Introducing, Jenna Esposito! Although she is a very busy woman (as you’ll see below), Jenna stepped up and has lasso’d up the challenge by heading our Northeastern Region Branch of Costumers With A Cause. Not an easy task in any book!
Jenna Esposito is a business woman, cosplayer, crafter, and Wonder Woman superfan based out of Jacksonville, FL. Recognized in the region as an award-winning cosplayer and one of Folio Weekly’s Favorite Cosplayers in Jacksonville, she has enough credential to make Diana Prince gasp. Not only was she hired by the Jacksonville Sharks football team as Wonder Woman herself, she donates her time and efforts to charity causes via Costumers with a Cause.
As many women can relate, Jenna expands her crafty nature into her other true love: shoes. Her internationally selling shoe and fashion business, Shoebeedoo Boutique, has garnered sales from around the world. Her expert in the craft dons the feet of many a blushing bride, as well as power fans at conventions everywhere.
Though boasting her enviable collection of 1978-to-now Wonder Woman merchandise, closet of Wonder Woman outfits, and guest appearances, Jenna considers her greatest legacy and achievement her two teenage daughters. Determined to lead them down the path of nerdy glory, they often accompany her in awe-striking cosplays, reminiscent of Wonder Woman herself.
We asked Jenna a few questions to allow you to get to know her a little better. Here are the questions with her responses.
1: How did you hear of Costumers With A Cause?
Costumers with a Cause peaked my interested at MegaCon in Orlando, FL. I realized that Jacksonville was lacking a similar charity group, so I reached out to Scott. Through tenacity and creative communication (read: pestering), I began the Jacksonville, FL chapter. (And we are so glad she did!)
2: Outside of Costumers With a Cause, what are your hobbies or special interests?
My world revolves around my wonderful teenage girls. We share a love for costuming and cosplay. I’ve been fortunate to learn as much from them as they are able to teach me; their natural creative and artistic nature makes it easy to collaborate on our costumes.
My hobbies are limited outside of my day job and shoe business. Though when I get the chance, you can find me exploring worlds and bonding with my favorite characters on the xBox.
3: What is your favorite superhero and why?
At the risk of showing my age, I’ve been a Wonder Woman fan ever since I watched the show on television. She represents female power, strength and love.
Cosplay was a life changing experience for me because I actually get to be her. I get to experience the power that comes with being the embodiment of female strength. In the costume, I get to see the glimmer and adoration in little girls today, mirroring the same love and adoration I shared as a child. To be able to make her and everything she stands for real is something I cherish, and it is a feeling I hope all are able to experience.
4: What is your most memorable volunteer experience, with CWC or any other org?
My most memorable CWC event was in Jacksonville, FL at the annual Children’s Christmas Party. About 7,000 children and their families wait in line to receive toys and a chance to win a bicycle.
Though the gifts aren’t all there is to be had at the event. The doors open to a beautifully decorated party hall, where they are greeted by Mister and Mrs. Claus. Hundreds of volunteers play the part of real-life Santa, delivering toys and providing entertainment. The children are able to receive a toy of their choice, from a colorful cast of characters ranging from Wonder Woman to Spider-Man and more.
Playing a part in creating real life magic for those children is an experience I’ll treasure forever.
5: You’re stuck on a deserted island. You have one “magical item” and one friend with you. What would your magical item be, what could it do, and which friend would you have and why?
I can’t stand being bored with idle hands. I would need a magical item to create games or conundrums for me to play and solve.
Of course, my children would be my first choice of companions. However, for friends I would choose Heather. Her quirky perspective and light-hearted nature are always good for a laugh. She would keep me entertained and motivated with her creativity. I have no doubt that we would build an entire abandoned village with sticks and leaves, covered head to toe in mud and laughing like crazy people.
6: What was your greatest challenge is designing, or putting together any of your costumes?
My greatest challenge is myself and my lack of patience. I prioritize being finished over being perfect; my lines aren’t straight and my cuts aren’t clean. To this day, I am working to correct this behavior. Like any artisan, I see every flaw in my work. “Good enough,” becomes less and less acceptable every day.
7: What is one of your favorite childhood memories?
My dad for sure. He worked for quality control for Dunkin Donuts so he would do a lot of testing. I remember him bring home different donuts and we would have to choose what chocolate icing we thought tasted better. I went to work with him once and I got to help make some donuts. There was a faux store in his office building and of course I played pretend store employee.
8: If you could rid the world of one childhood disease or illness what would it be?
9: Is there any organizations that you hold a little closer to your heart? If so, would you care to share why?
The Children’s Cancer Fund is one that I care deeply for.
I’ve watched a close friend struggle with the harsh diagnosis of cancer in her 15 year-old son. Daily, she battles both heartache and the need to be a pillar of strength in the family. I can only imagine how I would feel in her shoes. To me, she is my real life Wonder Woman.
10: If you could go anywhere real or make believe, where would you go, what would you do? Use your imagination and describe the details!
One could make a guess and be correct: Themyscira–the world of Wonder Woman! There I could be trained into a fully-realized Amazonian! I’ve already got all the clothes and everything.
Here are a few more photos of Jenna. Thank you so much for all you do for CWC Jenna! It is because of members like you that allow us to do the wonderful things we do!
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