Interview: Taylor Rooks And Joy Taylor Are A Perfect Example Of A Dreammate

Joy Taylor and Taylor Rooks Photo. Image Credit to Rocket Mortgage.
Joy Taylor and Taylor Rooks Photo. Image Credit to Rocket Mortgage. /

Sports broadcasters Taylor Rooks and Joy Taylor have joined forces with Rocket Mortgage's newest campaign, which celebrates the every day "Dreammate." Just in time for the 2024 NFL Draft, the new campaign champions those dreaming of homeownership. Taylor Rooks and Joy Taylor, who are very successful in their careers, are also showing the personal and professional importance of having an emotional tether to a Dreammate, another person who helps lift you up and encourages a shared hope for the future. The duo have a strong understanding of what a Dreammate should be and how they step up to be exactly what the other needs.

Culturess: What does the word, "Dreammate," mean to you?

Taylor Rooks: I think your Dreammate is somebody who supports you and all your goals of what you want to accomplish. They are there with you step, by step encouraging you, reminding you who you are, reminding you what all of your goals are. It is also somebody that you know wants all of the good things for you that you want for yourself, and that's one of the many reasons why Joy is such a fitting Dreammate for me is I feel like we have really walked beside one another in various aspects of our careers and then it's also really cool that we get to partner with one another and walk beside on another in a new business venture and show in our podcast, "Two Personal." So, a Dreammate is all the things that I just named, but it also is what Joy is in my life.

Joy Taylor: I echo all of that, obviously. I think having a Dreammate is somebody that you really rely on and lean on and someone who can sort of fill the spaces where you're lacking. One of the biggest parts, and I think Taylor agrees with this also, of our success has been having Dreammates in each other as we come up through the business and navigate different challenges, both personally and professionally. So, a Dreammate to me is somebody who is really reliable, really consistent, someone that you can trust and lean on in the spaces that you need.

Culturess: How have you been each other's ideal Dreammate pairing in your personal life and careers?

Taylor Rooks: Oh, I feel like in so many ways. The first thing I think that sticks out to me is just Joy is always there to lift me up. I think that when you are in the pursuit of any dream, that is such a vital and important person to have in your life. I know that she is always gonna have my back. I know that when I call Joy, she is going to either say something funny that will make me laugh or say something that makes me keep going. Truly, when you are on the pursuit of something, having that is incredibly irreplaceable. There have been so many times in my life where I really just needed a word. I needed to know that somebody was there, especially somebody that I know has gone through so many of the similar things that I have gone through, and she is always just speaking life into me. That's how Joy, specifically, has been a Dreammate for me in my life.

Joy Taylor: Taylor has been a Dreammate for me, one, because she is inspiring as a person. She has so much integrity and carries herself with so much grace, and she's passionate about what she does. She's a very honest person. She shows up as herself. So, in a lot of ways, she's very inspiring to me. But it's also an incredible blessing to have a Dreammate that you don't have to explain everything to because we are so similar in our careers, because we've had so many of the same experiences, we know the business so well, we know the challenges that the business presents for you personally so well, it's very nice to have somebody that not only that you trust and that you have this incredible friendship with, but, you can just call and talk. Sometimes if you don't have somebody who's in that space who understands what you're going through or what the challenges are, you have to spend that time explaining the players, explaining the environment, explaining what's happening, and then getting to the conversation of what it is that you need help with, or that you want to vent about and being able to skip that step and knowing that there's no judgment and there's always gonna be support, and honestly if you need to be steered in a different direction that you can accept that word as well, so Taylor's been instrumental for me to have in my corner as a friend and as a peer and colleague in the space and in so many ways in so many different situations that I can think of, I've been able to rely on her for all the things that I mentioned just now. Her integrity, her honesty, her authenticity, but truly, she's just a very loyal and special person, and I feel very honored that she's my friend and Dreammate.

Culturess: As females in a male-dominated industry, do you see yourselves as an inspiration to others with similar career dreams?

