Written by Kirstyn Brown | Photography by Paul Buceta
A university graduate and graphic designer, she left the workforce in her late 20s to start a family. Nearly two decades later, she had plenty to show for it. She had maintained a healthy, happy marriage and raised three beautiful children—two daughters and a son. But they were growing older and more independent, and at 46 years old, Shawn suddenly struggled to determine her self-worth. She was ready to begin the next stage in her life, but what that was felt unclear. Should she go back to work? To school? Start a business? “I was trying to figure out what to do with myself as my kids needed me less and less,” she says. They were all attractive options, but before coming to a conclusion, she made another life-changing decision: “The first thing was to get in shape.”
And so, Shawn began down another path, this time, to better herself. Learning how to weight train and eat properly, her body, strength, and confidence changed dramatically. The results motivated her to work harder, until soon, she was addicted to her new lifestyle. She sought out new ways to push herself and find new challenges. And in 2014, at 47 years old, she stepped on stage in a crystal bikini next to women half her age in her first fitness competition.
From there, everything seemed to snowball. The following year she modeled for a luxury dress line, appearing in ads in the December 2015 issue of Vogue Magazine. She fell in love with fashion modeling, and continues to do so under representation of two top agencies, including the renowned Wilhelmina Models. That same year, she started designing her own line of women’s fitness apparel, ZoomZoom Life (inspired by her high school nickname and maiden name, Zummo), which officially launched this October. And last fall, just months before her 50th birthday, she’s represented generations of strong women everywhere on our November/December cover. “I hope I can be an inspiration for women my age,” she says of the accomplishment. “I want to show them that it’s never too late.”