There is one woman that is hands down the most stylish woman I know with the most infectious sweet smile, Jeana Lee Thompson co-owner of Bella Bridesmaids. Hers and her sister Charlotte’s business savvy has grown Bella Bridesmaids into a household name in Alabama, it has become a store where you know you will receive the best customer service and find the best styles. MyScoop had the opportunity to interview Jeana Lee on her advice on career, family, travel, and style. Her answers are full of truth, sensibility, and wit.
What inspires you about waking up each morning? Being a total night owl mornings aren’t exactly my favorite part of the day, but once I get a cup of coffee and the caffeine flowing that is usually the point that I then get excited to see what the day will unfold. It is inspiring to think that each day is a new day and that anything can happen. The sky is the limit.
What inspires your career? My career is inspired by the fact that I truly love meeting new people and genuinely love helping people. In my career I have the opportunity to do both things. There are so many types of people that come through the store and you never know when you may have a strong impact on someone’s day for the best and when they may have an impact on my day. I love hearing everyone’s stories and have felt so connected and inspired so many by customers that have been in the store. Another big inspiration in my career is the fact that I am able to do this side by side with my sister, Charlotte. We are sisters, best friends and business partners getting to do what we love on a daily basis and I wouldn’t have t it any other way.
How does your family inspire you? My family is honestly EVERYTHING to me. We are a very tight knit clan and it is embedded in my D.N.A to want to make them proud. My family inspires me to strive to be the absolute best person that I can be. They inspire me to stay humble and remind me that others always come before ourselves. They have inspired me to be a loyal and trustworthy friend. Thanks to them I know that others needs come before my own. It is my goal in life to make them proud of the woman that I have become. I am forever grateful to my family for their influence in my life and their values.
What is your favorite place in the world? No question, hands down: South Africa. Don’t get me wrong, I love nice relaxing beach getaways but more than anything I live for adventure and exploring. I love traveling off the beaten path and being submerged in different cultures. South Africa’s beauty comes not only from its beautiful lush landscapes but also its culmination of the people, the spirit of the country, and the wildlife. There are very few days that pass without me thinking of my time in South Africa. I have visited 3 times and each time I have left a piece of my heart over there. It is just one of those places that has such an impact on your life that it stays with you forever.
What advice would you give women going through life’s trials and tribulations? HANG IN THERE, you are not alone and this will not last forever! Turn to God and he will give you hope and restoration. Within every single trial and tribulation is an opportunity to grow and learn, become more accepting, more forgiving, a stronger individual. Even though it may be hard to see at this very moment, there is always a lesson to be learned during trials and tribulations. If nothing else you learned that you have survived and are resilient no matter how difficult the challenge you may face. The size of the battle tells you the size of the blessing so DON’T GIVE UP.
How do we begin to seek a better life? By being true to who we really are and embracing this person ,whomever it may be. Doing what we love and following our calling in life. Doing things that make us happy. Creating a balance between work and our personal life. Staying humble and true to our roots. Forgiving those that have done us wrong. Surrounding ourselves with positive influences.
Describe your personal style? I am immediately drawn to bright, happy, vibrant colors for my wardrobe, big statement pieces whether it be a statement necklace or giant statement earrings (my fave Vintage Chanel clip on earrings) , I love hats, red lipstick and long flowing dresses. I would rather be overdressed than underdressed any day of the week and use that mentality in my everyday life. To describe my personal style I would have to say that it is POLISHED with an EDGY FEMININE TWIST.
What did you wear as a child? Every single article of clothing that my mom pleaded with me NOT to wear. According to my parents I changed outfits a minimum of three times a day. My mom has told me that she used to try and bribe me with candy and toys in order to make me wear those Kelly’s Kids bubbles and dresses but I rarely fell for her tricks. I instead chose to wear red hawaiian shorts with a blue jean top, one cowboy boot and one tennis shoe and topped it off with a multi colored wig that I got from the circus. This is the truth! I was a wild dresser but even back then I have always had a keen sense of what I like to wear and most importantly what I felt confident in.
Advice to women in their 20s. I never thought that I would be one to say this but everything gets better with age! You have your entire life ahead of you! Have fun but make good choices. BE HUMBLE, be spontaneous, venture out and see the world because travel is the only thing that you spend money on that actually makes you richer. Don’t settle or get comfortable where you are. There is something bigger, something better, something more rewarding in your near future.