Former Model Making Sly Business Moves in P.I. field

January 13, 2011  |  

“I chose ‘sly’ because it was indicative of my need to be elusive in the industry and ‘fox’ because it denotes femininity in a male-dominated industry,” Joseph said. “I like celebrating women.”

Sly Fox Investigations, despite its need to fly under the radar when dealing with clients, has made itself known in the community. Joseph’s agency specializes in a number of service areas, including insurance fraud, infidelity, background checks, and child custody issues. However, Joseph decided to offer help to domestic violence victims free of charge.

“We’re the only agency that specializes in domestic violence. I’m a crisis counselor for a battered women’s shelter and I’m passionate about spreading awareness,” she said. “I’m most proud of the fact that we help document evidence of restraining order violations and do it free of charge.”

Sly Fox recently partnered with another company to host a community workshop on female empowerment, including pampering sessions, inspirational speakers, and safety advice. This desire to give back to the community, specifically through assisting domestic violence victims, comes from Joseph’s personal experience of violence in her home as a child.

“I witnessed my mom in situations with my dad and I would try to get in the middle to break up fights. Not only that, but my mom’s best friend was murdered by her husband. As a child, I remembered all of that,” Joseph said. “I’m aware that these women who are victims could very well be me. It’s important to look out for other women in the community.”

While much of the work Sly Fox does for its clients is handled through surveillance from afar, sometimes Joseph or one of her two employees has to go into a building or follow a subject on foot to obtain the footage needed for the client or the court case. The work is generally safe, but it relies on Joseph’s ability to remain incognito, so she takes the necessary precautions.

“I always have a change of clothes and sometimes I wear wigs. That’s the Hollywood part of things,” she said.

The photo of Joseph on the Sly Fox website gives away more of her modeling talent than investigative techniques, but she maintains she looks nothing like that on the job. However, that doesn’t keep some people from making a pass at the model-turned-PI, including a few men she was surveying for clients

“I look just like everybody else when I’m on the job,” she said. “But there have been a couple of times when some guys have tried to hit on me, so I video taped it. What more proof do you need?”

The business has only been open a few months, but Joseph said Sly Fox is already seeing between 10 and 15 clients per month utilizing various services. While insurance fraud and infidelity make up the bulk of the company’s business, they diversified into other areas including conducting witness interviews and statements and pre-marital and dating background checks.

“I plan before I act in everything I do. When I make a move, it’s something I’m sure of,” Joseph said of her business philosophy. “So far these steps I’ve taken have been good ones and have allowed me to progress. Right now I’m just introducing myself to the world.”

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