Maison Close bra and cuffs; Left Turn Jewelry earrings.
When we introduced you to our 2012 Sailor Jerry Calendar Contest winner, Levy Tran, in the December/January issue, readers wrote in with comments such as, “I want to see more of her!” and, “She’s an embalmer?” To answer the first, here you go! And for the second, we delve further into her dark occupation: “Teaching was just too much responsibility for me at that time,” Tran says of her original vocation. “I took a two-year hiatus and?worked at a Japanese restaurant, where I met some really awesome police officers who took me on ride-alongs out to the crime scenes, morgues, and coroner’s office. That is when I started to really get interested in the whole field. I actually started off wanting to work at the coroner’s office, but found a different path, mortuary science. I never was a science girl, but I fell in love with it.”
Her first love before mortuary science, however, was ink. As early as 13, Tran had her heart set on tattoos, and she sprang for her first one as soon as she turned 18. “My first tattoo was a few stars on my lower back,” she says. “I know, I know, it was a tramp stamp—it was a learning experience.” From there, the rest of her body was fair game, from her flowery arms to the Smiths lyrics across her chest. “Some of my tattoos have meanings, but most of them are art pieces that I liked at that time. Now they hold value because they help bring me back to specific moments in my life. I wouldn’t change my tattoos for the world.”
After her tattoos and adorable looks won us over, others took notice, and her modeling career is taking off. The unintended side effect is that she has cooled it on embalming for the moment. “I was taking too much time off work at the funeral home to travel for photo shoots,” Tran says. “My boss told me that I should pick one, and so I did.” But her heart will always belong to the mortuary sciences; although we may never want her to disappear from magazines and computer screens, she does plan on returning to it. “I’m going back to it when I’m done with what I’m searching for,” she says. “The ability to help those families at their most difficult and vulnerable time is so fulfilling to me. When they hug and thank me, I feel so proud and accomplished. Words can’t describe how I feel after those hugs.”