As mid-summer air hangs heavy in the air, I had the opportunity to interview Lexie Pryfom, the brains behind J’Adore Lexie. This interview might be one of our most hard-hitting, poignant, unexpected interviews yet. At first glance, Lexie’s blog and Instagram give the impression of a sparkle and glitter obsessed woman, and casual observers might question, “Is she a gal who just never grew up?”
In fact, as a xennial and my own inner hipster-feminist had its own initial reaction when stumbling upon J’Adore Lexie Couture, something like, “Oh, no, this is far too much pink, and is this woman injuring other women with her extremely slanted vision of the world?” After interviewing this magnanimous, complex woman, my opinion shifted 180 degrees. Her blog article, “A Guide on How to Be a Girly Girl and Not Care What Others Think,” I interpret as I do Lexie; a nod to women of previous generations when self-respect of the feminine was intact and passed on to future generations.
Reading through Lexie’s words, I trust you will uncover what I have: a radically fresh, strong female, who is working tirelessly every day to empower women from a place of authenticity. Lexie is, as she says, a living Superhero. Sparkle on, Lexie.
ZJ: Lexie – The very first thing that struck me about your blog and social at first glance, without any other information, was, “taking feminine to the next level, fairytale-esque, everything pink, and living in a magical land.” After reading your bio this seems to speak to your essence, but what more would you say about J’adore Lexie?
LP: I would say that I don’t create my content to be in others’ faces saying, “Oh, you should be like this too!” It’s more like a place I’ve created out of the passion I have for [my particular] style and out of a desire to inspire others. This is the side of me that is confident, happy & bright and my escape from the ugliness of the World if that makes sense?
ZJ: That makes complete sense, and when you put it that way, you draw me further into your world of wonder. How do others react to your very unique and somewhat extremely feminine style?
LP: This style that I have and the way that I am – not everyone likes; and when they have the opportunity, they’ll tell me so. I share this style and my dreamland to inspire others to pursue what truly gives them butterflies, what makes them feel confident and good about themselves regardless of what others will say.
ZJ: When you explain your vision in this way, the magic surrealism you are able to portray through visuals in order to instill transformation in others feels that much more impressive, Lexie. When and why did you decide to begin writing your blog?
LP: So I have always LOVED the feminine style and after I had my second daughter I was so happy to be big-belly free, I was just styling cute outfits and dresses together like crazy that I decided then, “You know what? I’m doing a fashion blog!”
I felt that I needed a lot of prep time before launching, so I started building my website and getting ready. Well, my second daughter had then passed away and I put this dream on hold.
After 6 months I was pregnant, again, and I said, “Lexie you want to do this just do it already!” I officially started the JLC blog up with a belly lol and not the best of maternity wear, but I chose to rock tulle skirts all throughout my pregnancy. And so began the fairytale-esque style of JLC. Honestly, I was really nervous to put myself out there but I felt at the same time if this is what I really wanted to try why not do it you know?
As they say, you’ll more likely to regret the things you didn’t do rather than what you did.
ZJ: Lexie, on behalf of all of our readers I want to say how truly impactful and inspiring your story is. Once you did launch JLC, what was the impetus behind J’adore Lexie and the pink, glitter, and feminine style?
LP: I really wanted to create this blog to share my take on the feminine and elegant style, to reach out to other women and younger girls, letting them know that they don’t have to show it all off to feel beautiful or accepted.
That really has been what has fueled me for so long but I don’t always talk about that with my audience. I mostly hope that it just shows because I’m not revealing and I don’t take photos of myself that are ever explicit you know? I really would like to share my thoughts more with my audience but I feel like on Instagram, sometimes that it’s kind of pointless because people don’t really seem to read the captions and that’s the platform I’m most active on.
I so desperately want other ladies to find a way to feel good about themselves without having to feel like they have to give up some part of their selves if that makes sense?
What I LOVE so much about the feminine style is that it doesn’t matter what body type you are, you’ll look beautiful no matter what. A great dress can really make a gal feel special.
For example, that good dress that made you feel 10x more confident in yourself may give you the push you need to really go for something that day that all the days before you kept telling yourself you couldn’t do or that you weren’t good enough for.
I’m sharing my style & fairytale-like lifestyle to inspire others to be bold, graceful and confident in who they are. To be kind, caring and optimistic even when your life feels like it’s going to fall apart.
My world has felt like it’s falling apart way more than I would like and that’s another reason why JLC is so important to me. It’s the one thing in this life that I, for the most part, can choose what happens next. I can choose to create something beautiful, inspiring and that also spreads kindness.
ZJ: Wow, I so feel you, Lexie. Many days when I don’t feel 100% I dress up and put on makeup and feel transformed. I’m curious, who would you say Who would you say your main audience is and how do they receive your beautiful blog?
