We're back with another installment of All Worked Up! Rielle Jones is the owner of Rielle Events and the founder of the Black America Summit, which promotes a transparent line of communication between industry leaders and Black Americans and allies. She also hosts a podcast, Black America Podcast, that is currently examining the efforts to combat voter suppression.
Read on for a glimpse into Rielle's day!
Where do you reside and what is your favorite local spot close to home?
I live right outside of Detroit. Since moving here, I can’t get enough Shawarmas. I’m always looking for new “authentic” spots. I’ve also developed a sweet tooth, and have been devouring cupcakes from local bakeries. I love Good Cakes and Bakes, a Black Queer owned bakery on Livernois.
What is your current go-to meal?
I’ve been indulging myself with Southern Sundays. Apart of my self care day, I prepare a hearty brunch, which includes buttermilk pancakes.
Unicorn Buttermilk Pancakes
As the world opens back up, what activities are you most looking forward to?
I look forward to rooftop parties and enjoying the nice weather and fun music! I miss dancing and vibing out with my friends and new people.
Describe your workwear style.
My style tells people they can trust me to be authentic to who I am while meeting the corporate/professional standards. I love pieces that look tailored while showing my feminine aesthetic. I’ve finally accomplished a balance of adding my flair to traditional corporate looks. For instance, I love suits and own more than I can count, but I do not own a solid black suit. My clothes tend to be colorful, comfortable and tailored. A black suit doesn’t match my personality, and wouldn’t make me feel like myself.
I tailor my work clothes. As a petite and curvy woman, tailoring my clothes makes the entire ensemble look 20 times better. I like brands that I believe will last over time. I started with pieces from Nordstrom, Brooks Brothers, and Banana Republic. I also have a few tailored Armani Exchange women’s suits that I love.
While I love heels and boots, I don’t wear them the entire workday. I wear comfortable flats and switch into heels for meetings or external meetings.
Do you have a favorite workwear item that you can't live without?
I have these little cream shells with brass earring hooks. I got them so long ago but they go with Everything. They are simple, classic, yet stunning.
What are the top three hair/beauty products you can't live without?
This is super tough because I feel like every time I find the “perfect” line of products, after 6 months I’m seeking new products. I could not live without the E-Z Detangler Brush Flex, jojoba oil and my gel for twist outs!
You're about to give a big presentation/have a big meeting, what are you wearing:
If I have a big meeting on Zoom, I’m definitely going to wear comfy pants (since they can’t see and the pants will make me more relaxed subconsciously). Up top, I will have a white button up shirt, with an interesting sleeve. It’s nice and crisp while showing my personality. Striped button shirts can be tricky because the lines sometimes dance on the Zoom screen.
I wear less makeup on Zoom calls because it’s less for them to look at. I usually wear a more natural eyeshadow, and highlighter on key regions. Highlighter picks up light even if the details of my face aren't as clear because the computer is casting shadows. Despite not being able to see my complete makeup look, I still look polished. Depending on how I’m feeling, I’ll either wear a bold crimson lip or a glossy peach lip that’s not distracting.
How do you prepare for said big presentation or meeting?
I have a power woman playlist that I play when I get up—it’s a lot of female rap. While I get ready, I run through my main points of the presentation. This calms my nerves. I’ll run through my presentation a couple of times in the morning. 10 minutes before the meeting, I’ll look through my notes and write down any key words that I know I need to mention during the meeting. That way if I get lost in the conversation, I can make sure I communicate my important points or asks.
What constitutes a good day at work?
A good day for me is completing my to-do list, or a long term goal. Like, if I dreamed of interviewing someone and I actually get to interview them—then that’s an amazing day to me. With Black America Podcast and Summit, you could say I have a lot of amazing days!
How do you unwind and turn work off?
Turn work off? That’s been hard for me at points. I utilize my teams better, and ask for help when I need it verses thinking I have to handle 95% of the work myself. I also learned to take breaks to roller skate, color, play with my dog, journal and meditate if I need it. I start my day with writing my affirmations. That has helped me become a lot more mindful of my stress and actually unwinding. Because I have to ask myself at the end of the day or the next morning when I see yesterday's affirmation if I achieved my goal—-did I feel the feelings I said I’d feel that day. Now, I’m hearing “yes” a lot more than “no.”
Regardless of whether your work is your passion or your path to the weekend, what is your favorite thing to allocate time to outside of “the office?”
Theorizing with friends. I’ll create any reason to theorize about social topics—baking parties, dinner parties, long phone calls, girls night in….all ploys for deeper social connections through meaningful conversations. Perhaps, that’s why I love Black America Summit so much. We have a safe space to talk about the issues that are really important but also really hard to talk about.