Arts Alive - Aug/Sept 2017
Get to know the very savvy businesswoman behind the glitter, the tutus, and the multiple tiaras - a design diva who never stops evolving.
- story by Trish McAlvain
Most know her as the hostess of her own series, the internet sensation “MS Congeniality.” Jaimee started “MS Congeniality” with a mission to defy the image of the typical Mississippian. Every Wednesday another webisode is released. It is a fresh, spunky spin of life in the state, always filmed live with Jaimee interviewing fascinating people living and doing cool things.
In 2017, Mississippi celebrates 200 years of statehood. Jaimee is the face of "Miss Issippi" as Mississippi Bicentennial Hostess. Miss Issippi was a character drawn up in 1917 to represent Mississippi during the state's 100th birthday celebration. Although the centennial festivities were ultimately canceled because of the First World War, Miss Issippi still paraded around the state in costume.
When state bicentennial historians gathered to speak of the mascot chosen 100 years ago, it was decided to have an updated version. Who better to fill those shoes than MS Congeniality? Everyone agreed that Jaimee was the perfect choice.
Jaimee hopes to always be completely approachable to the public in her role as Miss Issippi. "Ask me anything, I'll tell the truth. I hope I don't intimidate you.
She comes by her titles naturally. Jaimee was born in Bay St. Louis to Dottie and Daniel Goad, who are celebrating 43 years of marriage and who still reside on the coast. Her mother has always been a stay-at-home mom, while her father is a NASA rocket scientist. When she was young, Daniel instilled the importance of education when he would often stay up late teaching her chemistry and physics.
Dottie’s love of painting brought the artsy side to the mix. This mixture of science and art makes Jaimee a one-of-a-kind artist with an analytical style of thinking. She says she uses her brain to make decisions, not her heart.
Jaimee spent two years studying organic chemistry in college and made straight A's. However, she was never concerned with exact numbers enough to see this being her profession. She was the student who was a little too theatrical during class and had thoughts of something else in her future.
Her sister Michelle lives in Hawaii. She is Jaimee's best friend, and is a graphic designer and a wonderful belly dancer. Brother Gary Goad is a well-known local electrician here on the Gulf Coast.
As part of the graduating class of 1999 at Long Beach High School, Jaimee always enjoyed seeking the spotlight, first as a cheerleader and a singer. As a high school participant in the international exchange program in 1998, she traveled to Brazil. All she learned abroad helped to broaden her dynamics. Jaimee says, “In spirit, everyone knew me as Miss Brazil."
Jaimee has drawn strength from her husband Joel who has helped her appreciate the "typical Mississippian." Joel helped her to see that "we judge ourselves on how others judge us," she says.
This Hancock county couple lives by the simple belief that it is most important to pride ourselves on our strengths.
"He is a fishing bayou rat," says Jaimee when she speaks fondly of her husband. “It took me 30 years to appreciate the ‘good ol' boy’-style man. Learning that who cares what people think? It's about how you feel."
"Joel knows how to treat me; he is a Southern gentleman, a provider for his family; he hustles as a businessman, and is an overall hard worker with strengths of the manly Mississippi man.”
This is symbolic to Jaimee and instills state pride in her adventures and portrayal as Miss Issippi and MS Congeniality.
This busy couple are both in their thirties and are successful local business owners. Jaimee is celebrating a 10-year anniversary of Jaimee Designs Web Studio, located in Bay St. Louis. Joel has over 13 years invested in his local commercial and residential electrician business as contractor/owner of Dorris Electric Services of Bay St Louis.
Jaimee has been a member of the Rotary Club since 2013. She enjoyed helping fellow Rotarians to get the International Youth Exchange off the ground for Hancock County. Jaimee is fond of the program, knowing the attributes it created in her own experiences as an exchange student.
"I work for myself to give time for a clean, peaceful overall feeling for my family." Joel and Jaimee Dorris are celebrating their three-year wedding anniversary. They stay active with five children, ranging from ages 10 to 21 with Joel's kids from a previous marriage and Jaimee's biological son Micah (who can be spotted as boom mic operator and assistant in “MS Congeniality”).
"I want to be that 90-year-old lady who is comfortable with me—always subject to change, to be even more fabulous!" Constant change is a significant happening within Jaimee's life. "One day I'm eating meat; then one day I'm a vegetarian. That adds to my art element." This year she is excited to see a major transition bridging the family businesses together.
Jaimee is eager to share and lives by her own advice. "Each person's mission is different than everyone else. Inspired ideas are most important. The thing is to listen to your intuition. Oftentimes you must find your own way by listening to yourself.
"Everyone has their own path. Get to know yourself, what you do well. Sometimes, it is something special. Always trust who you are, naturally."
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