Q & A With JeLisa Marshall of The Stylist Way
JeLisa Marshall is a style consultant who weaves her passion for sustainable fashion through everything she does. From client-led services to community education, writing, a podcast, and her newest addition of style exploration through element-based oracle cards, her work is multi-faceted and ever-evolving. We are honored to introduce her through this Q&A!
What is The Stylist Way, and what was the catalyst that started it?
The Stylist Way is a Seattle-based style consultancy born out of the desire to create a more sustainable fashion industry. I had been working for several years as a product developer, managing the design and production of clothing, when I realized the process–generally speaking–does not provide enough transparency. Do you know who grew the cotton used in your favorite t-shirt? Do you know what chemicals and resources were used to do so? Where did the money you paid go?
There is a lack of end-to-end storytelling, which is needed to strengthen the connection between people, the planet, and the clothes they choose to wear. When this relationship is weak, it contributes to the environmental and social challenges the world is currently facing–issues like climate change and poverty pay. Fashion, as a system, thrives on the concept of "out of sight, out of mind." My goal is to flip this script by educating and empowering people to shop and dress consciously.
What problem do you solve for your clients?
My motto is 'Change your clothes. Change the world.' If you are ready to understand the impact of your clothes, locally and globally, I am here to support you in that work. I will help you clearly define what matters most and ensure your style is aligned, grounding it all in a personalized, mindful practice.
What kind of discoveries do your clients make working with you?
Many people have a good sense of what isn't working with their style. The confusion lies in finding a sustainable solution. I use an intuitive yet technical approach to get to the root of what is causing the dissonance and appreciate the "a-ha" moments.
You've just opened a small space. What kind of beautiful magic is developing there?
Almost! The plan is to open in early April. This means clients will be able to book appointments again, and I can share a service that was put on hold while finishing graduate school. I developed a line of aromatic sprays and power cards about a year ago based on the elements. I decided to incorporate sound as well to strengthen the relationship between the natural and physical worlds. These new tools will support client sessions.
You are a Slow Fashion Ambassador. What organizations do you work with?
Yes, I became an ambassador with Remake - a non-profit organization fighting for climate justice and fair pay in the clothing industry - in 2019 and am now a community organizer. It was one of the greatest decisions I have ever made to date. It offers opportunities to host events, organize protests, promote policies, meet brands, and write stories. I can't recommend Remake enough if you want to participate in the movement. Learn more at www.remake.world and apply!
Are there other resources or websites you recommend for people wanting to learn about Slow Fashion?
Nowadays, there are so many! If you are new to the journey, here are a few to get you started.
Big Dress Energy by Shakaila Forbes-Bell
Consumed: The Need for Collective Change: Colonialism, Climate Change, and Consumerism by Aja Barber
Unraveled: The Life and Death of a Garment by Maxine Bédat
How do you balance work with rest and fun?
Water. It rejuvenates me. I enjoy spending time at the beach, shoes off, feet in the sand, and a good book in hand.
Please tell us about The Conscious Cut, your podcast!
My friend, Ny, and I are big into experiences that nourish the soul. We have the most fulfilling conversations about life - the good, the bad, and the ugly - and joked a few times about recording our thoughts. So at the onset of the pandemic, we decided to press record. Exhausted by the racial tension in our communities, we needed an extra boost of positivity. We wanted to speak with our region's Black, Indigenous, and People of Color small business owners - and allies.
The purpose is to highlight local stories of triumph in sustainability, to debunk the myth that supporting big brands is how to engage best and reassure listeners that it is ok to take baby steps. It has been a challenging yet rewarding endeavor.
New episodes drop every 1st Wednesday of the month and are available at www.theconsciouscut.com or any major podcast app.
What is on the horizon? Any goals or dreams you are working towards?
Always. My graduate school experience has opened me up to the possibility of teaching in some capacity and writing seriously about the intersection of culture, design, sustainability, and style. So, I am inviting that energy - more presenting and more publishing.
How can people get in touch to work with you in real life or follow along in the digital space?
Please connect with me at: www.thestylistway.com, or follow along on social media @thesytlistway. Thank you!