now with Kiss the World. This brand is all about inspiring world unity. We all know we live in a world that is divided with so much hurt. Although I cannot change all the negativity in its entirety, I want to promote a symbol that inspires love and kindness. The kiss encapsulates greeting, compassion, love, understanding, and acceptance. By illustrating the world within that kiss, it represents all these feelings for all to give and receive. The larger this brand becomes the more we can give to various non-profit organizations to help be a part of the solution and not the problem. My hope is that we can share this message one pendant at a time.

We are very blessed that some very prominent names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with 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 enjoy having a private moment with Madonna. A quote I respect from her says, “I am because we are. We all want to love and be loved.” This saying is right in line with the message I am trying to convey to the beautiful people of this world. Just to have this like-minded commonality and to chat would be awesome. Oh, and maybe I would be graced to hear her sing one of her hit songs. Wouldn’t that be epic!?

How can our readers further follow your work online?


IG: @kisstheworldboutique


Thank you so much for sharing these important insights. We wish you continued success and good health!

About the Interviewer: Wanda Malhotra is a wellness entrepreneur, lifestyle journalist, and the CEO of Crunchy Mama Box, a mission-driven platform promoting conscious living. CMB empowers individuals with educational resources and vetted products to help them make informed choices. Passionate about social causes like environmental preservation and animal welfare, Wanda writes about clean beauty, wellness, nutrition, social impact and sustainability, simplifying wellness with curated resources. Join Wanda and the Crunchy Mama Box community in embracing a healthier, more sustainable lifestyle at .

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