A CONVERSATION WITH ALEXIS JONES, FOUNDER OF I AM THAT GIRL
September 09, 20164 min read
In honor of the launch of Aventus for Her and the fragrance’s inspiration of powerful women, The House of Creed will donate $25,000 to support IATG’s mission. Alexis Jones, Founder of I AM THAT GIRL (IATG), is the embodiment of the Aventus for Her woman. I AM THAT GIRL is a non-profit organization that empowers, supports and educates a growing community of girls to love and express themselves. In addition to starting IATG, Alexis has quickly become an internationally recognized speaker, media personality, activist and best-selling author. The House of Creed spoke with Alexis Jones to learn more about what inspired her to start the organization and what #EmpoweredElegance means to her. Alexis shared, “For a long time, I had a really eloquent answer for WHY I started IATG, but the truth is that I started it because I needed it. I was an insecure college girl, trying to figure it all out, and having a group of girls I could confide in, somehow made the journey easier. I always say, the two most powerful words in the English language are, “Me too.” In that space, we don’t feel so alone, I wanted that for other girls because it changed my own life.” Read on to learn more.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background.
I grew up in Austin with four older brothers and a baby sister. I was an athlete and super passionate about school. I completed my undergraduate and Masters both from the University of Southern California. I hosted a TV show my sophomore, junior and senior year of college and transitioned into working at Fox Sports and ESPN when I was in graduate school. I founded I AM THAT GIRL my sophomore year of college and launched it right out of grad school. I’ve spent the past decade inspiring people for a living, traveling all over the globe reminding people of their inherent worth and the magic that exists inside each one of them.
That’s a very impressive resume. What drew you to work with a brand like The House of Creed?
Creed understands the impotence of empowering girls and investing in the next generation. They also realize that while they are certainly a powerhouse in perfume business, they also have an awesome opportunity to leverage that brand to equip, empower and encourage women to know their own worth. It’s an honor to work with a brand who understands their power and uses that power for good.
Olivier Creed, Master Perfumer for the House of Creed was inspired by strong, powerful women when creating the Aventus for Her fragrance. What does #EmpoweredElegance mean to you?
Empowered Elegance means learning to coexist with things that fundamentally feel mutually exclusive. I think in the past women had to decide if they were going to be bold OR beautiful, smart OR sexy, fierce OR feminine and what #EmpoweredElegance means to me, is that we no long have to make a choice; we get to be anything we want and don’t have to fit into a manufactured box. When women can embrace all of who they are, as walking contradictions, it enables them to exercise their full potential, to access their full power and THAT is what Aventus for Her represents to me, a fully self-expressed, personification of badass women.
Tell us about a woman who you believes embodies #EmpoweredElegance and has helped you find strength in your everyday life?My mom is the definition of #EmpoweredElegance. She embodies opposites with such grace; she’s strikingly beautiful and has taught the mechanic class at the University of Texas. She is one of the best cooks I know and can go toe-to-toe with any guy about sports trivia. She curses like a sailor and loves herself some God. She was the original “That Girl” who inspired authentic living, being brave enough to be who you are, in spite of who the world wants you to be. She’s unapologetically herself and that is the definition of #EmpoweredElegance to me.
What advice would you give to your high school or college self?
I’d tell her to RELAX! She ends up marrying Brad Buckman (a kid she went to middle school and HS with) and he makes all the broken hearts along the way worth it! I’d tell her that she is exactly where she is supposed to be and that it all works out, so have more fun and stop taking herself so seriously!
The Empowered Elegance campaign is all about empowering the next generation of women; how can women and men get involved to “pay it forward”?
When the mirror was invented in the 1500’s humanity started living outside of themselves and we became focused on appearances and living externally. I think my generation (millennials) especially suffer from this need for external validation and we often pontificate about all the ways we’re going to “change the world.” But the truth is that I think the best way any of us (men or women) can empower the next generation is getting silent and allowing the internal, often silent revolution inside our hearts to erupt. Paying it forward to me, means learning how to better take care of ourselves, how to selfishly make ourselves our number one priority because in THAT space we can inspire others to do the same. Self-love, self-care, self-compassion all lead to the same destination; because when we take the time to empower ourselves, the byproduct is we give permission for others. So I always suggest starting there, the best way people can change the world is by changing their own; simply, love you more
What are three easy steps that everyone can put into action today that would embody the IATG mission?
Put YOU first. It’s in everyone’s best interests you learn how to take care of yourself and love you before you love on anyone else.
Step outside your comfort zone, that’s where all the growth and magic happens. So do something that scares you and you’ll discover a braver version of you on the other side.
Be. Here. Now. Our generation is so driven by productivity and public success. We are often too focused on “figuring life out” instead of just being in the present and experiencing life. I think we miss out on all the good stuff when we don’t practice a mindful presence and a relentless gratitude.