If you’re not familiar with the lifestyle and fashion brand GREYLAYERS, you’ll want to after this interview. We had a chat with the Founder of Grey Layers, Jeanne Grey. She caught our attention on Instagram with her posts that were always focused on uplifting other women, wellness and authenticity. She marries style, lifestyle and empowerment in an effortless way.
She has created a successful brand by doing what she loves. Like everyone, she has a story from the hurdles to lessons learnt as she navigates through life.
From rising above life’s challenges, resilience to follow her passion even when fired from her job, giving a voice to women in third world countries and more, her words of wisdom and story is inspiring.
What does GREYLAYERS mean and how did you come about the name?
Greylayers was created to be the foundation of what our brand stands for – style and substance. The Greylayers are what make up me, Jeanne Grey.
I launched Greylayers.com in April 2013.
What was your vision for Grey Layers when you started out?
It was the same as my vision for it today – to be a place of style and substance above everything.
What was the journey like when starting up Grey Layers and at what point did it become full time?
The journey was never easy. It was so much fun and is even more fun now but it’s never easy when you’re going against the status quo. I started when Instagram was not yet as prominent and social media was not welcomed by the majority just yet. So, there were a lot of hurdles. But I had a very supportive circle who did nothing but motivate me and bring me light! I then went full time on May 2015 after getting fired from my job at that time for having a blog (again, going against the status quo).
What is the core of Grey Layers?
Substance. Everyone talks about fashion, lifestyle and all things under the sun.
We aim to create a wonderful marriage of these topics with substance always. Our followers are humans as we are, and we want them to know that it’s okay to be so.
There’s a lot of double standard on social media. How have you embraced authenticity and all that it comes with on social media and off social media?
Just being myself 100% on and offline.
Not always and not all of them. But like I’ve always said to myself and my followers: “It’s not your job to be likeable. It’s your job to be yourself.” The right people will like you anyways. I can say I have all the right people in my life and I’m grateful for them being here.
How do you navigate forgiveness, healing and creating boundaries with toxic family members, relationships and friendships?
I don’t. I trust my gut because there’s no navigating the people who aren’t meant to be in your life. The right ones feel right. The ones who don’t, will always feel forced, and I like staying away from things that feel forced.
What were the most challenging experiences you had trying to get by in life and how did you rise above them? Being raised with the right core values – thanks to my parents, have really helped me navigate through hardships in life. It’s much easier to navigate and rise above things that try to weigh you down when you’re on your own level, doing you.
You recently talked on social media about struggles and pain. This is something a lot of people shy away from talking about. Yet it’s so important. How have you navigated negative energy of pain into growth? How have struggles affected your life? What lessons have they taught you and how have you risen above those dark moments?
We like to focus on being human on social media. I never wanted to be one of the social figures that seem to be unreachable. I aim for being relatable and real, always. I talk about my struggles, issues women are facing in the day to day and lifting them up through my posts. I think this is so substantial in an industry filled with social noise where everyone wants to be the same. I rise above pain and struggles by facing them and addressing them straight away genuinely. I think if you come to pain face to face instead of shying away, it get’s easier to take the Band-Aid off. Also, keep in mind that your mental and physical well-being comes first before anyone and anything. Prioritizing that helps me rise above so many things in life especially with negative energy.
I’m fascinated with your use of fashion and lifestyle to empower women especially in areas on wellness, femininity, sisterhood, authenticity, vulnerability, beauty, self-care and confidence. What influences your insights and what experiences contributed?
I’ve always been a strong-willed, strong minded, confident being since I was very young. I always went for what I wanted and got it for myself. As I got older, these traits got stronger and I have the women in my family, particularly my mom to thank for this.
Does your work take a toll on you? How do you deal with this?
Yes! Sometimes I don’t know when to stop working. When you love what you do so much and your life is your job, it does take a toll on you mentally and physically. I recently learned that in everything, we need balance even in the good stuff. Too much of anything good or bad kills you. I’ve learned to take steps back when needed and listen to my body a lot more.
What will you say are the ingredients to a happy and peaceful life?
- Don’t be afraid to dream. Reality will always be there.
- Love. Love what you do, create your career around your lifestyle and not your lifestyle around your career. Keep self-love a priority. You can’t pour from an empty cup. Keep your circle small with only the right people in it and fill that circle with acceptance and love with no need for any justification whatsoever.
- Forgiveness. Forgive yourself because then self acceptance from YOU comes along. When self acceptance comes, confidence follows. A woman who requires no validation from anyone can make it all happen.
- LASTLY, be grateful. I was grateful when I had absolutely nothing. And here we are today. Being grateful is key.
Being someone who requires no validation whatsoever.
Where do you see Grey Layers in the future?
We have so many plans coming into fruition very soon. One of them is a foundation for young women in third world countries who aren’t able to have an education; my followers will be able to help as well. The rest, you’ll just have to follow along to find out!
Photos by Chris Zranchev