Living Luminously: An Interview With Zoey Jean
The pleasure of interviewing Zoey Jean was offered to me, and it was an opportunity I couldn’t resist. Zoey is the founder of Luminous, a positivity movement that is soon on its way to becoming a lifestyle brand. The movement is based on social media, and is a social cause for people to share light and encouragement. The three key ideas to Luminous are positivity, creativity and community. Zoey’s goal is to establish a lifestyle of holding onto light and to inspire a community to follow the same. Below follows the interview and the depth I was able to get into with Zoey to find more about her movement and her motifs.
Q: If someone were to find your page from browsing Instagram, how would you want them to perceive Luminous in their first impression?
A: If someone came across the page on Instagram, I would honestly want them to perceive Luminous as something that is beautifully intriguing, yet relatable past the surface. The way we display our visual content and eventually our products is something we always want to hold highly. This might sound superficial, or shallow to some, but it's simply a part of our world now; the idea that a good aesthetic is what captures people's attention. After we have captured the attention of their eyes, my hope is to then capture the attention of their hearts and have some part of them be able to say, "Hey I needed to hear this" or, "Wow this inspires me to _____" and ultimately, "I want to be a part of what's happening here." We want people to realize their capabilities and the power of positivity when they stumble across Luminous.
Q: What inspired you to establish Luminous?
A: I was inspired to establish Luminous because of the continual encouraging feedback I've received from others about the uplifting themes I carry out in my personal Instagram account, @zoeyjean. It was astonishing how I was single-handedly having such a uplifting impact on so many people. Through different comments and multiple DM's started by, " I know you don't know me, but your page encouraged me to _____" or, " ____ post helped me to _____", I realized the power of a positive heart in a social media world that is filled with so many other negative messages. But I’ve never been one to think that I can do everything alone. I know FAR too well that anything big trying to be accomplished is far more successful when many passionate and skilled hands are contributing to the process. So I knew community had to be a huge part of it, and I never wanted this to rest on just ZOEY JEAN, because it's not about me. I'm not particularly special. I have good self worth and know that I've been called to do great things, but I also believe that there are SO many other people who are just completely as capable as I am in having a positive impact on the world. Luminous is my invitation for people to do just that.
Q: You share and encourage others to let in positivity: what is your biggest tip for someone who is lost in darkness?
A: My biggest tip for someone who is lost in darkness, that's a big one. Something that comes to mind first, is you’re not alone. If you think you're alone in your darkness or in your circumstance, you need to realize that you are not. We like to think we are all so different, but really, we are all SO similar and bond most in our struggles and what we see as personal flaws. Don't think you're alone. And don't think your situation is too big to be overcome by the light. The whole concept of light is that it prevails in the dark. I mean, have you ever entered a room at night, turned on a light, and had the darkness overcome the light? No. The light works. The light wins. It may be one bulb, but it has an impact. And that speaks volumes. Then the more lights you have in a room, the smaller the darkness becomes, until the whole space is glowing. The same thing happens when positive hearts come together. Darkness has a way of tricking us, and covering up things, but to live in the light means you're showing exactly who you are, and that's what everyone can see. So never believe the lie that you’re alone. Luminous is here for people to be together, because community and support are a huge part in overcoming any difficulty. We're here to glow together.
Q: Do you ever find yourself drifting from the light you want to indulge in? How do you revert back to positivity?
A: I love this question so much, because only my close friends know the behind-the-scenes and immense struggles I had with darkness, weeks prior to launching Luminous. It's all very ironic. I was fighting these doubts, questions, and insecurities about who I was as a person and the mission I wanted to start with Luminous. I had spiritual and mental battles with demons about it. Is that too intense? I just don't like to sugar coat things! You could DEFINITELY say I had drifted from the light.
Honestly, Luminous almost didn't happen. Darkness was hanging on me, and for a while I let its lies become my truth. It was a battle.
Honestly, it’s all about my friends and the people in my life who were supporting me and cheering me on. It’s because of their support that I decided to go through with the launch of Luminous. Through their words, and encouragement, I was able to realize the lies I was letting flood my life. I was able to realize all the really great things about myself and the big life I was meant to live; all the things the darkness was trying to prevent. One of my favorite things a friend told me was, "Zoey. You're about to start a movement that is based on choosing light over darkness. Of course the devil is aiming attacks at the leader!" And I was like SHOOT. Duh. Why did I think this was going to be easy? It wasn't. But I had the truth in my soul that light always wins. So that was my security and my victory. I knew that I was supposed to be doing this. I realized that Luminous is exactly what needed to happen so that people could in fact overcome their own darknesses and doubts in life, just as I had.