Taylor Rooks: I think by the definition of the word, for sure, I see myself as an inspiration to others. But, to Joy's point so many of the women in the industry are an inspiration to me. Specifically, with Joy being my Dreammate, my partner, one of my best friends, she really inspires me to be myself fully. She inspires me to use my voice, to not feel like you have to adjust, or assimilate, or conform in any way. And, I think to your point, being in a male-dominated industry, that sort of molding to fit can be a very tempting feeling, but I am inspired by the ways that Joy is constantly and consistently herself and being able to tap into that and knowing who she is, is one of the reasons she has been able to rise to the top in this industry that has so many men is that she is sure of herself, sure of her opinion, sure of her perspective. She knows how to be real and be herself one-hundred percent of the time, and that is inspiring to me. I can just think of so many different things from all of the women in the business that inspire me in various ways and I'm sure there are people that watch me and watch us that feel that way too. I only know that because I am feeling that way when I am working with my peers and my colleagues in this space.

Joy Taylor: Yes, I think that, I mean, obviously Taylor is a huge inspiration for me and is not just the top of the sports' game when it comes to what she does, I think she's the best in the industry right now at what she does and many people, most people, feel that way about her. So I can absolutely say that there are people who are inspired and look up to Taylor, not just young women and young people in the industry, but our colleagues and peers in the business. I definitely feel a responsibility, and I know Taylor does as well, to show up authentically as ourselves and to do great work because we are responsible for keeping the door open and bringing seats to the table for the next generation of women in the business and that's not something that either of us take lightly. Knowing how important Taylor is to the business, knowing how important her voice is, knowing how important my voice is, is something that we don't overlook or take lightly. It's very inspiring to see so many other women in the business doing the work that they're doing and the business expanding for women in sports and just the jobs and opportunities that are coming up, so it's a very exciting time, and I think we both feel a very deep responsibility to just keep showing up as ourselves in that space.

Culturess: The campaign launched before the NFL Draft where lifelong dreams come true for football players. What are you excited about for this year's event in Detroit?

,Taylor Rooks: I love the Draft. I love all Drafts, but I really love the NFL Draft. I'm southern so I'm just a Football gal, but there are few things or moments or events in life where you get to watch people's dreams come true right in front of your face. There's a reason why when the name is called everyone at the table is standing up, cheering, crying, hugging, they are hanging out with all of their Dreammates. All the people that were helping them along the way and to see that hard work pay off, to see the goals and the dreams come to fruition and share that with the people that you love that have supported you really does make it a magical night, right? Like as we discuss what a Dreammate is, you are all working towards that specific moment and we all get to watch it live in front of our faces. So, it genuinely is such a great synergy to be talking about Dreammates with the NFL Draft because, for so many of them, the only reason you were able to make it to the pinnacle of your young career so far was because you had people that were there believing in you and supporting you, and that's what makes the Draft just a truly beautiful night for me.

Joy Taylor: Yeah, the Draft is an incredible experience and very personal for me because my brother was drafted, and I remember the feelings and the emotions as a very young person of watching him be drafted and everything that Taylor was just speaking of with having Dreammates there, people that lift you up, the people who take you to practice, people that encourage you when you're going through an injury. There's all little things and the Draft is so special for those same people with their families and their friends and girlfriends, sometimes with their children and entering into this next phase of their career and just knowing how much work goes into it, obviously from the athlete's perspective but also with their family, and it is really fitting that Rocket Mortgage is the official partner of the NFL Draft because the home buying process is a step in your life that is very important with significance and your Dreammates are a part of that and the NFL Draft is really just a culmination. We're watching a new chapter being opened for young people, and it is the closing of a big chapter of hard work and then the opening of a whole new chapter of hard work. But you do have this moment where you kind of get to rest almost like, 'Wow, I accomplished this thing.' And being drafted at all is an incredible accomplishment. So you get to see these two chapters come together and the moment that everyone gets to celebrate the accomplishment and it is a really special night.

Culturess: What made you feel connected to this campaign?