LP: Aww thank you, love! It’s hard for me to pinpoint exactly who they are because I see women from all across the board. I have mainly ALL women as my audience and I LOVE that!.
Women can be so cruel to each other as I’m sure you know and I love having the chance to have conversations with so many other women that i’ve never met building them up, encouraging them rather than breaking them down.
ZJ: Has there been a time when you have directly helped someone or changed someone’s life for the better because of your blog / social media, and if so, what happened?
LP: I’ve talked with several different women, It may be more. My brain is so fuzzy from having children!! Lol
But these women have commented, messaged and emailed telling me that I’ve given them courage, inspiration, and the guts to go for something that they were too afraid to do.
Usually, it is related to the feminine style. Some girls & women are afraid of how others will perceive them if they’re more feminine and that makes me so so so sad. So when I hear that I am just like you do it, girl! You got this and I’m here always for you to keep encouraging you if you ever feel down!
I have talked with a few men that told me how much they wish they could embrace the same style themselves but were too afraid.
That has been challenging for me because I so badly wish I knew how to help them but it’s hard for me to give advice in those situations where I couldn’t even begin to imagine how hard it is to be in that exact situation, you know? I always try to let others know that hey even if others put you down I’ll be here in your corner rooting for you!
With my audience, I never want there to be a disconnect. I try my best to respond to every single comment to contact that I get because I want them to know I really really care and that they mean something to me. I never want to lose focus on that.
ZJ: At what point did you begin to gain a massive amount of followers, why do you think that was, and how did you feel?
LP: I started picking up quite a bit in December of 2015 and it felt great because here I was sharing the passion for things that I loved and people were responding to it.
Honestly, it may sound really silly but my mind has always thought that when it looks like something good may be happening with my blog, my stats, increase in followers or whatever it is due to some other reason. In other words, it can’t be because they actually “like me”.
My concern with the future as I grow is maybe not being able to connect with people because there’s too many of them. As much as I love this feminine style I really care about making others feel special and important.
ZJ: Are you a social media influencer and/ or marketer? If so, what does that mean to you and how does that impact your daily life and how you run your blog and brand?
LP: Oh, I’ve never been asked this before! I guess I may appear to be both but I don’t view myself that way.
I do have to approach my blog and brand as a business to be able to keep going but I don’t want it to ever be all about just selling something to people.
When working with brands I really share things that I incorporate into my everyday life or what I would use. Today I think we all get so lost in the excess of things and as much as I love sharing beautiful things I also want to share something that can’t be bought.
ZJ: For anyone looking to break into influencer marketing, what advice would you give to them?
I know this sounds cliche, but be yourself. Sometimes I have been knocked down by the fact that I’m so different trying to make it in this industry. I’m just not everyone’s cup of tea. I feel like the girls that do what’s more popular tend to reach their goals a little faster so sometimes it’s disappointing but I can’t change the passion I have for this lifestyle I share and that’s real.
I think the best thing you can do is be authentic and share things with people that really make you feel something because if it does it’s going to resonate with others that feel the same way you do and that works. I believe if you do that you’ll find happiness with this but if you’re trying to be like others you’ll eventually ask yourself, “what am I doing? Why am I doing this?” when the going gets tough.
Starting out I wasn’t expecting family and friends to be like Yay! Go! Lexie! You can do it! I thought maybe they’d at least notice all the effort I was making and say something. They didn’t. It was weird. It was like my blog and stuff was just ignored in conversation and I wouldn’t bring it up because I don’t like drawing attention to myself like that. I mention it because it was disheartening a bit.
You really have to do this for you!
You really put yourself out there when you do something like this and it’s nice when people give words of encouragement and if your heart isn’t in this and you’re not getting encouragement it’s not going to be a good combination. That’s why it’s essential that you’re sharing things that are true to yourself because you’ll keep on going no matter what.
ZJ: What three things would you attribute to your success?
LP: My determination, my husband, and friendships.
Since the very first day I committed to sharing on Instagram I’ve made it an essential to share every single day because that really makes a difference. Through all of my self-doubts I get up every day and show up with my work and I don’t give up. Eventually, that gets you somewhere.
My husband has encouraged me to keep going from the very first day and I couldn’t be more thankful for his support and belief that I can do anything I set my mind to. I’ve had some really low days, life isn’t always easy you know? And sometimes I’ve thought about walking away from all of this and he has been my rock reminding me to never give up on this dream of mine.
We all need people like that in our lives to help steer us back on our path and to believe in us even when we don’t believe in ourselves.
Through the friendships I’ve made along this blogging journey I have been inspired and encouraged and these relationships I’ve made have helped me so much.
