Today we’d like to introduce you to Danielle Jelks.
Hi Danielle, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
When I was 22, I started a women’s event called God’s chosen daughters with the goal in mind to get women together like myself who had gone through the foster care system and who had experienced things that caused their self-value and worth to be looked at as less than. The goal was to support and encourage women and show them that despite their past they ARE worthy of love, peace and joy. I managed this conference for four years, after which I branched off and created Chosen Queens – a girl’s home for women transitioning out of foster youth. Due to funding, I lost the housing after a year, but it encouraged and inspired me to focus on my art and my love for fashion and music. I began to host an event called SHE (Sharing Her Experiences), an unplugged event where women are able to share their gifts through music and spoken word. While doing this, I continued to intern and improve my fashion knowledge. My shea butter buiness was inspired by my husband – he was on a supplement that caused dry skin, so I decided to start whipping shea butter. It was so good I started making it for my friends and family and they’ve encouraged me to sell it. I now bring my shea butters everywhere I go, even on-set, to encourage people to try the benefits of shea butter. I believe in anything that helps people build the confidence they need to cultilvate great relationships, even if that relationship is with themselves. I want to people to look good, but most importantly, feel good.
Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
Getting where I am now was not smooth at all. There was a lot of internal work I had to do. I grew up in the foster care system with no father and no mother present, which lead to a lot of insecurities and questions about why I even existed. I struggled with seeing my value especially when being around other talented people. No matter how much I accomplished, I always felt like I needed to be better. I had to understand that my journey is my journey and there is no need to be ashamed of where I was in life. I believe that everything I been through has birthed a resilience that I can not explain. I learn to take my pain and use it as fuel. Every time I take a step back or feel floored, I tell myself where I am now has nothing on what I’ve overcame in life. I’ve overcome abandonment, homelessness, bad relationships, and the list goes on. And when I feel like I can’t take anymore I think to myself, I will not waste all the pain I’ve gone through and stop here. I must go on and see what the end will be.
As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
I am known for storytelling. I tell stories through wardrobe styling, spoken word and visual art, and motivational speaking.
What sets me apart is my passion for people and God. I love helping people recognize their inner beauty while alsohelping them feel and look good on the outside through styling them. I enjoy helping my clients create visuals through set design and music, giving them the space to exercise their talent or just being a listening ear. I think what also makes me unique, and what I am known for, is being raw. I tell about my past and what I’ve been through in a very transparent way that people can relate to.
- Motivation speaking/poetry 250 hr
- Wardrobe styling 150/ hr
- Shea butters 8oz $15
- Email: email@example.com
- Website: wwww.shespeakks.com
- Instagram: shespeakks
- Facebook: shespeakks/ Danielle Jelks
- Youtube: shespeakks
Lucia Gomez, Sasha Thomas, Shai Brown, Chris Jackson (retrospective)