On a lighter note, I don't battle with demons daily, I promise you. Indulging in the light can be something as simple as choosing to compliment someone, put a little deeper thought into the caption you're writing, or asking yourself if you REALLY need to hop onto your twitter, or Facebook to complain about something that just happened in your day. Vibes and attitudes are contagious, on social media or in 'real' life. I keep a positive attitude by not letting the little things trip me up so much! That sounds so simple, but when you choose to live above your circumstance, you realize you DO hold the power and capability to be positive. This doesn't mean you have to be positive ABOUT every situation, but you can remain positive IN every situation.
Q: What is your ultimate goal with this movement?
A: My ultimate goal with this movement is for more people to look at themselves for even just a moment and realize their capabilities. Realize the impact they have on the world, especially through social media. My goal is for Luminous to be a means of stirring up creativity and to connect people with one another in a positive, uplifting way. I've experienced so much positivity and connectivity through Instagram that I want other people to be able to experience that too. I want them to know they're not alone in whatever they're going through, and we're a crew of difference makers. We want them to be difference makers with us! Luminous is for everyone, even if it does have a strong 'creative' center to it. I really hope that artists and nonartists alike are able to connect and realize the importance everyone holds by being just exactly who they are, and coming together for a common cause.
Q: Who do you look up to and see only good radiating from them?
A: I have a lot of older women in my life who I look up to by older I mean late 20's, because I'm only 19 myself. The grace of who they are makes me conscious of the graciousness I want to present as well, and radiate the goodness I feel around them. They’re the sort of friends who will do anything to help me, and I see good radiating from them in generosity. The friends in my life who decided just to DO something, to pursue their passions and work their tails off till dreams are reality. The friends who inspire me, who don't know just how amazing they are and have a quiet sort of brilliance around them. They are radiant. They are Luminous.
Q: Have you found yourself becoming even more in tune with positivity as you spread and mentor others to do the same?
A: I do believe I have found myself more in tune with positivity as I'm encouraging others to do the same. I think it actually began months before the thought of Luminous was born, when I had taken a Strengthsfinder quiz and found out that Positivity was one of my top 5 strengths. That made me become really conscious of it, and ever since then I've just embraced that YUP this is me. So I asked myself, what am I gonna do with it?
But the more I look back, the more I realized that my own positivity had so much to do with how others have impacted my life. I was fortunate enough to grow up in a home with very encouraging parents, extended family, friends, and teachers who always had kind and encouraging things to say to me. It made me realize the power of words and how the people around you are so very much a determiner of the quality of your life! I want to be someone that helps others have an amazing life and feel good about who they are and what they're capable of! I want our posts and words to make others feel confident and empowered. Luminous is sort of a way to make that happen largcale.
Q: In ten years, where would you like to see Luminous?
A: I'll give you a little exclusive: we're planning to open up an online Luminous store this summer of 2016. We'll be moving from just a movement into a lifestyle brand. Collaborations with graphic designers on apparel, jewelry, and home good items will all be available in the shop, as well as a *currently secret* product piece that will be THE signature staple of Luminous. In 10 years I would love for Luminous to be an established lifestyle brand that not only financially supports me and my future family, but that it would be a way for other artists to profit from having collaboration pieces as a part of our store and platform. My aim for Luminous is to be a brand promoting people, artists, and any brands, or projects we believe in. We want to promote people in their daily lives, and in their great endeavors. But I've also always been a woman who is most satisfied and thriving when I'm my own boss. And all around, Luminous seemed like a way I could be doing that.
I really don't want to leave Luminous as a movement. It sounds so temporary. That's why with the store (and possibly even future blog) it will become more like a lifestyle brand, and that's what I really want it to be. But everything starts with a movement I knew whatever this was, I just had to get it started. I just had to do it. I didn't have everything figured out. I still don't have everything figured out. But I have the resources and relationships to get where I know we can be. We have the community, and it's growing so much already. And that makes me so inspired, and pushes me to keep going daily.
Join the Luminous movement on Instagram: #liveluminous