ZJ: Which three people in the world do you admire the most?
LP: This is tough because I’ve gained so much inspiration from a lot of people that have already passed on ???? However out of those that are still here the first would be my daughter. Her nature is so kind, forgiving, loving and encouraging and on my worst days, she reminds me that things don’t have to be so bad and she inspires me to be a better person.
ZJ: What advice would you give to brands and companies who want to work with influencers?
LP: This is tough for me because I know our perspectives are so different. I know that from a brand’s perspective there is just a sea of influencers so they can tend to be a little short with you or look you over. If I could say anything it would try to be as respectful as you can.
I know some brands may have been burned by influencers but it’s really disheartening when brands expect you to do so much work for little or nothing. I put my heart and soul into everything I do and try to do my best when working with brands and when I’m not. And when they expect you to do a lot for free or for a really low rate it just makes you feel insignificant and that your time means nothing, you know?
ZJ: Which companies have been your favorite to collaborate with thus far (and why)?
LP: I’ve worked with Dove and Kohls a few times and I really like them. First being that I feel they’re both very authentic for me. Dove, I have been familiar with my whole life, I trust them and it’s easy for me to share that love and trust to my audience. Kohl’s is another authentic one for me because I adore lines they offer such as LC Lauren Conrad.
The second reason is that they give creative control. They tell me their needs and allow me to be creative and making something that’s organic for them. I’ve worked with brands before that had like an 8-page book of stipulations for what I could and couldn’t do and it made me feel not good right away. I felt like it dampened the ability I had to make something really great because I was so afraid of getting it all wrong somehow.
ZJ: In what ways would you say you are not always the J’adore Lexie Couture “image” in real life – like, you have your messy hair days or you decide you feel like wearing green or black, or your kids are really sick and you feel like crying, or…?
LP: Haha oh this is a good one! I like to think of myself kind of like a superhero. Not that I go and save people or anything, but there’s one side of me and then the other side is what you see on J’adore Lexie Couture.
Don’t get me wrong, if you ever see me out and about in real life I almost always have a bow in my hair and am in a dress. But I am a real person with good and bad days and for my audience, I try my best to be uplifting, positive and bright but I do struggle from time to time with being this “happy” and bubbly person, all of the time and of course we all struggle with that.
I don’t want my blog to be a place that involves any kind of negativity, even if that’s not realistic.
My brand isn’t supposed to exactly emulate my reality to a tee. For me, it’s an escape from reality, but it also has positive elements that you can take from it to maybe make your reality a little bit brighter and better.
When I lost my second daughter, my world felt very dark. It was hard to be hopeful. When you lose someone that you love in a way that isn’t even possibly fathomable until you experience it, you’re lost. Full of so many kinds of bad feelings.
For a while, I was in shock and I had to keep myself together for my eldest. Aside from her and getting pregnant with my son it was hard to find those feelings of simple pleasures or joy from things.
When I started to focus on creating JLC that helped me make something good and colorful that would also be my very own, instead of just continuing to live with sadness.
Bringing JLC to life takes so so much work on top of taking care of my two little ones so I am sometimes crying a little when they’re going crazy like a circus over here! lol
ZJ: This January, National Geographic called out a shift in the gender landscape, specifically stating that we are amidst a Gender Revolution. I’m not sure if you had a chance to read the issue, but given that times are changing and minds our opening to a spectrum of gender, where do you feel your strong feminine brand and identification fits and how does it affect people who come across your brand?
LP: Well you see I am very feminine and girly but I’m not at all trying to project this idea that it’s a one size fits all lifestyle. I am terrible with sayings, by the way, lol so I’m not sure if I used that correctly!
I have some followers that aren’t about the girly girl stuff whatsoever but they tell me that they still find encouragement and inspiration even with differing styles, because of the way I share content and the way that I tell my stories.
One perception I’ve noticed from the beginning is that if you’re girly/feminine that you’re either stupid or some kind of mean individual. I feel like we are kind of living in a time where people do have an issue with being too feminine as if that means that by wearing a dress you’re choosing to just suppress yourself as a woman. That couldn’t be further from the truth and it’s so disheartening to me that people think that way.
I am not whatsoever a person that wants to exclude others and I don’t believe that in order to truly embrace the feminine style that you have to stop loving or doing other things that wouldn’t be considered feminine.
So with that change, I’m not sure what that would be for the future of how others will perceive my brand but I will of course still be here spreading love to others! lol
ZJ: I noticed that you do tutorials. Do you ever think you’ll move into live tutorials on YouTube for your fans?
LP: Definitely! I’m just now switching to put more focus on video creation. I love making pretty photos but I also want to find other channels of connecting with my audience and reaching others.