Inspired by: Jenni Eyles
I truly believe we rise by lifting others, and so I'm excited to bring you an interview series, simply named "Inspired by," where we get up close and personal with some amazing people I admire!
I follow all sorts of accounts on social media, and so many women from all walks of life and careers inspire me. My hope through these blog posts is that these ladies inspire you too!
First up, I'd like you to meet my friend Jenni.
Formally known as Styling Curvy, now as Jenni Eyles (and also her business account, Neon Cherry), you may have heard of this fashion and empowerment trailblazer.
From very early on in Zarc's journey, Jenni inspired me with her positive energy and zero-fuc*s attitude! I love it! I am mostly a "what you see is what you get," and a, "say it as it is" kinda gal, so seeing a strong woman on social media saying exactly how it was, when so many are cautious, was a breath of fresh air! Jenni was one of the first people to genuinely help Zarc! I am forever grateful of Jenni sharing our clothes out of the pure kindness of her own heart when Zarc was brand new, and we were literally putting one foot in front of the next.
Grab a cuppa, and get ready to get acquainted with the funny, formidable and fabulous Jenni Eyles!
Jenni, can you tell us what inspires you?
Ahhhh, this is a tough one! I crave contentment, wellness, and stability, so choose to invite all things into my life that can expand and fulfil those parts of my life.
A serious illness almost eight years ago changed my life and opened my eyes to what and who is important - I try to focus on that. Inspiration can show up on the daily, from chats with friends, podcasts, interactions online or even a chance meeting with a stranger. Just be open to receiving it.
When did you develop your love of fashion?
I was born in the 70’s and influenced by the 80’s. As a young teen I would spend weekends in my bedroom sketching designs that usually featured a padded power shoulder and large pockets…I still love a pocket! Chambray, white boots, a blazer and pretty dresses are all still my favourite styles and just like Run DMC, I wear sneakers with pretty much everything. I’ve always worked in fashion in some form and love how a colour, print or style can transform my mood.
What is your most favourite piece of clothing and why?
I always go back to a chambray shirt and denim jacket and have quite a collection. They soften dark colours, add a pop of colour, make my blue eyes pop and can be tied around my waist or layered.
How do you respond to negative/toxic feeds on social media?
UGH, how long do you have, LOL! I’ve been running online businesses since 2014 and over that time have definitely seen the mean girls become more vocal - keyboard critics are also rife. Personally, I follow accounts that make me feel good and if that account has an ‘off’ day I make allowances. I have learned that I don’t need to respond to everything I see or read on the internet and I can scroll past. Let whoever think whatever! Follow accounts that you enjoy and know that most accounts you follow are in your life a season or two and that’s ok.
Professionally, I have been on the receiving end of some choice comments and attacks, and let me tell you, it doesn’t feel great. I have learned to let some comments go through to the keeper, will block or delete without responding, and have a strong eye-roll action. Sometimes though, when I’m not feeling my strongest, the shitty message and remarks can really sting and linger. That’s the thing, whether it’s in real life or online, mean behaviour is destructive and just not warranted.
Tea or coffee? Which is your fave and how do you have it?
Oh gosh, this is like choosing your fave child, right! I have times when I go off coffee for months at a time to give my system a break, but it’s so good, and always lures me back. I love both! Almond milk latte (but only one a day) or a herbal tea with a splash of cool water.
Younger generation - what advice would you give to them?
As the mum to two boys aged 22 and 25, I have learned that sometimes advice is better off kept to myself. Instead, I try to support my boys where I can and lead by example. It also doesn’t to hurt to remind them that I was once their age. That said ,I do think the current COVID situation is teaching us all lessons, and for the younger generation, the lessons will be more around what is ‘truly’ important in life, and also around money security.
My advice to most people is to follow your gut, use your manners, have empathy for others, live in the now and when deciding to take a leap of faith, ask yourself, “What’s the worst that can happen”? We don’t need to have it all figured out and most of the fun is in the journey.
Oh, and tell your parents you love them... we live for that shit!
What is your favourite holiday destination and why?
Well, I won’t be getting back there for a while, but I do love Bali. It was the first place I travelled to overseas and have been six times in the last three or four years. I love any beach destination but Bali soothes my soul with its kind people, simple ways and slow pace. The Balinese also have the yummiest food!
I have a couple, can I share a few? I mean six!
- And I said to my body softly ‘” I want to be your friend”. It took a long breath and replied, “I have been waiting your whole life for this”
- What other people think of you is none of your business
- Happiness is not size specific
- Don’t be a mole
- People are dicks
- Your body feels what the mind thinks.
Connect with Jenni!
Instagram: @jennieyles_ @neoncherry_