Channeling Audrey

“This project was a surprise to me! Scrolling the internet I thought how iconic and timeless the portraits of Audrey were.  And then I stared at at a photo for a minute and realized, “My God! The timeless, beautiful photo is a recreation and the person in the photo IS MY WIFE!” - John’s (Susan’s husband) reaction

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Be Comfortable Being Uncomfortable

Our woman owned business this month highlights Melissa Joy of MJB Style Solutions. She has been in the business since 2016 and describes herself as a Confidence Creator who is more than a personal stylist and speaker on professional image. 

Read on further for her thoughts on work, beauty, and what keeps her inspired:

What is your specialty and how did you get started in your business?

The specialty of MJB style solutions is to create CONFIDENCE in my clients by aligning their style with who they are today, and who they want to be tomorrow!

What makes you stand out? 

First, having an extensive background in merchandising enables me to offer personal Visual Style Guides for my clients. Your see your wardrobe as more special and more valuable when you have presented in a beautiful way. This is truly the most effective tool to yield ease & efficiency when getting dressed.

Second, helping so many people of different sizes, styles and shapes over the years, I’ve learned that my strong point is helping people emotionally connect to why their personal style is so important. We all have goals, and having a great self-image that makes us first FEEL CONFIDENT is the starting point to achieving all of our goals - personal and professional!

What advice would you give to someone starting out in their entrepreneurial venture? 

Be comfortable being uncomfortable. Training my courage muscle daily has really been the tipping point for me. There have been lots of fails but even more lessons received. Once you fail and continue anyway, you get less and less scared of pushing forward. Fear is only a feeling, NOT your reality.

What does beauty mean to you?

Beauty to me means being who you are and loving it - EVERY facet of you - good, not so good- ALL OF IT!

What is your intrinsic style?

I would say my intrinsic style is always relaxed but either simple and streamlined or Bohemian, very rarely in between.

Who is your inspiration or muse?  Who do you follow as your contemporaries? 

I love looking on Pinterest and Instagram at street styles all over the world. Also, high fashion that is totally impractical but amazing to look at and to admire true craftsmanship and artistry. Then there’s beauty in what your best friend is wearing while grocery shopping too because it’s real!

What emotions does your creation elevate or soothe? 

MJB style solutions ELEVATES emotions of Confidence, Higher Self-esteem, Sexiness, Approachability and Badass-ness! ;) I try to help clients SOOTHES emotions like feeling overwhelmed, worn out, stressed and of course, lack of confidence.  

What books, movies, music inspire you? 

Books: For a better You - “The Book of Joy” ~Dalai Lama & Archbishop Desmond Tutu // For a better mindset - “You Are A Badass At Making Money” ~ Jen Sincero // For a better way of doing things - “High Performance Habits” ~ Brendon Bruchard




How does a photographer play

Every photoshoot I do is play time for me.  Creating visuals for my clients that are aligned with their style and vision gives me great satisfaction.  Yet, every now and then I schedule a session just for fun.  It may be driven by something I saw in nature, a flower, a leaf, a landscape.  it may be inspired by other photographers who I respect and learn from or it may be something I see in other creative outlets.  

I am always inspired by the portraiture works of the American Artist, John Singer Sergeant.  Some day I will be able to recreate Portrait of Madame X (if you want to be the model, send me a note), in the meantime here are two that inspired me. Lady Agnew of Lochnaw and Repose.  

During my client Sunitas photoshoot, her mothers beautiful silk saree's sheen reminded me of Repose.  I asked, she was game for it, and heres my version of Repose


Brielle and I had a play date once to create some images for Read across America.  As she sat in the leather arm chair in my studio, I thought of Lady Agnew.  Here's Brielle in our version of Lady Agnew



And for good measure, our Read Across America Image