Taylor Rooks: So many things. But, if I could really just pinpoint one, it's that this campaign did such a good job of capturing, I think, what Joy and I mean to one another. Really before what I heard about Rocket Mortgage was doing, I don't know if I really had a word to put onto Joy and I's relationship. The minute I heard "Dreammate," it was so fitting and so in line with how Joy and I show up for one another. We discuss our dreams. We support our dreams. We have had some of the same dreams that we are now working together on. So, more than her just being one of my best friends, she really does show up in my life as somebody who is a Dreammate, and being able to record all the content with her, be in the commercial with her, is just so special because of what she means to me and I just really admire what Rocket Mortgage has been able to do with this campaign because seeing all the stories with Aiden Hutchinson, with Tualia and Tua, to see that everybody relates by having somebody who is there for them all the time was just such a selling point for me and really exactly what Joy and I are for one another.

Joy Taylor: Yeah, I definitely echo all of that. I would also add that making things personal and showing a behind-the-curtain of how much relationships and trust and integrity, and support really matter for all phases of the business and in life and in whatever it is that you're trying to accomplish that you don't do it on your own, and you don't have to do it on your own. There are resources, and there are people, and there are relationships that really matter in the process of success in life and outside of all of the support that Dreammates offer to you, it really is the relationship and the experience of seeing the success come together and knowing what it took to get there, which is why I think the Draft is an incredible representation of that. The friendships and relationships that are exhibited in this campaign are a great representation of that. And that is what Rocket Mortgage is trying to open up to people and to make people feel comfortable in the process of buying a home. Having a Dreammate, Rocket Mortgage will be that Dreammate to help you accomplish something that everybody wants to reach, which is being a homeowner, and it can feel very isolating and it can very alone, and much like having a Dreammate in life, if you have that Dreammate, it won't feel alone. You won't feel like you have to do everything on your own. You won't feel like you have to have all the answers. You have that support there. What I loved about the campaign also is seeing two women, like Taylor and I, be genuine friends and supporting each other and not be in competition with each other and not represent this idea that we can't work together or don't work together beyond that, we are genuinely friends with a wonderful relationship, and that is how success truly is reached and is reached in a way where you get to enjoy it. So, I think a lot of things about this campaign were really fun to be a part of. But I also think from a personal perspective, I think it really shows how you become successful.

Culturess: What do you think people should look for in a Dreammate that you two have found in each other?

,Taylor Rooks: I think that I speak for both of us when I say, number one is trust. You have to trust your Dreammate implicitly. You have to know that they're there for you, that they have your back, that you can confide in them, that you can be honest with them, that you can be vulnerable with them, and you always know that it will be with you all. It will stay with you all. Because a part of your connection is understanding that. It is a safe haven. So, I think trust is incredibly important in your Dreammate. I think vision is also important because your Dreammate sometimes has to see things in you that you maybe don't see in yourself initially. They have to believe in you in ways that maybe you are still working on believing in yourself because as much as we focus on the dream element of Dreammate, it's really also that "mate" part that is incredibly important, too. Having that partner, having that person that is going to pick you up when you need it, really believing that this is a companion that you can walk through your life with. So, for me, it is trust. It is vision. It is shared experience which Joy and I have so much of just being in this business, being women in this business, being black women in this business, just being on television generally. Those iare some things that I think you can only relate to in a certain realm, and Joy and I really relate to one another in those ways, and it's endless things, but those are the ones that stick out the most to me when you're looking for a Dreammate.

Joy Taylor: I would say that shared vision is super important, I think because you are both really building towards the same thing, and you want to be aligned. I would also say looking for somebody who is compassionate and has a lot of empathy because you're not always going to be your best. You're not always going to have the best day. You're going to get down on yourself. You're gonna hear 'No's.' you're gonna have challenges, and having somebody who doesn't judge you for that and can empathize with the experience and can pour life into you when you're in those harder times as well and remind you of the vision that you both have and the goals you both have and that things do take time. So, I think all those things that Taylor said but I would also say look for somebody who does have a lot of empathy and compassion and integrity.

Each time the hashtag #RocketDreammate is used on TikTok or Instagram now through the end of the NFL Draft on April 27, 2024, Rocket Mortgage will make a $10 dollar contribution to Habitat for Humanity up to $250,000.

To listen to more of Taylor Rooks and Joy Taylor's perspectives on culture and social issues, check out their podcast Two Personal.

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