Q&A: Jonnelle Boyd, Plus Size Model & Founder and CEO of Jonnellebird
“Full Package” has a new meaning when it comes to plus-size model, personal and fashion stylist, and product packaging engineer, Jonnelle Boyd. Turning curves into a career, Jonnelle is the angel we all need to have on our shoulder reminding us of our unique beauty and to rock that piece in our closet that we’ve been “saving for a special occasion” on an average day.
I remember meeting Jonnelle for the first time at a Dames Collective event, absolutely in love with her oh-so-eclectic outfit, bold glasses and contagious smile. Her positive energy radiated in the room, brighter than her skirt and I knew she was a member I wanted to turn into a friend.
Read on and get ready to feel incredibly empowered by Jonnelle as she shares what inspires her self-love and scintillating style.
What inspired you to start your personal styling business?
I have always loved fashion and had a talent for curating styles in a way that communicated my unique perspective. Throughout the years, I have helped friends, family and others shop, style and make wardrobe decisions. That feels like the perfect transition in to being a stylist, right?! Wrong! At the time, I never really thought of fashion / styling as a career path (rural life) and instead went to school to be a packaging engineer. Fast forward... after 8 years of being an engineer, I was laid off due to corporate downsizing; a blessing in disguise! As I navigated unemployment, I took time to immerse myself in the Detroit community and experiment with who and what I wanted to be and do next.
On that journey, I started attending Dames Collective & Femology events, which introduced me to many of my favorite people, including you! At these events everyone commented on my style and started to ask if I was in the fashion industry. Ultimately, I was inspired to turn my passion and what I love to do (and do well) every day in to a company called jonnellebird. I invision jonnellebird as a way to connect with other women and help them curate a wardrobe that focuses on maximizing their confidence, body positivity and self love by embracing exploration and empowerment. I am also inspired to share a message that size does not define beauty (or really have anything to do with it). Beauty is finding inner confidence and living authentically!
How would you describe your style?
Eclectic, edgy with retro flair. I tend to buy a lot of separates, as well as statement pieces to mix; the more patterns, the bolder the colors, the more confident I feel!! Styling is my form of art. You have the right to share as much (or as little) of your body as you want and what you do/wear is for YOURSELF, to feel the best you can. Do you, girl!
Who's your fashion icon and why?
Oddly I cannot point to one specific person as my fashion icon. That being said, there are many, many people that have inspired me; Betsey Johnson, Alexander McQueen, Twiggy, 90's Gwen Stefani, Bettie Page, and many plus size models / influencers (GabiFresh, Tess Holiday, etc). If you compare how I describe my style above to this list of people, I think you will see the why - they all have similar elements to what I love; some edge, some sweet, some retro but all VERY UNIQUE in their own way!
What advice do you find you give yourself often?
In relation to my confidence and self image, I often tell myself: You are not perfect and (important to note the use of "and" vs. "but") you are beautiful no matter your size; you have the right to share as much (or as little) of your body as you want and what you do/wear is for YOURSELF, to feel the best you can. Do you, girl!
In relation to styling & impostor syndrome, I often tell myself : You have a unique perspective and it is worth sharing with the world. I forgive you. Stop overthinking EVERYTHING!
What do you want your clients to know about you?
I am here for you! I at my core believe that clothing is powerful. I believe it has the ability to make you feel strong (er), (more) confident and (more) badass. I believe inclusive fashion is a MUST. I believe we must empower, support and celebrate each other. I love connecting with people, building relationships and inspiring others to experiment with clothing and match their outward appearance to their inner self.
Also, I do not believe in “traditional fashion / style rules”; if it makes you feel great, WEAR IT!
I have a lovely (instagram) husband named Jackson and two kitty cat babes. I love Detroit, the people, the community and the energy!
I can be long winded - does this post make you feel that? LOL
Jonnelle, thank you so much for empowering the Sociva Studios community with your message. I know we all are so inspired by you to love ourselves more and break the fashion rules.