Four Inane Questions with rhinestone entrepreneur Glittah Gal


Glittah Gal. // Courtesy photo

Jessica Loughran doesn’t just shine; she sparkles—both figuratively and literally. Loughran is known around these parts as the infamous and legendary Glittah Gal, a Kansas City drag queen “who has turned my hobby into a full-time job,” she tells us. 

Loughran got her start working in the restaurant and retail management industries. 

“But I always loved art and makeup as a hobby, which is how I got involved with drag,” she says. “I started performing at Hamburger Mary’s in 2018 and always wanted everything to be sparkly and over-the-top, so I put rhinestones on everything. Every. Thing.”

Her glitter-iffic style quickly gained her notoriety—and an unexpected side hustle. 

“During the pandemic, I was spending all of my free-time rhinestone-ing costumes and props for people,” she says. “It became more lucrative than working for my day job.”

For the last two years, Glittah Gal has been rhinestone-ing pretty much anything she can get her mitts on (rubber ducks are her jam).

“I have officially turned my rhinestone-ing into a business called Glittah Glam,” she adds. “My TikTok tagline is, ‘Hi! It’s me, Glittah Gal, and I rhinestone things for a living!’” 

Her work has appeared on countless TV shows, including RuPaul’s Drag Race and America’s Got Talent.

“And I have had successful sales booths at RuPaul’s DragCon and other events,” she says. 

Loughran is also a cancer survivor.

“I was diagnosed with uterine cancer with a tumor the size of a volleyball,” she says. “And in January of this year, I underwent a successful surgery to remove the tumor. I’ve been on a health journey trying to make sure I never go through that experience again.”

We caught up with Loughran before one of her popular (and bonkers) drag shows at Woody’s to have her answer our whackadoo questionnaire. Yes, we mercifully wore sunglasses. Yes, we needed them. 

The Pitch: Supposing there’s a glitter “incident,” what’s a surefire way to get rid of and/or remove said glitter?

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Glittah Gal at Hamburger Mary’s. // Courtesy photo

Glittah Gal: You bet that I am the one who knows how to clean up a glitter incident. For that pesky, small glitter that never seems to go away, start with a broom and dustpan, and then use a good, strong piece of duct tape. Dab the glitter up from anywhere!  

For larger glitter—such as rhinestones—they’re a bit more expensive, and spilling them can be a real bummer. I’ve learned that the best thing to do is to use a rubber band to secure some pantyhose over the end of the vacuum hose. Then, vacuum them all up. The pantyhose will collect the rhinestones, so you can use them to sparkle up more things.

If you were a candle fragrance, what candle fragrance would you be? 

I am sure that my friends would make a joke that a Glittah Gal candle would have to smell like E6000 glue. 

However, I would like to think that my candle fragrance would smell like a black-cherry-velvet-type smell. You know, something rich that masks the smell of all of the adhesives I have to use to get rhinestones to stick to things. I love a deep, fruity type smell that makes you feel elegant yet fun at the same time.

Describe—in glorious, hyper-specific detail—the perfect sandwich. 

Give me a nice ciabatta bun sliced in half. Spread a decent amount of mayonnaise on each side of the bun. On the bottom half of the bun, place a one-inch thick slice of the most perfect brie you can find—preferably something from a fancy cheese shop. Add a crispy piece of lettuce and a dollop of pesto, and this sandwich will transport you to the cutest of little European shops.

At least that’s the sandwich I had once in Holland—and I have never been able to forget it.

What’s the longest you’ve ever gone without sleep of any kind?

Well, I tend to work a lot and with some pretty crazy deadlines. Sometimes, clients don’t know what they need for certain performances until the very last minute, so by the time I get the garment or the prop to embellish, I may only have one or two days to get it returned to them. 

Sleep is very important, but meeting deadlines is even more important to me. The longest I’ve gone has been somewhere close to 40 hours before I could finally crash. Caffeine and determination is all it takes to keep me going.

(I was very proud of the end result, and ever since, I’ve added a “quick turnaround” fee to those types of jobs.)

Bonus 5th Question: You have a one-hour road trip. What one song could you listen to on repeat without going insane? 

This is a very hard question to answer. There are so many songs I could listen to on repeat without going insane. I’ve been thinking about how to answer this for a hot minute, and I think I’m going to go with “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen. Maybe it’s cliché, but Queen brings back so many good childhood memories. And “Bohemian Rhapsody” is like several-songs-in-one-song that’s so fun to sing, especially with friends.

Categories: Culture