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#MelsMuses: Jean Exum of Elegant Edge

We discovered Jean on Instagram, and instantly became mesmerized by her chic and sophisticated style which can appropriately be described as elegant with an edge. One thing that instantly stood out to us about Jean is that she can seamlessly pull off just about any style. From funky 70's (you must see her fun disco post here) to Parisian chic and classic corporate, there is not much Jean won't try and for good reason - she looks amazing in it all! But in speaking with Jean and getting to know a bit more about her at a deeper level, we quickly learned this confidence she exudes now wasn't always quite as evident as it is today. 

A woman of many passions, Jean studied interior design and psychology at Agnes Scott College in Atlanta and she used her formal education to work in a mental health facility as a first job out of school. When this proved to be a bit too stressful and draining on her own wellness, she transitioned into coaching individuals as a personal trainer. In an effort to nurture her creativity, she also picked up photography and specialized in portraits while dabbling a bit in interiors. As Jean says, "being in your twenties can be a fun and exciting time, but it is also an age of finding yourself and figuring out your own way. When reflecting on my twenties, I realize it was a time of great confusion and insecurities."

One of those insecurities was not believing that her true love - fashion - was something worth pursuing in terms of a career. But fortunately for all of us, her evolution and self-discovery led her to take the plunge just last year into the world of fashion & lifestyle blogging, and boy are we glad it did! What we especially love about Elegant Edge and Jean's attitude towards fashion is that she treats it as a journey and as a way to grow and connect with others - much like the way she chooses to live her life!! Read on to learn more about our muse Jean and get inspired just as we did...

What is your favorite way to decompress?

I love to exercise and play with my two large yorkies.

Jean Exum Elegant Edge | #MelsMuses | How she decompresses
Photo Credit: Elegant Edge

 

How do you find balance?

This is a very hard question but is certainly a goal of mine. Finding balance is something I am always working on. It is easy for me to get caught up and excited about certain projects, but then neglect other aspects. I find check lists to be super helpful in keeping me on task and balanced even throughout my busiest days. I've found it's always important to focus on the progress you've made rather than the never ending checklist and know when to call it a day.

Jean Exum Elegant Edge | #MelsMuses | Finding Balance
Photo Credit: Monica Neves Photography

 

Where do you want to travel to next?

I have a big birthday coming up so my husband and I are traveling to Hawaii to celebrate. I have always wanted to go and am so excited!

Jean Exum Elegant Edge | #MelsMuses | Visiting Hawaii
Photo Credit: Elegant Edge

 

What gets you most excited about the future of your fashion blog?

This is a great question! Over the past year I have met some of the most amazing people throughout this industry. The business of blogging has created such a sense of community in my life that I really love and cherish. I am so excited to grow my business and get the opportunity to work with brands like yours that I only would've appreciated from afar and not had the privilege to get to know.

Jean Exum Elegant Edge | #MelsMuses | Looking Ahead
Photo Credit: Monica Neves Photography

Where do you find inspiration?

Everywhere! I often look to nature for color pallets and other fashion bloggers or magazines for unique style combinations.

Jean Exum Elegant Edge | #MelsMuses | Finding Inspiration
Photo Credit: Elegant Edge

  

What is the most challenging part of your job?

Finding balance :)

Jean Exum Elegant Edge | #MelsMuses | Finding Balance
Photo Credit: Elegant Edge

 

What is your key to success?

Perseverance. I'm also a perfectionist so letting go of the little things is something I'm constantly working on by being gentle with myself. It's never a bad thing to ask for help!

Jean Exum Elegant Edge | #MelsMuses | Her Key To Success
Photo Credit: Elegant Edge 

 

What are your go-to accessories?

My go-to accessories are handbags, sunglasses, and hats. Wearing any of these accessories can make a simple outfit pop.

1. SELF-PORTRAIT Ruffled Mini Dress 2. EUGENIA KIM Brigitte Lace-Trim Sunhat 3. CHLOE Isidora Gold-Tone Sunnies 4. PAUL ANDREW Stanton Suede Platform Sandals 5. MEL BOTERI Cara Clutch in Blush Python-Effect Leather 6. CHLOE Wedge Sandals

 

What do you love about the Mel Boteri bag you chose for your #MelsMuses feature?

The bag I chose was a neutral clutch. What I love about this bag is how versatile the size and color are. The texture is amazingly unique and the blush color is cool in tone which feels very fresh and perfect for Spring.

Jean Exum Elegant Edge | #MelsMuses | Why she loves the Mel Boteri Cara Clutch
Photo Credit: Monica Neves Photography 

 

What tips do you have for other women looking to let their personal style shine through?

I believe it's important to allow myself to try new styles and have an "oops" attitude if something doesn't flatter me. It's all about fun, self-expression, and creativity. It is easier to feel confident in the "right" outfit, and my missteps often teach me as much if not more than when I get it right. So I think the most important thing is to be forgiving with myself and not compare myself to others. Personal style comes from confidence and learning what styles flatter. I am working on my confidence and self-love every day!

Jean Exum Elegant Edge | #MelsMuses | Where she finds inspiration
Photo Credit: Elegant Edge

 

Here at Mel Boteri, we believe the best style is your style, so thank you, Jean, for embracing your beautiful style and especially for inspiring other women to do the same. 

We also want to give a special thank you to the following individuals and companies who made this #MelsMuses feature possible:

LOCATION: The Biltmore Atlanta

HAIR & MAKE-UP: Nyssa Green

VIDEO & EDITING: Marquis Garden Media

MUSIC CREDIT: Keep On Going by Joakim Karud → https://soundcloud.com/joakimkarud, Creative Commons — Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported— CC BY-SA 3.0 → https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/, Music provided by Audio Library  https://youtu.be/4PResyle7QA 

Article Comments

Mel Boteri

Thanks Katherine!! First one coming out Monday :)

Katherine

Can’t wait for #MelsMuses to be live and soak in all the style inspiration!

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